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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Highly Anticipated Horsefeather to Open Next Week

Posted By on Wed, Mar 30, 2016 at 10:30 AM

The Red Rooster. (pineapple, brown sugar, Ancho Reyes, riesling, soda water and Aperol) - HORSEFEATHER
  • Horsefeather
  • The Red Rooster. (pineapple, brown sugar, Ancho Reyes, riesling, soda water and Aperol)

is almost here. The restaurant and cocktail bar project from Justin Lew, Ian Scalzo, (both Future Bars Co. alums — think Local Edition, Bourbon & Branch) and Chef Ryan Chinchilla (who hails from Foreign Cinema and Blue Plate) is slated to open sometime next week.

The former Ziryab space, so far, seems to be nothing but a long series of teasers. First, Ziryab underwent a revamp in 2013, which included a relatively successful cocktail program from Zachary Taylor (Hog & Rocks). Then, it shuttered, thus paving the way for Lew and Scalzo who applied for a liquor license in the space and taunted us with a temporary pop-up bar in the name of TSK/TSK, with an offering of unique and playful cocktails.

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Monday, July 20, 2015

TSK TSK Has a Blue Tropical Cocktail That Is Actually Worth Drinking

Posted By on Mon, Jul 20, 2015 at 1:00 PM

  • Peter Lawrence Kane

As mere placeholders go, TSK / TSK is no half-assed endeavor. A Divisadero bar in the former Ziyab space, it’s appealing to both your inner alcoholic child and to bartenders’ needs to make drinks in a hurry with some boozy slushies. Owners Justin Lew and Ian Scalzo are just making hay out of a liquor license while their real project (Horsefeather) gets itself together, and the very temporary-ness of the bar drew a crowd on Friday. Something about a $10 blue cocktail with a little umbrella called out to me on opening night and, my to my surprise, it was intensely spicy!

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Meaty Gift that Keeps on Giving: 4505 Burgers & BBQ Expands

Posted By on Tue, Jun 16, 2015 at 11:00 AM

  • Alexis Katsilometes

First came their Saturday stand at the Ferry building Farmer’s Market where hungry carnivores made weekly pilgrimages to consume what may actually be the “best damn cheeseburger.” Then came 4505’s Valencia Street brick and mortar butcher shop for those seeking to replicate all of the meaty goodness at home. And in 2013, the porcine prayers of San Franciscans were answered with the opening of 4505 Burgers & BBQ, where guests could stuff their faces with items such as pulled pork, brisket, and sausage alongside that ever-important menu offering: alcohol (in the form of beer and wine). What more could owner/chef Ryan Farr and his team do increase our happiness?

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Handmade Udon Comes to Japantown Mall

Posted By on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 2:59 PM


There's a newish udon place in town, Udon Mugizo, in the Japantown mall (second floor, across from the Kinokuniya bookstore). They're one of the few places in town to make their own noodles — you can see the machine that creates them behind glass in front of the restaurant — and serve the noodles in a variety of forms, including in soup, shabu shabu, with tempura, and even deep-fried in dessert.

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Leaving Hungry from Brenda's Meat & Three Is Not Possible

Posted By on Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 2:57 PM

City ham steak & "red eye" gravy. - PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane
  • City ham steak & "red eye" gravy.

If the afterlife serves anything like the menu at Brenda’s Meat & Three, I may have to renounce my unbelief. Brenda Buenviaje and company have transformed the former Blue Jay Café on Divis into a place where biscuits are essentially mandatory and portion control never rears its ugly head. It might be the only place in San Francisco where you can order a fried bologna sandwich.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bistro Central Parc Serves Homey Parisian Brunch in NOPA

Posted By on Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 11:00 AM


Bistro Central Parc occupies a sunny corner on a largely non-commercial stretch of NOPA, at Central and Grove. So quiet, in fact, that you may

start to doubt your sense of direction -- that is, until you see the

restaurant's bold, vaguely familiar black and white striped awning (it

looks exactly like the ones at every Ambiance boutique in the city). But

here, in this context, it feels a little like Paris. 

