Monday Six: Ramen Is the New Cigarettes

Plus Park Tavern’s Eden Room gets a remodel, the Castro Ike’s Place/Sweet Inspiration is now Mike’s Place, and Loma Brewing Co. is open for business in Los Gatos.

The Ike’s Place/Sweet Inspiration Collaboration Is Now Mike’s Place

This is clever, and sweet. When struggling Castro bakery-cafe Sweet Inspiration (2239 Market) teamed up with nearby Ike’s Place once the latter lost its lease around the block, the city cracked down on the joint business. So Sweet Inspiration’s owner, Mike Colter, decided to use his restaurant permit and become Mike’s Place. It’s not formally part of Ike’s and the sandwiches have different names, but still adheres to the letter of the formula-retail law while flouting the spirit of it. (A Hoodline reader pointed out the McDonald’s/McDougal’s thing from Coming to America, which isn’t entirely an apt comparison, but damn that movie is funny.)

Park Tavern’s Eden Room Gets a Zhuzh

Not to be outdone by the dimly lit glamour found inside Marianne’s, the elite hideaway tucked behind the Anglophilic The Cavalier inside the Hotel Zetta, Park Tavern (1652 Stockton) celebrated five years in business by restyling its upstairs space, the Eden Room. Once full of bold, deep colors and heavy wallpaper, it’s now much lighter, and more baroque-chinoise (if you will).

Osha Thai Turns 20, Plans Lao Restaurant in SoMa Location

Lao food is as big in Bangkok as Thai food is here, says Hoodline, so in honor of its 20th anniversary, the team behind S.F. mini-chain Osha Thai will convert the 149 Natoma St. location into a Lao restaurant. Lao Table will be upscale and contemporary, and guests will be encouraged to eat dishes like sticky rice using their hands.

Chief Sullivan’s Opens in North Beach

Having replaced O’Reilly’s Irish Pub at 622 Green St., Chief Sullivan’s is now serving Irish food and drink. Named for a fire chief who died in the 1906 earthquake, the menu — which Top Chef contestant Jamie Lauren helped create — and the decor — which contains a giant mural depicting Irish writers — genuinely look quite a bit different than the typical Irish bar.

Loma Brewing Opens in Los Gatos

We reported on this a few months ago, but Loma Brewing Co. has officially opened inside the former Los Gatos Brewing Company at 130 N. Santa Cruz Ave. in Los Gatos. It’s big (150 seats) and it’s open for dinner (5-10 p.m., nightly).

Ramen Now Bigger Than Cigarettes in Prisons

Although the federal government said it would phase out the use of private prisons, it can’t come soon enough. Substandard meals and cost-cutting measures in a grotesque industry whose profits flow from treating human beings as widgets have caused inexpensive, filling ramen to become more sought-after than cigarettes, Guardian US reports. It’s called “punitive frugality.” I saw that OITNB episode where Chang nukes her own food using dining-hall leftovers and stuff she gets from commissary, and her resourcefulness is admirable, but this is terrible.

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