Great Review For A New Spot In The Richmond District

Chronicle Restaurant Critic and Editor at Large Michael Bauer just gave Pearl, a new restaurant in the Richmond District, a wonderful review. The longtime food critic says the best neighborhood restaurants become the beacon that gives the neighborhood its identity, and with its good food, comfortable surroundings, and service that is understated but efficient, Pearl is a shining example.

The writer explains that it took years, but Jack Murphy, who made Pizzetta 211 a destination pizza restaurant in the Outer Richmond, has expanded. Murphy’s new restaurant, Pearl, is the type of refined neighborhood place that used to open nearly weekly in San Francisco and enriched the dining scene. But that has recently been lost in the guise of quick-casual spots, fixed price menus, and upscale destination restaurants.

In another rare move, according to the review, Murphy turned his back on outside investors. Instead he brought in eight employees who all work in the restaurant and collectively came up with the concept and design.

To learn more about the restaurant and its menu, please read the Bauer review in its entirety, or visit Pearl’s website.

Pearl
5 PM to 10 PM nightly. Closed on Mondays. Weekday mornings from 7:30 AM until 2 PM. Bagels until they run out. Weekend brunch service from 10 AM to 2 PM.
6101 California Street

Candytopia: Museum, Funhouse, Or Simply A Fantasyland?

Whatever it is, it opened last Thursday, and it is something to behold. Described on its website as a “sprawling sanctuary of confectionary bliss,” the experiential museum debuted in New York and Los Angeles before arriving in San Francisco.

Like the the Museum of Ice Cream, it’s perfect for whimsical exploration, and instagram. Hoodline explains that Candytopia features seven rooms, one of the most notable being its art gallery. There, some of pop culture’s most recognizable faces — Snoop Dogg, Cardi B, and Prince among them — are comprised entirely of jelly beans, gummy bears, red vines, rock candy, sprinkles and jawbreakers.

In other rooms, guests will have the opportunity to be blasted by rainbow confetti that shoots out of a pig’s rear, or take a dip in the much-buzzed-about Marshmallow Pit.

Whatever it is, it might be worth checking out. Tickets are available now through the end of November.

Candytopia
767 Market St. (at 4th Street)

Weekend Events and the Weekly Real Estate Update

San Francisco Opera is once again hosting Opera in the Park, this year in celebration of the opening of its 96th season. The annual free concert has been held in Golden Gate Park since 1971, and it happens this Sunday. On Saturday and Sunday, starting at 2 PM  both days, The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival will present its 2018 Free Shakespeare in the Park production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Lastly, the 2nd Annual Autumn Moon Festival will take place on Saturday, on Clement Street between 5th and 8th Avenues, from 11 AM to 3:30 PM.


On the “Homes for Sale in San Francisco” front, here’s our report for this week, 9/2/18 – 9/8/18

The Housing Market Cooled A Bit In July

We’re beginning to hear that the housing market is starting to cool down. The National Association of REALTORS® just issued a report suggesting that for the U.S. as a whole there was a slight decline in homes sales and a slower price growth in July in comparison to last year.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said, “The reason sales are falling off last year’s pace is that multiple years of inadequate supply in markets with strong job growth have finally driven up home prices to a point where an increasing number of prospective buyers are unable to afford it.”

Meanwhile, the real estate website SocketSite.com just reported that the number of single-family homes and condos that traded hands across the greater Bay Area totaled 7,547 in July, slipping 0.3 percent on a year-over-year basis to a 7-year seasonal low.

What’s more, in San Francisco, recorded sales totaled 482 in July, down an above-average 18.9 percent from June and 2.0 percent lower on a year-over-year basis for the lowest July sales volume since totaling 444 in July of 2011. At the same time, inventory levels have actually been ticking up in San Francisco.

The median price paid for those 482 homes in San Francisco was $1,300,000 in July, down 5.8 percent from a record $1,380,000 in May but 8.3 percent above its mark at the same time last year.

All of this is based on July numbers. We will have to wait a bit to see if some of these cooling trends continued into August. What will be most telling though, is what takes place this September and October, when the real estate market tends to heat up again each year.

New Exhibition From India At The Asian Art Museum

Painting Is My Everything is really something very different, and the exhibition opens tomorrow and runs through December 30 at the Asian Art Museum. Here’s how the museum describes the works on display:

With precise skill and bold artistic vision, the 17 contemporary artists included in this exhibition, many of them women, employ a centuries-old regional style to express personal experiences and viewpoints. They paint traditional subjects such as Hindu gods but also use their brushes to document and comment on everyday life as well as national and global events.

The backstory on this exhibition is extraordinary:  Mithila is a region in India, and the style of painting found there was originally practiced exclusively by women on the walls of their homes. In the wake of a severe drought in the 1960s, this mural tradition was transferred to paper, a format that could be sold to bring much-needed income to rural villages. The paintings on display at the Asian Art Museum are a visually delightful expression the Mithila aesthetic.

For more information on the exposition, the history behind it, and tickets,  please click here.

San Francisco’s Free Opera in the Park Is this Sunday

San Francisco Opera is once again hosting Opera in the Park, this year in celebration of the opening of its 96th season. The annual free concert has been held in Golden Gate Park since 1971, and it happens this Sunday.

