Burmese Restaurateur Opens FiDi Pop-Up, TL Dinner Spot 'Laphet' To Follow

A Burmese pop-up at 550 Kearny St. could become permanent if the building's owner and customers are interested, owner William Lue told Hoodline.

Lue is a busy man; his East Bay eatery, Grocery Café, is moving to a new location at Jack London Square in Oakland. In December, he closed his first San Francisco location, Tender Loving Food at 393 Eddy St., to focus on opening Laphet, a higher-end restaurant closer to City Hall.

Laphet will offer banquet-style seating and service. | Photo: Laphet/Facebook

The pop-up on Kearny between California and Sacramento streets opens at 8am on weekdays and serves typical breakfast fare. But starting at 11am, the spot offers “slow-cooked, healthy, spicy, simmered food,” and “beautiful blooming teas,” said Lue.

For lunch, until 3pm each weekday, one or two main dishes are served with rice, salad and an optional tea pairing. The focus is Burmese, but the food could branch into other Southeast Asian cultures, like Indian or Thai, said Lue.

Lue plans to keep the pop-up open until March 17th, but if the landlord wants him to stay, it could extend into April. Or, he “may end up staying there,” Lue said.

Located at 448 Larkin St., Laphet's public launch has been delayed due to differences between Lue and his landlord, but everything has been brought up to code now, said the restaurateur. To spruce up the building's exterior, he's secured an SF Shines grant.

Laphet's current exterior. | Photo: Carrie Sisto/Hoodline

Laphet will be reservation-only and serve a banquet-style menu that accommodates large groups. Up to 30 or 40 people can be seated together, but smaller parties will be able to reserve a portion of the restaurant. Laphet may also offer catering, Lue said. 

For now, you can check out Lue's pop-up in the FiDi for a spicy lunch, or stay posted on Laphet’s debut by following the restaurant's Facebook page. The Kearny Street pop-up will remain unnamed, although that could change.

"We don't have an exact name yet," Lue said. "Ask me in a month from now."

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Burmese restaurateur opens fidi pop up dinner spot laphet to follow