Five-year-old Russian Hill restaurant Stones Throw has added some new blood to the team, with the addition of chef Robin Song. Song, most recently opening chef at Gibson, is already in the kitchen, making menu changes and plotting the next phase of the neighborhood spot.
Song has taken over the post from chef Jason Halverson, who remains a partner in and oversees the culinary direction of the Hi Neighbor Restaurant Group, which also includes Corridor, Trestle, and Fat Angel. And according to partner Ryan Cole, he’ll have full reign over the menu.
“Robin is taking over all control of the kitchen and reinvigorating it,” says Cole. “It’s the first time we’ve done that with someone from outside the restaurant group, but the neighborhood needs it. It’s reverted back to being sleepy.”
A series of closures on neighboring Polk Street and a lower number of readily available regular diners are part of that, says Cole. “We’ve seen the generational change in the neighborhood, people who used to go out all the time moved out, rent control went up and new people came in and now don’t go out as much.”
Song is also known for his successful stint at now-closed Hog & Rocks, which he left in 2015 to focus on opening his own concept, a Korean-inspired restaurant called Junju. That’s on the backburner for now, as Song begins to put his mark on the menu, with seasonal dishes like seared American wagyu with summer bean and tomato salad, and crispy sourdough. Lighter fare and more shareable dishes will also be part of that shift, including a pickled watermelon and cucumber salad with spiced seeds.