Do You Want to Touch My Monkey?

The new Marina restaurant with the very strange name

Monkey BusinessWhen Harry heard that the new restaurant opening at 2223 Union was named Night Monkey, he envisioned the creepy winged critters from The Wizard of Oz. But chef Stephanie Doane, formerly of Foreign Cinema and Greens, aims to be more like Glenda the Good Witch: She plans to offer wholesome American-California cuisine to Marina diners until the wee hours. The menu features free-range and organic foodstuffs, and is divided into small, $7 to $10 servings and larger, $14 to $21 plates. Joining Doane in the kitchen is Greens veteran Sophia Villareal. Diners nosh within the 46-seat dining room, decorated with black slate and tile. So what about that name? GM Gregory Gajus explains (unsuccessfully), "We are open six nights a week until 2 a.m., thus the play on words "Night Monkey.'" Huh?

Sweet SpotMuch to the delight of Mission District denizens, Bay Village Bakery is moving at the end of March from Mill Valley into the retro-cool Lady Baltimore Bakery location on the corner of 18th Street and Guerrero. Owners Chad Everett and Elizabeth Pruitt, who've dubbed their new digs Tartine, hope to spoil locals with their bodacious breads. One loyal customer is Martha Stewart, who reportedly considers this team's bread some of the best in America. With Delfina and Bi-Rite market on the same block, this stretch of 18th is becoming a real culinary destination.

Digital Dining DealsJust when we thought dot-com investment dollars had dried up, out of the gate comes www.restaurant.com, backed by eBay, Sysco, and OpenTable, among others. The coolest element of this otherwise uninteresting site is that it auctions $10 to $50 gift certificates from participating restaurants. If the online bidding competition is slim, you could snag a voucher for less than $5. Unfortunately, at press time none of the offerings was in San Francisco; the nearest restaurant on the auction list was in Walnut Creek. Still, the handsome site is new, and Harry expects its Bay Area selection will improve.

It's AliveCounterbalancing the stampede of new steakhouses, a new restaurant in Larkspur touts the exact opposite -- "living foods." Owned and operated by chef Roxanne Klein and her husband Michael, Roxanne's features raw, organic, and vegan cuisine. As a glutton for all things sinfully good, Harry was skeptical, but even a steak-and-potatoes lover would be impressed by this modern health food. With nary a nibble of meat, fish, poultry, or dairy on the two-, three-, and four-course menus ($25, $32, and $39, respectively) and no food heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit, the eatery would seem to require a post-meal pit stop at In-N-Out Burger. Truth be told, though, the 62-seat dining room at 320 Magnolia pulls it off. You can't order a stiff one here, but the wine list, tailored by Master Sommelier Larry Stone, lets you raise a glass to your party's health. Apparently Chicago's most famous chef, Charlie Trotter, is impressed: He cooked with Roxanne Klein at her restaurant on Feb. 17, and co-authored a living-foods cookbook with her, slated for publication in the summer.

 
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