Kin Khao Serves Thai Food Like You've Never Experienced

Pete Kane
"Let's eat" is what Union Square Thai restaurant Kin Khao name translates into, and it really ought to have an exclamation point after it. As only the latest in a string of high-end or otherwise remarkable Thai and Thai-inflected restaurants opening lately, this 75-seat emporium of curries and noodles on the second floor of the Parc 55 Wyndham is well-positioned to become one of the best-known.

See also: Lers Ros Thai Comes to the Mission
Lao-Thai Maneelap-Srimongkoun Challenges Champion Palates, Jaded Spellers

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Alessi's Spring Collection Is Reinvigorating Kitchens

Claudia Raimondo's Joy N. 11
Probably by now you've heard that IKEA is discontinuing its line of Expedit bookshelves, much to the chagrin of vinyl enthusiasts and the closet-less. If the Swedish furniture giant will slay one its most popular icons, anything could be next! That, and the fact that IKEA products tend to compost themselves before your very eyes, means now is a good time to look elsewhere for stylish home design, and the San Francisco Alessi shop on Sutter Street near Union Square is a grand place to begin.

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Fujiyoshi Ramen, Popping Up in the Tendernob

Pete Kane

Our warm, dry winter hasn't exactly made for ramen season, but so many bowls of soup are popping up that it's hard to keep up -- and it's just one more reason to wish for rain. Fujiyoshi Ramen, in the Tendernob/Union Square area is only the latest offering in S.F.'s new crop of noodle houses.

See Also: Hot Sauce and Panko Unveils Ramen Wings
Four Bowls of Soup to Keep You Warm and Toasty

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Bun Mee #2 Opens on Market Street

Yelp/Denise T.
It's not really "Mid-Market" and it's not really revitalization, either, but Market Street is much improved with the addition of Bun Mee, Denise Tran's wonderful Franco-Vietnamese sandwich shop that was previously available only in the Fillmore and via bicycle courier, and is set to open any day now.

See Also: Bicycle Bánh Mì Brings a Taste of Vietnamese Soul Food to Mexican Restaurant

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Aliment Comforts Nob Hill With Upscale Pub Fare

Pete Kane
On Bush Street near Union Square, Aliment serves comfort food that bends towards upscale gastropub fare, like divers scallops and hangar steak. Brunch is a serious affair, with short rib hash and a burger with bacon jam. Nob Hill is steep and so are the prices; most entrees are north of $20. With kale salad, fried chicken, and a pretzel flatbread with pub cheese, Aliment epitomizes the New New American cuisine; it feels like an aggregation of everything everybody's already doing.

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Happy Hour Eats: $1 Dumplings and Kimchi Cocktail Oysters at E&O Asian Kitchen

Rhys Alvarado
Butternut Squash Dumplings, Indian Corn Fritters and a Sutter Punch at E&O Kitchen's happy hour.
You rarely ever hear the words "Union Square" and "one dollar" in the same sentence. So when I heard of E&O Asian Kitchen's $1 happy hour, I had to check it out.

On a late afternoon, I entered low-lit bar and restaurant near the Stockton Tunnel with woven seating and small booths that divide the space. I pulled up a seat at the nearly empty bar as Neo soul played and I was kindly greeted by the bartender who immediately shook up my Sutter Punch ($6).

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Asian Box Now Open in Macy's Union Square

Anna Roth
Regrettably named, fast-casual, Vietnamese-ish restaurant Asian Box has opened its first S.F. location in Macy's Union Square. The Peninsula-based chain, which is often described as an "Asian Chipotle," has popular lunch locations in Palo Alto and Mountain View. The new, 70-seat dining room replaced Wolfgang Puck in the basement of Macy's Union Square. It has plenty of room and a soon-to-be-opened beer, wine, and cider bar, with a kitchen helmed by Chef Grace Nguyen, last seen in S.F. at Charles Phan's Out the Door.

See also: BiBimBar Brings Fast-Casual Korean BBQ to the International Food Court

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Drink of the Week: East Meets West at M.Y. China

Lou Bustamante
In the pre-dawn days before there were multiple networks devoted entirely to the culinary arts, if you were food-obsessed then you probably watched a lot of PBS. Julia Child, Jacques Pépin, and Martin Yan were the principal guides that inspired and presented new techniques and cuisines. Martin Yan in particular stood out to me, with his charming and educational cooking demonstrations (seasoned with a touch of humor), along with great explanations of Chinese cuisine and regional differences.

See also: Drink(s) of the Week: Three Cocktails to Charm the Year of the Snake
M.Y. China: High-End Cuisine Finds a Niche in a Busy Mall
Best Restaurant Floor Show - M.Y. China

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Drink of the Week: Espresso Martini at MKT

Lou Bustamante
A cuppa boozy joe
Don't let the name scare you. The Espresso Martini ($14, Charbay Vanilla Rum, Firelit Blue Bottle, Kuchan Nocino, St. George Single Malt, espresso) at MKT, the recently renovated bar inside the Four Seasons Hotel on Market Street, is simultaneously everything and nothing you expect from the drink. If you are expecting a late-'90s era drink, sickly sweet and served in a martini glass, you'll be disappointed. Or relieved as we were.

See also: Dipping Into Corporate Culture at MKT
Drink of the Week: Irish Coffee at Buena Vista
Drink of the Week:Prey of Thieves, a Cocktail Worth Stalking

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Dipping Into Corporate Culture at MKT

Anna Roth
Steak tartare at MKT.
The best hotel restaurant/bars are sexy and mysterious, making you feel like anything can and will happen. The worst ones are expanses of corporate blandless kept alive by business trips and expense accounts. I had an odd bit of time to kill before meeting someone and hoped that the three-week-old, newspaper-themed, vowel-less MKT, a revamp of the restaurant in the Four Seasons in Union Square, might prove to be the former. But despite great views of the daily carnival that is Market Street, my happy hour visit didn't particularly inspire.

See also: The Willows: Pork Belly Doughnuts and Craft Beer in SoMa
Fig & Thistle: A Warm Oasis in Hayes Valley

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