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Tons of New Openings; Big Gay Ice Cream; Chez Spencer Fire; More!

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Welcome to Eater Tastings, where Eater SF editor Allie Pape shares the best restaurant and bar news of the week.


Couches at Novela. [Photo: Patricia Chang]

SOMA—It's been a week of big openings. First up: Novela, the literary-themed SOMA bar from Maven and Gitane's bar mavens, with insane decor and six punches on draft. We've got photos and the menu.

RUSSIAN HILL—Next up: Mason Pacific, a Russian Hill bistro opening tomorrow. A CIA-trained chef who's worked at some of Paris' top restaurants? A killer reserve wine selection from an RN74 alum? Photos and a menu? Check and check and check.

ROCKRIDGE—Last but certainly not least: the new Rockridge expansion of A16, opening tomorrow with a more seafood-focused menu and the same delicious pizza and pasta. Oh, and full liquor. Photos, menu, cocktail menu, we have them all.

SAN FRANCISCO—If you've been dialed in to the NYC scene the past few years, you know that the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck (which now has two brick-and-mortar stores) has been all the rage. Now they're coming to SF. Find out where you can snag a cone.

THE MISSION—Easily the worst trend of 2013 so far has been the spate of major fires at Bay Area restaurants. The latest victim? Charming Chez Spencer on the SOMA/Mission border, which was gutted last night.

BAY AREA—As if all those openings above weren't enough, still more places opened this week: a Castro dim-sum spot, a a SOMA cafe, a Bernal waffle shop, and a Berkeley comfort-food purveyor. Never go hungry again, y'all.

BAY AREA—Meanwhile, tons of existing restaurants are expanding: Kasa Indian is going for location #2 on Polk Street, Pizzeria Delfina is getting a Palo Alto location, and Umami Burger will be moving in to the old Burger Joint space right near AT&T Park.

SAUSALITO—We talked to TV chef Joanne Weir and head chef Gonzalo Rivera about their first year in business at Copita, and how working the line can be very different from cooking on TV.