Here’s the latest in SF food news. In this edition: a “whimsical” chocolate brand prepares to debut its Castro shop, a pizzeria relocates from Divisadero to the Lower Haight, and a Korean deli launches a weekend bibimbap pop-up.
Kokak Chocolates (3901 18th St.)
Kokak Chocolates is nearing its debut in the former Cafe ÚB space at 18th and Sanchez streets.
As we reported in August, the shop is owned by chocolatier Carol Gancia, who’s also the founder of Burlingame-based video production company Ripplemakers, Inc.
Intended to be a “whimsical and fun” brand, Kokak’s chocolates are shaped like tree leaves and frogs. (“Kokak” is the Tagalog equivalent of “ribbit.”) They come in flavors like mango milk chocolate, passion fruit milk chocolate, and matcha white chocolate, with customizable design options for weddings or corporate events.
In addition to chocolate, the new storefront will offer cafe fare like sandwiches, salads, baked goods and espresso drinks.
While Gancia did not respond to a request for comment, Kokak’s Instagram page says it will open in “a few weeks.” Workers are currently painting, doing electrical work and finishing up the shop’s exterior. We’ll keep you posted on its official opening day.
Seniore’s Pizza (456 Haight St.)
Last month, Seniore’s Pizza closed its Divisadero location (559 Divisadero St.) after four years in business. While the family-owned pizzeria still has locations in SoMa (320 11th St.) and Parkside (2415 19th Ave.), James Jaber said they had lined up a new location but declined to disclose where.
Family member Kiah Jaber has since reached out to inform us that Seniore’s is now open at its new location at 456 Haight St. in the former Volare Pizza space. Its hours on the Lower Haight are 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Customers can also visit the two other SF pizzerias, and its locations in San Bruno, San Mateo, Berkeley and Santa Clara.
Rhea’s Deli & Market (800 Valencia St.)
After closing its more Korean-food-centric spinoff, Rhea’s Cafe, in 2018, Valencia Street’s Rhea’s Deli & Market returned to its original mission of serving deli sandwiches.
But with no Korean spots in its corner of the Mission, customers have been asking for more of the cuisine, says owner James Choi.
So Rhea’s is switching things up on weekend nights with a bibimbap pop-up. For the unacquainted, bibimbap is a Korean rice bowl topped with seasoned and pickled vegetables and a fried egg; Rhea’s runs $9, with the option to add chicken or bulgogi (marinated beef) for $1.50 and $2.50 extra, respectively.
Those seeking a more unusual iteration can try the kimcheebap, with kimchi, mozzarella and Spam, or the currybap, with shrimp and a fried egg. The menu is rounded out by Rhea’s popular Korean steak sandwich, along with a rotating sandwich of the week.
The pop-up (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 6 – 9 p.m.) will continue through this weekend and the next, according to Rhea’s manager. After that, Choi will evaluate whether or not to keep it going.
If you’re looking to sample the kimcheebap, be sure to get there early — the manager says it’s been the pop-up’s most popular item.