Restaurant Scene: February 2023

Biryaniz, 246 Castro’s specialty Biryani restaurant, was closed and “Upgrading” (said a notice) as of my last report here.  Soon after that (Oct. 29), the site reopened as a different restaurant, Zhangliang Malatang, hot-pot chain from China.  Long queue waiting for lunch on that first Saturday suggests a publicity campaign.  (Photo: Charley Tucker)

Hong Kong Bistro vacated 147 Castro (per announced plan to merge into parent Fu Lam Mum nearby).  Perennially popular Amarin Thai Cuisine is now open there, an expansion standing in for the 174 Castro home base, lately closed “for maintenance” and directing customers to the new site (as “Amarin 2”).  Personnel at “Amarin 2” told me its menu is basically the same.  Years ago, Amarin operated dual restaurants (one vegetarian) at 156 and 160 Castro, before consolidating to the large 174-176 Castro property after its two side-by-side restaurant tenants left (Tien Fu, Castro Street Bar and Grill).

In late January, upscale Japanese restaurant Kappo Nami Nami closed after 15 years at 240 Castro.  Reportedly the lease was up, the owner-chef preparing to retire, and a new restaurant, Sushi Arashi, will replace it.  (Credit to Alex Park on Nextdoor for this late news.  Source: )

Vida, a spinoff at Xanh’s former site (110 Castro) created by nearby Naples-style restaurant Doppio Zero, opened yesterday (updated here, thanks to Jim Klemens in a comment below).   Website indicates Spanish small plates (tapas) and drinks.

As of late January, these pending establishments remain works-in-progress:  Café 86 at 738 Villa.  Limón Rotisserie, 800 California at Castro.  The Terrace (975 W. Dana, where the old Yakko Sushi sign still remains).

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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