As Hi Lo BBQ comes into focus in the Mission, owners Scott Youkilis, Eric Rubin and Dave Esler have hired on a new chef to join the team. Ryan Ostler will helm the kitchen, probably drawing a little fan-base of his own thanks to the very nice media reputation he and wife Katharine Zacher earned as the "Gypsy Kitchen" duo. Ostler comes fresh-off a stint at Google, where he served a menu focused around two open brick oven hearths, a pit smoker and a rotisserie grill. Prior to that, he and Zacher ran the food operations at Bruno's and Broken Record, where critics gushed buckets-worth of barbecue sauce about their Southern-inspired fare.
Ostler also consulted with the Wise Sons guys on their pastrami and smoked fish program. As Youkilis puts it, "We're excited to have him on board to say the least." Now as construction moves forward at a fast clip, the team says the opening time is still a moving target. Their best guess is mid-November.
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Ryan Ostler back in the Bruno's days. [Photo: SF Weekly/Jen Siska]