Northside SF
The Tablehopper
North Beach, Cow Hollow changes liven up culinary scene

After the historic Enrico’s (504 Broadway Street) unceremoniously closed last month, I was wondering who was in play to take it over. Well, whaddya know, it’s the neighbors: Ian Begg and Ryan Maxey of the takeout sandwich shop Naked Lunch. In a move similar to the new tenants at Washington Square Bar & Grill, Begg and Maxey are not continuing the Enrico’s legacy and are naming the space Txoko. (A txoko is a dining club of sorts, where Basque men – rarely women – get together to cook, eat and talk, and generally get drunk without their wives being around.) Begg and Maxey hope to open in April, and they plan to serve pintxos and other small plates along with larger dishes, including roasted suckling pig from their wood-fired oven. Txoko will have a full bar and be open late, while Naked Lunch reportedly will stay open.

Just across the street, The Vin Club (515 Broadway Street) will start Eat Me At The Vin Club, a walk-up sandwich window. Owner Dario Zucconi (of Tommaso’s) is partnering with Ben de Vries of Luella, and Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m., they will serve a daily salad, soup and three pressed sandwiches: slow-roasted pork belly, house-made pickles, aged cheddar, and bacon; marinated artichokes, arugula and house-made ricotta; and braised beef cheek and pecorino béchamel. Sandwiches from $9–$10, and you will be able to call in your order at (415) 314-5337.

Meanwhile, just blocks away, the Frascati team has opened Campanula Kitchen & Bar (701 Union Street) in the former Iluna Basque space. It’s a small 40-seat spot, serving a variety of affordable (and mostly American) dishes. Open nightly for dinner (until midnight Friday and Saturday), full bar, no reservations.

After months of rumors about Aziza looking to move its location to downtown, it’s actually happening. I heard it was going into the cursed Zinnia (and Scott Howard, and 500 Jackson) space, and the food will continue to follow its current modern Moroccan path. Olle Lundberg will design the space, and the entrance reportedly will be moved to 801 Montgomery Street. It will have 95–105 seats, with plans for a private dining room in the big basement. As for the current Geary Street location, either Lahlou will leave the space, or – as I have hoped – he’ll keep it as a location to serve the more rustic and homey Moroccan fare his regulars have always enjoyed. Construction is planned in 60 days.

While plans are progressing for our very own Umami Burger (a Los Angeles import), it won’t be going into the Noodle Theory space at 3242 Scott Street in the Marina as originally planned. I asked for the address of the new location, and was told only that they’re moving into restaurant space on Union Street (the Umami folks couldn’t name the restaurant because it’s still open). So, stand by!

Kasa Indian Eatery closed its Cow Hollow location on Fillmore Street (the Castro location remains open and busy as ever). Things are moving ahead for their food truck, The Kati Roller, which should be launching in two months. They expect to be in the Financial District and participating in Off-the-Grid events and at corporate campuses around the Bay Area. Meanwhile, Nick Fasanella (formerly the Nick behind Nick’s Crispy Tacos and currently behind Taco Shop at Underdogs) hopes to open Tacko (3115 Fillmore Street) in the former Kasa space by May.

Marcia Gagliardi also writes a popular weekly e-column about the S.F. dining scene; subscribe for free at, where you can also find her first book.
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