Californios State of Mind

Quite Possibly the Fanciest Mexican Joint in Town

None 8 Photos Californios
A lot of people are thinking about January 1.

Something about a new beginning.

But January 2, that’s when the surprise beef tongue comes in.

That’s when the doors officially open at Californios, an intriguingly menu-free Mexican spot from a Sons & Daughters alum—they’ll start taking reservations Friday.

Val Cantu’s the name. He’s the chef bringing you a wine-paired menu of abstract takes on traditional Mexican dishes. Stuff like smoked-hamachi aguachile, braised beef tongue and a corn-and-rice-flour chip with fermented pepper cream. The only thing is... you won’t be seeing the menu. Not until after you’ve eaten everything, anyway. Surprise.

It’s pretty formal in here, but... art deco formal. Picture tufted-Italian-leather banquettes, black walls, glass chandeliers and white tablecloths. (Here’s the slideshow.)

There are a couple of ways you can tackle this: with a foodie date at the counter seats overlooking the open kitchen, where you’ll get a look at what you’re about to eat before you eat it. Or with a group at the back table behind the marble-topped bookshelf stacked high with cookbooks.

Sci-fi novels didn’t feel right.


3115 22nd St
(at S Van Ness)
San Francisco, CA, 94110


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