Saturday: You’re Invited to the Bernal Mosque and Islamic Center’s First-Ever Open House

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Ask and ye shall receive! Thanks to the the amazing response we received for Bernalwood’s interview with Zishan Safdar about South Bernal’s Mosque and Islamic Center, the mosque is holding an open house for the Bernal community this Saturday, November 14.

Zishan extends the invitation:

This is going to be ICSF’s first open-house event since it was founded in 1959. Better late than never, right?

We’re all super-excited and hope you are, too! During the event, there will be background history about the mosque, the events that go on there, Q&A, and most importantly, some mouth-watering snacks.

We look forward to seeing all of you at the event on Saturday, November 14th, 2015.

EVERYONE is welcome! :)

The open house will go from 12pm to 2pm at the mosque on the corner of Crescent and Andover. If you plan to attend (and you should!), please RSVP to ZishanSafdar@gmail.com. Full details below:

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Hillside Supper Club Team Invades the Kitchen at James Beard House

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The James Beard Awards are the Oscars for the culinary trade, and the James Beard Foundation is its Academy. Earlier this month, chefs Tony Ferrari and Jonathan Sutton from the Hillside Supper Club on Precita Park were invited to New York to cook a special dinner at the James Beard House, and it was quite a big to-do.

Of course, Chef Tony and Chef Jonathan also live right around the corner from the restaurant, so the glory bestowed upon Neighbor Tony and Neighbor Jonathan — and, by commutative extension, the entire Dominion of Bernalwood — is even more sweet.

Neighbor Tony’s brother Austin traveled to NYC to participate in the festivities, and he tells Bernalwood why the James Beard Dinner meant so much to Team HSC:

Hillside Supper Club has been a close watcher and member of the James Beard Foundation for a while. When Tony was in college he earned a scholarship from them, and with that scholarship he traveled to Europe to indulge in his culinary dream. The James Beard Foundation is a non-profit culinary foundation founded by James Beard. He was a food writer, teacher, ad cookbook writer. Think, Julia Child; except the male version. The Hillside Supper Club team was invited to cook at the Beard House based upon our cooking style, our inspiration, and hard work and dedication. It is probably one of the best events we will ever do in our culinary career, to be honest.

Jonathan Sutton, Austin Ferrari, and Tony Ferrari at James Beard House, NYC

Cooking a James Beard Dinner is sexy accomplishment, but the hotness doesn’t stop there. In fact, like a big, wet, dripping maraschino perched atop a Tcho chocolate almond cake with amaretto cream, smoked sea salt, and candied almonds, Neighbor Jonathan took the sexy one step further recently when Marie Claire named him one of the 11 Most Eligible Bachelor Chefs in America. Seriously:

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Rawr!

Bernal ladies, if you’re hungry, you know where to find him in the kitchen.

PHOTO: Top, Hillside Supper Club on Instagram

Chicano Nuevo Restaurant Opens Tonight in Former Emmy’s Space on Virginia

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Neighbor Abraham Nunez has created some new yum for your tum. Neighbor Abraham is also Chef Abraham, and he’s opening a brand-new restaurant in the former (good karma) Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack space at 18 Virginia Ave, just across from our Taoist Safeway. Neighbor Abraham’s restaurant is called Chicano Nuevo, and it offers food from the borderlands, right here in our metaphorical front yard. Chicano Nuevo’s grand opening is scheduled for tonight, Wednesday October 28, and Bernalwood is told:

In the location of the old Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack, right around the corner from tequila bar mainstay El Amigo, arrives the new So-Cal inspired Chicáno Nuevo.

Chef and owner Abraham Nunez brings his family’s recipes from Chula Vista to Bernal Heights, and recreates his childhood— from the border taco joints to the traditional holiday meals— in the form of Ensendena style “Baja” fish tacos, three-cheese tamales with an infused chile masa, and queso fundido served in authentic  casuelitas de barra, sent here straight from Tijuana.

Nunez, a Bernal Heights resident and enthusiast, is an alumnus of Emmy’s, where he designed and managed its cocktail program. He is also well known in the neighborhood as one of the former lead bartenders at St. Mary’s Pub.

“I’m still in denial of it actually happening,” said Nunez about opening the place. “There really isn’t anything else like this in the city, and I am just really excited to share this kind of food with my friends and neighbors.”

Chicano Nuevo opens to the public Wednesday Wednesday Oct 28, with plans to serve late-night fare on weekends, staying open until 3am.

UPDATE Oct 28, 7:30 pm: Neighbors Susie and John where first in the door at the grand opening tonight with their son Eddie, and they shared this photo of Chef Abraham with Eddie. Neighbor Susie says:

We came to Chicano Nuevo based on the Bernalwood post. We’re their first customers. Potato taquitos! Everything was very delicious, especially the fish tacos w yummy soup on the side!

