RTB Fillmore, the pop-up from chef Rodney Wages, has found its forever home in the former location of Mosu (1552 Fillmore). Wages took over the space after the closure of the Michelin-starred restaurant at the end of April, and has already begun hosting his tasting menu-only dinners there. But while the pop-up will operate as-is for now, Wages has bigger plans for the space — a fully realized restaurant.
Since leaving his post as chef de cuisine of Atelier Crenn last year, Wages has been working towards a restaurant of his own, beginning with the launch of RTB Fillmore last fall. For the chef, who has spent most of his career in the high-pressure, grandiose kitchens of fine dining and Michelin-grasping restaurants, it was a time to find his own path. “You still have to have discipline and intensity to get the flavors you want, but I don’t think the intensity in the kitchen has to correlate to the intensity in the dining room,” said Wages at the time. “You can have that same experience and be less stressed and make a better product at the end of the day”
Now RTB Fillmore has begun its transformation into a static restaurant, after months of hopping back and forth from the kitchens of Dabba and Izakaya Kou. Part of that transformation is a partnership between Wages and Matthew Mako, former director of hospitality at Saison, who will lead the front of the house. The two met during a mutual stint at Benu years ago, where they hit it off and hatched a plan to one day start something together — “It’s been a long time coming,” said Wages.
Together, Mako and Wages are fundraising for a redesign of the Mosu kitchen to better suit their needs. Interior remodeling will expand seating from 18 to 36 seats, and they expect the liquor license transfer to go through next week. In the meantime, the duo is working out the details of the restaurant, from its menu to — potentially — a new name.
As for the food, Wages’ original goal — more casual, less pretentious — still stands, though the menu has evolved to a slightly more elevated level than when the pop-up began. Originally Wages described the concept as “Chubby Noodle meets Mensho Tokyo ramen,” though it now includes dishes like a tartare of raw lobster, preserved citrus, and riverweeds, as well as a $68 wagyu beef supplement. Still, Wages says “Ultimately we want it to be relaxing, and more comfortable.” That also means the addition of a la carte options, and the possibility of allowing for walk-ins.
The project is moving at a rapid clip: Mako and Wages will wrap up fundraising in the next few weeks and hope to open in earnest this August. In the meantime, RTB Fillmore is open for ticketed reservations through Tock from Thursday to Sunday. Stay tuned for more.
- Former Atelier Crenn Chef Plans His Own, More Casual Restaurant [ESF]
- Michelin-Starred Mosu to Depart SF for Seoul [ESF]
- RTB Fillmore [Official Site]