Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Food & Drinks
Published on December 17, 2018
SF Eats: The 1881 now open; Crossroad Pizza, Laguna headed to Hayes ValleyLavender tea risotto at The 1881. | Photo: The 1881/Yelp

Looking for the latest lowdown on San Francisco's restaurant scene? In this edition, an upscale eatery opens in a historic mansion, a pizzeria is poised to take over a former bakery and cafe, a new burger joint is prepping for its debut, and a sushi newcomer opens in Japantown.  

Lower Pac Heights

The 1881 (1409 Sutter St.) 

After months of preparation, The 1881 at the Mansion on Sutter has opened for business.

The upscale restaurant has been in the works at the former Payne Mansion since this spring, though the hotel portion of what is now called the Mansion on Sutter debuted in October. The business is owned by hospitality entrepreneur Bernard Rosenson, and at the restaurant's helm is chef John Goulette, along with pastry chef Allison Gill. 

Main dining room. | Photo: The 1881/Yelp

On the menu, expect to see dishes like Singaporean wild Dungeness crab with chili, ginger and fried mantou (Chinese-style steamed bun); aged Wagyu ribeye with bordelaise and garlic puree; and lavender tea risotto with local diver scallops, manila clams and honey mussels. 

The beverage program features an extensive selection of wines and local craft beers, along with an assortment of contemporary and classic cocktails from Karina Kotovaya (Marlowe, Florio, Michael Mina Group). 

The 1881 is open nightly 5:30–10 p.m., with weekend brunch service and high tea beginning January 2019. 

Hayes Valley

Crossroad Pizza (1596 Market St.)

Crossroad Pizza. | Photo: Albertino M./Hoodline Tipline

Next, Crossroad Pizza, a new Hayes Valley pizzeria, is preparing to open in the space formerly occupied by Pastry Cupboard, which closed earlier this year. 

Tipster Allie P. spotted the movement on a recent visit to the neighborhood. Though there's not much information available as of yet, veteran Hoodline tipster Al M. learned that the restaurant is an initiative from next-door tenant Javalencia Cafe (1594 Market St.) 

It does appear, however, that the restaurant is still in its early stages. According to public records, a Department of Health application was filed on December 10. We've reached out to one of the owners to learn more about what to expect on the menu, as well as when it should be ready to debut. We'll provide updates if and when we hear back. 

Laguna (602 Hayes St.)

Also in Hayes Valley, tipster Al spotted a new restaurant, called Laguna, coming to the former Meatball Bar space, which closed after eight months in business earlier this year. The Meatball Bar's FiDi outpost at 126 Sutter St. remains in operation. 

Photo: Albertino M./Hoodline Tipline

Our informant Al learned that Laguna will be a "casual burger joint," though it's unclear what the menu will look like just yet. We've contacted an owner listed in connection with the restaurant, and will update if we hear back. 

Al said the space is currently being renovated with "classic burger joint" decor. As always, he plans to keep an eye on the space for any additional movement. 


Sasa (22 Peace Plaza Ste. 530)

Sasa. | Photo: Cynthia K./Yelp

Finally, a new sushi restaurant, called Sasa, has opened on the second floor of Japantown's East Mall. The eatery has taken over the former Izakaya Umai space, said tipster Al M. 

On the menu, expect to see an assortment of imported and local nigiri sushi such as toro (fatty tuna), hamachi (yellowtail), kanpachi (amber jack) and more. There's also a selection of rolls and omakase (chef's choice) specials. 

For libations, Sasa features more than a dozen sake offerings by the glass or bottle, as well as Japanese beers and a selection of wines. 

Thank you very much to our veteran tipster Al M. for the tips! If you've seen something new in the neighborhood, text your tips and photos to (415) 200-3233, or email [email protected]. If we use your info in a story, we'll give you credit.