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Opening Wire: Four Great Places To Try This Weekend

A Soma surf-themed bar, Boulette’s reincarnate, Hayes Valley honey cake, and other newbies to grace the restaurant and bar scene.

The interior of Driftwood

A close-up of the hand-made cow hide bar stools at Drifter

1) Soma: Now softly open is Driftwood, a new bar at 1225 Folsom, which used to be Kok Bar SF. The new owners, Shawn Magee (Amnesia) and Chris Milsted (Bistro Aix), are long-time surfer buddies, and the bar sports the “NorCal coastal” theme that inspires them. A bar-back made to look like the bottom of a ship’s hull and hand-sewn, “big, cozy” bar stools flank the marine-grade bronze top. Custom glass wall sconces, ship-inspired benches with under-seat storage, and brass seagulls, crabs and crustaceans keep the seashore theme alive throughout. Nick Bray of 83 Proof designed the cocktail list, which includes some classics and unique creations, like The Hemisphere, made with dark rum, muddled coffee beans, and bitters. One cool thing to look out for: Josey Baker’s rye and wheat breads will anchor several toasts with seasonal spreads like goat cheese and pesto made with basil from Magee’s plot at Dearborn Garden. Magee’s wife Lucia is also “going crazy” with pickling. You’ll be able to taste her cardamom-pickled beets and spicy carrots and cauliflower at the opening party on Sunday. Check out Eater for a great idea of what the décor is like.

2) The Embarcadero: The Ferry Building’s Boulette’s Larder has just begun its second life as Bouli Bar, serving California pizzas (like salt cot-potato or Turkish-spiced lamb and feta) and other wood-baked items like chicken legs. There are also several salads and Middle Eastern-style mezze. Eater has some great shots of the interior, and Inside Scoop has an interview with co-owner Amaryll Schwertner, dubbed “one of the country’s most intellectual chefs.”

3) Hayes Valley: 20th Century Café (198 Gough Street), from former Range pastry chef Michelle Polzine, opened a little over a week ago. Polzine is already getting raves for her honey cake and potato knish. The café is open Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Remember to hit the ATM, as it’s cash only. These posts on Inside Scoop and Tablehopper have some more information.

4) The Mission: New 24th Street wine bar, La Movida, is now open, serving Pal’s Takeaway sandwiches during the lunch hour, and a tapas menu by Sous Buerre’s Michael Mauschbaugh in the evenings. Read more about it in our recent post.


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