Mission Street Food and its successor Mission Chinese Food started with an unusual concept for the time: taking over the dining room of still-operating Chinese joint Lung Shan, with both kitchens coexisting and serving simultaneously for the first year (until MCF eventually gobbled up Lung Shan, and its staff). Now, Jesse Koide, who ran the show at Mission Chinese for several years after Danny Bowien split for NYC, is replicating the idea with Pink Zebra, which will take most of the dining room at another takeout-centric Chinese spot, Tao Yin, right down the way (at Mission and 20th).
Pink Zebra, named for the pattern on Koide's signature headband, already made a splash with a pop-up in Copenhagen earlier this year, offering a blend of traditional Japanese items and some Mediterranean flavors (Koide is also a Bar Tartine and Farina alum). Traditional yakitori, oshizushi (a sushi variation made in a pressed mold, here with ocean trout), Japanese pickles, and menchi-zushi (meat croquettes) over rice are all offered in the 40-seat dining room, with shareable plates in the $14-16 range. There's also a sushi counter that seats five, where diners can sample an omakase meal (in the $75 range) of nigiri, pickles, and other traditional small plates. The menu will change regularly, especially in these early days, so definitely arrive expecting some surprises from Koide and teammate Rio Sakai. Tao Yin will continue to offer takeout, and retain a handful of tables for its own use.
To start, Pink Zebra will be open Thursday and Monday, 5:30-10:30 pm, and Friday-Saturday, 5:30-11 pm. If all goes well, later hours may be added.