Get ready to take a trip to the Outer Richmond to visit the charming Pearl, plus the annual CHEFS fundraiser is here, get excited for the outstanding lineup of food and drink at this year’s Outside Lands, and the earliest bird gets the cheapest tickets to Eat Drink SF!
Meet Pearl, the Most Charming New Neighborhood Restaurant
6101 California St., San Francisco
Open daily starting May 29: 7:30pm–2pm, dinner Tue–Sun 5pm–10pm, brunch Sat–Sun 10am–2pm
There’s a new restaurant in the Outer Richmond that looks like it was picked up from Brooklyn, paid a quick visit to New Orleans, and got dropped off on the corner of California and 23 Avenue. Meet Pearl. Visually, it’s an immediately likable place, with soft and glowing lights, classic details (wainscoting, an upstairs mezzanine, original tiled floor from when it was a drugstore, Shumate’s), and an airy and comfortable look, complete with tobacco tufted booths. The team from Pizzetta 211 down the street is responsible for this charmer, with co-chefs and business partners Mel Lopez (Pizzetta 211, Baker & Banker, Aziza, Zero Zero) and Joyce Conway (Zero Zero, 20 Spot) behind the eclectic menu, with some general oversight from Pizzetta’s owner Jack Murphy.
The menu reads like an international and highly seasonal Cal-Med bistro, with starters like local halibut crudo ($14) with strawberry, Marcona almond, serrano chili, nuoc cham, and basil; a rather brilliantly executed chicory Caesar ($12) topped with crispy prosciutto, roasted garlic croutons, and shaved Parmesan; and roasted cauliflower ($10) with black tahini hummus, green chermoula, and almonds. There’s a trio of pastas, including a decadent handkerchief ($17) pasta, with white bolognese, grana padano, black pepper, and herbs, and well-priced and tasty mains include a stellar pork chop ($26) with twice-fried Amorosa potatoes, apricot mostarda, and broccolini. I’ll be back for seared local albacore ($24) with butter beans, roasted gypsy peppers, remoulade, and arugula. They will also be launching some large family-style platters, like a tomahawk chop ($120), so bring your hungry friends. The wood-fired oven will be adding its flavor to a number of dishes.
There’s a large bar on one side of the room, perfect for solo diners and guests looking for a sherry-centric cocktail from bar manager Nahiel Nazzal. There’s also a very Euro-centric wine list, with a nice mix of many French and Italian selections. Or maybe you just want a perch to read the paper and enjoy some coffee in the morning: they’re featuring Andytown coffee, and John Heffron, a Pizzetta alum—who also spent time at Andytown and Blue Bottle, and is one of the eight Pearl owners—will be running the coffee program.
Pearl is going to be open during the day, serving pastries and wood-fired oven bagels, and brunch on the weekends too. Outdoor seating will be coming as well, with blankets and heat lamps, because the weather is no surprise to anyone. And even though it’s meant to be a welcoming neighborhood restaurant, this charmer is going to be worth the visit, even if you live in Potrero.
Don’t Miss the CHEFS Gala Fundraiser, an Important Event to Help Our City’s Homeless
There’s an important fundraiser coming up, the 14th annual CHEFS Gala fundraiser on June 7. CHEFS is an amazing five-month culinary program from ECS (Episcopal Community Services) that helps train formerly homeless individuals in technical and professional skills so they can enter the food service industry. Students are provided with classroom instruction, in-kitchen hands-on training, and an internship at a local restaurant or in an institutional kitchen setting. This annual fundraiser is instrumental in raising awareness and funds for this effective program. In 2017, ECS helped 7,000 people with permanent supportive housing, crisis shelter, services, vocational training, and pathways from homelessness.
We all wonder what we can do to help our city’s homeless population, and this event is a great start to show your support. There are over 20 top Bay Area restaurants who will be serving at the event, including 1760, Bellota, DOSA, Flour + Water, Lolo, Nopa, and more, plus cocktails, wine, and beer, and live and silent auctions. Please help support this event and make it if you can!
Check Out This Year’s Always-Impressive Lineup of Food and Drink at Outside Lands!
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Outside Lands is returning to Golden Gate Park (Aug. 10–12), and with it comes an always-epic line-up of food and drink that pretty much puts all other music festivals to shame. This year, there will be 83 restaurants, 41 wineries, and 30 breweries, plus Cheese Lands, Outside Clams, GastroMagic, and Cocktail Magic adding to the entire experience. Chocoholics, you should know Choco Lands will not return this year. Sniff sniff.
Anna Weinberg (Big Night Restaurant Group) has curated the restaurants again, and 16 newcomers this year include Hawker Fare (which will be serving its khao soi spicy tamarind and pork egg drop soup), Trestle, The Bird (spicy fried chicken biscuit sandwiches!), Dumpling Time, Live Sushi Bar (shrimp and pork siu mai dumplings and Live Sushi handrolls), Powder and their Taiwanese shaved snows, Cassava, Son’s Addition, Firepie, Juice Shop, and Dinosaurs—to name a few. After walking around the park and dancing all day, it’s good to know you’ll never go hungry.
Favorites like the porcini doughnuts with Raclette (cheese) from Rich Table will return, plus Azalina’s is making Malaysian lamb curry sandwiches and peanut tofu nachos, Fine & Rare is serving crab rolls and blackened fish sandwiches, and no one can resist the joy of the wood-fired margherita pizzas from Del Popolo.
Dave McLean (founder of San Francisco’s Magnolia Brewing Company and a partner in Admiral Maltings) is back assembling an amazing list of beer partners at Beer Lands, with newcomers Old Kan, Holy Craft, Seismic, and Sufferfest joining the party. Wine Lands curator Peter Eastlake has added Marin County-based French wine importer Martine’s Wines, plus Orin Swift, comedian-vintner Eric Wareheim’s Las Jaras will be pouring Sweet Berry Wine, Favia, and others will be there too, including Napa’s Ashes & Diamonds. Stand by for the cocktail lineup at Cocktail Magic. Get your ticket while you can; three-day passes are currently available, both general admission ($375) and VIP ($795).
Earliest Birds, Now Is the Time to Get Your Eat Drink SF Tickets
Another big food fest for your August calendar is Eat Drink SF (Aug. 24–26), which will be celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, and earliest bird tickets are now on sale! These tickets are available at a reduced price, so if you know you want to go, get them before they sell out (sales end on June 22)! There will be a lot of exciting programming to announce for the anniversary, and you know the food and drink will be tops, especially at the grand tasting sessions. For example, the earliest bird tickets for the Sunday grand tasting are $109 right now, then going up to $199, and regularly $129. Go on, earliest birds, snatch them up!