[San Francisco] News & Notes, 2019

On Friday night, San Francisco Chinatown launched a new art exhibit: “Chinatown Sweets and Pastries.” It features the work of Chinese American artists.

“Beyond having tourist come to walk the streets of Chinatown and buy pastries, I want them to ask questions,” says Emma Marie Chiang, a film maker and photography whose work is showcased.


41 Ross Alley gallery will be exhibiting Chinatown Sweets and Pastries from Thursday, January 24 through Sunday, February 24, 2019. This exhibition curated by Chinatown Community Development Center explores the role that Chinatown’s sweets and pastries play for residents in their daily lives and on holidays and special occasions. This exhibit focuses on San Francisco Chinatown’s vibrant and unique culinary traditions at AA Bakery, Dragon Papa, Garden Bakery, iCafe, Ming Lee Trading Company, and New Asia. These places sell everything from dragon’s beard candy and egg tarts, to red bean buns, candied fruit, and sweet soup dumplings. These foods are more than just sustenance and a sugary indulgence for the soul – these foods help provide Chinese Americans with an identity and community built on shared meals and a little bit of sweetness. The exhibit features photographs and a film by Emma Marie Chiang with assistance from Martin Peter Bustamante, stories gathered by Vida K, and a lighted sign installation by Tiffany Hsieh and Brandon Ly.

41 Ross Alley Gallery
Exhibition dates: January 24 – February 24, 2019
Exhibit Hours: Thursdays – Sundays, 11 am – 4 pm
41 Ross Alley, San Francisco 94108
Opening Reception: January 25, 5-8 pm

Kim Severson in The New York Times:

Jardinière, a Pioneer of High-End Dining and Design in San Francisco, Will Close

The chef Traci Des Jardins says she’s ‘tired of fine dining’ and wants to focus on Mexican food.


Jardinière was the first high-end restaurant to open in Hayes Valley, near the Beaux-Arts City Hall, which was undergoing a $300 million remodeling and seismic upgrade.

Ms. Des Jardins, along with the chef Nancy Oakes (who opened Boulevard in 1993), contributed to a more formal and technique-driven era of dining in San Francisco, defined by restaurants that mixed California cuisine and performance art, including Jeremiah Tower’s Stars and Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio, whose showy interior was designed by Pat Kuleto.

Ms. Des Jardins, who grew up on a 4,000-acre farm in the San Joaquin Valley, will also pivot from French-influenced cooking to focus on Mexican food. Her father is of French Acadian descent, and her mother’s family is from a village in the Mexican state of Sonora.

hat tip to John Birdsall’s twitter for the link

Escape From New York is closing two locations, including the Mission location on 22nd. I hope something occupies that space— former Lolo (cevicheria) and Los Shucos spaces aren’t open, leaving Pushcart Fare as the only (exclusive ) restaurant on that block.


What a bummer! I very often grab a slice after a show at the Makeout Room.


“We will not participate. We will not be extorted from.” Mission Pie co-founder Karen Heisler, seen here judging a pie contest, is taking a stand against delivery services that have been, thus far, granted an unfair advantage over brick-and-mortar establishments like her own.

Heisler is unwilling to submit to the 25 to 30-percent commission these delivery services demand from brick-and-mortar establishments — a rate she says far outstrips her profit margin. Contracts she’s been shown, furthermore, wouldn’t allow her to recoup her costs by charging higher rates for delivery customers.

Azalina Eusope of Azalina’s has opened a new Malaysian restaurant, Mahila, in Noe Valley where Contigo used to be:

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Looks like Mission Pie is closing:



Piccolo Pete and their cafe have closed according to Yelp.

Below is a 2017 article about their struggles:

Perhaps premature—- sign on the door and dude on the roof indicated it was undergoing renovations.

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