2/01/2013 12:37:00 PM

Acclaimed Masa's to Close After V-Day, Plate Shop To Become Fast Food Francais

The bell tolls for one of San Francisco’s longest-running fine-dining institutions. Masa’s, the eponymous Downtown lair of the late Masataka "Masa" Kobayashi, announced that the 30-year old restaurant would be closing its doors on February 16 shortly thereafter their final Valentine’s Day bash.  The white-table cloth stalwart was the launching ground of some of the city’s finest chefs most notably Julian Serrano (Picasso), Ron Siegel (Michael Mina) and Richard Reddington (Redd) along with countless culinary school students who spent hours toiling away in the kitchen learning how to turn vegetables.

Although the hushed tones, stiff upholstered chairs and businessmen aura of the formal dining room didn’t exactly keep up with the gestalt of the city’s new wave of hip restaurants, the restaurant continued to excel under the eight-year reign of talented chef Gregory Short. According to The Inside Scoop, which broke the news, Short has landed himself a corporate chef gig at Aramark, at least for the time being. The fate of the restaurant space appears to be going in the way of that other high-profile fine-dining giant, Cyrus. Downscale. According to the paper, the Executive Vintage Court, the adjacent hotel that owns the property, plans to install a more casual restaurant in the space in the coming months. Short and his crew plan to continue to keep on keeping on with his regular menu through the February finale, so diners who want to have one last opportunity to experience Masa’s as we know it should jump to it (648 Bush St; 415-989-7154).

In other shutter news, the much-shorter lived Plate Shop in Sausalito, which had its fair share of drama and chef changes in its two-year run, also announced that it will be closing for good this weekend. The Sausalito spot, which originally opened up with chef Kim Alter (now at Haven) and later Peter Erickson of 1550 Hyde Wine Bar (which turned into Seven Hills), had big-city aspirations, but the current GM says it just didn't get enough weekday business to sustain it. However, hope springs eternal, as the space has already been snapped up by the local restaurateurs behind the nearby Le Garage and L’Apppart Resto and plan to reopen it as Fast Food Francais, a casual spot proffering American comfort food with a French twist.  The owners tell The Inside Scoop that they plan to open Fast Food Francais on Valentine’s Day (39 Caledonia St, Sausalito).


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