Restaurants, Mexican Civic Center
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Photograph: Chloe LIst

Chef Gabriela Cámara, of famed Mexico City restaurant Contramar, has brought her brand of refined seafood-focused Mexican to an airy Hayes Valley space. Cala has garnered buzz for dishes like the trout tostada with chipotle, avocado and fried leeks (the California counterpoint to Contramar's beloved tuna tostada); the ling cod salpicon; and a dish of cactus and eggplant cooked inside a corn husk. The salpicon and corn-and-eggplant dish are served with house-made corn tortillas for DIY taco-ing. Cocktails like the Horchata Colada (spiked with rum) and the Martini Oaxaqueño (an unusual concoction containing mezcal, citrus and olives) play with Latin American bar staples. There's brunch on Sundays and, for weekday lunch, Tacos Cala (located in the alley near the restaurant's back entrance) offers tortillas stuffed with several stewed fillings of the day for takeout or a quick bite.

By: Jenny Miller


Venue name: Cala
Address: 149 Fell St
San Francisco

Cross street: between Van Ness Ave and Franklin St
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 5-11pm; Sun 10am-2pm
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