Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
- San Mateo County officially entered into California’s least-restrictive yellow tier Wednesday, May 12, joining San Francisco as the second Bay Area county able to do so. California Department of Health officials gave San Mateo the go-ahead on Tuesday after the county met the criteria for minimal risk of spread, allowing for the return of indoor drinking at bars, whether or not they serve food. The rest of the Bay Area remains in the second most restrictive orange tier. [NBC Bay Area]
- A new San Francisco–based food startup promises grocery delivery in under 15 minutes, reports the SF Biz Journal. Food Rocket, founded by Vitaly Alexandrov, uses full-time couriers as well as electric scooters and bikes to deliver items directly from a network of local “micro-warehouses,” which each stock more than 2,000 grocery items, ready-to-eat meals, and household essentials. Remarkably, there is no minimum order requirement and no delivery fee. Food Rocket is currently active in SoMa, City Hall, the Design District, Hayes Valley, and the Theater District, with plans for the app to cover “all of San Francisco within the next two months.” [SF Biz Journal]
- San Francisco’s top yakitori restaurant, Hina Yakitori, returns to its tasting menu roots on Tuesday, May 18, as announced via Instagram on May 11 with a beautiful photo of tsukune served with a jidori egg (on the forthcoming menu). The Divisadero Street spot first made a name for itself serving the region’s only omakase-style yakitori feast, and earlier this year added a special Japanese version of a Nashville hot chicken sandwich as a pandemic-friendly takeout option. Reservations for the tasting menu are currently available through Saturday, June 12.
- ChiliCali pop-up chef Siska Silitonga is opening her first restaurant this summer, reports the SF Chronicle, a fast-casual Indonesian restaurant that will take over the former Nam Vietnamese Brasserie space in Redwood City. Silitonga is partnering with Nam’s Anne Le Ziblatt and Ervan Lim, an owner of Live Fire Pizza in Napa, for the restaurant, named Warung Siska. Silitonga will serve ChiliCali favorites like Balinese roast pork, Dungeness crab in spicy Sumatran Padang sauce, and a Bali-style minced fish cake wrapped around lemongrass sticks and grilled. Silitonga expects to open Warung Siska at 917 Main Street in July. [SF Chronicle]
- Following Singapore cafe Killiney Kopitiam’s Palo Alto debut and the news of a forthcoming location in Walnut Creek helmed by chef Nora Haron, it appears the chain is in full-on expansion mode, with plans to open four additional locations in the Bay Area this year — in Cupertino, Santa Clara, Mountain View, and Livermore. The chain’s U.S. franchisee plans to open dozens of more locations in California and Washington in the coming years, according to an SF Chronicle report. [SF Chronicle]