Now that Mister Jiu’s is almost five months old, chef/owner Brandon Jew is ready for a little extracurricular fun, in the form of a late night pop-up series featuring his talented pals from around the country.
The first one takes place this Saturday, August 27 at 10 p.m., and stars chef Robin Song’s Korean pop-up (and nascent restaurant) Junju. The setting will be Mister Jiu’s “takeout window” on Waverly Place, where Song will serve up three of his favorite childhood dishes: Jjajjangmyun (fermented black bean noodle with crispy pork belly), Jjampong French Dip (spicy pork sandwich with spicy seafood broth on the side ), and Mister Jiu’s and Junju potstickers. Diners can purchase a ticket ($30) ahead of time, which includes one of each item, or just roll up spontaneously that night.
Jew says that this first event will be something of an experiment, where he and Song will be working out the kinks on the format for a future series of pop-ups. “I thought I should get the logistics down with someone willing to be my guinea pig,” said Jew. “Robin’s a good sport, so we’ll do this one and edit it as we go.” And, Jew says he has more in the works with chefs from around the country (and world).
The pop-ups will be casual, and will hopefully appeal to revelers in Chinatown and the Financial District who want a really good late night snack (though for traditionalists, there’ll always be Sam’s on Broadway). The bar inside will also stay open til midnight for those looking to keep boozing, with special cocktails from bar director Danny Louie.
Ultimately, Jew says the potential series is about community building in San Francisco, where the restaurant scene is ultra-competitive. “People are friendly here, and support one another from afar, but I’ve seen some really strong chef communities other places,” said Jew. “There’s something about the sharing of ideas that makes cooking more exciting.”