Forbes Island Has Closed

It may not have been San Francisco’s best restaurant, but it was certainly one the City’s most unusual dining spots. Forbes Island, that  floating man-made island with a small lighthouse and real palm trees on its deck, has closed after 20 years.

To get onboard, diners took a small shuttle boat from Pier 39. Once there, they were treated to some world-class views before dining on French food that some Yelp reviewers disparaged. Owner Forbes Kiddoo has retired, and the island is for sale. A spokesperson for Pier 39 seems inclined to wish the restaurant bon voyage in any event, and suggests it’s unlikely to reopen in its current location.

Bucca di Peppo is also closing after a 20 year run. Reportedly, the building that housed the restaurant will be razed and replaced by condos. Like Forbes Island, Buca di Beppo was kitschy. While the food may not have been the greatest, the place was unique and had a personality all its own. It was a favorite spot for many over the years, and it, like Forbes Island, will be missed.

10 of San Francisco’s Best Soft Serve Ice Creams

Kids are about to go back to school, and that means the weather is going start to warm up in the City. Yesterday was so gray, grim, and chilly that it’s hard to imagine what a warm day feels like, but trust us, they’re coming. And when they do, you’ll want to treat yourself to some soft serve.

Fortunately, just published a guide to the City’s best spots for soft serve ice cream, and as usual the feature includes an interactive map, photos, reviews, descriptions, and useful links.

Here are just three of the places they mention:

To see the entire list, click here.

Restaurant Critic Declares Hayes Valley the New Mission

When it comes to restaurants, San Francisco’s Hayes Valley is the new Mission, according to San Francisco Chronicle Restaurant Critic and Executive Food and Wine Editor Michael Bauer. He says spots are opening in this neighborhood like they were a few years ago on Valencia Street.

“In the last year alone I’ve reviewed Nightbird, Corridor and A Mano. The latest, RT Rotisserie, adds another great option to the expanding neighborhood and for those visiting one of the nearby performance centers.”

Michael Bauer

RT Rotisserie, the focus of his review, is a quick-serve restaurant with counter service, but there is no compromise in the quality of the food. The critic says the quick-serve concept is the wave of the future. And it makes a lot of sense in the Hayes Valley neighborhood, increasingly filled with young workers who want something fast and good. There’s also a built-in audience during performance season at the nearby opera, symphony, ballet, and jazz venues, for people who want a bite before or after the event.

When describing the chicken at RT Rotisserie, Bauer says, “[it’s] one of the best rotisserie chickens I’ve had. It’s so good that I kept forgetting to use one of the four sauces provided: chimichurri, Douglas fir sour cream, chipotle yogurt and Nanny’s barbecue.”

To see the entire column, click here.

RT Rotisserie 101 Oak Street 415.829.7086

Where to Find the Best Ramen in San Francisco

We have a weakness for Ramen, so we thought we’d share this with you right away. A new heat map posted by features 16 restaurants in the City serving up some excellent Ramen with well-seasoned stock, springy noodles, and ample toppings.

As usual, the page includes an interactive map, photos, reviews, descriptions, and useful links. Let the salivating begin!

Here are just three of the spots mentioned in the piece:

To see the entire heat map post and page, click here.

11 Great BBQ Joints in San Francisco

It’s summer. It’s BBQ time. But if you live in San Francisco, there’s a good chance you don’t own a barbecue, and even if you do own one, there’s a good chance you don’t want to go through the hassle of having to clean it.

We have a no muss, no fuss solution. Dine out! 7× published a list of eleven drool-worthy joints that are sure to satisfy your BBQ cravings. For example, here are three that caught our eye:

To see the entire list — with descriptions, photos, and links — click here.

Asian Box Now Finally Open in the Marina

Seems like this space has been in remodel mode forever! The location was once home to Tacolicious  — which moved to 2250 Chestnut Street — and crews have finally finished their work. Asian Box opened last week, and we think it’s a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

According to, Asian Box first opened in Palo Alto in 2012, and can now be found in Burlingame, Mountain View, San Jose, Los Angeles, and Irvine Campus Plaza.

Daily specials are offered alongside the option to create a custom box with noodle, rice, or salad bases, plus protein, sauce, and additions like “Asian Street dust,” which is trademarked. Cocktails are also served at this location, a first for the mini-chain.

2031 Chestnut Street, 415.288.3688

Landmark Restaurant Julius’ Castle May Reopen

It’s being reported everywhere, because this really is big news — especially for long-time San Francisco residents.

According to and, the historic Telegraph Hill restaurant Julius’ Castle has been granted permission to reopen after more than a decade of closure. SF Planning Commissioners voted unanimously last week to allow owner and neighborhood resident Paul Scott to proceed with his plan to restore the long-vacant landmark to its glory days, when celebrities like Marlon Brando and Ginger Rogers would pack the dining room to enjoy some of the City’s best views.

Opened in 1922, the “castle” is named for proprietor Julius Roz, an Italian immigrant with regal tastes. He created a fanciful Gothic revival structure with pointed arched windows, medieval-style battlements and interior wood paneling from the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The words “Julius’ Castle” were spelled out in redwood at the entrance. Generations of San Francisco families celebrated wedding anniversaries and graduations at the restaurant.

When Roz died in 1943, the property passed through several owners, until it was closed in 2007. The owner at that time hoped to find a buyer for the space who would use it as a residence. Scott bought the castle in 2012, kicking off his years-long effort to bring back Julius’ as a restaurant.