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November 08, 2015


primary resource

Joe, as a lot of my clients now are restaurant operators, I spoke with this group a few months ago.

My family owns several nice restaurants, and we were one of the first KFC franchisees, based on our work as poultry and hatchery farmers and ranchers before that (agrarian values).

Competition usually benefits the consumers.

I can introduce the readers to Omid directly, if you have any questions for him.


I recently learned that Isobune patented the "boat" (bune) mechanism in their S.F. Japantown location in 1982 and opened their second location here, in 1983. That's a good, amazingly long run, in the days when the idea of raw fish was probably repulsive to those used to the standard fare in the suburbs, at the time. LOTS of robust competition these days in the sushi department. I count about 4 others in the Burlingame-Howard Avenue areas, and probably a couple more, on Broadway.....and many more in San Mateo.


Thank you both. It seemed like it was newsworthy to me and you have reinforced that!

Occasional Contributor

Speaking of food wars- how about a war of the sandwiches? Did anyone notice Ike's opening at the Which Which location?

primary resource

Restaurant wars are more like...movie productions.

There are a lot of people that aspire to make movies, whether as actors or as writers/producers.

And, thousands of people "go for it", and perhaps dedicate their entire lives and all of their life savings to their artistic passion. And, in a sense, they believe that it's their only opportunity in life to make a living for their family.

And, most new restaurants fail in the first 12-18 months.

And, then you get smart, well educated, or perhaps already successful and corporately organized and experienced teams with plenty of private or even public equity that research these "Indy" trends, and crush it with clean, successful concepts.

And, very occasionally, among the fray of the mostly haphazard, but "all in" Indies, you can a concept and a management and culinary and customer service team that also crushes it.

Now, I'm a free market, pro competition, pro private property rights guy, but...Burlingame can do better than the "Rise Pizzeria" guys.

And, the city gov't should not have oversight into which concepts should best be placed into each property, like some wannabe Mall Operator.

But, Sorry, folks. Hire a better broker/marketing team for that space and move on.

Part of the challenge with The Ave, is that there really aren't that many pedestrians with that much average household income vs. the rent rates. For $8-$10/sf Gross, I'd rather open on Union Street in the Marina, or from Union Square to the Financial District to SOMA.

So, I hope that the landlord crafts a good lease for themselves, and then let it ride. The market will quickly decide the fate of "The Rise".

foodie in b'game

We need another mediocre pizza joint like Seattle needs another coffee shop. Blue Line is decent. Delfina's disappoints if you compare it to the Noe location's food. Il Fornaio and Pizza my heart? those are one step above Dominos.

With sushi, other than Sakae, B'Game is sorely lacking on quality. Too bad, we should be able to to do better.


I agree and I really agree about Deflina's. The good part about Rise coming is at least it will help keep the prices of mediocre pizza in line.

Bruce Dickinson

Wow, I guess there must be a lot of dough in the pizza biz, given how many are opening. Sorry for the bad pun, seriously, the pizza scene in Burlingame has a lot to be desired with Blue Line probably being the only thing unique, Delfina being slightly above average, and the rest pretty much inedible. Then again, the Dickinson bar is a little higher given my dining standards, but every once in a while I like to indulge in some hearty comfort food.

There seems to be a lot of me too (or two) restaurants, which is odd, as wouldn't one want to offer something different? Two Burmese places!?! Two pan asian (Coconut Bay and Straights)? Two Indian places? Three sushi places. Multiple italian places, including that garbage food from Il Fornaio. Then you have Trapeze and the tapas place next door (can't remember the name), where I can't really tell what restaurant I'm in, they look so much alike.

What about including some BBQ, a real steakhouse, a seafood specialty joint, a pub with real pub food, a regular Chinese place? When you're like the 5th pizza joint, ya gotta wonder isn't that just pretty much a zero sum game at that juncture? Unless, the pizza place, being a mostly "cash" biz run by Italians happens to run "other, more lucrative" family businesses, ya know what I mean?

fresh BBQ anyone?

Bruce, I've got a prospect that wants to open a BBQ restaurant, with freshly smoked meats in the front window. Overcoming concerns about the on-going smoke is the main hurdle.

I enjoy the wood fired grilling as I walk past Il Fornaio. And, we all love the chocolate in the air...

Does the community feel like supporting this concept? If so, please let "me" know.

Bruce Dickinson

Excuse my French but WTF? You go on dumb harangues "attempting" to insult the beloved Bruce Dickinson, but now you want me to do business with you!?!? Guy, you are either on drugs or, on the other hand, maybe you need some!


