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It’s your last chance to indulge in Lucca’s (full name Lucca’s Ravioli Company) traditional Italian deli because they’re closing today at 6PM. I’ve paid my respects a few times since the announcement but it’s still a sad occasion because resources like this never come back. New shops mean new visions and that old time idea is just too highly curated by both economic and aesthetic imperatives to make a difference.
Six blocks down Valencia you can check out one of the new breed, Foodhall, which stocks many of the incredibly high quality and highly priced spirits, wines, coffees, and packaged foods that you’d expect to find in a freshly launched culinary boutique. And, yes, that certainly seems to be in demand. I’ve bought a few things there and have admired their mezcal selection, for a place that small, it’s ambitious but it also represents the complete antitheses to Lucca’s. Foodhall is serves the affluent with food trends.
As I’m constantly reminded, cities are living things and Lucca is a product of that organic transformation as well. Italians moved to the Mission after the Irish. Central Americans followed. Now it’s ground zero for gentrification. It’s actually pretty remarkable that so many of those things that made it such a vibrant and fun spot still exist.
And, it’s not like all is lost. The city continues to acquire culinary resources at a breakneck pace. My own little stretch of the city in Potrero has blossomed tremendously in just a few months. Last month a Japanese butcher opened on the traffic circle next door to a newly opened udon restaurant, both the products of local serial restauranteurs. If you order right, not the aged Wagyu beef but the pork shoulder, prices are completely reasonable and the quality is much higher than the major organic grocer in a tailspin since it’s recent purchase, aka Whole Foods up the street. Over in Dogpatch the best bagel I’ve had in years is about to appear on the shelves of Daily Driver. I could go on – I’d just like more balance to this whole urban transformation project.