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

State Bird Provisions' Stuart Brioza Talks Dim Sum

Posted By on Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 11:30 AM

  • State Bird Provisions
  • Stuart Brioza
  • State Bird Provisions
  • Nicole Krasinski

Right before filing this week's review of State Bird Provisions, Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski's new restaurant in the Fillmore, I spoke to Brioza, the restaurant's savory chef (Krasinski is the pastry chef). The couple, both Bay Area natives, worked in Chicago (under David Burke) and northern Michigan before coming back to San Francisco and taking jobs at Rubicon, where they earned national recognition during their four-year tenure.

SFoodie: What have you been up to since Rubicon closed in 2008?

Brioza: We've been together for 14 years, and so we got married just after Rubicon closed. We traveled extensively, and then we found there was a huge demand for private dining. Since we had a pretty good customer base from our Rubicon days, we just kind of rode that for a while. And we had a baby! Two babies, really, with the restaurant.

We signed the lease on the space in September 2010, two weeks after our son was born. We had been looking for 10 months or so. It had been a pizzeria, and was closed down and gutted when we looked at it. It looked much, much different. There was ductwork going over the skylights, and where the big cement wall now is had 80 years and 8 inches of plaster over it. It was a really unattractive space. But you could see the potential. I came in one night with a hammer and started knocking at the wall, and I could tell there was something good in there.

How did you decide upon the dim sum format? 

Yeah, when I worked for David Burke, we had an all-you-can-eat dim sum brunch on Sundays. I thought it was genius. It was an opportunity for cooks to do a lot with their own creativity. For us, the format came about when we were cooking for private parties. Nicole and I would do requests to cook heavy hors d'oeuvres parties instead of sit-down dinners. We would pass around 15 different items for three to four hours of service. Guests loved the quantity of items being passed, and we were having a lot of fun with it.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

State Bird Provisions' Plates May Be Tiny, But They're Mighty Exciting

Posted By on Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 7:35 AM

One of the carts rolling around State Bird Provisions. - LARA HATA
  • Lara Hata
  • One of the carts rolling around State Bird Provisions.

Considering the shrinking of the entrée that has taken place over the past two decades, the American dim sum that Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski are serving at State Bird Provisions -- the subject of this week's full-length restaurant review in the paper -- seems inevitable. Especially in a city where many of us yum cha as often as we do brunch.

The surprise of the two-month-old restaurant is that the dim sum format -- which still isn't kink-free, making you better appreciate the service at Yank Sing and Koi Palace -- isn't the most entrancing thing about the restaurant. Brioza and Krasinski's cooking is. 

The two chefs (he handles savory, she sweet) are combining improbable flavors -- potato chips with orange-scented steelhead roe and horseradish crème fraîche, chocolate-black-sesame crunch with mandarin jam -- so thoughtfully that it's clear they've choreographed how each bite evolves in the mouth. As a restaurant, State Bird Provisions is still wobbly. As chefs, though, Brioza and Krasinski are already performing acrobatic feats.

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Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dish Duel: Tempura Soba

Posted By on Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 5:15 PM


The first of our occasional series where we'll pit the same dish from two different restaurants against each other concerns tempura soba, the Japanese soup dish of buckwheat noodles paired with a side of tempura shrimp and vegetables for dipping, in a battle between Sunset District noodle shop Hotei (1290 9th Ave.) and Mifune Don (22 Peace Plaza) in the Japan Center.


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Friday, March 27, 2009

Wine Bar of the Week: Wine Jar

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 10:01 AM

Wine Jar (1870 Fillmore), a cozy and friendly neighborhood hangout, is what I call a real wine bar, as opposed to a restaurant that doubles or poses as a wine bar. They sell some nuts, olives, and cheese to snack on, and have a small selection of good bottled beer, but the focus is on the wine.

The thoughtfully chosen list includes around 50 wines, more than half available by the glass ($4-18) or half-glass, and many of the rest in half (375ml) bottles. The selection favors boutique California wineries, but also has some nice choices from France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.

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    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"