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Features 4 minutes 01 April 2021

Wear Your Favorite Restaurant With Merch 4 Relief

Wear your restaurant pride with a limited-edition T-shirt

Los Angeles New York City San Francisco

When restaurants across the country began shuttering last March, nonprofit Merch 4 Relief wanted to do something to help. Partnering with restaurants and artists across the country, they started selling branded T-shirts and sweatshirts. Ninety-five percent of profits from purchases go to the restaurant you're supporting; the remaining five percent goes to the artist. The clothing is limited edition and sells out almost as soon as it drops. Grab your merch from these MICHELIN-recommended restaurants in San Francisco, LA, and New York, and wear it out or while you enjoy take-out at home.

Flour + Water
San Francisco, CA
Flour + Water's T-shirt was designed by Megan Almonte, an illustrator and graphic designer from New York.
As the name implies, two ingredients create a world of possibilities at this always-packed Mission hot spot. Neapolitan pizzas and handmade pastas (like al dente garganelli with whole-grain mustard and braised pork) will have you sighing after each bite, and a selection of more traditional mains (such as seared duck breast with chanterelles and pecorino-dusted charred Brussels sprouts) score every bit as big as the noodles and pies.

Nopa T-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief
Nopa T-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief

Nopa
San Francisco, CA
Nopa's T-shirt was designed by Merlin Mannelly, who hand-paints signs and does graphic design for New York restaurants. Before you’re able to enjoy a single forkful at this Bay Area sensation, you’ll have to secure a table—and that takes some serious effort. The good news? Your efforts will be well rewarded. Inside, an open kitchen, soaring ceilings and hordes of ravenous sophisticates produce a cacophonous setting in which to relish Nopa’s wonderful, organic, wood-fired cuisine. Dig into a bruschetta of grilled levain spread with smashed avocado, pickled jalapeños, lemon-dressed arugula and shaved mezzo secco, or go for the roasted king salmon fillet over creamed corn, smoky maitakes, crisp green beans and sweet tomato confit.

Rich Table t-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief
Rich Table t-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief

Rich Table
San Francisco, CA
Rich Table's T-shirt was designed by Merlin Mannelly, who hand-paints signs and does graphic design for New York restaurants.
A rustic-chic décor highlighting reclaimed and raw wood gives Rich Table a farmhouse feel, and the crowds that pack it are equally stylish. Why all the fuss? Because Chefs/owners Evan and Sarah Rich execute casual Californian fare with fine-dining precision, interweaving a bevy of global influences along the way. The seared pierogies, stuffed with ricotta, morels and peas, are pristine enough to win a Polish grandmother’s approval, and a char siu-style pork chop is beautifully smoky and charred. The super-hip staff is thoroughly polished and happy to recommend a cocktail or wine. They’ll push the duo of famous "snacks"—crispy sardine-threaded chips and umami-packed porcini doughnuts with raclette dipping sauce. But skip them in favor of a seasonal dessert, like the tart cherry ice with almond ice cream and shiso.

Night + Market t-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief
Night + Market t-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief

Night + Market
West Hollywood, CA
Night + Market's T-shirt and sweatshirt were designed by Yaroslav Svyrydenko, a NY -and LA-based artist from Kiev, Ukraine. 
Menu highlights unveil larb gai, a zesty toss-up of minced chicken, cilantro, lime, rice powder and finely diced chilies. Continue along the spice route via the gaeng hanglay, a hearty Burmese-style curry infused with ginger, tamarind and pickled garlic. Close out with pad see ew, starring thin rice noodles sautéed with chicken, egg and Chinese broccoli—sambal served on the side makes this quite the house delight.

Kismet t-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief
Kismet t-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief

Kismet
Los Angeles, CA
Kismet's T-shirt was designed by Brandon Josie, a graphic designer and bartender in Portland, OR. In that eternal quest for that great neighborhood restaurant, Kismet fits the bill. Of course, that only works when your 'hood is Los Feliz and said restaurant sports a mélange of Middle Eastern influences. This kitchen offers all-day dining, but with the shakshuka, or poached eggs in tomato stew, this isn’t your pancake and French toast crowd.

Pasjoli T-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief
Pasjoli T-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief

Pasjoli
Los Angeles, CA
Pasjoli's T-shirts were designed in-house
After making a splash with tasting-menu delight (Dialogue), Chef Dave Beran has upped the ante with this French bistro, where standards like onion soup and beef tartare are elevated to their highest reaches. His menu teems with tempting dishes, thereby creating a particular challenge—keep things light with an endive salad or go full steam with the pâté en croute.

Ronan t-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief
Ronan t-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief

Ronan
Los Angeles, CA
Ronan's T-shirt was designed by Yaroslav Svyrydenko, a NY -and LA-based artist from Kiev, Ukraine.
Diners here can expect to see pizza dough stretched, blenders whirring and the wood-fired oven crackling, all of which contribute to Ronan's swank allure. Cute and quirky food descriptions make perusing the menu as entertaining as it is appetizing. Many are here just for the hand-tossed Neapolitan pizza—its thin-crust enticingly blistered beneath minimal ingredients. But the rest of the menu is just as divine, especially such bites as blanched asparagus with Fresno chilies and lemon aïoli.

Rustic Canyon T-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief
Rustic Canyon T-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief

Rustic Canyon
Los Angeles, CA
Rustic Canyon's T-shirt was designed by Brandon Josie, a graphic designer and bartender in Portland, OR.
The market-inspired menu here is proudly crammed with the names of local farmers, reminding guests of the humble ingredients at the base of each sophisticated composition. The kitchen's versatility and range in talent is clear from the first bite of green beans tossed in shallot vinaigrette with a delectable heap of shaved cheese. Heavily embellished or more ambitious dishes are just as pleasing, and may include the unexpected combination of earthy-sweet beets, grains, and berries all held together in perfect harmony. Much of this elevated farm-to-table carte is designed for sharing. