Masa’s, the fine dining staple opened by chef Masataka Kobayashi in 1983, is closing after 30 years on Bush Street. It’s the end of a long run for a restaurant that comes at a time when such formal, tablecloth’d fine dining has gone out of fashion, and not long after the high-profile closures of the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton and Cyrus. (Cyrus, of course, closed due to a landlord dispute, but nonetheless, the Bay Area will soon be short three of its more formal venues and it’s feeling like the end of an era.) As the Scoop reports, chef Gregory Short, who’s manned the kitchen for most of the last decade, is moving on to a corporate job at Aramark in the South Bay. Feburary 16 will be Masa’s swan song.
The restaurant is set to become something more casual in the next three or four months, as a rep at the adjacent Executive Hotel Vintage Court reveals, name and concept TBA.
As you may or may not know, the tragic, unsolved murder of Kobayashi just one year after he opened his eponymous restaurant is still the stuff of legend in the food world. The crime has recently been linked to infamous serial killer Richard Ramirez, a.k.a. the Night Stalker, who all but confessed to another grizzly Bay Area murder around the same time — though he is best known for his reign of terror in Southern California.
Following Kobayashi’s death, Masa’s remained a prominent destination on the San Francisco scene, and its kitchen was the place that chefs Julian Serrano, Ron Siegel, and Richard Reddington all made their names, prior to Short’s tenure.