New place for San Mateo: 31st Union just opened in San Mateo in mid-June 2012. Executive Chef Paul Burzlaff, hired by owner and Director of Operations David Hunsaker, will present a small plate format menu showcasing American comfort food prepared with seasonal ingredients, primarily obtained from California sources. The venue was previously home to Bollywood Indian Cuisine.
The name of the restaurant is derived from California being the 31st state to enter the Union, combined with the commitment to sourcing ingredients and libations almost exclusively from within state lines.
Among the notable offerings that will be found on the 31st Union opening menu will be such small bites ($4.00 to $8.00) as Grilled Baby Artichokes and Trio of Deviled Eggs. Among the larger bites ($8.00 to $15.00) will be Lamb Meatballs, Smoked Duck Tacos and Fish & Chips. For dessert, diners can enjoy a house made Ice Cream Sandwich or a Beer Float.
31st Union is located at 5 South Ellsworth Avenue, at the corner of Baldwin, in San Mateo, California. The restaurant will open initially for dinner only, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday from 4:00 to 11:00 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday from 4:00 p.m. to midnight.
More small plates, this time Old Oakland in the locale. District Oakland is located at 827 Washington Street, at the corner of Ninth Street. It has been created by restaurateurs Jon D’Angelica, Chris Vance, and Ryan Vance (opened District San Francisco in 2007 and Ironside in 2009 = both places I like a lot) working with Wine Director and Sommelier Caterina Mirabelli and Executive Chef Bob Cina.
Expect: including mushroom pate en croute, braised oxtail sombreros and chèvre stuffed peppadew peppers, apple wood smoked trout, spinach and fontina arancini and Moroccan spiced lamb meatballs, plus pizzettas.
The restaurant is open Monday through Friday from 4:00 p.m. to close and on Saturday beginning at 5:00 p.m. (closing times range from midnight to 2:00 a.m.). The daily happy hour from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. (5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Saturdays) features $1.00 oysters. Visit District on the Web at www.districtoak.com. Call (510) 272 9110.
I’m most excited about the coming of Shanghai, which will open in San Francisco in mid August, in the location previously home to Mecca on Market Street. It will provide the city with a new dining option showcasing modern Shanghai cuisine prepared with seasonal, locally sourced, and/or organic ingredients. Leo Gan, best known for his work as the opening chef for Shanghai 1930, will head up the kitchen.
The proprietor of Shanghai is Francis Tsai. A native of Shanghai, China, Tsai, now 83 years old, began working in the hospitality industry at age 18 and his eclectic career has included stints as a ballroom dance instructor, running the food division of Pan American Airlines, creating the first discotheque in Hong Kong, and operating Wu Kong Restaurant in San Francisco’s Rincon Center.
Probably 15 years ago, Francis Tsai and I hung out and drank cognac and ate duck tongues. He was the epitome of a gentleman.
Shanghai will be serving dinner Tuesday through Sunday (with a prix fixe option), a dim sum brunch on Saturday and Sunday (service to begin about a month after the restaurant opens), and a late night small plate menu. A specialty of the house will be their private dining and special function capabilities showcasing authentic traditional Shanghai dishes.
The full bar at Shanghai will offer classic, contemporary and original cocktails, the wine list will be international in scope (including Chinese wines), and there will be late night Happy Hour service and a bar bites menu.
Shanghai will be located at 2029 Market Street, between Dolores and 14th Streets, in San Francisco, California.