To keep tabs on every San Francisco 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 30 (or so). Bon appétit.
The Perennial’s only been on the scene a week and a half and it’s already drawing attention for its comprehensive approach on sustainable dining, from the food shuttled across the bay to aquaponic greenhouses — where it’s composted by worms — to fast-heating cookware. The highlight, though, remains the (obviously) seasonal and local-minded menu from chef Chris Kiyuna, an ex-Mission Chinese chef de cuisine who cut his teeth at the famously innovation-minded Noma in Copenhagen.
If you love the Michelin-starred Omakase but don’t want to deal with the $200 fixed-price menu (plus another $80 for the sake pairing), this is the best food news you’ll hear all month: Omakase proprietor Kash Feng has just opened this 46-seat izakaya next door. If you’re not up for stewed hijiki seaweed or steamed oyster and asari clams, there’s a sushi selection, too.
S.F. is chock-a-block with healthy eateries, but Little Gem promises an extra dose of style and a rigorous approach to both what it offers (from local all-stars like Five Dot Ranch, Marin Sun Farms, and Rancho Gordo) and what it doesn’t (gluten, refined sugar, dairy). Our choices: the Green Dream smoothie for lunch (with avocado, spinach, cucumber, ginger and almond milk) and the King of Hayes chef’s plate for dinner.
Black Bark BBQ
Let’s say you’re not vegan, or gluten-free, or dairy- or sugar-free: Have we got the place for you! Welcome Black Bark BBQ to Fillmore Street. It brings with it ribs and brisket (and sausage and turkey legs) available by the pound, plus sweet potato pie and root beer floats; kids get their own menu, with grilled cheese and chicken strips. All the gooey, sugary, delicious goodness comes courtesy of David Lawrence and Monetta White, the husband-and-wife team behind 1300 on Fillmore.
It’s hard to avoid all the chatter about the S.F. ethos (and actual S.F. people) invading Portland. Now, the Beaver State strikes back, with the opening of Cafe Eugene in Albany, featuring the cuisine of the Pacific Northwest. Truth: It’s pretty similar to the cuisine of the Bay Area, in philosophy and foodstuffs, with lots of Acme bread, Five Dot Ranch burgers and the like.