INNER SUNSET - Nazila and Saeed Talai, owners of Lavash Persian restaurant (511 Irving Street), have opened a lovely looking little haven called Rose Tea (549 Irving Street) a few doors down. The shop serves freshly brewed, housemade organic teas and tisanes. They've got the free WiFi. And the accompanying sweets and savory plates are curated with an emphasis on local small businesses. So you'll find things like Daddy's baklava in the case. Nazila, who spent 30 years in the San Francisco flower business, devotes the right-hand side of the shop to selling fresh flowers. Meanwhile, she's changing a lot of the menu items to incorporate more Persian flair. The beer-and-wine application is moving forward at its usual sluggish pace. [EaterWire]
REVAMPS - Doug Washington's remodel of Paragon Restaurant (701 Second Street) is complete. Washington, who co-owns Town Hall, Anchor & Hope and Salt House, is great with the recycled, reclaimed materials. In this case, old barn wood, hand-painted subway tiles, rusted metal and lights made from inverted Rosenthal soup bowls are among the raw materials in play. Washington's wife Freya Prowe created a slew of artwork to compliment the new look. Tell us how it feels in there if you drop in. [EaterWire]
NOW CASTING - The producers of Chopped and Fix This Kitchen are hosting tryouts for a new series wherein three "rock star chefs" are dropped into remote areas of the world to cook indigenous meals. They're also looking for divorced or separated couples that are both chefs or in the culinary world and willing to star in a TV series together. Good luck with that one guys! More info here. [EaterWire]
MAGIC ICE CREAM - As you may recall, the ice cream at Hayes Valley's brand new Smitten is made-to-order in patented machines with liquid nitrogen. It all started with a food cart that owner Robyn Sue Goldman would push around the city. Witness this marriage of molecular gastronomy and food carts on this new video shot by The Feast.
Nazila Talai outside Rose Tea