As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of fellow food-writer friends. We asked the group eight questions about the highs and lows of San Francisco dining over the past year, and we'll be running two compilations of their responses (which are in no particular order) each day.
Q: What are your restaurant headline predictions for 2015?
Rebecca Flint Marx, San Francisco Magazine: Peak Juice Bar: What Does It Mean For You?
Pete Kane, SF Weekly: I expect to read the phrase "empire builder" more, and see it applied to humbler sorts of places than before as the latest waves of food entrepreneurs scale up. Also: donuts!
Andrew Dalton, freelance: "Here's A Tip: Service Is Included"
"Whose Fault? Oakland Overrun By San Franciscans After Big One Sinks City" [It would be a 10-part San Francisco Chronicle package.]
Amy Sherman, Cooking with Amy: Cauliflower replaces kale and brussels sprouts as the "it" vegetable. Jewish deli food overtakes pizza in popularity. Daniel Patterson, Michael Mina and Charles Phan continue empire-building.
Virginia Miller, Zagat: Ticketed dinners and tipless dining on the rise.
Sarah Sung, UrbanDaddy: "No Reservations Necessary. It's Ticket-Only." "Tips Included, Everywhere." "Bugs Are the New Offal."
Marcia Gagliardi, Tablehopper: "Gluten Air Filters Installed Throughout San Francisco." "Postmates Delivery People Outnumber SF Restaurant Industry Workers." "Spike in Cases of Gynecomastia in SF Males—Uni Is the Unfortunate Culprit."
Sara Deseran, San Francisco Magazine: Asian everywhere. In next couple months we're going to see Liholiho Yacht Club, Hawker Fare on Valencia, Fat Noodle, and surely more. As someone who loves most all Asian food across the board, I'm very excited to see this food being served in mid-level restaurants. Would someone please do Korean and Indian while we're at it?
Tamara Palmer, The Bold Italic: Saison Offers 92-Course Meal for Only $10K.
World's First Ferret Cafe Headed to Oakland.
Lauren Sloss, Tasting Table/SFist: Edison Bulbs Deemed Nuclear Hazard; 96% of San Francisco Restaurants Go Dark
Jay Barmann, SFist: San Franciscans Finally Declare: "We Have Too Many Restaurants." Reservations at The Progress Being Sold On Craigslist for $200.
Anna Roth, SF Weekly: Craft distilling will take off. The opening of the way-way-eco-conscious The Perennial from Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz will cause many other restaurateurs to reconsider their carbon footprints and revamp their kitchens/menus/ways of sourcing. Ticketing and tipping will continue to be hot topics. And perhaps we will face an unprecedented chicken-wing shortage.
Rose Garrett, Hoodline: I think that restaurants already operating on tight margins will feel a big squeeze in 2015, and we may see some closures as the supply of higher-end restaurants eventually outstrips demand, and food and staffing costs rise. I'm predicting some concept flailing (like we've seen with The Square this year), and some abrupt closures. We'll really start seeing who is going to stick around for a while and who is a flash in the pan.
Paolo Lucchesi, Inside Scoop: 47 Fried Food Dishes in North Beach You Must Try Before You Suddenly Die.