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Son of Pioneering Sushi Chef Ken Tominaga to Take Reins at Late-Father’s FiDi Restaurant PABU

Plus, ambitious restaurant Hi Felicia has found another high-profile fan and more Bay Area food news

A spoon with uni, ikura, and tobiko. PABU Izakaya
Lauren Saria is the editor of Eater SF and has been writing about food, drinks, and restaurants for more than a decade.

Keita Tominaga, son of trailblazing Bay Area sushi chef Ken Tominaga, is taking over the kitchen at PABU Izakaya, the downtown San Francisco restaurant his father launched with celebrity chef Michael Mina in 2014. Ken Tominaga died in April after a short battle with cancer; he was 61 years old.

Keita comes into his new role as chef and partner at the Japanese restaurant after cooking in restaurants in Sonoma and the Bay Area and graduating from the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. He worked alongside his father at Hana, the Rohnert Park restaurant where the late-chef helped shape the way Northern California diners understand Japanese cuisine and sushi. “My father was more than a chef — he was an educator and friend to many,” Keita says in a press release. “ I look forward to carrying on his legacy and adding my own take on Japanese cuisine to PABU.”

Keita Tominaga wearing chef’s whites leaning on a table in the PABU dining room.
Keita Tominaga
PABU Izakaya

ACRE Restaurant to take over former Oliveto space in Oakland

Oliveto was open, then closed, then open again before shutting down for good in April. Now chef and owner Dirk Tolsma and managing partner Pete Sittnick have announced plans to open ACRE Restaurant in the Rockridge neighborhood space. Per a press release, the restaurant will “honor the rich culinary history of the space with an ingredient-driven menu of California/Mediterranean cuisine.” It’s expected to make its debut this fall.

Insta-famous restaurateur could face fine after building vandalized

Gao Viet Kitchen owner Viet Nguyen, who you may recognize as the man often showcasing his restaurant’s viral dishes like this $79 bowl of lobster-topped pho on Instagram, took to social media earlier this week to share his plight: the San Francisco building where he hopes to open a new restaurant in the coming months had been covered in graffiti — not for the first time. Nguyen says he also received a notice from the city that he either clean it up in the next 30 days or face a $362 fine, NBC Bay Area reports.

Senegalese restaurant gets green light to move forward in the Mission

Hoodline reports that Marco Senghor, the owner behind the Mission’s Little Baobab, got approval Tuesday for the entertainment license needed to open his ambitious restaurant and event venue Big Baobab in the former Luplandia Brewing space. Read more about his plans here.

Hit fine dining restaurant Hi Felicia earns more famous fans

It’s no secret underground supper club-turned-permanent restaurant Hi Felicia has famous fans; after all Alice Waters already threw her support behind chef and owner Imana’s work. Now it seems actress, chef, and NBA wife Ayesha Curry can also be counted among the restaurant’s devotees. Curry posted about the restaurant on Instagram, encouraging her followers to “run, don’t walk” to Hi Felicia for dinner. Additional posts indicate Curry hosted an event for her company Sweet July at the restaurant — and it was apparently a star-studded evening attended by other Bay Area culinary VIPS including chefs Matt Horn, Nelson German, and Tanya Holland.


101 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111