Now that Downtown’s last holdout hotels are finally back open, locals have a good reason to wander through their revolving doors. This week, Michelin-starred Thai favorite Kin Khao returns to the Parc 55 San Francisco Hilton, and the Hyatt Regency in SoMa gets a French revamp with La Société Bar & Café, a MINA Group spin-off venture.
Plus, head to the Mission for street tacos, harvest-themed pasta and a scoop of Knafeh ice cream—an orange blossom, rose and honey-flavored collaboration between Bi-Rite Creamery and James Beard Outstanding Chef finalist Reem Assil.
Thai Hot Spot Reopens
Inside the Parc 55 San Francisco Hilton Hotel
55 Cyril Magnin St.
As the Parc 55 Hilton delayed its post-Covid reopening until May, Kin Khao chef-owner Pim Techamuanvivit had a two-and-a-half year hiatus, broken up by a year-long pop-up in Dogpatch, to chart her restaurant’s long-term plan. And now the Michelin-starred Thai eatery reopens for dinner at last on Wednesday, Sept. 21.The Bangkok-born chef was able to reunite her former chef de cuisine, executive sous chef and even her line cook, while reviving many of Kin Khao’s original menu staples. (The pride of Techamuanvivit’s repertoire, her tangy chicken wings marinated with Nam Pla fish sauce and tossed with tamarind and Sriracha, remain a standout.)
Modern Brasserie Lands in SoMa
La Société Bar & Café
Inside the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Downtown SOMA
50 Third St.
A contemporary take on traditional brasserie fare, La Société made its debut in the Hyatt Regency’s Downtown SOMA this week. The cafe and bar is helmed by Executive Chef Alexandre Viriot, who spent six years under the tutelage of Chef Alain Ducasse at miX in St. Petersburg, Russia and MIA Café in Doha, Qatar. The menu recalls typical Parisian dishes, like steak tartare and pork pâté with Dijon mustard, but Viriot flips tradition on its head by serving ahi tuna carpaccio à la Niçoise and localizing his oysters with Champagne mignonette by sourcing them from Hog Island. SoMa just got un petit peu more Parisian.
Harvest Moon Rises with Handmade Pasta
2401 Harrison St.
The orange glow of this year’s harvest moon reaches peak illumination early Saturday morning, and Mission District mainstay Flour+Water marks the lunar event with a month-long limited pasta series. Chefs Thomas McNaughton and Ryan Pollnow designed this $125 tasting menu around seasonal specialties, including foraged chanterelle arancini and Hopi blue corn cappelletti. The wine pairings bring out the best of Flour+Water’s cellar, with a heavy emphasis on micro-producers from California and Italy. Though the harvest moon wanes after this weekend, Flour+Water’s pasta menu will extend through Oct. 10.
Street Tacos Go Brick-and-Mortar
El Rey Taquiza Artesanal
2491 Mission St.
The former Myriad Gastropub is now a taco buffet operated by Mission High School’s head soccer coach and one of his former players. Restaurateur Jose Mendoza approached Coach Pepe Valadez with a business proposition 25 years after Mendoza scored his last goal, and now the two partners are serving handmade tortillas filled with carne asada, chorizo, tripe and mushrooms. The al pastor, which is roasted on the trompo, is a definite highlight.
Middle Eastern Dessert Churns Into Ice Cream
Reem’s California x Bi-Rite Creamery
3692 18th St.
While we patiently await the arrival of Reem’s California Bakery at the Ferry Building later this month, James Beard Award finalist Reem Assil has something sweet to tide us over. A collaboration with Bi-Rite Creamery has yielded a limited-edition ice cream flavor, knafeh, which adds a swirl of Greek yogurt to cream cheese ice cream accented with orange blossom, rose syrup and honey brittle. Reimagined from a recipe that the Palestinian-Syrian chef learned from her grandfather, knafeh is best enjoyed with a double shot of Grand Coffee espresso, which Bi-Rite aptly calls the “Knaffogato.”
Sarah Holtz can be reached at [email protected]