Monday, June 4, 2018

"Plus Ça Change.." 300 Block Of Kearny St. Retains Its Paramount Culinary Diversity Despite High Turnover

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, say the French. "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

Six years ago I wrote about the culinary diversity of the 300 block of Kearny Street, a stretch chock-a-block with affordable lunch venues, suggesting (without contradiction) that it was the most culinarily diverse street in San Francisco. At the time I noted that there were 20 eateries in the mix, with Onigilly still in the works and the International Food Center not fully repopulated after its disasterous underground fire. Among these venues could be found 12 distinct national cuisines and additional sub-cuisines (Japanese ramen, curry and sushi venues, for example).

I also noted in that blog post that this stretch was a high-turnover area, but the turnover didn't impact the net diversity. I can also note that turnover has not resulted in noticeable gentrification.  Since August of 2012, seven restaurants have closed, with all but one reopening with new tenants, and some then-vacant spaces have been filled in. Gone is the esteemed Cuban restaurant Paladar, only to be replaced by the equally liked Israeli casual food venue, Sababa.   The International Food Center lost the block's only Chinese and Filipino lunch spots, but gained the Russian/Ukranian Pushkin, and a Turkish Cafe, The Sini, replaced a"New American" spot at 322 Kearny. Once again, the 300 bloclk of Kearny hosts 12 distinct national cuisines: American, Greek/Mediterranean, Hawaiian, Israeli, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Russian/Ukranian, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese; to this can be added the stateless Asian favorite, a boba joint (Plentea) which the area lacked six years ago.

Here is the full list as of June 2018.  As before, I have included the International Food Center, which has a mailing address of 320 Bush St,, but has a co-equal entrance at 316 Kearny St.

Ayola (327 Kearny St.) - Greek/Mediterranean
Baladie (337 Kearny St.) - Greek/Mediterranean
Banana House (321 Kearny St.) - Thai
Bibim Bar (316 Kearny St.)  - Korean
Fleur de Sel (308 Kearny St.) - New American/Continental
Foundation Cafe (335 Kearny St.) - New Anerican
Freshroll (357 Kearny St.) - Vietnamese
L & L Hawaiian Barbecue (312 Kearny St.) - Hawaiian plate lunches
Muracci's Japanese Curry (307 Kearny St.) - Japanese curry
Onigilly (343 Kearny St.) - Japanese Onigiri
Pachino Trattoria and Pizzeria (318 Kearny St.) - Italian
Pao Jao (316 Kearny St.) - Japanese Dumplings and Ramen
Pasilla Mexican Grill (359 Kearny St.) - Mexican Grill
Pho Express (316 Kearny St.) - Vietnamese Pho
Plentea (341 Kearny St.) - Boba
Pushkin (316 Kearny St.) - Russian/Ukranian
Ramen Underground (356 Kearny St.) - Japanese Ramen
Sababa (329 Kearny St.) - Israeli
Super Duper Burgers (346 Kearny St.) American - Burgers
Taqueria Estrella (316 Kearny St.) - Mexican Taqueria
Tenmatsu (336 Kearny St.) - Japanese Takeout
Thainery (316 Kearny St.) - Thai
The Sini (322 Kearny St.) - Turkish