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News for Restaurants in San Francisco
April 2012 Archive

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Want to know who's doing what in your city? Gayot has the restaurant news you want to read on openings, closings, special events, and more. Learn everything you need to know about the restaurants in San Francisco here.



Corners Tavern in Walnut Creek is the latest from Doug Washington and brothers Mitchell and Steven Rosenthal, the power team behind San Francisco's Town Hall, Salt House and Anchor & Hope, who have joined forces with Tim Harmon and Jon Swanson of the Bay Area's two Paragon locations (San Francisco and Berkeley) for this East Bay venture. The chef is Esteban Escobar; beverage director is Nicole Burke, who has crafted a wine list from California, Oregon and Washington along with a 16-tap beer list of local micro and Belgian beers. The hip, approachable ambience comes in part from the team's successful eye for design --- the 95-seat dining room with horseshoe bar for 32 is outfitted in resourced barn wood from a defunct Oregon dairy farm, embossed wallpaper, antique carpets and Egyptian crystal sconces. Industrial garage doors open onto a 30-seat outdoor patio. Cuisine is soulful American. Look for lunch in the coming weeks. Dinner nightly. Corners Tavern, 1342 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, CA 94596, 925-948-8711.
Long-awaited Namu Gaji opened in the Mission on April 11, 2012. The restaurant is from brothers Dennis, Daniel and David Lee, the team behind former standout Namu. The new menu for the larger enterprise retains the Korean-inflected cuisine for which chef Dennis Lee is known, organized into categories such as "grill" ("fish parts," "chicken parts," pig parts"), "crispy," "comfort," "raw" and a list of "large format" dishes meant to be shared family style among four or more people. Namu favorites such as ramen, fried chicken and shiitake dumplings remain. Happy hour nibbles include kimchi and banchan, pickles, stone pot rice and pork jerky, and the intriguing do-it-yourself pocky. A dedicated acre farm in Sunol provides much of the seasonal produce (including Korean chiles and herbs). Michael Kim (Craft Los Angeles, SPQR) is chef de cuisine. Sakés remain a highlight, as do local beers, including a signature house beer created by Dave McLean of Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery. Look for the adjacent take-out window for Asian-style street food opening Tues.-Sun. at 11 a.m. Dinner Tues.-Sun. Namu Gaji, 499 Dolores St., San Francisco, CA 94110, 415-431-6268.
Charlie Palmer has opened the Burritt Room and Tavern in San Francisco Restaurateur and hotelier Charlie Palmer has opened the 79-room Mystic Hotel (formerly the Crescent Hotel) at the crossroads of Union Square, Chinatown and the Financial District in San Francisco, and tucked within is the Burritt Room + Tavern, a restaurant with a speakeasy vibe that extends to an adjoining cocktail bar and lounge. Drawing from the city's noir ambience (and named for Burritt Alley, featured prominently in the film "The Maltese Falcon"), the dining room features curtained booths and classic American cuisine (steaks, chops, seafood), and both the restaurant and bar exude a masculine, private-club-like feel. Executive chef is Ashley Weaver (Aureole NY, Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale's South Coast Plaza). Look for lunch service in the coming weeks. Dinner nightly. Burritt Room + Tavern, Mystic Hotel, 417 Stockton St., San Francisco, CA 94108, 415-400-0561.
The Chocolatier Blue Parlor has opened on Fourth Street in Berkeley, taking over the former Chocolatier Blue storefront and transforming it into a fanciful ice cream parlor. The shop's locally made gourmet chocolates are still available, but pastry chef Danyelle Forte (1500 Ocean, Adour Alain Ducasse, L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, db bistro moderne, Restaurant August) now crafts classic and creative ice cream desserts, with herb- and juice-based flavor components, seasonal, local ingredients and innovative mix-ins. Offerings include sundaes, shakes, floats, freezes, chocolates, baked goods, coffee and hot chocolate. Look for a soon-to-open heated patio. Open daily. Chocolatier Blue Parlor, 1809 Fourth St., Berkeley, CA 94710, 510-665-9500.

