Ever since the San Francisco Chronicle announced that food critic Soleil Ho would be transitioning over to a columnist role at the newspaper back in February, the search has been on for a new critic to fill their shoes. Today, the Chronicle announced that its new critic is Bay Area native MacKenzie Chung Fegan, who is coming from a senior editor position over at Bon Appétit magazine. Fegan will start her role at the paper in January 2024 following maternity leave.
Fegan is already immersed in the Bay Area’s food scene: Fegan’s grandparents opened San Francisco’s Henry’s Hunan back in 1974 and a profile she wrote on chef Brandon Jew of Mister Jiu’s was chosen for the 2021 edition of The Best American Food Writing, the newspaper shares. Her work has appeared in GQ, Vice, Wine Enthusiast, and more.
Little Saint launches fine-dining restaurant upstairs
Second Story is the new (and fancier) restaurant at Little Saint, which will keep the restaurant’s vegan ethos but present it in the styling of a 10- to 12-course meal, the San Francisco Chronicle shares. The new executive chef is Stu Stalker, who comes from the fine-dining destination Noma. The shorter, more formal menu marks a big departure from the casual dining style currently offered downstairs.
Urban Putt to get a makeover by new owners
Australian company Funlab recently bought San Francisco’s Urban Putt (along with the brand’s Denver location) and now the company is giving both outposts an update, the San Francisco Standard reports. The company states it will take the “irreverent spirit” of its Holey Moley mini-golf brand and give it “a distinctively American twist” with its new U.S. locations. Not sure what that means, exactly, but the new Urban Putt (or, Holey Moley San Francisco) will debut in early 2024 with 18 holes.
Santa Cruz staple Firefish Grill returns
After a fire in April 2022 punched a hole in the roof of Firefish Grill, owner Mark Gilbert gave the restaurant some updates and now it’s returning (tentatively) on June 20, the Mercury News reports. Expect a few new items on the menu, such as a clam chowder option, according to the paper.
Brooklyn-based Hana Makgeolli visits San Francisco
Korean rice wine maker Hana Makgeolli is making the rounds in California with a series of events in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The tour kicked off on Thursday, May 8 over at Millay on Market Street, but there’s still a chance to catch Hanan Makgeolli and try their wares tonight, Friday, May 9 at Korean restaurant Ilcha and Saturday, May 10 at Prubechu’s winemaker dinner in the Mission.
New Bi-Rite Creamery ice cream collab
It seems Hetchy’s Hots isn’t the only example of RizeUp Bakery teaming up with another local brand: Bi-Rite Creamery is transforming RizeUp’s signature ube sourdough into an ice cream flavor. The Toasty Ube Sourdough folds in buttered ube sourdough bread crumbs, condensed milk, and in-house made ube jam and is available at the creamery and Bi-Rite market as of Thursday, June 8 for a limited time.