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Mod Remodels 

Beloved Zuni is closing? Here's why you shouldn't worry.

Wednesday, Jun 26 2002
Zuni Tunes It's been more than 20 years since Zuni began orchestrating its classic San Francisco symphony of clinking glasses, buzzing bar, and diners singing the praises of its legendary roasted chicken and Caesar salad. But the restaurant will close on Aug. 5 -- fortunately, only for a remodel. It's set to reopen, ready to shuck and serve oysters and other standbys, on Aug. 23. This is the first major renovation -- relocated oyster bar, revised kitchen layout, new tile work, and fresh paint -- for the revered eatery, which first launched on a meager budget of 10 grand.

Pondering Ponzu Also on the remodeling kick is Ponzu, at 401 Taylor in the Serrano Hotel. The bar and restaurant marked its second anniversary this spring with a restyled lounge and dining area, just finished on June 1. Harry stopped by recently to catch some grooves from the new resident DJs and lingered in the updated, drape-swathed lounge, perfect after a day of downtown shopping. Not surprisingly, it proved easy to sink into the comfy overstuffed couches and suck back a few cocktails while enjoying the small Japanese-style "Tsumami" plates chef John Beardsley hawks for a measly $3 to $8 a pop.

Meat and Greet MacArthur Park, known for its juicy combination of baby-back ribs and business professionals on the prowl, celebrates its 30th anniversary throughout 2002. Imagine: If a couple had met there that first year and had children, those kids could now be raising their own glasses of chardonnay at the restaurant. Nice to know there are still a few beacons of stability in this ever-changing foodie world.

Tao Now Now that Slanted Door's moved temporarily to SOMA, there's a new place to turn when a Vietnamese food craving strikes while wandering in the Mission. Tao Cafe, located in the old Flying Saucer haunt at 1000 Guerrero, looks très chic in its small celadon setting. The menu is simple (green papaya salad, chicken curry, vegetarian spring rolls) and well priced, and though the service was rather slow on a recent visit, the personalized, family-run touches made up for it. A bonus: The wicker furniture, comfortable silk cushions, and most other decorative elements are also for sale, which might make for a seriously large doggie bag.

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Harry Coverte

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