Welcome to a.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
San Francisco’s wildly popular burrito chain, El Farolito, is blessing North Beach with a much-needed taqueria, its 12th outpost in the Bay Area, the SF Chronicle reports. El Farolito, the name of which nods to purported super burrito inventor El Faro, serves Mission-style burritos roughly the size of a neck pillow, grilled to perfection. The North Beach El Farolito will open at 1230 Grant Avenue, the former home of 26-year old neighborhood restaurant House, in about two months time, said Irene Lopez. Lopez is the daughter of El Farolito found Salvador “Don Chava” Lopez, who died in January 2021 at the age of 70. Lopez opened the first El Farolito in the Mission in 1983; since then, the company has opened 11 more locations across the Bay Area, all known for their massive and affordable burritos. [San Francisco Chronicle]
- In further exciting expansion news, the Chronicle also has a report that Japantown’s Daeho Kalbijjim is bringing its highly-coveted version of cheesy, spicy-sweet Korean short rib stew to the Peninsula. Set to open in October at 213 Second Avenue in San Mateo, it will be the fourth Daeho kitchen to open in the Bay Area since the restaurant debuted in 2019. And the company has plans to add even more: the Chronicle reports Daeho is eyeing locations in the South Bay, East Bay, and Sacramento. [San Francisco Chronicle]
- Food halls have officially reached Wine Country: Plans are currently taking shape to open a food hall in Sonoma County, set for the ground floor of a 22,000-square-foot, three-story “food and arts hub” to be called Livery on Main. Developers will soon break ground at 135 S. Main Street in Sebastopol for the project, Sonoma Mag reports, and the food hall (called the Stables) has already snagged some top local kitchens: Village Bakery (which has two locations in Santa Rosa), Cozy Plum Bistro, El Charro Negro food truck, and Taverna Lithi, a new Greek restaurant, among others. Operator Farm to Coast Collective, a “public benefit corporation,” owned by a Sebastopol development company, expects the food hall to be up and running by late 2022. [Sonoma Mag]
- Twelve days after shutting down when three fully vaccinated members of its staff became infected with COVID, Aziza is open for dine-in and takeout. Chef Mourad Lahlou, who only reopened his acclaimed Moroccan-California restaurant in late 2019 after a three-year hiatus, had some strong words when announcing the temporary closure, saying “people who choose not to get vaccinated are putting themselves, others, and society as a whole at risk. They should not be allowed to get on planes, go to restaurants, visits museums, stay in hotels, attend indoor sporting events etc. until they decide to be responsible and accountable members of society,” and demanding a governmental vaccination mandate. San Francisco’s mandate dropped a few days later, and goes into effect today, August 20.
- Wineries across eastern El Dorado County are shutting down due to the Caldor fire, including Bumgarner Winery & Vineyards’ in Fair Play, which is located in the evacuation zone, and E16 Winery, which is located just outside of the zone in Somerset. The Caldor Fire has burned through 65,000 acres of Sierra Nevada foothills as of Thursday, according to the Sacramento Bee. [Sacramento Bee]