Much of the culinary world is buzzing this week about the 2024 closure of Noma, considered by many critics to be the best restaurant. Copenhagen chef René Redzepi called his work “unsustainable”, leaving people to speculate whether the haute cuisine model is dead or if Noma was just overly pretentious. The truth may be somewhere in between, and fine dining may find itself in a moment of rethinking. Here in the Bay Area, an upscale trend that continues to captivate diners is omakase, a format of sushi chosen by the chef that is traditional in Japanese cuisine.
Omakase’s latest craze has been the chic Akikos, which moved to The East Cut last Tuesday. Set in a pocket park called Avery Lane, iconic chef Ray Lee has been nurturing the idea for at least a year and a half, though the original location opened on Bush Street in 1987. Lee’s team dries seafood from Toyosu. , Tokyo’s famous fish market. Omakase is not only a fish, but also a spectacle, and the 24-seat Akikos stand is a kind of 360-degree black box for the chef’s stage, where guests can admire Lee and his team as they masterfully slice the fish. sashimi and a plate of each course.
st. 430 Folsom, San Francisco
It’s also been a whole week for new cafes. A mile and a half up Folsom from Akikos is a new coffee and wine bar. In the East Bay, Mexican-style coffee shop San Lorenzo has just expanded into downtown Oakland. Marco Senghor of Bissap Baobab in the Mission is about to launch a new lunch menu called Baobab Cafe Amor. But first, a California-Italian diner quietly opened on Alameda Point.
st. Saratoga, 2350 Alameda
Located in the Alameda Naval Base Historic General Store, Saltbreaker is the newest addition to the up-and-coming area that includes Almanac Beer Co. and C’Era Una Volta. The industrial halls of the restaurant look cozy thanks to the leafy flora and booths the color of pea soup. The menu is broad in style – California cuisine might be the simplest description – with Italian staples like burrata and French desserts like citron tart.
2. Dento coffee and wine
1339 Folsom Street, San Francisco
First spotted by WhatNowSF, Dento arrived in SoMa earlier this week. A coffee shop by day and a wine bar also by day – while it’s only open until 3pm – Dento is a new project from the people behind Sushi Sato and Izakaya Hon. It exclusively brews single-origin Equator coffee and will eventually become a full-service restaurant.
3. Baobab Cafe Amor
2243 Mission Street, San Francisco
Next Monday, January 16th, Marco Senghor will be presenting the cafe in a sprawling showcase known as Bissap Baobab Village. Each dish on the Baobab Cafe Amor menu pays tribute to a person close and dear to Senghor’s heart. “Caille 24,” BLTA shouts out cultural advocate Eric Argüello, president of the Calle 24 Hispanic Cultural District and an outspoken supporter of independent restaurateurs in Mission. The rest of the café’s range of sandwiches and drinks honors other regulars.
4. Coffee Brewja
409 14th Street, Auckland
San Lorenzo-based Brewja Coffee just expanded to Oakland. Tucked away inside the Financial Center building, just around the corner from 12th Street BART, the café brews fair trade Mexican beans and serves hearty breakfast plates. Don’t fall asleep on toast or iced coffee Coquito is a Christmas tradition in Puerto Rico, where the festive season runs until the end of January.
texasstandard.news contributed to this report.