SF Eats: AL's Place spinoff soon to open in the Mission; Detroit-style pizza comes to SoMa; more

Photo: Molly DeCoudreaux/Courtesy of Al's Deli
By Alisa Scerrato - Published on July 10, 2019.

Here's the latest in SF food news. In this edition, a hybrid Israeli street food eatery/Jewish deli opens in the Mission, a Detroit-style square pizza spot plans its SoMa debut, and a Thai restaurant reopens in the Lower Nob Hill area under a new name.



AL's Deli (598 Guerrero St.)

Photo: Molly DeCoudreaux/Courtesy of Al's Deli

Next Wednesday, July 17, AL’s Deli will debut in the former Yuzuki space at 18th and Guerrero streets. Like its sister restaurant AL’s Place, also located in the Mission, it's owned by chef Aaron London, whose initials provide both restaurants with their names.

But unlike the original AL's, which is a sit-down restaurant, AL's Deli is focused on fast-casual, counter-service food, combining elements of Israeli street food and East Coast Jewish deli fare.

London, who's lived in the city for seven years, said he chose to open a second restaurant in the Mission because he wants to deepen his ties with the community. 

"[The Mission] is known for good food, and people who are into food often gravitate here,” he said. “I find it to be a little more diverse than many other parts of the city, and with better weather, which lends well to a counter-service daytime concept."

The menu features pita sandwiches with fillings like shawarma-spiced chicken or blistered cauliflower and eggplant. There are also potato latke "hot pockets" stuffed with avocado, grapefruit and preserved lemon or cream cheese, or smoked salmon, red onion, and capers.

On the side, enjoy house-made fries served with smoked thyme, sesame, and a ranch-ish dip, or frozen labneh (strained yogurt) with various toppings. Wine, beer, low-ABV cocktails and a variety of nonalcoholic options are available.


Square Pie Guys (1077 Mission St.)

Photo: Courtesy of Square Pie Guys

Detroit-style pizzeria Square Pie Guys will open next Tuesday, July 16, in the SoMa space that formerly housed Deli Board spinoff The Board.

This will be its first brick-and-mortar location for the business, which started in 2018 as a pop-up at Vinyl Wine Bar (359 Divisadero St.).

For those unacquainted with Detroit-style pizza, it's baked in a metal pan, with a square shape and crispy, cheese-topped edges. Diners will be able to build their own pies or order pre-selected combos like the Mean Green Sausage Machine, with ricotta cream sauce, Italian sausage, charred broccoli and chili-infused honey.

A few salads will also be offered, like a "chilled plate salad" with shredded kale, shaved broccoli, cherry tomato, spicy sunflower seeds, avocado, sun-dried tomato vinaigrette and gigante beans. Draft beer, wine and hard seltzer will be available. 

Photo: Courtesy of Square Pie Guys

Owner Marc Schechter told Hoodline that he and his business partner, Danny Stoller, had searched all over San Francisco for a space, but were discouraged with the quality and price of the spaces available for lease. When they saw the Craigslist ad for the former The Board space, they jumped on it.

“The space itself is beautiful, the location is super central, and we love [restaurant] Birdsong and [coffee shop] Saint Frank next door," he said. "We also think the area is ready for a new low-key spot to hang out and eat good food, especially late-night."

Schechter and Stoller are hoping to raise $15K on Kickstarter to help with the launch; donate here

Lower Nob Hill

The Thonglor (420 Geary St.)

Photo: Carrie Sisto/Hoodline

In May, Hoodline contributor Carrie Sisto noticed that Thai restaurant Chabaa on Geary had closed, with a change-of-ownership notice posted to its window.

This week, it appears it has reopened as The Thonglor, with a website boasting that it now offers “healthy Thai cuisine." 

The menu includes Thai salads, such as som tum (green papaya salad) and calamari salad, as well as soups such as tom yum (hot and sour soup with a choice of tofu and vegetable, chicken or shrimp) and tom khadka (Thai-style coconut soup with mushrooms, lemongrass, galanga and lime juice).

The business is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner — follow them on Facebook for updates and additional info.

If you've seen something new (or closing) 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.

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