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The Chef of Empress by Boon Is Opening a New Restaurant in the Marina

Plus, chef Chris Cosentino partners with Nick’s Cove, and more Bay Area food intel

Blue Whale
Dianne de Guzman is a deputy editor at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, upcoming openings, and pop-ups.

Those taken with the food and opulence at Chinatown’s Empress by Boon may be pleased to hear that chef Ho Chee Boon is set to open a new restaurant, this time in the heart of Union Street in the Marina. Blue Whale is scheduled to open this September at 2033 Union Street, which was formerly the home of Osha Thai. Boon will lead an a la carte menu focused on Asian dishes, such as wasabi crispy tiger prawns with pineapple and crab meat xiao long bao, a press release shares.

The restaurant will feature an open-air courtyard and back patio, along with two bars and a private lounge, and will be open for both lunch and dinner.

Chef Chris Cosentino is set to revamp the restaurant at Nick’s Cove

Marshall destination spot Nick’s Cove is getting an upgrade courtesy of Palm House Hospitality, the folks behind San Francisco’s Palm House and the Dorian (among others), and with it comes a significant change for the restaurant. The group announced Friday that chef Chris Cosentino will develop a new food menu that will be heavily seafood-influenced, with items intended to be a mix of Cosentino’s coastal upbringing on Rhode Island and West Coast seafood dishes. Also involved with the project is Sam Levy, owner of the new Fern Bar in Sebastopol and former bar manager at Restaurant at Meadowood, who will update the cocktail menu. A garden on the grounds of Nick’s Cove will also get an upgrade with some help from Aaron Keefer, who was previously the garden manager at the French Laundry.

Arizmendi Bakery in the Inner Sunset temporarily closes due to a fire

A small fire at the Ninth Avenue Arizmendi Bakery location on Thursday, August 24, will force the business to close for “a few days (or more)” the business reported on its website. The fire broke out shortly before 10:45 a.m., the San Francisco Standard reports, and was quickly put out by firefighters. While there were no injuries, there does seem to be damage done to some bakery equipment forcing Arizmendi to close until further notice for repairs. For the latest updates on a reopening date, follow the bakery on Instagram, @arizmendi.9thave.

Pastry chef Vince Bugtong (temporarily) returns to Viridian

Visitors to Oakland’s Viridian in its early days may recall the playful desserts program under former Viridian executive pastry chef Vince Bugtong. In the time since Bugtong left, he became a James Beard Award finalist in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category, and now he’s returning to Viridian for a dessert-packed weekend, the bar announced this week. Expect a mix of Bugtong’s “greatest hits” at Viridian plus some new desserts, running from Friday, August 25 (tonight!) through Sunday, August 27.