You know you're supposed to get elbow deep in that new bbq recipe at some point over the next few days. It is Labor Day weekend, afterall. But sometimes life isn't giving you pork butt and spices, it's giving you pop-ups. Since these underground dinners and impromptu "restaurants" are coming out almost as fast as food trucks these days, perhaps this weekend is a good time to avoid the grill all together and check out an outside-the-restaurant-box meal event. We picked our some of our favorite upcoming pop-up events to take you into this weekend, and the coming month too.
For The Seasonal Stickler: There are still 9 p.m. seatings left for The Jet Set Chef's Third Annual Tomato Dinner happening tonight and tomorrow night at Coffee Bar. Dinner starts with a modern take on Caprese made from spherical mozzarella, basil powder and tomato air. $55 buys four courses, wine pairings and an art exhibit a la Ehren Elizabeth Reed—a total steal.
For The Bon Vivant Brunch-Goer: The adorable ladies of Rice Paper Scissors will bring their signature red chairs to Blue Bottle's Hayes Valley kiosk on Sunday, serving up breakfast-appropriate banh mi, layered with fried egg and Vietnamese ham that's been steamed in a banana leaf. They'll also be making hot and cold versions of Vietnamese coffee using Blue Bottle beans. If the sun's shining, you might even wrap things up with a made-to-order, fresh ice cream scoop.
For the Muscial Fruit: Act quickly to grab some of the remaining seats at the graffEats-Noise Pop Covers dinner next Wednesday. Chef Blair Warsham pays tribute to the very influential, very French musician Serge Gainsbourg by pairing his songs to the likes of foie gras and truffle "cappuccino" and Carolina shrimp ravioli with sauce Americaine. The full menu is here, and we're told the top secret location used to be Annie Leibovitz's studio in the Dogpatch.
For the Free-Form Gourmand: For his next Lazy Bear underground suppers (9/16 and 9/17), Chef David Barzelay will obviously serve his award-winning sweetbread "McNuggets," but he's most excited about the sweet corn soup: "it's poured into a squid ink dashi with grilled sepia, black gnocchi, raw uni, shaved radish, summer squash, lime, and hot sauce." For more teasing, check out the full menu. Buy tickets before today's 6 p.m. deadline and you'll be put in a lottery for one of the 24 seats at each over-sold dinner.