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Thursday, March 10, 2011

James Syhabout and Hawker Fare: Anatomy of a Scoop

Posted By on Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 7:16 AM

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The past 24 hours in gossip, innuendo, and cold hard facts about the San Francisco restaurant scene.

James Syhabout. - STAR5112/FLICKR

Grub Street's Jay Barmann set off the equivalent of a stalkerazzi scuffle to catch a limo-glimpse of the Bieber when he broke word Wednesday that Commis chef James Syhabout has plans to open a laid-back place in Oakland's Uptown neighborhood, with a menu inspired by Bangkok street food, apparently. Called Hawker Fare, it'll open at 2300 Webster (at 23rd St.). Along the way, Barmann got sort of caught up in the romance of the East Bay city few San Franciscans ever bother to visit, but think is totally awesome ("you can expect a young and hip Oakland vibe, with music over the speakers like The Coup, Blackalicious, and Handsome Boy Modeling School").

That launched Eater's Carolyn Alburger on a sweaty photoshopping scramble, inserting a craggy Syhabout outline into a sidewalk pic of Manyda Thai, the place Hawker Fare will inhabit at some uncertain future date (though Alburger says it'll be next month).

Meanwhile, Inside Scoop's Paolo Lucchesi was busy scrolling through the Chron's photo archives to find a gorgeous, column-spanning Syhabout portrait worthy of Nobel inductees (no photoshopping necessary), and actually got the chef on the phone to talk about his mom, who has a connection to Manyda Thai. Sweet, except neither he nor Alburger gave Grub Street any love for breaking the story. But then, nobody said life in the Buzz Machine wasn't a sharp-elbowed brawl.

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