New year, new brewery. Portland-based craft maltster Great Notion put down roots in Berkeley this week. With a roomy taproom, Great Notion joins the ranks of local brewers like Fieldwork and Gilman, which have put West Berkeley on the craft beer map over the past several years. Great Notion’s production headquarters remains in the City of Roses, but the East Bay taproom will highlight a different barrel-aged beer each day as the crew settles in—blended with comforting ingredients like chocolate, maple syrup and roasted coffee. Pop-ups from La Costena taco truck and pit master Pickles N’ Smoke round out the food offerings.
The first week of the year ushered in a handful of other restaurant and bar openings. Polk Gulch third-waver Saint Frank Coffee just unveiled a stylish new bakery down the street from its original cafe. A Venezuelan-Chinese restaurant—likely the Bay Area’s first—fired up the rotisseries over in the Tenderloin. There’s a new izakaya in San Francisco’s quiet Sunnyside neighborhood, and Gyros and Tzatziki is now open in the Mission. We’ve also been waiting on the arrival of Inle Burmese Cuisine on Irving Street, and it’s finally here. Read on for more new eats.
📍1401 Polk St., SF
After months of tempting us on Instagram with immaculate-looking pastries, like the cream-topped choux, and an informal pop-up IRL, Saint Frank Coffee finally opened the doors to its spinoff bakery this past week. Juniper pairs Saint Frank’s ethically sourced brews with sweets of the same caliber, many of which incorporate the bakery’s namesake berry. Fresh out of the oven this week is something delightful it calls a juniper escargot: a croissant rolled with lemon curd.
There’s a solid new option for dinner before shows at the Great American Music Hall. Cantoo combines the best of Venezuelan and Chinese cuisines. Evidently, Chinese takeout is wildly popular in Venezuela among working-class families. One of the things these two far-flung countries share is a love of barbecue. The char siu, a Cantonese-style pork, is slow-marinated in a sweet BBQ sauce. On the Venezuelan side of the menu, the rotisserie chicken comes with mini arepas.
K’s Kitchen, a Japanese mainstay in a quiet, residential corner of the city that shuttered in October, has been resurrected as Yume Sushi. A modern izakaya awash in bright purple paint, the menu includes maki, nigiri, tempura and ramen cooked in tonkotsu or miso broth, as well as traditional tapas, like karaage and yakitori.
Istanbul-born chef Cem Bulutoglu, who previously owned Gyro Xpress in the Castro, launched a new Mediterranean eatery in the Mission this week. First spotted by The San Francisco Business Times back in November, Gyros and Tzatziki takes over the space from Ritu, an Indian soul food favorite that operated in that location for eight years. The new restaurant focuses on healthy ingredients like hummus, chicken breast and, of course, creamy tzatziki.
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