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Meet the Chef Behind Hi Felicia, Oakland’s Uber-Hot Underground Supper Club

Plus, Equator Coffee is open now in Santa Clara and other intel

Simple metal plates on a wooden restaurant table. Wonho Frank Lee
Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.

Welcome to a.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.

  • Both Berkeleyside and 7x7 are showing love for Hi Felicia Supper Club, an Oakland-based pop-up that’s apparently sold out for months having already won over celebrity fans including none other than chef Alice Waters. The semi-secret event series, which both outlets report is not exactly operating inside the bounds of the law, is owned and operated by Imana, who earned her stripes working in the front of house at Michelin-starred Bay Area restaurants including Coi, SingleThread, and Californios.

She launched Hi Felicia during the pandemic — first offering up elaborate takeaway boxes from her apartment before diving into hosting full-on events, during which she wows diners with dishes like “a diminutive burrito with eggs, fried potatoes, and pork sausage draped with a dark crimson salsa macha.” She says Hi Felicia is, in part, her way of increasing the number of Black and brown faces in fine dining, telling 7x7, “There’s an immediate comfort and difference when you see anyone not white in a management position.” Berkeleyside reports she’s got plans to expand to San Francisco soon via a “two-day-a-month mezcal and natural wine bar, with tacos and raw seafood, named ‘Sluts.’” [Berkeleyside/7x7]

  • As of Monday, August 30, there’s a new location of Equator Coffee open in Burlingame at 312 Airport Boulevard, so weekend strolls on the Bay Trail can now be accompanied by a cup of specialty coffee.
The exterior of Equator Coffee in Burlingame, located on the ground floor of a glass-encased office building along the Bay Trail. Equator Coffees
Inside Equator Coffee in Burlingame with red and black design and bags of coffee on shelves. Equator Coffee
  • Pop-up Filipino night market UNDSCVRD SF will host its first in-person event after a long COVID-19 hiatus on October 16, Hoodline first reported. Produced by Kultivate Labs and Make it Mariko, the event will not be a market but a “culture crawl through the SoMa Pilipinas Culture District.” Organizers are still rallying performers, vendors, and venues, so head on over to the website if you want in. [Hoodline]
  • SF Chronicle food critic Soleil Ho is shining light on a Santa Clara restaurant owner who’s plastered the interior of his Korean-American restaurant with the smiling faces of some 20,000 customers. Ho writes that Kenny’s Cafe owner Kenny Kim opened the small airport-adjacent restaurant after landing on hard times following a divorce and estrangement from his son — “I try all people making happy face, so all 20,000 pictures, all happy too,” Kim told Ho. I’m not crying, you’re crying. [SF Chronicle]
  • It’s undeniable that Mission Chinese Food changed San Francisco’s food scene forever — but what about the restaurant that inspired the restaurant? SFGate chatted with Kenny Zhang, owner of Spices, the restaurant “that influenced Bowien to focus on these flavors for Mission Chinese.” [SFGate]