Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
- Marugame Udon, the popular Japanese chain that counts two Bay Area locations among its seven U.S. outposts, is adding a third to the list. The company has signed a lease at San Ramon’s City Center Bishop Ranch with plans to open a restaurant this summer, bringing its signature made-to-order udon bowls, tempura, and katsu sandos to the massive shopping destination. The chain’s first San Francisco location has been a hit since opening in Stonetown Galleria in late 2018, and was followed a year later by a shop in Berkeley. The restaurant is scheduled to open this summer next to Boba Guys.
- A new Italian restaurant is coming to the Marina this spring, the first full-service endeavor from a chef who’s previously worked at Cotogna, Greens, and Presidio Social Club. Bay Area native Kaitlynn Bauman will open Norcina this May at 3251 Pierce Street, reports the San Francisco Chronicle, as a full-service version of her former cafe Norcina (closed during the pandemic). Diners can expect cacio e pepe, tortellini en brodo, as well as pizza made with an extra long fermentation process. [SF Chronicle]
- In the fallout from a San Francisco Chronicle report on the plight of would-be ice cream shop owner Jason Yu, the neighboring shop that contested Yu’s permit has become the target of outrage. Garden Creamery owner Erin Lang, who filed the complaint, has been flooded on social media by bad reviews and calls for a boycott, as well as accusations of cultural appropriation because of Garden Creamery’s Asian flavors (Lang is white). Yu, who poured $200,000 into trying to open his shop Matcha n’ More, has since abandoned his plans. [SF Chronicle]
- The famed Gilroy Garlic Festival has set dates for 2021, planning a mix of virtual events, drive-thru tastings, and winery dinners for the weekends of July 23-25 and July 30-August 1. The festival celebrating all things garlic draws crowds of over 100,000 to the small town, including celebrity chefs, and raises millions for local schools and other non-profits. In 2019, a fatal shooting at the festival made national news; it was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis.
- San Francisco looks set to move into California’s least-restrictive yellow phase soon, after the state released updated reopening metrics this week. Both San Francisco and Marin counties look poised to move into yellow status next week, which allows businesses including bars to open indoors with restrictions. [SFist]