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PHOTO: Top, Neighbor Abraham Nunez

Neighbors Tim and Erin Plan Transition for Ichi Kakiya

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On Facebook this weekend, Bernal neighbors Erin and Tim Archuleta, the celebrity duo behind Ichi Sushi, announced plans to close Ichi Kakiya, the Japanese-style oyster bar that opened last spring. In the post, they hint that a new plan for the space is already afoot:

It is with excitement and possibility that Tim and I announce that we’re transitioning ICHI Kakiya into a new neighborhood concept in early 2016. We are planning our ultimate service for the little oyster bar next Saturday night, October 31, 2015. We want to close this chapter doing what we do annually, dressing up in silly costumes; handing out candy to the neighborhood kids; and welcoming in friends and family before they head off to their parties.

We’ll then take ICHI Kakiya dark, but only temporarily! We get a few months to experiment with our best friends doing chef collaboration pop-up dinners. Many of the events we’ve done across the country have allowed us the opportunity to cook and produce meals in tandem with other chefs we admire. These dinners have allowed us to pause, reflect, and ground ourselves in our original intention as a restaurant family — We want to always create a little living room for you and your dearest. Whether that’s a sushi living room over at ICHI Sushi + NI Bar, or this next living room — that’s coincidentally pretty close to our own. We’ve lived in the neighborhood for a decade and we’re committed to our community.

Our team at ICHI Kakiya are folding into the crew over at ICHI Sushi + NI Bar, or else pursuing their own entrepreneurial dreams (we’re big supporters). We are grateful to our team who helped make ICHI Kakiya so special. We hope to see you before we dress up like cats and Dracula, but in case we miss you, come see us across the street at ICHI Sushi + NI Bar for sushi happy hour; a dinner with pals; your work holiday party; or even a Sunday Japanese Breakfast! It’s convening in your community and supporting your neighborhood gathering places that will keep our communities woven tightly with care, making them connected and vital.

Come give us a hug and slurp some oysters, we’ll tell you all about what’s in store,

Erin and Tim Archuleta
Owners and Partners
ICHI

PHOTO: Erin and Tim Archuleta

Star Sighting: President Obama Hangs Out with the PizzaHacker

Wow. Did you know that the fabulous President Barack Obama eats pizza from Bernal’s own PizzaHacker — just like us?!

It’s true. InsideScoop reports that POTUS enjoyed some of Jeff “PizzaHacker” Krupman’s sublime pizza goodness during his recent visit to San Francisco:

Remember when President Barack Obama was in San Francisco two weeks ago?

Well, it would appear that the leader of the free world ate very well.

[Below] is a photo from the private event during Obama’s first night in town (Friday, Oct. 2) — and it features quite the eclectic and talented mix of characters from the San Francisco food and drink world [including] Jeff Krupman a.k.a. the Pizzahacker (flannel shirt)

Photo or it didn’t happen?  Well, here’s the proof!

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Hat tip: Neighbor Robert

PHOTO: Group shot, Justin Buell via SFGate

Saturday: Benefit Dinner at 903 Cortland to Support Refugee Assistance

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Neigbor Rebecca is spreading the word about a benefit dinner she’s co-organizing on Saturday night to benefit international refugees:

My family is running a one-night pop-up restaurant in Bernal on Saturday, October 24 to support refugees with all proceeds going to the International Rescue Committee. We’re calling the restaurant “Squash,” and we’ll be at 903 Cortland with a five course menu of seasonal fare, from butternut squash jalapeño cream soup to chocolate cake with pumpkin spice ice cream.

Everything will be deliciously homemade and supporting a good cause: the International Rescue Committee’s support for refugees. All proceeds from the event will go to the IRC to benefit people escaping conflict and disaster. You can buy tickets for either the 5:30pm or 8pm seatings.

Our family loves to cook and Squash’s Executive Chef Bill Kee is excited to bring his fantastic home cooking skills to a restaurant setting, assisted by friends and family serving as sous chefs and staff. Come join us for good food for a good cause!

Thursday: Celebrate Little Bee Baking’s Second Birthday

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Corrected: Oopla. An earlier version of this post contained an incorrect date for the Little Bee festivities. The fun happens on Thursday, Oct. 15.

Here’s something sweet: Though it seems like just yesterday when Neighbor Stacie Pierce opened up the fabulous Little Bee Baking on Cortland, Bernalwood is reliably informed that the glamorous Little Bee grand opening actually happened two whole years ago. Also, because of that, we are reliably informed that festivities are in order.

Neighbor Stacie from Little Bee tells us:

It is with much joy and gratitude that I invite our friends and neighbors to celebrate Little Bee Baking’s turning 2! To say it’s hard to believe that two years has past already is an understatement, and I am truly humbled by all the support and love shown to us since we opened our doors.

I’m so happy to live and work in such an amazing community of people, and Little Bee looks forward to many more years on Cortland Avenue.

Stop by this Thursday 10/15 from 10am-6pm – mini cakes, brownies, tarts, ice cream cones and beverages will be just $2

Can’t wait to celebrate with you!

Love,
Stacie and the Little Bee family

Big Bernal congratulations and high-fives to Little Bee, and thanks for all the delicious.

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IMAGE: Neighbor Stacie of Little Bee Baking