There used to be a bbq joint on the Ave some 20-odd years ago. They made a good pork sandwich -- bun was always perfectly toasted. I'd definitely go for some good 'q.


Bruce, let's crowdsource what Kent needs. Is Xanax enough or does he need something with a heavier hit?

HMB, I don't remember that joint. What was the name of it? I love the idea. Sure beats the heck out of grilled cheese as a main product.


I think it was called Firehouse -- if I'm not mistaken there was another location on Clement in the city. All I ever ate there was the pork sandwich, it was so good. The bbq joint I really miss was a little hole in the wall on ECR in San Mateo. The owner was from my hometown in Texas. (Can you believe a Texas gal would eat pork over beef?) He even sold the Frito pie like you'd get at the Friday night HS football games. (He went to the rival school!)


Yeah, hillsider, I was shocked to see The Melt reopen. Anybody can do better than that at home -- even a kid.

Happy Holidays

Bruce, that's the hilarious thing about your incessant hubris...you always think that people see you as the center of attention. And, no, I'd never do business with a jerk like yourself. Actually, I was asking, "the community".

Hillsider, nope I'm drug free. I haven't even tried 99.5% of drugs, ever, sorry to disappoint your blind negativity. None needed.

Happy Holidays.


Firehouse Barbecue was located at what is now the Loft. That building had three storefronts back in the '80s. Beside the pork sandwich they had really good hot links and baked beans. The ribs and brisket were so-so. You can sill find Firehouse BBQ sauce for sale at some grocery stores, one alarm, two alarm and three alarm for spice levels. Three alarm sauce and the hottest hot links and you paid for it the next day.


Bring back CHICKEN CHICKEN. I and many people loved that place. Just walking past their window seeing the wood burning rotisserie with all those chickens made me think this is dinner.

We really do need a good BBQ JOINT. Enuf with all these pizza pie places.

Rise People

When is Rise taking over Isobune's location?

Peter Garrison

Saw something really classy on the Avenue yesterday: A Japanese mother whose little girl had spilled some dry popcorn in front of Peet's Coffee, took a napkin out of her purse, knelt down and picked up every one of the popcorn kernels and put them in the trash.


I just updated the Post with the goodbye letter from Isobune. It will probably take Rise awhile to add the beehive oven.

Cathy Baylock

They came to Burlingame Avenue right about the same time I began working downtown in 1983. They will be missed!

Denise Donnelly

Hey Neighbors,
Costco sells an amazing outdoor wood fired "build it yourself" pizza oven from Italy. I googled it, but can't find our model... I know my husband wouldn't have paid 4K for it, as shown on their website. FAMILY FUN OFF THE AVE! (What's will all the smoking on the sidewalk?!) Get your kids off of Pokemon and Starbucks! FIELD TRIP IDEAS! 1. Road trip to Costco to buy! See a food warehouse (!) 2. Build in your backyard w/real tools. 3. Go to Half Moon Bay (across from where you used to take them for hayrides) and load wood into the car. 4. Buy Il Fornaio's dough by the balls (until they shut you off, like us!) 5. Ingredients at Mollie Stones (hi, Mark!) HAVE FUN!


Rise opens officially tonight just in time for the Holiday tree lighting and parade. Let the pizza wars continue.


I finally got around to trying Rise (after 6 months) and I must say, it was quite average. Not bad, just average. A bit light on the toppings, especially the Salsiccia white Italian sausage pizza with red and green onions. The onions where barely present. The burrata was also average and the chopped salad, well, pretty average.

With Blue Line and Pizza My Heart in walking distance, this may be an uphill battle for Rise.


Rise Pizzeria is setting their sights on transforming the downtown San Mateo train station space, formerly home to the Melting Pot restaurant, with plans to install a full-service kitchen, central bar and outdoor kiosk at the downtown transit hub.For Omid Zahedi, it started with a love of making pizza dough.

In the months before his first son was born some eight years ago, Zahedi carefully refined his homemade pizza dough recipe, baking pies with Italian yeast and a select few ingredients on a pizza stone in his home oven. His wife Susan Payrovi remembers it wasn’t long before Zahedi had a wood-burning pizza oven delivered to their Foster City home with the expectation they could install it in the family’s backyard before putting it on a trailer they keep in their garage when it didn’t fit.Pizza fundraisers held in the family driveway soon led to a search for a restaurant space culminating in the couple’s Burlingame restaurant, Rise Pizzeria, which opened at 1451 Burlingame Ave. in late 2016.

Now the pair is setting their sights on transforming the downtown San Mateo train station space, formerly home to the Melting Pot restaurant, with plans to install a full-service kitchen, central bar and outdoor kiosk at the downtown transit hub.

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