The 5 Best Restaurants That Opened in the Bay Area This August
A spectacular space from a Michelin-starred chef, peerless down-home cooking and more
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.
Why now: If you love the Michelin-starred Kin Khao, you absolutely want spinoff Nari — bigger, more beautiful, more relaxed — on your cal.
Eat this: Any and everything chef/owner Pim Techamuanvivit thinks up. Start with the oysters “mangda-nette” with kumamoto oysters and pineapple mignonette or a delectable watermelon with sweet and salty crispy trout. For a main: try the ribeye and namprik makmaad or the gaeng moo chamuang, a pork belly curry with collard greens. Order fearlessly.
Grammie’s Down-Home Chicken & Seafood
Why now: Barbecue-loving hearts broke around the Bay last year when Crave BBQ’s Rashad Armstead was forced to walk away from a West Oakland collaboration with the California Hotel, designed to function as a barbecue joint and an entrepreneurial incubator for local talent. This is Armstead’s new project, dedicated to his grandmother, Sarah Rawls, a Bay Area cookbook author and TV show host.
Eat this: This isn’t Crave 2.0 (which hopefully is still in the pipeline). Instead, the focus here is on fried chicken, cornmeal-fried catfish, shrimp and grits, jambalaya, and more stick-to-your-ribs goodness.
3817 Market St., Oakland (map)
Why now: Because it’s amazing it took Berkeley this long to get a kombucha bar. We’re thinking that everyone has a Tinder date who’d be absolutely delighted with a trip here.
Drink this: “Small-batch kombucha” that’s not too sweet and not too alcoholic (up to around .5%), along with a nibbles menu heavy on both the fermentation and the Middle Eastern references, a product of co-owner Numan Karabiyik’s culinary training in Turkey.
915 University Ave., Berkeley, (map)
Why now: Don’t cry for the end of Korean spot Foxsister — smile for the debut of Great Gold, a new Italian-centric concept from the same team, both vets of Flour + Water.
Eat this: It’s classic Italian from the word go, with starters like melon and prosciutto, or buffalo mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes, plus a gluten-free potato-crust fritto misto. (The whole menu is a boon for GF diners, with house-made GF pasta available.) The rigatoni is served with spicy Italian sausage; the aglio e olio with chili and anchovies. Keep it in mind for team dinners, with family-style meals ranging from $35-$65 per person.
3161 24th St. (map)
Why now: Tacolicious alum (and ex-Uma Casa chef de cuisine) Nicole Marin returns to her roots for this pop-up, both food-wise and professionally: the menu recalls her childhood in Mexicali, Mexico, while the venue — Mosto — is Tacolicious’s shuttered-for-lunch sister bar, usually serving tequila.
Eat this: Save room for the barbacoa, a centerpiece of Marin’s Mexican brunch, while also getting a taste of the ceviche tostados, pozole and watermelon salad.
Mosto, 741 Valencia St. (map)