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.

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.

How Apps Are Changing The Way We Tip In San Francisco

Great article on SFGate.com over the weekend on the changing culture of tipping in the City. Writer Filipa Ioannou puts it this way:

“The white iPads at the register at coffee shops, food trucks and bakeries across San Francisco now feel like a part of a standard procedure. Order your food or drink. Get your card swiped. Then, someone swivels around a screen and you’re often faced with a choice of a tip — 15, 18 or 20 percent? 18, 20 or 25 percent?”

We’ve seen these iPads, and so have you. Do you feel coerced, tip-shamed, or offended by this new technology and practice? Or do you find it a convenience?

So much disruption going on in every facet of our daily lives. This is just another example of how technology is impacting even the most innocent and unassuming aspects — like paying for that decaf, soy latte with an extra shot and cream you love so much.

To learn more about the technology and how it’s being received, please click here.

Weekend Events and the Weekly Real Estate Update

Noise Pop is presenting the sixth annual 20th Street Block Party to Benefit Mission Language and Vocational School. They expect 20,000 people will be there. It takes place Saturday, from noon to 6 PM, on 20th Street between Harrison and Bryant. The Polk Street Blues Festival happens on Saturday and Sunday,  from 10 AM to 6 PM both days on Polk between California and Sutter Streets. Lastly, the 6th Annual Aloha Poly Fest takes place on Saturday, from 11 AM to 5 PM on the Marina Green.


On the “Homes for Sale in San Francisco” front, here’s our report for this week, 8/12/18 – 8/18/18

Our Aging Housing Stock

In San Francisco we celebrate our Victorian, Tudor Revival, and Edwardian Craftsman homes, among many other styles. This means though that our housing stock is older, certainly in comparison to much of the United States.

The entire country’s housing stock is aging however, as construction was hampered and slowed by the housing crisis, and has never fully recovered. According to MortgageNewsDaily.com, a nationwide survey puts the median age of owner-occupied homes at 37 years compared to a median age of 31 years in 2005. The aging trend accelerated during the Great Recession.

An aging housing stock means a growing market for remodeling. Old structures need new amenities, aging systems and components need repair and replacement, and rising home prices encourage home owners to spend more on home improvement. We see this in San Francisco, most often when properties are sold and bought. The transformations can be truly breathtaking.

This explains why there are construction crews busy at work in nearly every one of our neighborhoods. It may be inconvenient at times, but these makeovers are essential — keeping older San Francisco homes in pristine condition for the well-being and comfort of their occupants.

SF Restaurants Doubling As Co-Working Spaces By Day

SF.Eater.com has spotted an interesting trend that’s taking place, and it makes so much sense we’re surprised that this hasn’t come up before. It actually began in New York. A startup called Spacious invites restaurants to open during the day — not to serve food, but to simply provide a comfortable setting and WiFi for remote workers and freelancers.

Spacious expanded its subscription-based membership model to San Francisco last fall, and it’s been growing steadily since, recently unveiling its latest restaurant partner, Barcino. Other SF Spacious partners are the Elite Cafe, Finn Town, Buffalo Theory, and the Press Club.

For remote workers and freelancers, a Spacious subscription is $129 a month (or $99 per month with an annual plan) — a better deal than WeWork, whose cheapest hot desk option is $220 a month.

For restaurants that often operate on razor-thin margins and have the extra space, it seems to make sense to do this, as long as it doesn’t interfere with prepping for dinner service of course.

SF Women Have Children Later Than Anywhere Else In U.S.

SFGate.com published an interesting story yesterday, explaining why San Francisco women have children later in life than anywhere else in the nation.

Women in San Francisco County become first-time mothers, on average, at age 31.9. If they’re married, that number rises to 32.4, and if they’ve got a college degree, it increases to 32.9. Manhattan mothers trail closely behind in the age ranking, as do those in Marin County.

The average age of first-time mothers in the U.S. is 26, and for fathers it’s 31. Those numbers have increased with the decades. In 1972, women typically gave birth at age 21.

