Restaurant Round-Up: Ichi Sushi & Ni Bar, 4505 Meats, and The Square

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Omakase platter from ICHI Sushi & NI Bar. Photo: Alanna Hale
Omakase platter from ICHI Sushi & NI Bar. Photo: Alanna Hale

San Francisco is bursting with so many hot new food projects it can be hard to keep track of them all. Here are the juiciest updates on spots from Tim & Erin Archuleta, Ryan Farr, and Matt McNamara and Teague Moriarty.

Fans of the wildly popular ICHI Sushi, from Tim and Erin Archuleta, are able to now enjoy sushi and sake or shoju cocktails at the new 30-seat ICHI Sushi & NI Bar (3282 Mission). Chef Tim Archuleta even went to six spots in Japan to source the new grill, which has a glass top. While eating, guests can also get a “how-to” tutorial on eating sushi properly via a fun mural by artist Erik Marinovich.

Archuleta clued Bay Area Bites into the can’t miss items and recommends trying the “omakase at ICHI--we're expanding our fish offerings." She said, "There’s also the Sanbaizu Sunomono, which includes ebi, Japanese cucumbers, and tremella. And the miso Asari clams are clams with ground pork and Kuro oil.” The grill rightly has a starring role and will be used to prepare dishes such as Momo Yakitori (chicken thighs), Kaka Niku Kushiyaki (miso-braised pork shoulder), and Gyu Kushiyaki (flank steak).

Next in our round-up is the reigning king of meat a.k.a. Ryan Farr, who is putting finishing touches on a quick service operation out of a building from the 1930s. His 4505 Burgers and BBQ (705 Divisadero) is slated to open in late April. In-the-know carnivores likely remember the site previously had a run as Da Pitt and as a popular BBQ outfit named Brother-in-Laws. Farr told Bay Area Bites that his menu will be pretty simple and the same as can be found at the 4505 Meats shop and ferry building outposts: smoked meat sandwiches; the 4505 burger, served on a buttered bun and topped with shaved Pecorino (it’s worth it to get a fried egg on top); sausages along the lines of the ‘Zilla dog, which is a hot dog covered with bacon and topped with 4505 chicharrones and kimchee from Namu. For the new outfit, Farr promises one potentially addictive add-on for that brisket or pulled pork sandwich: center cut bacon.


“People always ask us for bacon with their orders, so we’re going to go with that. What’s better than one slice of bacon? Two slices. Ours is really thick, and you’ll definitely know that yes, you’re eating bacon," he said.

Farr does recommend following something of a formula when ordering: do a BBQ sandwich with the smoked meat of your choice and a side. But there should be plenty of variations on that formula with what he calls a “simple but delicious” menu. The meat expert, butcher, and Mission District resident has also apparently found good luck at the new spot, which was once a stable. “We found an old horseshoe that was buried. I’m all into good luck so I was totally ecstatic about that.”

There will be patio seating and Farr said he is intent on taking the time to build things correctly and not cut corners, while of course staying within budget. “We want to do it right and plan on being there for a long time,” he said.

Matt McNamara and Teague Moriarty. Photo: Alanna Hale
Matt McNamara and Teague Moriarty. Photo: Alanna Hale

The Square (1707 Powell St.) is the widely anticipated modern American North Beach 100-seat restaurant and bar due to open this weekend, on March 1, from chefs Matt McNamara and Teague Moriarty. The duo earned raves with both their 2010 Michelin-starred Sons & Daughters restaurant and with their lunch spot Sweet Woodruff.

There’s no denying the new site comes with its own reputation. For decades it was lovingly referred to as “The Washbag” and “The Square” when it was The Washington Square Bar & Grill, where celebs, like Herb Caen, and politicians would knock back a few Vitamin V vodka martinis before digging into a bowl of fried calamari or pasta carbonara.

Moriarty told Bay Area Bites that the menu from Chefs Duncan Holmes and Galen Vasquez will include: “dishes that we are excited about: our shared plates, including a whole roast Dungeness Crab with herbed butter, Romesco sauce, and grilled bread. We will also do a whole rack of ribs with polenta and cucumber salad. Both are really fun delicious dishes that you can dig into with your hands. We think that it is a really fun way of dining.” There will also be dishes like as March pickles and bresaola, chicken fried quail with Romesco, and barley and green garlic risotto.

Which of the new restaurants are you excited to try? What other openings are on your list?