Coming to the Waterfront Plaza this spring is Norcina (50 Francisco Street), an Italian cafe and delicatessen from Kaitlynn Bauman of Levi Plaza’s Parlor 1255. Breakfast includes frittata, pancetta and cheese cornetti, and bombolini (think Italian doughnut filled with pastry cream), plus coffee service by local Sausalito roaster Cibo. Lunch will have tigelle (a kind of Italian flatbread) sliced and filled with options like prosciutto cotto, stracchino cheese, and artichoke hearts (sounds like something I’d make at home, so yes!), plus salads and house-made gelato. Hours will be Monday–Friday 7 a.m.–5 p.m.
Ice cream fanatics, your time to enjoy Portland’s Salt & Straw (2201 Fillmore Street) ice cream is now. Their Fillmore shop, the first in San Francisco, is now open. Founded by Kim Malek with her cousin, Tyler, their ice cream is known for its artisanal, handmade approach — they are also working with local makers and purveyors for flavor inspiration. Their flavors fall into three categories: San Francisco classics (available only in San Francisco); San Francisco seasonals (available only in San Francisco for a limited time); and crossover classics (available at all locations, which are also in Los Angeles). You can start pining for flavors like cinnamon ancho and cajeta or olive oil and lemon custard (yum). Trust me: The roasted strawberry and tres leches is so good. Hours are 11 a.m.–11 p.m. They will also be at Off the Grid Fort Mason on Fridays. Their second location in Hayes Valley (580 Hayes Street) will open in the summer.
The spendy (I’ll just say it: crazily overpriced at $195 for the odd experience) Mosu (1552 Fillmore Street, 415-735-7303) closed at the end of April. Eater writes that it’s not for financial reasons, but because chef-owner Sung Anh is moving back to Korea to be with his wife and children and to open Mosu Seoul in the fall; however, it sounds like he does hope to return to San Francisco at some point.
LOWER NOB HILL
If you have ever had the opportunity to sit at chef Ryo Sakai’s counter while he was making sushi at the now-closed Pink Zebra or at Domo in Hayes Valley, you’ll be happy to hear he has partnered with longtime friend Cory Jackson to open a restaurant for the first time together (they started working together years ago at Blowfish): Kuma Sushi + Sake (1040 Polk Street).
Kuma will be opening this month in a former Western Union space, and they want it to be a neighborhood sushi restaurant that can work for all kinds of budgets. Guests can order à la carte or omakase (4, 8, or 12 courses), and they will even offer vegetarian selections. There will be a strong focus on local seafood (from TwoXSea), with some fish sourced from Japan as well. Dishes will be creative and feature some fun touches, like ochazuke (tea-infused dashi stock poured over rice and kombu-cured fluke) and a spin on chawanmushi with smoked goat cheese. House-fermented pickles will also play a part.
The 25-seat space is pretty intimate — they’ll actually just start with 18 seats, and it will be walk-in only (no reservations). The spacious bar has 11–12 seats, so guests will be able to enjoy a lot of interaction with the two chefs. There will be both local and Japanese beers, plus wine and a frequently changing list of sakes.
Blue Barn Gourmet (3344 Steiner Street, 415-896-4866) has moved from its former Chestnut Street space to a larger location. It’s now in the former Barney’s, which means there’s more room and a patio where you can enjoy your salad. Open Monday–Friday 11 a.m.–8:30 p.m., Saturday–Sunday 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
There’s a project called Berber (1516 Broadway Street) coming to the short-lived Killer Shrimp (and previous Taps) space. Here’s a little teaser I found: “Berber is an exotic North African fine dining establishment and opulent nightlife venue that offers world-class cuisine, blending the traditions of the Mediterranean with the best and brightest of California.” The executive chef is Ali Dey Daly from Tunisia, and it sounds like there will be quite the lineup of entertainment. I’ll fill you in with more soon.