New Vietnamese Eatery, Cyrus Japan Fund-Raiser, Food Truck Fun & More

Bun Mee's version of a Vietnamese Sloppy Joe. (Photo courtesy of James "Slim'' Dang)

San Francisco Welcomes Bun Mee

While her friends were scarfing down burgers, Vietnam-born Denise Tran was enjoying banh mi, the bargain-priced sandwich of her homeland made with roast pork, tangy pickled veggies, and patรฉ stuffed inside a fresh-baked baguette.

Now, she’s reincarnating that favorite sandwich with modern twists at her new Bun Mee cafe on upper Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights, a short stroll from the Best Western Tomo in San Francisco.

The 16-seat restaurant, decorated with corrugated metal finishes and bicycle wheel chandeliers, specializes in Vietnamese street food, with most dishes priced at $5 to $7.

Choose from nine different banh mi, including a “Sloppy Bun” with curry ground pork, shaved onion and Thai basil; and the “Bun Mee Combo” of house-carved roast pork, patรฉ de champagne, mortadella, house garlic aioli, shaved onion, pickled carrot and daikon, jalapenos and cilantro.

You just want to take a bite, don't you? (Photo courtesy of James "Slim'' Dang)

For more variety, the menu includes salads such as the “Mekong Shrimp” with grilled prawns, sliced mango, tofu, pickled daikon, and julienned cucumbers over mixed greens with blood orange vinaigrette; and “Momma Tran’s Crispy Egg Rolls” made with ground pork, crab, wood ear mushrooms, glass noodles and lettuce. Then, quench your thirst with Vietnamese coffee, kaffir limeade, and strawberry lychee aqua fresca.

“From my own travels to Vietnam to spending hours cooking with Momma Tran, I am really excited to bring the Vietnamese street food experience to Pacific Heights and introduce guests to one of my favorite things to eat,โ€ said Tran in a statement, who collaborated on the restaurant with her mother.

Celeb Chefs Come Together for a Japan Benefit

Chef Douglas Keane of Cyrus has invited some of the biggest names in the Bay Area food scene to cook for a very worthy cause: the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, which is administered by the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California.

April 19, Keane will be joined by the likes of David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos, Corey Lee of Benu in San Francisco, James Syhabout of Commis in Oakland, Michael Cimarusti of Providence in Los Angeles, and Nicole Plue of Cyrus for a spectacular tasting menu.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. at Keane’s Shimo Modern Steak restaurant, where Chef Kolin Vazzoler will present sushi, champagne and sake. At 7 p.m., guests will walk over to Cyrus to enjoy this spectacular menu.

The dinner, limited to 50 people, is $450 per person (all-inclusive) with all proceeds benefiting the earthquake relief fund. For reservations, call (707) 433-3311. Special overnight rates are available for April 19 at the Hotel Healdsburg and h2hotel.

The new Trace restaurant, which will open this summer. (Photo courtesy of the W Hotel)

Get Ready for Trace in the W Hotel

OK, how cool does that artist’s rendering above look?

That’s what the new Trace restaurant in the W Hotel in downtown San Francisco will look like when it opens this summer. Trace, which will take the place of the XYZ restaurant, is so named because it will focus on traceable ingredients and cuisine with a conscience.

Executive Chef Paul Piscopo will continue at the helm of this new restaurant, and be joined by a bonafide forager, Alaun Grimald.

(Photo courtesy of Ten Speed Press)

New Cookbook About Food Trucks

If you’ve gone crazy for all manner of food being doled out of food trucks these days, you’re sure to love the new book, “Food Trucks: Dispatches and Recipes From the Best Kitchens on Wheels” (Ten Speed Press) by food truck aficionado, Heather Shouse.

The book delves into how this trend all started, spotlights some of the zaniest trucks around the country, and even includes recipes to make your favorites at home.

Shouse will do a book-signing, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 23, at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, complete with food for sale from the Roli Roti truck.

The next night, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 24, there will be an “informal” book party for Shouse at the Fabric 8 Gallery in San Francisco. A caravan of vendors will be on hand, including Magic Curry Kart, Pizza Hacker, and the Creme Brulee Cart.

Matzo Crunch from SusieCakes bakery. (Photo courtesy of the bakery)

Perfect for Passover

SusieCakes is giving matzo a makeover.

The bakery, with locations locally in San Francisco and Marin, will be selling a jazzed-up version of matzo that’s brown-sugar baked and drizzled with chocolate.

The Matzo Crunch will be available April 18-25 for $3.

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