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Jul 30, 2008 01:49 PM

BonBonSF - New Patisserie on Kearny @ Bush

The awning has been up on this place for a few weeks along this block-long "lunch-grab ghetto", and today, a soft opening. Despite first day gitters and untested processes, the amiable staff does well to guide people through the fresh-baked savory tarts of 1) broccoli, olive and onion with goat cheese and 2) lardon, onion and goat cheese. Each was crisp and flavorful, not heavily laden with any one ingredient.
Other lunch items include sandwiches, croque monsieurs, croissants and brioche, with salads to follow. Pastries included apricot mousse cake, chocolate mousse cake, lemon tart (emphasis on "tart", and intense, brilliant fresh-lemon flavor), and macaroons (also very good, with light cream inside). Also full service coffee/espresso/latte.
A good start, and an exciting new prospect for a sometimes dingy little block. With Muracci across the way, this could be a turning point.

308 Kearny @ Bush

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  1. The venture has a seemingly good pedigree; according to Inside Scoop:

    "More sweets: A French pastry shop is in the works for Jerome Rivoire of San Francisco's Garcon (1101 Valencia St., at 22nd Street), and his partners, Eric Klein and Olivier Azancot of Plouf (40 Belden Place). The trio hopes to open Bonbon in the former Kimi's Pizza space (308 Kearny St., near Bush), at the end of May.

    The bakery will offer pastries and specialty cakes created by Herve Mathe of Plouf, Garcon and Chouchou."

    I assume the delay was due to the fire. Any sign of the International Food Center reopening?

    1. link

      Bonbon Patisserie
      308 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA

      1. If it's a turning point, I hope it's not a turn toward full-on gentrification, which is the last thing Kearny St. needs. That, and lemon tarts. Muracci's, at least, serves a populist food, and Paladar is also a fairly recently added asset. I suppose the Mexican Grill that supplanted the World Wraps Place is, too. I want the 300 Block of Kearny to thrive, but hopefully without filling up with Gen Y fetishes.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Xiao Yang

          I'd like to see only homegrown places, too. Run by the owner and a small staff, and making things each day. Almost like a neighborhood place, for where you live during the daytimes.
          I don't think of BonBon as fancy or overly gentrified. Very easy-going, relaxed, no pretense and good, available, approachable food. It is a good addition without changing the character of the neighborhood.
          There are still a few shops open on this block. Fingers crossed.

          1. re: DCarbonaro

            A neighborhood place is a nice image except that no one lives in the Financial District except during the day time M-F. It's hard for places in that area to survive without being able to count on dinner patrons or weekend traffic--or catering to Union Square tourists and shoppers.

            1. re: Windy

              I was thinking about that this morning, while I walked past. I agree. It is a tough block because of the lunch-only crowd. It may mean that this block never kicks up.
              But when I mentioned neighborhood place, I was imagining that often people live in two neighborhoods: the one near their home and the second, near their job. I know the 300 block of Kearny nearly as well as I know my home neighborhood. Many workers in the area rely on the block for quick cheap lunches, and my hope is that these workers will flood onto the street and buy out every croissant, falafel, cuban sandwich and lemon tart available!

          2. re: Xiao Yang

            I've been working on Kearny Street for 4 years and while the places that have been opening are a bit nicer, I don't think you have to worry about "full-on gentrification." Togo's is out and the location that BonBon moved into was a series of sad restaurants. I'm hoping that awful Canadian teriyaki chain and El Faro will give up their spaces so we can get some decent Mexican food on this street. But overall, I've been real happy with the new ethnic eateries and I'm glad many of them are small operations.

            1. re: junesix

              I don't mind El Faro being there. El Faro has a proud history; it's credited with inventing the Mission Burrito at its original 20th and Folsom Branch, and introducing it to a broader audience at its First and Mission Branch. I haven't tried the burritos at the Kearny Street outlet but I would agree that the tacos are an embarrassment to the El Faro name. Remember though, that space used to hold a Burger King, and there are quite a few vacant spaces in that block.

              Is the food at Pasilla Grill an improvement from the World Wraps/360 Degree Gourmet Burrito place it replaced?