Having settled into its new digs in the cultural mecca that is SoMa, diners now make their way through the front door (read: metal gate) and down a rather sexy, lantern-lit ramp to arrive at this temple of culinary fusion. And it is within this upscale arena that Chef Val M. Cantu, who takes great inspiration from Mexico, turns out a parade of familiar dishes made ultra complex and deliciously unique.
The radiant servers merely enhance this deeply personal element by waxing poetic on every component on the plate in front of you. As with any kitchen of this caliber, ingredients on the multi-couse tasting menu are impeccably sourced from small farms across the state. Start with a quick succession of snacks, like a Oaxacan green masa tart filled with smoked sturgeon mousse, or a mini infladita filled with guajillo chileatole and crowned with Hokkaido uni. A sliver of grilled Cavendish banana is then presented with savory dulce de leche mounted with caviar; while a lamb chop with green garlic salsa and morels is accompanied by a fragrant lamb jus- lemon- and cilantro-broth.
A scoop of buttery horchata ice cream with fresh strawberries and sweet coulis makes for a most memorable sendoff.