SFoodie received a sad email yesterday afternoon from Dominic Ainza, chef of Mercury Lounge. The SoMa restaurant and lounge is going to close, he wrote, at the end of the month. “It was definitely the economy,” he explained, and also speculated the explosion of food trucks contributed to the restaurant's decline, since so many of them specialize in Asian food.
Mercury Lounge describes itself as “global Asian cuisine,” but its soul is Filipino, and Ainza became known for cooking innovative modern-Filipino dinners and selling late-night Filipino street food on weekends.
Ainza will stop serving dinners after February 18; Mercury Lounge continue to serve bar bites and drinks until March 1. Check the restaurant's website for a statement tomorrow. And Ainza says he's currently looking around to see what comes next.