The day will include arias al fresco (in the open air), featuring the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and stars from the fall season. Bring friends and family for a fantastic afternoon of performances.

It all begins in Robin Williams Meadow at 1:30 PM. Bring along food, snacks, or something to drink if you forget to do so, not to worry, the event has items for sale. Bring only low beach chairs and/or picnic blankets so that everyone can have a chance to see the performances. After all, 20,000 people are expected to attend.

For more information, click here.

17 Vegetarian Restaurants That Even Meat Eaters Can Love

SF.Eater.com just published a wonderful guide to some of San Francisco’s best vegetarian restaurants. It includes an interactive map, making it easy to locate all of these places.

In San Francisco, according to the piece, nearly every classic dish from virtually any cuisine — including Thai, Chinese, Mexican and Southern soul food — has a vegetarian-friendly counterpart. And the options are so satisfying that you don’t have to be a staunch plant eater to have an amazing meal.

Here are five of our favorites on their list:

  • Indochine 508 Valencia Street Meat and dairy free Korean recipes
  • Shizen 370 14th Street – Modern zen vegan sushi bar and izakaya
  • Udupi Palace 1007 Valencia Street – South Indian cuisine all without meat
  • Gracias Madre 2211 Mission Street  – Vegan Mexican food
  • Thai Idea 710 Polk Street The only Thai vegetarian restaurant in the City
To see the entire list, along with photos, descriptions, and the interactive map, please click here.

Weekend Events and the Weekly Real Estate Update

It’s the 3-day Labor Day Weekend! If you’re sticking around town, and why wouldn’t you, there’s lots to do. The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival is presenting its 2018 Free Shakespeare in the Park production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream tomorrow, Sunday, and Monday (Labor Day) on the Main Post Parade Ground Lawn in the Presidio. All these performances begin at 2 PM. For more information, click here. For more ideas, check out SF.FunCheap.com. The website has posted a 2018 Labor Day Weekend Guide — spotlighting “a bucket load of awesome things to do” over the long weekend.


On the “Homes for Sale in San Francisco” front, here’s our report for this week, 8/26/18 – 9/1/18

Why Residential Projects Are Being Put On Hold

Even though there is a huge demand for condominiums in San Francisco, the cost of building brand new condo developments has become prohibitively high, according to a report just published by the San Francisco Chronicle and shared on SF.Gate.com.

The combined increases in construction costs and in affordable housing requirements have made building any project extremely difficult in San Francisco.

There are 6,750 units under construction in the City, about 1,000 units more than a year ago. While that is well above the historic average, there are another 15,000 units that have been approved by planning officials but have not started construction. Projects containing 6,690 of those units have secured all the permits needed to start construction but have not broken ground.

A big reason for the delay is construction costs have increased 10 to 15 percent annually over the past five years. Developers say they can’t make a profit. In the current real estate environment a condominium developer needs to sell units for at least $1,400 a square foot for a wood-frame building, and $1,800 a square foot for a taller, steel-frame mid-rise or high-rise. That’s asking a lot of buyers. According to one developer, above $1,400 a square foot is a tough sell unless it’s an unusually good location.

In addition to the cost of construction, City policies have hampered development. As the housing crisis has gotten more serious, lawmakers have required private developers to include more “community benefits” — below-market units or inexpensive space for artists, nonprofits, and manufacturing, all sectors that are being squeezed out in the City’s roaring job market. Well intended for sure, but there are unfortunate consequences.

Todd David of the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, an industry group representing residential developers, said that weighing projects down with so many extra fees and obligations means that they simply don’t get built. A growing number of developers are seeking to cash out rather than risk losing money building something that they believe from the start won’t be profitable.

There are no easy answers here, but it’s important to know that this growing problem exists and clearly needs to be addressed.

Are You A True San Franciscan, Or A Pretender?

SFGate.com posed this question the other day, and it’s a darn good one. If you were native born, but no longer live here, can you call yourself a San Franciscan? If you moved here three years ago, can you call yourself a San Franciscan? What if you moved here ten years ago?

Turns out there are no correct answers, but according to writer Michelle Robertson, City dwellers love to debate it regardless. She posted the question “When can you call yourself a San Franciscan?” on the Facebook group San Francisco Remembered, and got more than 940 comments in 24 hours.

At the end of the article Michelle quotes legendary Chronicle columnist Herb Caen, who wrote: “If I do go to heaven, I’m going to do what every San Franciscan does who goes to heaven. He looks around and says, ‘It ain’t bad, but it ain’t San Francisco.'”

If this quote sounds about right, you can go ahead and call yourself a San Franciscan.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” This Labor Day Weekend

The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival is presenting its 2018 Free Shakespeare in the Park production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream this Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (Labor Day) on the Main Post Parade Ground Lawn in the Presidio. All these performances begin at 2 PM. For more information, click here.

Of course, it’s a three-day weekend, so you’ll need more than one activity to make the most of your days off.  SF.FunCheap.com comes to the rescue with its 2018 Labor Day Weekend Guide. The website calls it a “A bucket load of awesome things to do over your long weekend.” It’s certainly that! It includes things happening throughout the Bay Area, as well as in San Francisco, so there’s bound to be something that you’re going to want to do.

A popular destination of course is the annual Labor Day weekend Sausalito Art Festival, on the waterfront on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin. We might see you there!