The Tablehopper

New places opening in the Marina and on Fillmore, North Beach happenings

The newly open Verve Wine in Pacific Heights. Photo: Aaron Leitz


The second location of Dabba (2240 Chestnut Street) has opened, bringing its uniquely borderless fine-casual cuisine that is “comfort food just like your Californian-Indian-Cajun-Jamaican-Mexican Mom would make.” It’s delicious, healthy, and made with such fresh ingredients, featuring customizable bowls, salads with grains, seasonal vegetables, chutneys, yogurt, and topped with a choice of Cajun chicken, Caribbean jerk pork, or curried lamb. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options are available.

Chef Walter Abrams (The French Laundry and Spruce) has further developed family recipes from Marin County’s popular Avatar’s, another creative culinary concept. The location also offers local beer and organic wines on tap, a house-made turmeric-ginger-lime aqua fresca, nitro hibiscus tea, and this location also offers soft-serve. There are 26 seats, with another 12 on the sidewalk. Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.


There are some exciting new projects coming soon, starting with the revelation of what is going into the former Thai Stick: Noosh (2001 Fillmore Street) from Laura and Sayat Ozyilmaz, who have made quite a name for themselves with their Feastly Istanbul Modern pop-up series. For this brick and mortar, they’re partnering with John Litz, formerly a partner in Lazy Bear, who secured the location and approached them after trying their food.

They have a fine dining background (East Coast Michelin-starred restaurants like Eleven Madison Park and Le Bernardin), and are steeped in technique (in addition to their pop-ups, she has worked at Saison and he has been at Mourad), but will be keeping things casual for this location. Look for Turkish flavors, inspiration from Israel, Greece, and Armenia, house-made pita bread, and more. It’s due to open at the end of the year. And there’s full liquor, so stand by.

Newly open is Verve Wine (2358 Fillmore Street), a West Coast location of a TriBeCa wine shop from master sommelier Dustin Wilson (Eleven Madison Park, RN74, Somm), wine merchant Derrick Mize, and sommelier Eric Railsback. Look for 500 labels from small producers, natural/nonmanipulated wines, and New Californian and Old World wines, too, plus access to their larger online inventory of 3,000 labels, which you can have shipped directly to your home. The experience is designed to appeal to all levels of wine drinkers, from beginner to cork dork. Monday–Saturday 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Sunday noon–6 p.m.


Comstock Saloon launched a new Afternoon Saloon Brunch from chef de cuisine Jason Raffin. The menu is inspired by the intersection of North Beach and Chinatown, and includes a breakfast poutine with house-made sausage, scrambled eggs, cheddar, and Szechuan gravy; char siu pork belly eggs Benedict with lemon hollandaise, nori chili flakes, and tossed greens; and herbed falafel shakshuka with eggs, truffled tomato sauce, and cheddar cheese. There’s also a brand-new menu of brunch-inspired cocktails by bar manager Anthony Cozeck. Saturday–Sunday 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

An update on Tosca Cafe (242 Columbus Avenue): Chef Josh Even and manager Dana Katzakian recently left the restaurant after negotiations to take it over didn’t pan out. But it’s now a bit clearer why that didn’t happen with the new details of chef-partner April Bloomfield’s dissolution of her business partnership with Ken Friedman (in light of numerous allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct). She will now own and control their West Coast restaurants, Tosca Cafe (which she took over with Friedman in 2013), and Los Angeles’s Hearth & Hound. They’re doing a coastal split, with Friedman maintaining ownership of New York’s Spotted Pig — let’s see if he comes up with a clever renovation of the establishment’s notorious “rape room.”

In a statement to Eater National, Bloomfield said: “Today, I am announcing the end of my partnership with Ken Friedman. There is much hard work ahead, and it begins with taking full leadership of the Hearth & Hound in Los Angeles and Tosca Cafe in San Francisco. In New York, I remain chef at the Breslin and will begin work on reconcepting the John Dory Oyster Bar [Ken Friedman will not be involved with either location]. My complete focus now will be on the welfare and opportunity for my staff and building a company I can be proud of. This has been a painful time for many people, my past and present staff especially, and I will have more to say at some point in the near future. For now, I am looking forward to forging ahead.” Let’s see if more time in San Francisco will make her a more vociferous feminist and champion of employee rights and safety as she restructures her business and team.


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Marcia Gagliardi writes a popular insider weekly e-column, Tablehopper, about the San Francisco dining and imbibing scene; get all the latest news at Follow @tablehopper on Twitter and Instagram for more culinary finds.