A New Restaurant From a Former French Laundry Chef Just Opened in a Famed Napa Valley Space
A running list of new restaurants, bars, and bakeries from San Francisco to Sacramento
by Lauren Saria Oct 10, 2023, 12:30pm PDT
Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.
SOMA — Movida opened on October 5 at 555 Second Street, in the former Lord George space in SoMa, the Chronicle reports. The restaurant serves a mix of Persian and Mexican food including tacos, saffron chicken skewers, and aguachile. Owner Bobby Marhamat, a self-described “serial entrepreneur” who hasn’t run a restaurant prior to this, told the outlet he wants to “capture the same nightclub-meets-brunch energy from the now-closed New York City restaurant Bagatelle.”
NORTH BEACH — Sai’s Vietnamese, a longstanding downtown San Francisco lunch spot, made headlines in February 2022 when it reached the end of its lease at 505 Washington Street and announced it may have to permanently close. Instead, the restaurant’s landlord helped the owners find a new home not far away at 42 Columbus Avenue, the former home of Bask restaurant, where Sai’s reopened on Monday, October 2, the Chronicle reported first.
PORK GULCH — For the past two years, the formerly Michelin-starred Lord Stanely has operated as a pop-up space hosting a rotating lineup of visiting chefs. But as of October 5, the king is back. The restaurant has returned to serving an a la carte and tasting menu, both from the mind of newly minted executive chef Nathan Matkowsky. The restaurant describes itself as a “Californian ‘Bistro de Luxe,’” serving French classics with some Korean influences.
CASTRO — The Rustic opened at 215 Church Street in the Castro District, the San Francisco Standard reports. The restaurant comes from owner Zoti Ali Turap, who previously worked at acclaimed Chez Panisse in Berkeley, and serves a “continent-spanning menu,” the outlet reports.
CASTRO — Castro bar and nightclub Badlands returned on October 4 after being dark for three years, per the Bay Area Reporter. Owner Les Natali previously announced the bar would close permanently before reversing course.
BERNAL HEIGHTS — Foliage opened on October 4 at 300 Precita Avenue in the former Marlena space and serves a similarly affordable four-course prix fixe menu. Owners Stephane Roulland and Julia Indovina brought on executive chef Mo Bejar to oversee the kitchen, which is focusing on sustainability and seasonality.
MENLO PARK — The Peninsula spinoff of San Francisco’s popular Italian restaurant Che Fico will open on November 8. Che Fico Parco Menlo is located at the mixed-use development Springline at 1302 El Camino Real. The massive 7,500-square-foot restaurant will have a dedicated room for making pizza dough, an open kitchen, and a private dining room, the Chronicle writes.
MOUNTAIN VIEW — Carte Blanche Coffee opened on October 1 inside the Shashi Hotel. The shop uses beans from Vertigo Coffee Roasters, based in San Juan Bautista, and offers drip coffee and espresso, as well as seasonal drinks. Options for breakfast and lunch are available alongside beer, wine, and cocktails.
ST. HELENA — Napa Valley’s famed Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, once located at 1327 Railroad Avenue in St. Helena, is now home to Charlie’s, a new restaurant from Elliot Bell, who previously worked as an executive sous chef at the French Laundry. The restaurant serves a menu of familiar dishes such as a seafood tower, wagyu steak, and fried chicken.