News Bytes

The Moss Room Open for Lunch
The Moss Room in the California Academy of Sciences has reopened for lunch only, with further changes to come from owner Charles Phan (Slanted Door, Out the Door, Wing Ho General Store, Heaven's Dog). The museum restaurant continues to feature a refined ambience --- this is not your usual cafeteria-style café --- and Phan's new, temporary lunch menu includes Asian-inspired dishes such as glass noodles with seasonal vegetables along with American fare like fried chicken and a Prather Ranch burger. The Moss Room, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Dr., San Francisco, CA 94118, 415-379-8000.
Small Plates, Big Pours at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is offering a Small Plates, Big Pours promotion in the bar area through May 10, 2012. For $24.95, guests can select a small plate (sliced filet mignon, seared ahi tuna, lobster tempura, etc.) paired with an oversized wine pour. The selections range from Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley to Penley Estate Gryphon Merlot from Australia. For more information, visit Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 1685 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Walnut Creek, CA 94596, 925-287-0297.
Champagne Sunday Brunch at Moonraker
Pacifica newcomer Moonraker, located coastside, has launched a weekly Champagne Sunday brunch from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., wherein guests are treated to a complimentary glass of Champagne with their view of the sea. A buffet menu highlights crab legs, peel-and-eat shrimp, chef-carved roast beef and other stations. Also available are crêpes, omelets made to order and additional vegetarian options. Cost is $39.95 per person and $12.95 for children 12 and under, exclusive of gratuity and tax. Moonraker, Best Western Plus Lighthouse Hotel, 105 Rockaway Beach Ave., Pacifica, CA 94044, 650-577-7025.
Lark Creek Group Restaurants Celebrate Teachers in May
Teachers enjoy appreciation in the form of restaurant discounts throughout the month of May at Lark Creek group restaurants (One Market, Yankee Pier, Lark Creek Walnut Creek, The Tavern at Lark Creek, LarkCreekSteak and others). The first $10 of any tab (exclusive of tax, tip and alcohol) is on the restaurant for any teacher or school employee who presents a valid ID from May 1-31, 2012. There are no restrictions on the number of teachers, the number of restaurant visits or amount on the bill. This is the event's fifth year. For the complete list of participating restaurants, visit

Chef Shuffle

Check back soon for more news.


Lafitte on the Embarcadero closed after service on Sunday, April 15, 2012. Known previously for a leading role in San Francisco's underground dining movement, "Dissident Chef" Russell Jackson opened the ambitious brick-and-mortar restaurant two years ago to the month. According to various reports, Jackson is heading next to New York City. Lafitte, Pier 5, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111, no phone.
Bardessono restaurant has re-opened as Lucy Restaurant & Bar inside Yountville's upscale, eco-conscious Bardessono hotel in the Napa Valley. The 60-seat interior features a sculptural, contemporary vibe, and a 40-seat seasonal patio offers views onto the hotel's landscaped courtyard. Cuisine is modern American with a natural focus on wines, including small production, organic, sustainable and biodynamic vintners. Lucy's team is comprised of executive chef Victor Scargle (Jardinière, Aqua, Pisces, Julia's Kitchen), bartender Vincent Lee (Auberge du Soleil) and wine director Brett Fallows. The bar and lounge, open daily from 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m., features design details in glass and stainless steel, including a glass wall that divides the indoor space from a heated outdoor patio complete with fire pit. Lucy is named for Lucy Bardessono, grandmother to the Bardessono family of Italian immigrants who started a farmstead on the same property in 1928. Breakfast & Dinner daily, Lunch Mon.-Fri., Brunch Sat.-Sun. Lucy Restaurant & Bar, 6526 Yount St., Yountville, CA 94599, 707-204-6000.

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