TBD Restaurant Opens in Mid-Market Tonight

Julia Spiess
The much-anticipated opening of TBD, from the team behind AQ Restaurant, is finally here. Located just a stone's throw from its sister restaurant, TBD brings a fresh approach to the mid-Market neighborhood on Mission Street: Everything is cooked exclusively with fire.

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Yank Sing Profiles Customers As Asian, Non-Asian

Turns out that the ordering system at Yank Sing, that profiles customers on whether they're Asian, non-Asian or child, is the company's way of tracking demographics.

A popular photo posted on Reddit earlier today shows a waiter ringing in a customer's tab and captures a computer screen where servers must categorize the diner on their Asian or non-Asian background.

Shift lead Shi Li, who works at the Stevenson St. location downtown, said that the options don't lead to any sort of discount, extras, or priority seating.

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Tonga Room Revamp Alters Practically Nothing. "Whew!" Cry Hordes of Kitsch Fans

New drinks, same old Tonga Room.
Before you read this, ask yourself, "How much do I want the Tonga Room to change?" If the answer is "A lot," you're going to be disappointed. You're also a joyless buzzkill.

The tiki palace that looks like David Lynch's afterlife destination buried in the Fairmont Hotel has been an international treasure of cultural appropriation since the end of World War II. It has theoretically been updated, but apart from new walls and three or four new cocktails that are just as saccharine as all the others, not much stands out. (Of those, the Hurricane is much better than the Pineapple Royale, which does come in a pineapple, and there is also a rum punchbowl on loan from Smuggler's Cove). Like the Catholic Church, it's probably good for this institution to ride out most fads unscathed, so we're not weeping that there aren't reclaimed subway tiles and Mason jars everywhere.

See also: Tonga Room Happy Hour: All-You-Can-Eat Tiki Kitsch
The Tonga Room -- Historical or Hysterical?

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State Bird and Other Bay Area Greats Win James Beard Foundation Awards

James Beard Foundation
When Nicole Krasinski and Stuart Brioza, the couple behind San Francisco's popular State Bird Provisions, entered the packed media room at last night's James Beard Foundation Awards at Lincoln Center in New York, they were quickly devoured by a hungry press corps like some tiny little quail. And with good reason: They had just received the award for Best New Restaurant in the United States.

The Bay Area had a strong showing at the JBF Awards, with our homegrown talent snagging honors in six categories.

See also: Pancakes Are For Dinner at State Bird Provisions

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Free Chicken at Pollo Campero Next Week

pollo campero.jpg
Pollo Campero
Free chicken, free chicken! Next Tuesday, the lines may be longer than usual at the newish Mission spot Pollo Campero (2740 Mission St.), or as we like to call it, the Best Juicy Guatemalan Fried Chicken, Evah! Pollo Campero is rolling a freebie leg OR thigh between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. on April 9. We're thinking that this free offer may or may not be in response to the major Tuesday draw at nearby Popeye's Louisiana Chicken: where $1.29 nabs one leg and one thigh pieces of chicken all day, every Tuesday.

See also: Top 10 Best Places for Fried Chicken in San Francisco

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Chez Panisse Damage Worse Than Originally Thought

Categories: Restaurant News
Sad news from Chez Panisse: After the front porch fire on March 8, a shaken Alice Waters thought the restaurant might be able to open in a matter of weeks, but over the weekend construction crews revealed much worse damage than originally thought, reports Inside Scoop. Instead of just a facelift of the porch, it turns out that the porches will need to be demolished and structural repairs necessary upstairs and downstairs.

See also: Alice Waters: Silver Lining to Chez Panisse Fire?

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San Francisco Sure Does Love Its Waffles

Belgian waffles at Grand Lake Farmer's Market in Oakland.
Handheld waffles are big business in Belgium, and they're reaching critical mass in San Francisco. This morning brought news via Inside Scoop that Anthony Myint of Mission Chinese, Commonwealth, and Mission Bowling Club, is teaming up with coffee roaster Andrew Barnett (formerly of Ecco, which is now Intelligentsia) to open Linea Caffe, a little espresso/food stand in the Mission, right next to Duc Loi supermarket.

Sounds like the cafe's focus will be on espresso instead of pour-over coffee, but the bigger news is that Myint will be trying out a few new concepts: GreenSalads.org, which comes with its own manifesto, and Lt. Waffle, which will be offering sweet and savory Brussels-style waffles.

See also: B.street Waffles: Hearty Hand-Held Waffles an S.F. Hit
Three Places to Get Your Waffle On
The Waffle-gato: The Off-the-Menu Item at Blue Bottle You Haven't Heard Of

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Alice Waters: Silver Lining to Chez Panisse Fire?

Categories: Restaurant News

Update: 2:10 p.m. ABC news is reporting that Chez Panisse will be closed at least through the weekend, and has canceled all reservations through March 23 (two weeks from tomorrow). The New York Times also has a short essay by David Tanis on what the porch meant to Chez Panisse.

Original story: 12 p.m. The food Twittersphere has been lighting up this morning on the news of a fire last night at iconic Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse. The fire was first reported around 3 a.m. by a passer-by, and contained by 3:30-3:45 a.m. before the blaze was able to damage much more than the exterior and front porch, according to reports from several sources. Alice Waters told The New York Times that she hoped to re-open the cafe later this week thanks to her business interruption insurance, and there might be a silver lining in it after all: Perhaps when they rebuild the porch, they can add room for a few more tables outside.

See also: Slow Food's $5 Challenge Made Alice Waters Cry
Why All the Hatin' on Alice Waters?
Alice Waters to Receive France's Highest Honor

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Bono Was At Swan Oyster Depot Today

Categories: Restaurant News

swans oyster depot bono Erik Wideman sfweekly.jpg
Erik Wideman
No big deal or anything, but Bono stopped into Swan Oyster Depot a couple hours ago, according to tipster Erik Wideman. He shared this photo of the rock star with the Swan's team.

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The Company Bar & Kitchen Aims To Be a Triple Threat

Categories: Restaurant News

Tamara Palmer
Blood & Sanskrit, an Indian whiskey cocktail by The Company.
The Company Bar & Kitchen is currently being built at 133 Steuart Street, in the space that formerly housed Shanghai 1930 restaurant. The project is the latest in the Mina Group collection and is led by longtime Mina group star sommelier Rajat Parr. AK Design Network from Los Angeles is transforming the location into something more modern and casual, with lots of wood and exposed beams. Parr has spent years thinking about this concept, and it will finally be unveiled this summer.

See also: New Delhi Offers Inspiration for Home Chefs

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