Table Stakes: August

Five new restaurants for all you dilettantes and bon vivants

By Diane Rommel

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31 August 2017

To keep tabs on every S.F. restaurant and bar opening is folly. But to keep tabs on the most worthy? Yeoman’s work, and we’re proud to do it. Thus we present Table Stakes, a monthly rundown of the five (or so) must-know spots that have swung wide their doors in the past thirty (or so). Bon appétit.

J Bird
Ghirardelli Square

Why now: Waxman's may be closed for renovations — but this all-chicken, all the time spin-off is open for business, occupying the former Waxman's Pizzeria. 
Order this: The fried chicken, for sure, with a side of the roasted vegetables and broccolini with currants and pine nuts. (Plus whatever the flavor-of-the-day crumble is on offer, because there's always a little room left for dessert.) 

900 North Point Street (map)
jbirdsf.com

Top Round
Mission

Why now: Now open in the former (and forever) Discolandia Records space, this is Top Round's second location in California — and our chance to sample the meticulously prepared roast beef sandwiches, fried chicken and more. 
Order this: Come hungry — and get the original roast beef sandwich with "Seasoning Shake & Au Jus," leaving a sufficient amount of space for the gravy fries (with "Beef Drippings & Ends") and, finally, one of the creative frozen custard options. 

2962 24th Street (map)
eattopround.com

Paradise Park Café
North Oakland

Why now: Maybe you, too, spent some time in and around Dolores Park, or Duboce Park, or Precita Park — and now find yourself expanding into North Oakland. That's basically the trajectory for this new addition to the neighborhood, from the same team as our other friendly park cafés. Solid addition, this is.
Order this: You're mostly here to people watch and scroll through Twitter — but we ate the Dolores Park Café's turkey, bacon, avocado and Swiss three times a week for as many years ... so we'll probably have that here, too. 

6334 San Pablo Avenue, Oakland (map)
paradiseparkcafe.com

Madcap
San Anselmo

Why now: Madcap offers ex-Michael Mina executive chef Ron Siegel a huge palette for his menu of super-seasonal, veggie-centric, NorCal-via-Tokyo classics. 
Order this: While the summer harvest is still on the menu: the beef rib eye, with heirloom tomatoes and eggplant, followed by the chocolate sesame cake praline with rice milk sherbet. 

198 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, San Anselmo (map)
madcapmarin.com

Salt Wood Kitchen and Oysterette
Marina

Why now: In the coastal town of Marina — think slightly "slightly north of Monterey," not "neighborhood with that Safeway" — Salt Wood is the on-site dining spot at the oceanside Sanctuary Beach Resort
Order this: How many oysters can you eat — especially the roasted ones, prepared either in kimchi butter with sweet sausage and scallion, in a béarnaise and tarragon pesto, or with spicy sausage and herbed bread crumbs? (A lot. Speaking for ourselves.) 

3295 Dunes Rd, Marina (map
saltwoodkitchenandoysterette.com

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