Call it a comeback if you want—reincarnation is the overarching theme of this week’s new eats roundup. Senegalese treasure Bissap Baobab, European-inspired bistro Causwells and Michelin-starred eatery Marlena are all back open in their original neighborhoods. Marlena is a prix fixe charmer in Bernal Heights brought to life by husband-and-wife team David Fisher and Serena Chow. In that same spirit of family collaboration, two couples just opened a cafe in Bayview called Butchertown Coffee.
This weekend, the LINE Hotel, an architectural unicorn in the Tenderloin, cuts the ribbon on its ground-floor eatery, Tenderheart, offering a new possibility for those looking for a pre-show bite Downtown.
For some bittersweet news, Outer Sunset organic mainstay Outerlands has temporarily closed as of Monday. After 14 years, Dave Muller and Lana Porcello will hand off the restaurant and bakery to new owners, though they haven’t said who.
Oh, and James Beard Award finalist chef Reem Assil raises the curtain on her new Ferry Building bakery, Reem’s California.
Senegalese Stunner Upsizes
2243 Mission St.
Marco Senghor provided a Mission District hub for Senegalese cuisine and Afrobeats events for two decades before a legal battle over his immigration status forced the closure of his restaurant. Then, the pandemic interrupted business at his smaller outpost, Little Baobab. At long last, Senghor has reopened Bissap Baobab on Mission and 18th streets, beginning with a breakfast menu aided by Margarita’s Coffee. As of Sept. 15, Bissap Baobab restarted dinner service in their sprawling, colorful dining room, which extends onto a front patio. The fufu, a cassava plate served with a choice of protein and yassa onion sauce, makes the new menu shine. Last weekend, “Big Baobab,” as Senghor nicknamed it, hosted the after-party for the International South Asian Film Festival, so it sounds like dancing will become a regular occurrence once again as well.
Boutique Hotel Bites
The LINE SF
33 Turk St.
If you’ve walked around the Tenderloin over the past few months, a modern flat-iron building covered in square windows may have come into view and puzzled you. This architectural outlier is the LINE Hotel, and along with offering boutique lodging, the chic new hotel is rolling out a slate of food and drink options. This week, the hotel’s ground-floor restaurant, Tenderheart, unveils a menu of Northern California cuisine. Chef Joe Hou, who you may know from Michelin-starred seafood lodge Angler, leads Tenderheart’s kitchen staff. His take on local food draws upon his Chinese-American upbringing and the Bay Area’s pluralistic food history. Stay tuned for Hou’s second outfit at The LINE, Rise Over Run, which will give diners panoramic views of the skyline from the hotel’s rooftop when it opens in mid-October.
2346 Chestnut St.
European-accented bistro Causwells resumed brunch, happy hour and dinner services this past Tuesday, and it’s not just the menu that’s new. Eight years into its tenure in the Marina, they’ve revamped the interior, with elegant design elements like deep blue and gold peacock wallpaper. Ube, a Filipino purple yam, continues to have a moment as a main ingredient in the “Ubetter Beelieve It” gin fizz. Old reliables like the steak frites feel novel when prepared sous vide. The pork belly confit with johnnycake and sorghum gastrique calls to mind chef Adam Rosenblum’s Southern influences.
More Bayview Beans
5191 3rd St
If you read last week’s restaurant roundup, you learned that Bayview just gained a much-anticipated Black-owned coffee and tea house called Tallio’s. This week, there’s even more Bayview coffee news to share, as Butchertown Coffee slides into 3rd Street near Latona Garden. Taking its name from the historic neighborhood it inhabits, which emerged in the 1860s as a center for the tanning and slaughterhouse industries, Butchertown Coffee is a Mexican American family-owned shop from two couples: Octavio and Yessenia Gomez, and Eric and Irma Ramirez. Along with arabica coffee, they’re serving breakfast sandwiches, bagels and pastries.
New Digs & Elevated Picnic Eats
300 Precita Ave.
There are many family-run restaurants in SF and several Michelin-starred gems, but there aren’t a lot of local spots that check both of those boxes. Husband and wife chef team David Fisher and Serena Chow refresh their hyper-local tasting menu daily, putting an ever-evolving stamp on California cuisine. On Monday, Marlena reopened and showed off an interior redesign from SF-based architecture studio AMLGM. The earthy color scheme and soft lighting in the new space temper the balance between upscale and neighborhood-friendly feels. Marlena’s comeback also signaled the last day of camp, so to speak. Fisher and Chow were hosting a temporary pop-up, which they called “Summer Camp at Hotel Zeppelin,” at the Union Square boutique retreat of the same name. The partner chefs have also added small bites inspired by picnics they’ve enjoyed at nearby Precita Park. The “fig newton” gets a Michelin-starred treatment with duck liver mousse and caviar. Damn, that’s a next-level picnic…
Sarah Holtz can be reached at [email protected]