Domo arigato

TABLEHOPPING A new sushi spot you'll want to check out, more vittles in Hayes Valley, and a British addition to the Mission.

Happy hour menchi-katsu at ICHI Sushi + NI Bar


Sushi lovers in search of great new spots, prick up their ears: Now accepting reservations is Kusakabe (584 Washington, SF., a sushi restaurant from Mitsunori "Nori" Kusakabe — he was previously gaining quite the fan club while at Sushi Ran. His omakase (chef's selection) menu will be $95 and features a lot of sushi, including some ancient styles, extending beyond the more common Edomae style we usually find here in the US. The menu takes on a kaiseki format, with themes of seasonality and harmony playing very prominent roles. You can supplement the main menu with extra dishes off the à la carte menu (I will not judge you for wanting the ikura and ankimo, I'm right there with you). Kusabe is an intimate space, with 31 seats, so reserve your spot before this place gets too busy — I have my money on that happening very soon. Open Tue–Sun 5pm–10pm.

Hayes Valley is gaining a couple more dining options, and both are spots that have locations elsewhere in the city. Throwing open the doors this week is Papito West (425A Hayes, SF. from Jocelyn Bulow (Chez Maman) and co-owner David Alexander. It's hermano to the Potrero Hill location, so you'll be able to order off the taqueria part of the menu — think well-executed tacos, plus quesadillas, burritos, and more, all made with organic ingredients. But what's new about this location is that it'll feature a significant amount of seafood and ceviches from a raw bar. Chef Reynol Martinez whips up a crudo plate, oyster of the day (just as the sign says, it's an "Oysteria"), and a shellfish platter with oysters, prawns, mussels, and clams, along with some seafood entrées too. You'll hardly recognize the former Moishe's Pippic: the room is full of light (thanks to the skylight), with windows that open to the street, plus a few outdoor tables. Continuous hours (so handy) will run Mon–Fri 11:30am–11pm, and Sat–Sun for brunch 10:30am–4pm and dinner 4pm–11pm.

Is that your sweet tooth gnawing at you? Maybe you just have an attack of afternoon munchies. Also now open in Hayes Valley, in the former Taste Tea space, is Loving Cup (535 Octavia, SF., known on Polk Street for its rice pudding and frozen yogurt that you can style with all kinds of toppings. There are also some larger tables at this location, with the intention of hosting birthday parties (or just your local club of rice pudding fanatics). Open 11am–9:30pm.

While Gashead Tavern (2351 Mission, SF. may have a bit of a menacing name (and sign), this is what happens when the two British owners (Edward Sargent and Rodger Howell of Murio's Trophy Room on Haight Street) are seriously dedicated to their hometown soccer team, the Bristol Rovers, whose fans are called "gasheads." So now you know. What you also need to know is that you'll find British pub classics on the menu (fish and chips, of course, plus bangers and mash), and chef Matt Nudelman (previously of Lower Haight's Greenburger's) will be adding some California ingredient sourcing and seasonality to the hearty menu. There's a full bar with simple takes on classic cocktails, plus beer and wine. The former Charanga has an eclectic look, with a huge antique mirror keeping company with midcentury chairs, and there's a small outdoor seating area in the front of the restaurant. Opening hours are 4pm–2am for the bar and 4pm–9pm for the kitchen. Cheers, mate.


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