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 thirty (or so). Bon appétit.
In brief: A second, public transport-accessible location ("just steps from the 12th Street-City Center BART station"!) for the Emeryville Public Market standout.
Order this: Ramen served to your specs, whether those include soy milk-based vegetable broth or butter and corn (the "Buttercorn," featuring clear ramen, butter and corn) — plus toppings at around a buck a piece. Our pick: the special White Bird, with creamy chicken broth, bean sprouts, soft-boiled egg, pork or chicken chashu, and varied greenery.
The Douglas Room
In brief: A watering hole from Mo Hodges and Brian Felley, the guys behind Benjamin Cooper — all in the styling confines of the newly relaunched Tilden Hotel, formerly the Mark Twain.
Order this: The Tele Novela — with Partida tequila, celery, strawberry, chareau, aquavit, kummel, and verjus lemon — plus a decidedly less complicated pick from the unpretentious bar menu: Hudson Valley duck wings and the "Whiz Wit": ribeye, carmelized onions, cheese whiz, amorso roll.
La Cocina Restaurant Week
In brief: A week of fund- and profile-raising events benefiting the female chefs of La Cocina, a vital food incubator supporting low-income food entrepreneurs. Events are seriously all over the Bay Area — including Larkspur, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, and S.F.
Order this: Whatever the chefs put in front of you — La Cocina chefs, mostly women of color, channel varied traditions and styles. Or just donate.
In brief: Rich Wood brings French-Californian to the former Bay Wolf — the neighborhood institution where Wood had one of his first dates with his now-wife (and biz partner) — all with the approbation of the Bay Wolf's Michael Wild
Order this: Grilled little gems followed by the grilled Nieman Ranch pork loin with farro verde and green lentils
In brief: The Chronicle just called this S.F.'s "most woman-centric" Champagne bar. Do with that information what you will.
Order this: "A Bump and a Shot": Caviar for six and an equal number of shot glasses of Champagne