hummus, olive oil, chickpeas
Hummus from Hummus Bodega. (Photo/Courtesy Hummus Bodega)

Hummus Bodega seeks new owner, while Delirama bites the crust

Hummus Bodega, the Israeli-style, kosher hummus shop with pillowy pita in San Francisco’s Richmond District is seeking a new owner. The partners are hoping someone will buy the business so they don’t need to shut it down.

Business has been good, one of the partners, Isaac Yosef, told J., despite recent pro-Palestinian efforts to boycott it along with other Israeli-adjacent restaurants in the city.

“The attempted boycott brought much more support to all of us,” Yosef said. “Everyone on that list got more support.”

Hummus Bodega was a pivot project during spring 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic forced Frena, its sister bakery and business to close.

Hummus Bodega quickly gained fans for its silky chickpea dish offered with a variety of toppings, like hummus shops in Israel. It’s also kosher, in a city with minimal kosher options.

Yosef and his partners “all feel like we need to move on,” he said, referring to Din Leib and Yanni, who uses a single name. “We’ve been doing it for a long time. Frena was a big loss with Covid, and we’ve had no wind in our sails.”

Yosef is hoping someone will step in and keep the business going. There is a regular clientele who would like to see it remain open. Keeping it kosher is also important to the team.

“People love it, the food is good, and we feel that if someone with fresh blood takes it, they can make it much better,” Yosef said. “It has huge potential.”

Yosef said he’s spoken to a few people, but no one has stepped forward as of yet. If anyone is interested, call Yosef at (858) 337-8533.

I recently saw the news that Delirama, the pastrami place that grew out of Pyro’s Pastrami, is closing its shop on Berkeley’s Solano Avenue after a year and a half. The closure comes as a surprise because the opening of a second store in Oakland was announced in late 2023. Apparently that one is still on track to open later this year.

“The truth is that what I was trying to do was impossible and the longer I did it the more apparent it became,” owner Cash Caris wrote on Instagram earlier this week.

The couple behind it, Caris and Anahita Cann, aren’t Jewish. But Caris became obsessed with pastrami and honed his technique when working for a South Bay Israeli caterer. Not only did Delirama offer a number of pastrami dishes, but it made its own rye, bagels, bialys and other Jewish favorites like matzah ball soup, per customer demand. The not-Jewish deli had many Jewish customers.

The Instagram post noted that fresh rye and pastrami by the pound will still be sold there Fridays through Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or until they’re sold out, at least for now while Caris figures out his next move. (Cann stepped away from the business a few months ago.)

I wish them well and will report on their future endeavors since no doubt, they will involve pastrami.

Kristina Costa, the pastry chef of Loquat, a bakery in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood, was nominated this week for a James Beard award as best pastry chef.

Costa, who has some Greek-Jewish heritage, came up at Tartine and is known for her babka and other desserts with Mediterranean and Jewish influences.

Alix Wall
Alix Wall

Alix Wall is a contributing editor to J. She is also the founder of the Illuminoshi: The Not-So-Secret Society of Bay Area Jewish Food Professionals and is writer/producer of a documentary-in-progress called "The Lonely Child."