Work days and weekend brunch just got tastier thanks to these recent menu expansions at new hot-spots and tried-and-true San Francisco destinations. From a swanky power lunch to the latest reason to cross the bay, here's where you should be spending your days.
Mourad's Decadent Power Lunch
Chef Mourad Lahlou has added a new impressive lunch service to his soaring SoMa restuarant, complete with the kind of all-day cocktail service that may tempt you to start the weekend a little early. As with his acclaimed dinner service, Lahlou employs his Moroccan heritage to create elegant twists on modern Californian fare, best showcased in the must-order avocado toast topped with albacore crudo, tangy grapefruit, cress and marash ($13,) and a cucumber "salad" with merguez sausage and charred grapes, in which the cucumber is cut into delicate ribbons resembling pasta ($15). The flatbread, a fluffier, yeastier rendition than is typical, is also a great starter and comes with three spreads: yogurt-dill, piquillo-almond, and eggplant-tomato ($14). While New York ad men may get the three-martini lunch, San Francisco's deal-makers get a trio of cocktails with the new cocktail flight, featuring miniature versions of the inventive drinks — which is great for diners intrigued by the surprising ingredients that grace the menu. The umami mint cocktail, for instance, employs sesame oil to create a slightly savory component to the refreshing tequila-based minty concoction, while in another rendition, a tobacco spritz imparts an evocative aromatic element. Overall, it's a can't-lose experience, worthy of your special occasions and most important clients.
New Options at Michael Mina's The Ramen Bar
For a working lunch that's a little quicker, head to Michael Mina's The Ramen Bar for a newly expanded menu. While the soul-soothing ramen is still the star, other highlights include the tuna tacos with crispy wontons ($8) that Mina created for this year's Eat Drink SF, a burger ($13), made with wagyu beef and caramelized onions, and udon with grilled squash and a chicken meatball ($11).
Calavera's Elevated Oaxacan Lunch and Brunch
Across the bay, Calavera, the newest addition to Oakland's The Hive, has doubled down on its dinner success, with a new brunch and lunch service. Chef Christian Irabien riffs off the food and cooking techniques from his native Chihuahua, Mexico, sourcing Oaxacan ingredients and employing an ancient method of creating tortillas. Lunch highlights include tortas, such as the Hongos torta with grilled wild mushrooms, black garlic, chipotle, goat cheese, guacamole and salsa verde cruda ($13), and the Puerco Con Huevo torta with braised pork shank, tomato, avocado, over-easy egg, black beans, and salsa ($14). On the brunch side, fun new cocktails, such as a mezcal Bloody Mary ($12), michaeladas ($9), and a piña colada mimosa, with fresh pineapple juice, Kalani (a coconut liqueur), and brut cava ($9) join the likes of enchiladas, featuring a 63-degree egg, and classic chilaquiles made with Irabien's special handmade tortillas.
Scotland Yard's Playful New Brunch
On the leisurely weekend brunch front, Scotland Yard in the Marina launches brunch this weekend, aimed at curing hangovers and keeping the party going through Sunday football. The playful 16-dish menu is in sync with the neighborhood's lively brunch crowd and features inventive riffs on brunch classics, such as Captain Crunch-encrusted fried chicken and waffle bites ($11), an "explosive" fruit plate featuring nitro-infused crème fraîche and Pop Rocks candy ($6.50), and an "adult root beer float," made with an oatmeal stout and house-made ice cream ($10). And thankfully chef Jason Raffin has "brunched up" the winning burger on his dinner menu with a fried egg ($15).