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Here’s a New Bay Area Restaurant You Must Try—and 4 More Fresh Spots to Check Out

Written by Sarah HoltzContributors Christina CampodonicoPublished Nov. 25, 2022 • 5:00pm
Whipped salt cod spread garnished with gold leaf is one of the small bites from Bar Sprezzatura, a new Italian cocktail bar in the Financial District. | Courtesy Galdones Photography/Bar Sprezzatura

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If you never want to look at a turkey baster again, we can’t blame you. Instead, take yourself to Japantown and look for a corner izakaya serving up warm dishes and sashimi with craft sake.

This diminutive Japantown spot, Chika & Sake, specializes in buta no kakuni, a stewed pork belly with soy-cured tamago. The restaurant’s chef cooks the pork for hours to conjure deep umami flavors, which makes for a fitting pairing to the selection of craft sake on tap. The Hokkaido hotate scallops and uni also whip.

Chika & Sake

Japantown
📍 1700 Laguna St.
☎️ (415) 658-7388
🔗 chika-sake.com

We have four more suggestions for eateries throughout the Bay Area to check out once that Thanksgiving food coma subsides—including two new pizzerias in San Francisco and Oakland, an elegant aperitivo and cicchetti bar in the FiDi, and a seasonal pie shop in Burlingame from a nouvelle French patisserie. 

1. Marina Pizza & Pasta

The Marina 
📍 2139 Lombard St.
☎️ (415) 931-3333
🔗 marinapizzapasta.com

The late-night pie shop once known as Marina Pizza & Cafe has opened under new owners and a new name. Restaurateur Moe Qudah moved his operation from Downtown Oakland to the Marina, a destination that should draw enough foot traffic for the newest addition to the neighborhood. Fortunately for late-night revelers, the joint stays up, too, with closing time at 3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Qudah also serves Italian American comfort staples like pesto pasta and meat lasagna.

2. Maison Alyzee

Burlingame 
📍 1208 Burlingame Ave.
☎️ (650) 425-7274
🔗 maisonalyzee.com

This patisserie established itself as a Mountain View staple before its recent expansion into a second spot just south of SF. Maison Alyzee’s selection of sweets seems to mark the passage of time—with a bounty of Thanksgiving pies through Dec. 4 that include pumpkin dressed up with almond sucrée, custard, mascarpone ganache and caramelized pumpkin seeds. With Turkey Day now come and gone, the patisserie will start baking bûches de Noël—and with the dawn of 2023, French king cakes. 

3. Bloom

Uptown Oakland
📍 1917 San Pablo Ave. 
☎️ (341) 441-0849
🔗 bloomoakland.com

Inspired by legendary New York pizzerias like Lombardi’s and Di Fara, and guided by his brother’s love of thin crust, a Nepalese restaurateur opened a family-owned pie shop in Oakland. Bebash Gurung learned to make pizza in his brother’s food truck before moving back to the Bay. He added meatballs, calzone and a few vegan dishes to his repertoire, but Gurung’s first love is still pizza. “I give all the credit to my brother,” Gurung told The Standard. “I’m forever grateful.” 

4. Bar Sprezzatura

FiDi
📍 300 Clay St. #100
🔗 barsprezzatura.com

A Venetian-style aperitivo and cicchetti bar from members-only social club Modernist’s Carlo Splendorini opened Monday. In addition to the strawberry-wine-and-prosecco that makes some très trendy Negroni Sbagliato, Splendorini offers a unique take on bellini cocktails, espresso martinis and libations. Lunch and dinner menus pay tribute to Northern Italian cicchetti bars, where small plates are a defining feature. The whipped salt cod on toast with gold leaf adds an extra luxe Midas touch.

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Sarah Holtz can be reached at [email protected]


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