Side Dish

Heavy Roti-ation
Roti's hot new menu is courtesy of James Ormsby, who formerly filled the booths with his surprising cooking at Bruno's. The Steuart Street restaurant will unveil a new look and name to match its fresh food in January. Meanwhile, Roti alums have found roosts all over town: One is dishing out short ribs and other average Americana over at MoMo's -- a great spot for whistling at construction workers -- while another is the owner/chef at the soon-to-open Eastside West in the old Baja Cantina. Looks like the Bermuda Triangle has found itself again -- hopefully they forgot the blenders and peach schnapps. And good luck, guys. I hope Professor Cindy Pawlcyn taught you all well.

Smart Waiter Tricks
Hi. My name is Erin, and I'll be your waiter tonight. Service types take heed: Dreams of your own place really can come true -- if you don't blow it all on expensive booze. Just look at the 42 Degrees waitress who saved her tips and now owns the Slow Club, fave lunch hang of the Potrero Hill expense-account media types. (James Moffat owned both properties until recently.) Slow Club chef Michael Dotson is commuting to the revamped Sonoma Hotel, while most of the old staff have hit the pavement.

Beef cakes for Beefeater
Seen the ads featuring the city's cutest bartenders shilling for their favorite gin? It's a shame the agency couldn't find more old-school mixologists for their ever-so-traditional beverage: The first round of advertisements starred Tony Abou-Ganim -- late of Harry Denton's Starlight Room -- and John Cain, who rules the roost at Mars Cafe. But the most recent features a bunch of cork-poppin' kids from the Bubble Lounge.

Tony's moved on to run a bar at the Belagio Hotel & Resort in Vegas, but John hasn't let the fame go to his head yet -- he's still circling for a parking spot with the rest of us. As for the Bubble Lounge,we'll see how these young out-of-towners fare through their first San Francisco winter.

Message in a Bottle
Following the example of Eos, the wine bar annex/waiting room concept is growing up. The ever-expanding kingdom of Nabiel & Martel will soon include Bacchus, a great place for a wine and food orgy if their Sushi Groove next door is too full up with Hyde Street hipsters. Absinthe Restaurant and Bar has taken the idea one step further, with manager/wine buyer Eric Vreede's Amphora two doors down at 384 Hayes. Stop in and browse the bottles at this great little wine shop, then go taste your selections at Absinthe's friendly bar. Or just run across the street (look both ways) for some cheese and rare nectar at the always eclectic Hayes and Vine.

Sticky Rice
Don't know that Austin Powers really liked his fish this raw, but he'd feel right at home at 16th Street's newest nod to gentrification -- Tokyo Go Go. Latest creation of Ace Wasabi's fearless flyer, Ken Lowe, Go Go will feature a full bar, unagi, and space for white-booted dancers. Sounds like fun, but don't forget the dreadlocked waitresses around the corner at We Be Sushi -- it's still sushi just like mom used to make.

By Harry Coverte

 
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