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.
Image via Dolly V./Yelp
Golden Crab House
Why now: ’Tis the (dungeness crab) season, so hurry on over to this new spot from the team behind the Richmond’s PPQ Dungeness Island for the titular crustacean, prepared myriad ways.
Eat this: Roasted crab? Peppercorn crab? Salted egg yolk crab? Curry crab? Spicy chili crab? It’s your call (as long as it’s crab).
1830 Irving St. (map)
Image via Pushcart Fare
Why now: A solid new dim sum option for the Mission, when you don’t feel like going to Chinatown (or the Richmond, or Asia). Leave your coat at home — or consider taking it to go (the space is exceptionally small).
Eat this: The popcorn chicken is served in a popcorn bucket, which is adorable. Also: the pork and shrimp siu mai, and the mapo fries. The eight-piece deluxe dim sum box is a good deal at $14, and includes the “charcoaled lava salty egg yolk bun.”
Image via Cow Marlowe
Why now: You want a Marlowe burger, but don’t want to go to SoMa? You want to get dinner in a stylish spot without getting an Uber? For anyone within a 20-block radius (or more, depending on your fitness level/walking appetite), Cow Marlowe — from the same folks as Marlowe, Leo’s Oyster House, and Marianne — is here to deliver on these specific ambitions.
Eat this: The Marlowe burger, of course, with caramelized onions, horseradish, cheddar, and bacon, accompanied by the restaurant’s nod to the Cow Hollow demographic: a Lululemon Drop, with Tito’s vodka, acqua di cedro, lemon and thyme.
Image via Le Yu/The Shota
Why now: If you’re looking not just for any omakase but top-spec omakase, from a former Omakase sushi chef, with luxury accoutrements in mind.
Eat this: This is your chance to study up on traditional Edomae-style sushi, from a time before refrigeration was quite as inexpensive and easy-to-access as it is now (i.e., keep an eye out for cures and marinades). You’ll definitely be getting the 10-course tasting menu ($125, with tea or sake pairings optional).
Image via Salt & Straw
Salt & Straw
Why now: You’ve probably already been to the one in Pac Heights or Hayes Valley — and if not, you gotta get on that, because for our money this is the best ice cream in town, even if S&S isn’t a Northern California native. Welcome, fourth Bay Area location. (The third, P.S., is in Burlingame.)
Eat this: Holiday flavors, stat: Peppermint Bark Cocoa, Gingerbread Cookie Dough, Apple Brandy & Pecan Pie, and Cinnamon Coconut Eggnog (it’s vegan!).
Image via Pizza Marica
Why now: Maybe you loved the old seafood restaurant in this space (Marica) and wouldn’t mind a pizza-centric update from the same family.
Eat this: The Where the Wild Shrooms Are pizza, with cremini, caramelized onions, mozzarella, fontina, parmesan and San Marzano tomato sauce. Plus a couple lagers from Berkeley’s own Fieldwork.
And keep an eye out for this …
The venerable, 90-year-old Alfred’s Steakhouse — which closed over the summer for retooling — is now taking reservations for December 3 onwards. This would be a top holiday dinner choice.
Main courtesy of via Cow Marlowe.