Northside SF
The Tablehopper
Fall Openings To Fill You Up
Over in North Beach, Park Tavern has opened on Washington Square Park from partners Anna Weinberg and chef Jennifer Puccio of Marlowe. They are bringing a Cali-French bistro vibe to North Beach, with a touch of swank brasserie and Bay Area rusticity. The former Moose’s (and Joey & Eddie’s) space now has chunky overhead wood beams reclaimed from an Oregon barn, penny tile floors, leather banquettes in brown-olive, and wood tables. Those who fondly remember Moose’s will find some thoughtful touches, like Mary Etta Moose’s table. The no-reservations cafe area in the front has warm terracotta tile floors, black leather banquettes, and lots of light – the doors even slide open to the outdoor sidewalk seating, which will be fabulous on sunny afternoons. Another bonus: valet parking.

Puccio’s menu follows the Marlowe sensibility, but is definitely expanded. Smaller bites include a “raw” section with yellowtail jack “Niçoise” ($9) and market vegetables with Green Goddess dip ($7), while the “fried” section has Marlowe’s famed Brussels sprout chips ($6) and a chicken-fried green tomato with rémoulade ($7). The “smoked” section has about five items, like fish dip, crackers, and house-made hot sauce ($10). The entrées range from $13 (the Marlowe burger is on there, don’t you worry) to $28 for a New York steak with Mangalitsa pork butter, French fries, and red wine jus. To start, dinner Tuesday–Saturday, 5:30 p.m.–11 p.m.

Over at Amante, Pete Mrabe of Don Pisto’s fame has launched Chubby Noodle (570 Green Street), a pop-up dinner service Tuesday– Saturday from 6 p.m.–10 p.m., available to stay or take out. The menu includes oysters on the half shell; silky yellow fin tuna tartare with macadamia and sweet onion that you scoop up with puffy, fried garlic chips; and two kinds of ramen. And just wait until you try the fried chicken: It’s crazy-juicy (Mrabe uses Mary’s chicken), with a crisp and flavorful exterior that just shatters. You’ll want to order a bucket of it!

Big buzz in Cow Hollow: San Francisco’s first Umami Burger (2184 Union Street, 415-440-8626) – an import from Los Angeles – is now open. I can’t wait to finally sink my teeth into one of those bad boys. In the former Jovino space on Union Street, it’s open Sunday–Thursday 11 a.m.–11 p.m. and Friday–Saturday 11 a.m.–midnight. There are also local wines and craft beers available. Meanwhile, I’m standing by for the news about the next location due to open in the Mission (and another reportedly in Oakland).

Elizabeth Falkner has been changing things up at her Citizen Cake location on Fillmore Street, now calling it Elizabeth Falkner’s Citizen Cake, Ice Cream Parlor & Eats (2125 Fillmore Street, 415-861-2228). The menu is more casual and comforting, with dishes like shrimp cocktail, tomato soup, and Chinese chicken salad to start, and sandwiches like grilled cheese (five kinds!), a burger with bacon ground into the beef, and a fried chicken Cobb sandwich. For dinner there are homey faves like roast chicken, spaghetti and meatballs, plus nightly specials like pot roast on Wednesdays (good to know with our upcoming chilly weather). Falkner has also hired Allison Harvey (previously at Ragazza) to helm the kitchen.

As for the sweet side of the menu, while the fabulous patisserie counter will remain with all the signature and couture cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and bars, look for a bunch of new cleverly crafted sundaes, like an already popular one made with grilled sourdough ice cream. Now that all the equipment is in, Falkner was finally able to launch her line of liquid-nitrogen ice cream. Down in the Lower Fillmore, Richie Nakano of Hapa Ramen fame found a permanent location for his brick-and-mortar project, Hapa (1527 Fillmore Street), next door to the upcoming State Bird Provisions from Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski. The space will have an open kitchen and 28 seats (almost all counter seating, with just a few small tables). The menu will feature Nakano’s trademark ramen, plus sandwiches during the day, and in the evening a variety of appetizers (about six or so) will be in the mix. The Hapa Ramen stand at the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market on Tuesdays and Fridays will remain, business as usual. Hapa’s target date is May 2012. Hours to start will be daily 11 a.m.–11 p.m. And there will also be takeout – score!

And out in the Richmond, Hisago (3226 Geary Boulevard, 415-379-9569) has opened in the former Sanmi space from new owner Greg Hamaguchi. The menu features home-style dishes, ramen, and donburi.

Marcia Gagliardi writes a popular weekly dining e-column at and has a book about dining and drinking in San Francisco. Her new website,, highlights the City’s best dishes. E-mail hot tips to

March 2012
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