Restaurant Scene: August 2017

•  Sweetgreen, the inexpensive fast-casual chain with main-course salads and other meals-in-a-bowl, opened in May at 440 Castro (part of a former larger restaurant space).

•  Korean-fried-chicken franchise Bonchon, which includes general Korean and modern-international casual food (sliders, filled buns) and is popular already in Sunnyvale, opened in July under the same owner at 260 Castro. 

•  The new Peet’s Coffee, 420 Castro, was still remodeling as of today but is hiring for an imminent opening.

•  Shalimar Sizzle (246 Castro), a new Indian restaurant that opened in December, closed “temporarily” in April.  Today, a spokesman for owner Mo Polani told me in person that it is being remodeled, to reopen (ideal target date: August 15) in modified form, emphasizing “things like biryani dishes” and probably using a new name.

•  216 Castro had housed a series of Indian restaurants with related owners (Sue’s Indian Kitchen in 1990s; Godavari; latterly Shezan, including Pakistani cuisine).  Shezan’s owners retired, selling the business to a nephew, who with other partners is remodeling for an entirely new restaurant, QBB (“BBQ” backwards), a bud-like working name that blossomed to Quality Bourbons & Barbecue.  To open circa September.

•  Icicles, offering “on-the-spot hand-rolled ice cream from scratch,” is in the works for 282 Castro (projected opening Oct-Nov).

•  Despite former uncertainties over whether to open a new instant-ice-cream shop at 292 Castro , the owner of the former downtown Srasa Kitchen location is proceeding with Pushcart Creamery; interior and front signage were updated with that name.  So we soon should have two made-to-order ice-cream shops in downtown MV, a few doors apart.

•  Fans of Kobe Curry (formerly vending Japanese “curry rice” plates** from a tiny, no-inside-seats 180-Castro rear location) will rejoice that rumors of its demise were exaggerated.  This specialty restaurant is part of Mochizuki and Kikura’s very-Japanese restaurant group (some of their businesses are staffed, for example, with chefs hired from Japan for the purpose), including nearby Shabuway and Yu-Gen (which is a noodle house for lunch, small plates and drinks in evenings).  Kobe Curry had been using Shabuway’s kitchen.  It moved down the street, and now uses the kitchen at Yu-Gen (152 Castro), where (they told me today at noon, as I witnessed curry-rice plates being served) you order them at Yu-Gen, but Kobe Curry still maintains its own menu and identity.


** About the dish:  Neighbor and Japanese-language scholar Julie Lovins once briefed me on “kare raisu,” a linguistically “borrowed” Japanese term (from the English “curry rice”) for a dish based on meat-and-vegetable stews flavored with curry spices.  Japan adopted these stews, during the Meiji era, from Britain, and took to them so eagerly that curry rice became a de-facto Japanese national dish (among other things, it’s the customary Friday menu in the modern Japanese navy, which got it from the British navy).  Shortcut products for making the curried stew at home are available here in the Nijiya Japanese supermarket chain.

About Max Hauser

Resident with acknowledged food obsession, active in Bay Area food and wine organizations 30 years. Dining in downtown MV regularly for 20 years and occasionally for 10 years before that.
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