Why are San Francisco women giving birth later than others? The answer, though complex, largely boils down to education. Women without college degrees give birth an average of seven years earlier than those with degrees. According to SFGate.com, there are other factors as well as you might expect. Child care costs and the high price of real estate can become a barrier to starting a family in San Francisco and in many other parts of the Bay Area.

When you think about this, none of it is surprising. It’s just interesting to see the actual numbers, and to learn about our ranking in comparison to the rest of the country. To read the entire piece, please click here.

A Compelling Case For Eliminating Parking Spaces?

We never thought that the day would come when we would say that eliminating parking spaces in the City makes sense, but writer Kevin Frazier makes a pretty compelling case for it in the most recent issue of the Marina Times.

He focuses on the Marina, and presents a lot of astonishing numbers that may in fact suggest that parking spaces might become a thing of the past, at least in that neighborhood.

Here are some excerpts:

“Marina residents — increasingly less reliant on cars for transportation — may soon not need a place to park a car (assuming they even own one). In 2011, 51.6 percent of Marina residents drove to work (44.2 percent drove alone, the rest carpooled). With the proliferation of ride sharing, scooter-grabbing, and public transit awareness, just under 41 percent of workers used a car to get to work in 2016 (33 percent drove alone). In the same year, 35 percent of the city’s workers drove alone and 7.2 percent carpooled, bringing the total to 42.2 percent citywide.”

“Other Marina workers simply forgo commuting at all. The percentage of people working from home climbed from 9.8 percent of workers to 10.8 percent from 2015 to 2016. What’s more, economists generally forecast that working from home will become available to more workers as video-chatting and file-sharing expands into new sectors.”

“Another shift in demand for parking: tourists opting to ride-share, scoot, or cycle instead of renting a car. Lime and other multimodal transit companies have quickly discovered tourists’ travel preferences and moved them away from rental cars. Hertz and others have closed hundreds of shops in recent years in response to tourists finding new options more affordable and efficient. Accordingly, the city has seen a significant increase in the supply of alternate modes of transportation that don’t require conventional parking places.”

“A final factor threatening the prevalence of parking spots: the majority of Marina residents don’t own a car. Less than 30 percent of San Francisco households in 2016 owned a car, a 4 percent decline from the year before. Car-less households may soon tire of effectively subsidizing parking and the negative externalities it creates. Consider that surface parking spots cost $5,000 to $10,000 to construct; even more staggering, structured parking spots tally to $25,000 to $50,000 per spot.”

Pretty compelling, right? To read the entire piece, please click here.

The Chronicle’s 2018 Rising Star Chefs

The San Francisco Chronicle just released its list of 2018 Bay Area Rising Star Chefs, and we thought we’d share their names with you. The Chronicle’s feature includes of course a lot more detail and explanation. The chefs on this list have fewer than five years’ experience running a kitchen.

When choosing this year’s group, the Chronicle team considered several factors. Culinary talent and delicious food were, of course, paramount, but they also wanted to celebrate those chefs who are changing their industry for the better. According to the piece, if you take a look at these chefs and their restaurants and venues, you’ll start to understand what Bay Area cuisine means in 2018 — and where it’s going.

Here they are:

  • Nichole Accettola Kantine 1906 Market Street, San Francisco
    A modern Scandinavian cafe — done her way
  • Francis Ang Pinoy Heritage Pop-ups and events
    Honoring Filipino heritage while pushing boundaries
  • Christa Chase Tartine Manufactory 595 Alabama Street, San Francisco
    Leading by example, from the kitchen at Tartine
  • Alexander Hong Sorrel 3228 Sacramento Street, San Francisco
    The pop-up path leads to the stellar Sorrel
  • Nite Yun Nyum Bai 3340 E. 12th Street, Oakland
    Her Cambodian cuisine finds a home in Oakland
  • Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik, Jocelyn Jackson, and Saqib Keval People’s Kitchen Collective No brick-and-mortar address, instead community dining as a social practice,  in collaboration with individuals and organizations at various venues
    Rise of the revolutionaries