Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Action on Jackson: Quickly/Kobe Bento, Peninsula/P&R, and a Star Lunch Mystery

A bed check today of the 600 block of Kearny Street in San Francisco's Chinatown revealed some recent and imminent changes to this street's always solid and variegated roster of Chinese eats. Most spectacular, at least in a visual sense, was the appearance of Kobe Bento by Quickly in the space most recently occupied by Ton Yong Thai on the Northwest corner of Kearny and Jackson. This location, which I first knew as Meilong Village, seems to change hands every year or two, but judging by the activity there Kobe Bento may be around for a while. The strategic positioning of Kobe Bento across the street from the soon-to-open City College campus was probably a consideration to Quickly. (According to Trademarkia, Kobe Bento is a registered trademark of Quickly, the Taiwanese bubble tea chain.} Along with the usual boba house suspects, the comestibles here include takoyaki (8 pieces for $4.95), something I'll have to try, at least once.

Further up the street, and further up the scale of gourmetise, the moribund Pearl City Seafood (641 Jackson) recently reinvented itself as Peninsula Seafood. At least that's what the big new hanging sign calls it. On the awning it's also called P&R Seafood; maybe they are inspired by the success of Z&Y two doors away. It's unclear whether the restaurant is under new management or has only received a makeover; ABC records still list Pearl City as the owner of the liquor license. The new signage also promises Hong Kong style dim sum; that was a staple of Pearl City.

Last and least (in size, anyway), the 605 Jackson space vacated several years ago by the tiny Star Lunch, of stinky tofu fame, is finally getting some attention. The Star Lunch/上海小吃 sign (which I've long coveted) has finally been removed and a ladder was newly visible above the papering in the window. The space was big enough for only a counter and a solitary two-top; here's hoping it will become the humble noodle or dumpling bar I've fantasized about putting there myself.

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