Need help deciding what to eat and drink in the city this week? We've rounded up our favorite new restaurants, dishes and happy hours, including a pop-up restaurant with a James Beard award-winning chef from Houston, a modern Indian brunch and a Champagne and oyster happy hour. Hope you're hungry!
Launch of the week: Chef Hugo Ortega at Mina Test Kitchen
We watched chef Hugo Ortega win Best Chef: Southwest at the James Beard Awards in Chicago this May and love his Houston restaurants Caracol and Hugo’s. So, we were delighted to see that he’s hosting the next pop-up at The MINA Test Kitchen. The seventh pop-up for the Test Kitchen, Mi Almita (or “my little soul”) launched on August 23, serving dinner Wednesday through Saturday. The five-course prixe fix menu ($39) with the option for supplemental dishes is a culinary journey around Mexico with dishes like huitlasquites corn soup; a ceviche trio (one of Ortega’s specialities at Caracol) sourced from Fort Bragg waters; or crispy duck in fig mole. The beverage menu features wines from Mexico as well as California-based Mexican winemakers, plus mezcal, tequila, bacanora and raicilla in pours, flights and cocktails.
Hot new brunch: August 1 Five
Since beginning breakfast service in May, August 1 Five is one of the best new brunches in the city. The fried chicken and dosa waffles or coconut date pancakes are an obvious draw, but you’d be remiss to skip over savory-sweet bison keema pastry puffs or the pesarattu—a mung bean and rice dosa with a bright tomato chutney and coconut milk vegetable stew one doesn’t often see outside India. Make it a boozy brunch with the Champagne Love Potion cocktail, a shimmery sparkler laced with gold dust, lemon oil cordial, Green Chartreuse and manzanilla sherry.
On menus now: Rich Table’s beef agnolotti
Chef Evan Rich has been turning out unforgettable, imaginative pastas (like duck plum lasagna) since Rich Table opened, and his aged beef agnolotti is a classic with buttery, red wine-laden, bordelaise sauce, crispy potato and horseradish. Rich changes ingredients with the agnolotti often, but one thing is for sure: you’ll want to try each version.
Stay home & chill: Tahini
Unassuming and easy to miss on busy Mission Street near the 24th St BART station, Tahini recently opened serving big portions of falafel, shawarma and kebabs generally hovering around $10-15. The humble space holds a few tables but the generous kufta and kebab platters or massive falafel, hummus and shawarma pita sandwiches are ideal for takeout or ordering in. Plus, Postmates and Uber Eats will both deliver.
Happy Hour: Champagne and oyster hour at The Morris
This month, The Morris kicked off Oyster and Bubbles Happy Hour Monday–Friday from 5-6pm—ideally timed with the launch of their sidewalk seating and SF’s balmy fall weather. There are changing $3 oysters and top-notch sparkling wines from Cava and Pét-Nat, to elegant Champagnes.