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Refugee-owned Mission Restaurant to Close After Four Decades

Plus, a love letter to Los Yaquis micheladas and more news

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Mission restaurant closing after 36 years

Ali Baba’s Cave on Valencia Street will close on Saturday, June 29 as owner Husein Dawah, a Syrian refugee, has decided to retire. He is looking to sell the restaurant to someone who will continue to serve Mediterranean food.

Bay Area bartenders earn national accolades

Kevin Diedrich of Pacific Cocktail Haven in Lower Nob Hill and Mary Palac of Paper Plane in San Jose are among the top 10 bartenders in the U.S. according to Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. Diedrich is moving on to the finals of the American Bartender of the Year award in New Orleans next month.

New Japanese lunch spot in SoMa

Cafe Okawari, a lunch-only restaurant, is now open at 236 Townsend Street. It serves chicken katsu sandwiches, bowls, and salads, as well as coffee, lemonade, and house-made sodas. It’s open from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

40-year anniversary chef series at Greens Restaurant

Marina District vegetarian icon Greens will turn 40 this year, and is celebrating with a dinner series. Chef Annie Somerville will host chefs like Alice Waters of Chez Panisse and Suzette Gresham of Acquarello at the monthly four-course prix-fixe dinners ($85) through December. Reservations and the full lineup here.

Great micheladas

Peter Lawrence Kane at SF Weekly wrote a love letter to the micheladas at the “underrated” Los Yaquis in the Mission. He notes the space is queer-friendly without pandering, and that “the food is unlike anything else in the Mission, full stop.”

Major guest chef lineup celebrates 10 years of Commis

To celebrate ten years of excellence at Oakland’s only two-Michelin-starred restaurant, chef James Syhabout is inviting his very talented friends over for a guest dinner series. Each dinner is available to reserve on Resy. Check out the lineup below:

7/10-7/11 - Chef Aaron Martinez, Executive Chef of Elaia Restaurant, St. Louis, MO

7/17-18- Chef Carlos Salgado, Chef /Owner of Taco María, Costa Mesa, CA

7/24-25 - Chef Josef Centeno, Chef/Owner of Bäco Mercat, Bar Amá, Orsa & Winston and BÄCOSHOP, Los Angeles, CA

7/31 Justin Cogley, Executive Chef at Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

8/1 Chef David Kinch, Chef/Owner of Manresa, Los Gatos, CA

8/7 - Chef Jeremy Fox, Chef/Owner of Rustic Canyon, Tallula’s and Birdie G’s, Santa Monica, CA

8/8 Chef Mourad Lahlou, Chef/Owner of restaurants Mourad and Amara, San Francisco, CA

8/14-15- Chef Chris Kajioka / Chef + Owner of Senia Restaurant in Honolulu, HI


140 New Montgomery Street, , CA 94105 (415) 660-2500 Visit Website

Pacific Cocktail Haven

550 Sutter Street, , CA 94108 Visit Website

Greens Restaurant

Building A, San Francisco, CA 94123 415-771-6222 Visit Website


320 Village Lane, , CA 95030 (408) 354-4330 Visit Website


3859 Piedmont Avenue, , CA 94611 (510) 653-3902 Visit Website


3331 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 800-8266 Visit Website


781 Mission St, San Francisco, CA Visit Website

Chez Panisse

1517 Shattuck Avenue, , CA 94709 (510) 548-5525 Visit Website

Paper Plane

72 South First Street, , CA 95113 (408) 713-2625 Visit Website