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Sep 15, 2008 09:02 AM

SFJCC anounces new cafe opening by Joanna Karlinsky of the former Meetinghouse Rest.

Here's the info announcing the November opening...

New Café

The wait is over! The JCCSF is very pleased to announce that Joanna Karlinsky, the popular chef of The Meetinghouse, and her business partner, Victoria Smiser, will open their new café at the JCCSF in November. The Meetingplace at the JCCSF will feature a variety of menus, including the gourmet prepared foods of Jo-Jo-To-Go, hot sandwiches with local artisanal cheeses by Pressed, freshly prepared baked goods by Confections Bakery, gourmet pizzas by Emma Peel's Pizza Pie, Lucky Dawg ice cream and frozen yogurt and LuLu Drinks for coffee, smoothies, wine and beer. The Meetingplace will take over management of the coffee kiosk in the atrium at the end of this month while construction continues on the restaurant space.

and her famous biscuits will be available as well!!!

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  1. Any idea if the kitchen is kashered? If they don't adhere to the laws of kashrut, a relatively small but very significant slice of the Jewish community -- the Orthodox and some Conservative -- cannot eat there. It's largely about a message, not a meal: That part of the Jewish community is not welcome to eat at the restaurant in the Jewish Community Center.

    I seem to recall long threads on this issue w/Joyce Goldstein's operation not being kosher. But for some reason I'm not seeing them right now. Perhaps it was in some other forum. Let us refrain from a flame war over this, pls....

    Sushi Monster

    7 Replies
    1. re: Sushi Monster

      I doubt places have all ultimately failed in S.F., (I think we have but one left) and few if any orthodox make their presence known... in what is basically a non religious cultural institution...there are however,people of many backgrounds using the health club facilities...they may make a goodly portion of the patrons here. There also may not be room for a dairy and a meat kitchen, and they will have a lot of prepared foods to take home, from what I've heard...but I may be wrong, I'll keep my ears open and ask around...The JCC wants no more failed restaurants, they need the rental income!!!

      1. re: ChowFun_derek

        Well the failure of the Bay Area to support kosher restaurants goes far beyond the situation at the JCC. Everybody beefs about not being able to get a good pastrami sandwich here (too many CH threads to name, but start w/"Sauls"), but ... when push comes to shove, real Jewish eateries can't make it on the numbers (first of which is being closed on Shabbat -- aka Saturday). It's an old, tired story. It'd be nice if someone figured out a way to break the inertia, but frankly, I don't see it happening. If I were a banker and someone came to me seeking funds to open a glatt kosher restaurant in the Bay Area, I would -- just by the numbers -- certainly turn them away.

        You may well ask: Why does it work in LA but not here? There is a geographical center to Jewish life in LA --- along Pico. There is no such concentration here, where the community, no matter how strong, is atomized and dispersed.

        Sushi Monster

        1. re: Sushi Monster

          I totally agree with your assessment...I guess Berkeley has a higher concentration than SF.

          1. re: Sushi Monster

            "There is a geographical center to Jewish life in LA --- along Pico."

            Whatever happened to the Fairfax District?

            1. re: Sushi Monster

              Well, there are two things going on here: kosher restaurants and delis. The famous delis in L.A. (Langers, Arts, Cantors, Nate n Als - if they're all still there) are all "kosher style", and serve pastrami and swiss sandwiches. There has always been a tradition (during my life anyway) of both Jews and Non eating at the local delis.

              I don't think that tradition ever happened up here.

            2. re: ChowFun_derek

              There's an irony there (in bringing in Karlinsky). When she closed The Meetinghouse, she alienated a lot of her former customers by posting a sign on the door berating them for not patronizing her business often enough. Maybe the JCC thinks she can browbeat people into eating there often by manipulating their guilt complexes.

              1. re: Xiao Yang

       the great tradition of all Jewish Mothers...a little guilt goes a long way!!

                remember they were going to open a branch of Saul's (!) I for one am looking forward to this addition to the food scene!

          2. This from my favorite local food blog...TABLEHOPPER.COM
            More details on the ~JCC PROJECT~ from Joanna Karlinsky and her business partner, Victoria Smiser, who will open the food court in the former deli on the ground floor of the JCCSF. Featured will be JO-JO-TO-GO, selling cold and hot gourmet prepared foods for either dine-in or carry-out service; CONFECTIONS, a full-service bakery offering a daily selection of freshly prepared baked goods, cakes, pies, cookies, and always chocolate; LUCKY DAWG, an upscale ice cream and frozen yogurt bar; LULU DRINKS, pouring fresh juices, coffee, espresso drinks, and wine and beer; PRESSED, hot pressed sandwiches to order using local artisanal cheeses; and EMMA PEEL’S PIZZA PIE, providing on-site or delivery gourmet pizzas with upscale add-ons. THE MEETINGHOUSE name will be kept alive through full service catering and the online Meetinghouse Biscuits catalogue will continue to ship biscuits nationwide. The projected opening date is November 15th. 3200 California St. at Presidio.


            4 Replies
            1. re: ChowFun_derek

              I really hate it when they use "upscale" to describe pizza toppings or anything else for that matter. Signed, grumpy.

              1. re: oakjoan

                linking, can't wait to try it Nov 15, 2008.

                Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
                3200 California St, San Francisco, CA

                1. re: hhc

                  it's Finally open per EaterSF:

                  "Pacific Heights: Getting back to the city, Joanna Karlinksy (of the shuttered Meetinghouse fame) has finally debuted her new food court on the ground floor of the JCCSF. The project contains six self-contained kiosks (see the lineup above): Jo-Jo-To-Go (prepared foods... to go), Confections (bakery), Luck Dawg (ice cream), Lulu Drinks (juice/coffee bar), Pressed (sandwiches), and Emma Peel's Pizza Pie. 3200 California Street, at Presidio; (415) 292-1200"


                  1. re: hhc

                    I'm still scratching my head over that concept. The JCC location hasn't been kind to her predecessors, and even if Joanna has rebuilt her burned bridges*, she's spreading her talents pretty thin. She'll sell some biscuits, though.