Hello, San Francisco: James Syhabout has arrived. After making his name in Oakland with Commis and The Dock at Linden Street (as well as the just-shuttered Box & Bells), Syhabout has spun off his Uptown Oakland smash, Hawker Fare, to Valencia. Housed in the ginormous former Amber Dhara space, the riotously colorful new Hawker Fare features an expanded menu of the Thai and Laotian fare that Syhabout grew up with, as well as cocktails both downstairs at the restaurant and upstairs at a new bar, Holy Mountain.
Syhabout and his Bangkok-reared chef de cuisine Supasit "O" Puttkaew, with an assist from Hawker Fare's Oakland chef Manuel Bonilla, have kept on many of the Hawker Fare favorites from Oakland, like the 24-hour pork belly, blistered green beans, and khao mun gai (poached chicken). There are also some new additions Syhabout picked up on recent travels to Thailand, like grilled head-on shrimp with chili jam; pork larb with pork liver, shallots, mint, and cilantro; and "funky aromatic jungle curry" with duck and lemongrass. All dishes are consumed Thai-style, with a pad of sticky rice to scoop them up, and prices are pretty darn affordable for the Mission, with nothing over $16. Here's the full menu.
On the drinks side, Syhabout's go-to bar guys Christ Avaliotis and Troy Bayless are whipping up a menu of tiki-inspired drinks like a Singapore Sling, as well as original creations like the Pop Skull (two kinds of rum, guava nectar, cream of coconut, lime cordial, grapefruit) and a rotating frozen cocktail from a slushie machine. You can also order a whole bottle of Thai whiskey, rum, or Johnnie Walker black, served with seltzer and ice for group-wide highballs, Thai-style. Three California draft brews and a couple of Thai/Laotian ones in the bottle round things out. Here's the full drink menu.
Avaliotis and Bayless are also opening a smaller craft cocktail bar in the upstairs of the restaurant, to be named The Holy Mountain after the Jodorowsky classic. It'll open up next Friday, February 6, with plans for a rotating menu of drinks; the first one will be inspired by Mardi Gras and Carnival, with Hurricanes, Batidas, and some bar bites from downstairs like squid jerky and pork rinds.
The colorful, bright space, designed by John Skrivanich, is meant to resemble a Thai teen's bedroom, with vintage LPs and movie posters on the walls, authentic oilcloths and enameled plates on the tables, and night-market-inspired lighting. Hawker Fare will serve dinner Tuesday-Thursday, 5:30-10 pm, Friday-Saturday, 5:30-11 pm, and Sunday, 4-9 pm (closed Mondays). The bar opens at 5 pm on all of those nights, running until midnight every night but Sunday (when it closes at 9). Lunch service will debut next Saturday, February 7; hours will be Friday-Sunday, 12-3 pm.