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Food & Drink

Cult San Francisco restaurant rebrands, owners to reopen original concept elsewhere

A neon 'open' sign is posted to the front door of a new restaurant in the Mission called Undingable, while diners sit in a homey interior.
Undingable is a dumpling shop that quietly opened in the former Chome space in the Mission District. | Source: Astrid Kane/The Standard

One of the quirkiest Japanese restaurants in San Francisco abruptly shuttered its Mission District location in October, rapidly pivoting to become a new, pan-Asian concept in preparation for reopening the original elsewhere in the neighborhood.

Chome, the year-old izakaya on Mission Street near 18th Street that’s known for its charmingly offbeat menu, reopened over the weekend as Undingable (as in “un-ding-able”), which bills itself as a “Chome-style dumpling shop with surprises.” 

Meanwhile, the owners have posted to Instagram that they plan to reopen Chome on Nov. 10 several blocks away, in the space that formerly housed Wild Pepper during its 15-year run.

A bowl of meaty noodles in broth sits on a table.
Tan tan noodles in a rich broth take on some of the elements of ramen at Undingable. | Source: Astrid Kane/The Standard
Pork shumai sits in a dim sum basket on a table with other East Asian dishes.
Unlike the typical presentation of pork and shrimp shumai, Undingable's practically tower over the basket. | Source: Astrid Kane/The Standard

It’s hard to know that Undingable has opened, as the exterior sign still advertises its predecessor. Inside, though, patrons will find familiar dim sum items like Shanghai soup dumplings (xiao long bao) and pork and shrimp shumai, but also more inventive dishes like chicken fingers coated with banana, mint and crushed nuts, or a lobster mac ’n’ cheese egg roll. Some items are clearly holdovers, like the signature chu toro sizzler, a platter of fatty tuna and multigrain crispy rice.

While Chome had a broad selection of sake and other alcoholic beverages, Undingable does not currently appear to have a liquor license. 

The restaurant did not respond to requests for comment.

The exterior of the former  Wild Pepper on 26th Street shows no sign yet of becoming Chome.
Chome's Instagram page has announced it will take over the former Wild Pepper on 26th Street. | Source: Astrid Kane/The Standard

Chome won plaudits and a few head scratches during its tenure, with the staff’s penchant for scribbling dismissive Yelp reviews on the menu chalkboard—which wasn’t labeled as the menu, but the “Zone of Arbitrary Things.” With only a handful of close-together tables, wait times were long, and the atmosphere was homey enough that guests sometimes joined one another’s parties, feasting on duck udon carbonara and oxtail omurice

In all, Chome was something of a Japanese equivalent to early 2010s hotspot Mission Chinese, which is one block down and across the street.

This recent metamorphosis is hardly the first concept change at this address. 

During the pandemic, it was a DoorDash-serving ghost kitchen of sorts called 2193 Sushi. And long before Chome, 2193 Mission St. was home to another unusual restaurant, the pescatarian Weird Fish—which later became Dante’s Weird Fish, as the owner compared small-business ownership to the nine levels of hell