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Despite Calls to Avoid It, Maine Lobster Is Staying on These SF Restaurant Menus

Plus a big beer party on Treasure Island and more food intel

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Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, influential enough for a riff in Pixar’s “Finding Dory,” and its Seafood Watch monitoring program on September 6 designated Maine lobster as “red” meaning the crustacean is on its “avoid” list when it comes to dining out. The Seafood Watch program places seafood items, like Dungeness crab, on a color-coded scale determining sustainability, ranging from red to yellow, meaning a “good alternative,” and green meaning “best choice.” While concerning, the San Francisco Chronicle spoke with a number of restaurants in the Bay Area that won’t take lobster off the menu. Only Waterbar on the Embarcadero decided on September 16 to adhere to the aquarium’s advisory.

Restaurants including Burlingame’s New England Lobster Co. and SoMa’s Luke Lobster won’t take David Foster Wallace’s fascination off the menu, saying the issues surrounding the lobster’s endangerment are being addressed. North Atlantic right whales entangle themselves in lobster fishing lines, leading to the species — with about 350 whales left in total — to perish in the netting. A Maine congressional delegation says there have been no right whale entanglements since 2004, though the data is fuzzy as a 2019 report by the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium documents five entanglements. In any case, Napa Valley’s La Toque will keep serving lobster, as will Jo’s Modern Thai in Oakland. At Waterbar, buying manager Eric Hyman told the Chronicle “I don’t know if there’s a perfect alternative, but there’s certainly other animals that can fill that void for lobster for a lot of customers.”

There’s a big ol’ beer party happening on Treasure Island

In lighter news, Bay Area brewery Woods Beer & Wine Co. will throw an Oktoberfest shindig on September 24. Tickets cost $25, or $10 for community club members, and the event will feature bratwurst, branded steins, and beer releases.

Berkeley pizzeria opening in Stonestown Mall

There’s a third outpost in the works for 42-year-old Blondie’s pizza place at another of San Francisco’s malls. The Berkeley shop opened in the food court at Civic Center’s Westfield in January, and the San Francisco Business Times reports the business will take over Suite 250D on the second level of Stonestown Mall, formerly Villa Italian Kitchen.

Why do San Francisco corner stores have so much baklava?

Tolgay Karabulut came to San Francisco in 2009 from Turkey and found the filo-dough pastry game in the city to be weak. The San Francisco Standard featured him and his new business, Baklavastory, in their “Chinatown”-style investigation to understand why baklava hangs out in so many convenience shops throughout the city. (Spoiler: Diamond Baklava, our local “baklava baron,” has been in the game since 1969.)

Filipino heritage festival and market back on this year

SOMA Pilipinas is throwing its annual Undiscovered SF party on October 22 from 12 p.m.-6 p.m. in SoMa. Former vendors include Sarap Shop and the Lumpia Company, both of whom now dole out the goods at Chase Center. Vendor, volunteer, and performer applications are online.

Chase Center

500 Terry A Francois Blvd Suite , SF, California


399 The Embarcadero, , CA 94105 (415) 284-9922 Visit Website

The Lumpia Company

372 24th Street, Oakland, CA 94612 Visit Website