The Tacolicious team's first attempt at opening a non-Mexican spinoff, MF Chicken, never got off the ground, but that didn't dissuade owner Joe Hargrave, who's decided to try again with Chino, a dumpling-centric casual Chinese spot. And that's not all: as Inside Scoop reports, Hargrave has brought on acclaimed Bar Agricole alum Brandon Jew as chef. But this announcement comes in tandem with some bad news: the closure of 12-year-old Andalu, whose space Chino will occupy at the corner at 16th and Guerrero.
Chef-owner Calvin Schneiter plans to keep Andalu open through the expiration of his lease, New Year's Eve, when he'll throw a big closing bash. (He's also soliciting memories of the spot from customers on Facebook.) After that, Hargrave will put the 100-seat spot through a major renovation, adding an open kitchen and a 20-seat bar. The space also has full liquor, and Tacolicious beverage director Mike Barrow will oversee the cocktail program.
For those wondering about Jew's other big plans, for a restaurant of his own in Chinatown, that project's going on the back burner, with an opening not likely until 2015. Jew, who'll be the executive chef and a partner in Chino, plans to offer a menu of 8-10 small plates under $10, 5-7 dumpling and noodle dishes (including soup dumplings), and a few vegetable plates. There may be a Latin touch in some of the dishes, thanks to Tacolicious' influence. No official word on a tentative opening date, but it'll likely be sometime next summer or fall.
· Brandon Jew and Tacolicious crew to take over Andalu [Inside Scoop]
· Brandon Jew Opening a Restaurant in Chinatown [~ ESF ~]
· Tacolicious #4 Arrives in North Beach [~ ESF ~]