What's Cooking

A look at the latest in local food, dining and drinking news
KoJa Kitchen’s futuristic underground bar to open downtown

12/20/19

KoJa Kitchen’s futuristic underground bar to open downtown

The future is now at the fast-casual Korean-Japanese fusion spot KoJa Kitchen, which will unveil its space-age basement bar on Friday, Dec. 20, a couple of months after its upstairs dining space debuted downtown in late October. Descend the stairs to the underground K Street lounge (each step is lit with rainbow LEDs), where franchise owner Thomas Quach has been working to put the finishing touches. With moody, low-lit lighting, the space is outfitted with LED panels that stretch across the ceiling and down a wall painted with a 3D-patterned honeycomb design and lined with white tufted booths. Although the Bay Area-based chain operates 17 California locations, this is the only location to feature this bar concept. Cushioned white and orange high-top chairs sit along...

Posted at 01:04 PM | Permalink | Comments

December's Taste roundup: Curry Up Now readies to spice things up in midtown, and more

12/17/19

December's Taste roundup: Curry Up Now readies to spice things up in midtown, and more

With menu items featuring cheeky names like Naughty Naan and Sexy Fries, Curry Up Now is set to spice things up with its Indian fusion fare at midtown's Ice Blocks in mid-January.   The San Francisco-based fast-casual restaurant began as a food truck in 2009 and has grown to six locations in California and one in Georgia, dishing out a blend of traditional Indian foods—including samosas stuffed with ground lamb, curried potatoes and chutneys, and bowls laden with saag paneer or daal lentils over basmati rice—and more contemporary fusion eats like burritos stuffed with chicken tikka masala (a fan-favorite) or kashmiri lamb. Those aforementioned Sexy Fries are an Indian-inspired poutine of criss-cut sweet potato fries topped with cheese and your choice of chicken,...

Posted at 03:27 PM | Permalink | Comments

Former Saddle Rock space to reopen as Saigon Alley

12/12/19

Former Saddle Rock space to reopen as Saigon Alley

Update: Saigon Alley, which soft-opened on Jan. 2, will host a grand opening on Friday, Jan. 10. Hours of operation will be Sun.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 4 p.m.-12 a.m. and Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 4 p.m.-2 a.m. ******** The high-profile midtown spot near 18th and L that was once home to such eateries as L Wine Lounge, Capital Dime and Saddle Rock is set to reopen at the beginning of January as Saigon Alley, a Vietnamese restaurant from the owner of the next-door fast-casual spot Make Fish Poke & Sushi Burrito. Owner Mymy Nguyen tapped local sister designers Elizabeth and Theresa Rainey of the newly minted Aura Design Company to help reimagine the 1,800-square-foot space—which has been closed for almost three years and features a street-level bar area and an...

Posted at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments

Popular SF cookie delivery company opens its first shop in Woodland

12/06/19

Popular SF cookie delivery company opens its first shop in Woodland

Local cookie monsters will have a new shop to invade when a Bond-inspired bakery opens this month in Woodland. The San Francisco-based company Stirred, Not Shaken Cookies has been delivering sweet treats throughout the Bay Area via apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash since 2016, but when it came to opening its first brick-and-mortar store, owner Dan Ponticello decided to set up shop in his native Woodland. When he heard about the availability of the 1,500-square-foot space on Main Street formerly occupied by Cookie Connection (the Roseville-based company shuttered all of its locations in June), Ponticello jumped at filling it. “I thought the best cookies I ever had in my life were from the Cookie Connection,” says the baker of his go-to desserterie growing up. “[I...

Posted at 10:26 AM | Permalink | Comments

Three festive pop-up bars to drink in the holiday season

12/02/19

Three festive pop-up bars to drink in the holiday season

Christmastime is here and so are the global yuletide pop-up bar, Miracle, and its Christmas-slash-tiki-themed sister, Sippin’ Santa, which have rolled into three local haunts, offering quirky, holiday-themed cocktails—and a healthy dose of festive cheer—that will be on offer through the end of December. Midtown’s The Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar and downtown’s Tiger have made ultra-festive transformations into Miracle pop-ups—which started in 2014 at the New York bar, Mace, and has since expanded to over 100 locations—that will run through Dec. 31. Red Rabbit’s general manager Al Marquez says the J Street bar (which was the first Sacramento location to participate in the pop-up in 2017) is filled to the brim...

Posted at 08:36 AM | Permalink | Comments

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