TABLEHOPPING: See the beauty, touch the magic -- of ICHI, Kin Khao, Bespoke Doughnuts, Melange Market, more
There are a bunch of new openings to cover this week, starting with the new location of ICHI Sushi and NI Bar (3282 Mission, SF. www.ichisushi.com) in Bernal, which is double the size of ICHI's previous spot — and looking very spiffy. You'll find a 30-seat sushi counter in the front along with some table seating, plus an omakase counter, which will be reservation only. In the back is the Ni Bar, offering a new menu of izakaya-style dishes and snacks (which includes chef Tim Archuleta's chicken wings, have you ever had them?), with plenty of sake, shochu, wine, and beer to help get your heat on. Have fun checking out the mural of sushi rules, like don't use too much soy sauce, if any at all, but you knew that.
Now open in downtown SF is Kin Khao (55 Cyril Magnin, SF. www.kinkhao.com), a 75-seat Thai restaurant in the Parc 55 from Pim Techamuanvivit of Chez Pim fame, with chef de cuisine Michael Gaines (Manresa, Central Kitchen), who has been cooking Thai food with Pim for the past year. Look for authentic dishes made with high-quality and local ingredients and many handmade touches, from the XO sauce to the curries. The menu will make you want to over-order, with dishes like "pretty hot" wings, chilli jam clams with pork belly, chicken fat rice, Dungeness crabmeat and rice noodles in a sauce made with crab fat (yup, more fat!) and seasonal leaf and root vegetables in som sour curry broth with tamarind and fresh red chili. Boom. There's also a full bar, with cocktails created by the Bon Vivants. Dinner is served nightly 5:30pm–11pm, and lunch is 11am–3:30pm. The bar will open at 5pm for cocktails, and look for late-night bar bites to launch in a few weeks.
There's a new spot for coffee, café bites, and a rotating schedule of pop-ups at the new Mélange Market (3153 17th St, SF. www.facebook.com/melangemarket) in the ODC building in the Mission. The project is from the AQ team, which includes AQ's former pastry chef, Maya Erickson. Order your De La Paz coffee along with housemade English muffins for breakfast, while lunch means sandwiches and salads. Fridays has Joshua Wilder Oakley of Tango & Stache popping up with his boozy tacos, like Campari-braised pork belly ones, and salads. Hours are Mon–Fri 8:30am–6pm and Sat 9am–6pm, as well as during ODC performances.
A doughnut pop-up? Uh huh. On Sundays 1pm–6pm, swing by newish bar Beaux (2344 Market, SF.) in the Castro for custom doughnuts by Brian Christie and Reilly Meehan of Bespoke Doughnuts (www.facebook.com/bespokedoughnuts), like lemon and thyme, or another with duck confit, apple, and Roquefort. No, you won't find chocolate sprinkles, but you will find horchata. And drinks!
It's almost another month, which means there are even more places to get pizza (the high tide of tomato sauce throughout the city continues). Over in Dogpatch, there's Long Bridge Pizza Company (2347 Third St, SF. www.longbridgepizza.com), serving a hybrid New York and Neapolitan style, with four options for now: margherita, sausage, a white pie, and pepperoni. Get yourself a small or large, either to go or at one of the tables. Stuff your pie hole. Hours are Mon–Fri 11am–9pm and Sat 12pm–10pm.
And in the Mission, there's a new and casual joint called Pizza Shop (3104 24th St, SF. 415-824-1840), slinging pies by the slice ($4) or whole ($19, $2 per additional topping). The owner is Thomas Jividen, previously at Bronx Pizza in San Diego, who partnered with Laurie Badger of Golden Boy Pizza (she is running front-of-house operations). Open daily 11am–10pm.