Big Changes on a Big Block of 18th Street

Namu Gaji temporarily closes for a seismic retrofit while Aaron London of AL’s Place takes over the soon-to-be-former Yuzuki.

Namu Gaji (Lara Hata)

The north side of 18th Street between Guerrero and Dolores is set to see some changes.

We’ve already noted that Bi-Rite Creamery (3692 18th St.) has been closed since March 4 for a planned seismic retrofit that’s expected to last through most of the spring. Owing to a measure shepherded by Sup. Rafael Mandelman that allows food businesses affected in that way to bypass the standard city permitting process to open a temporary food truck, people can still get salted caramel and snickerdoodle ice cream right out front. (It’s solar-powered, too.)

Next door, Korean restaurant Namu Gaji (499 Dolores St.) has announced that it, too, will close for earthquake-proofing. Dinner service will cease on Thursday, March 14, gamja fries and all, with lunch continuing through the weekend, although catering and Caviar orders will continue — as will Namu Stonepot on Divisadero Street and Namu Street Food at the Ferry Building. Beyond the structural-engineering business, Namu’s chef de cuisine Mark Zawiski is getting married and now the staff can all go.

At the opposite end of the block, the imposing building that has been home to Yuzuki (598 Guerrero St.) since 2011 will become a spinoff of Aaron London’s four-year-old, veggie-centric restaurant AL’s Place. Although famed for its Hokkaido squid with house-made yuzu mayo, Yuzuki has been a fairly quiet presence for the better part of this decade, and while details are still slim, the future AL’s Deli is expected to be sandwich-heavy and more casual than its one-Michelin-star progenitor.

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