Co-owner Mari Takahashi blames cold weather for lack of interest in Nombe
's street-food offerings. Since opening in mid-November, she and partners Gil Payne and Nick Balla have served various Japanese take-away items from a sliding glass window at 2491 Mission (at 21st St.) until 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The fact that the warm, well-lit restaurant attached to the takeout window also stays open till 2 a.m. undoubtedly weakens the appeal of eating on the street. "Customers who come late would rather eat inside," said Takahashi. Last week, Nombe decided to scrap the street food and instead serve a late-night weekends instead.
In other Nombe news, the restaurant started serving Japanese and American brunch items last Saturday. The opening menu is abbreviated, with a single traditional Japanese breakfast plate by far the most interesting option (broiled black cod, onsen tamago, miso soup with winter vegetables, koshihikari rice with wild nori, mixed homemade pickled vegetables, house umeboshi, marinated konbu, and sencha tea for a mere $19). This weekend, expect Japanese cupcakes and pastries with ingredients like yuzu jelly, adzuki beans, and black sesame.
With crossover offerings in Bernal, Pac Heights, and now the Mission, it looks like Asian sweets and breakfasts might be the first official food trend for 2010 in San Francisco.