James Syhabout has been the toast of Oakland for many years now, but he's finally coming cityside for the very first time. As Inside Scoop reports, the prolific restaurateur (Commis, Box and Bells, The Dock at Linden Street) has snapped up the massive former Amber Dhara space at 680 Valencia, which shuttered back in July, for a second location of his uptown Oakland megahit Hawker Fare. Like the original, Hawker Fare SF will serve family-style Southeast Asian street food inspired by Syhabout's Thai heritage, with a particular emphasis on the cuisine of Isaan, in the country's northwest (which shares a great deal of culinary overlap with neighboring Laos).
Since Amber Dhara boasts 6,000 square feet and can seat 300 people, Syhabout says he plans to expand the food offerings from the original Hawker Fare, and he's also scored a full liquor license, presumably in service of the tiki-influenced drinks that the original dishes up. The casual, group- and booze-friendly concept definitely seems like a solid fit for this stretch of the Mission. An opening date is still in the works, but "early 2015" is the current watchword for Hawker Fare part deux. In the meantime, check out Syhabout's recent chat with Eater National about Box and Bells' first year.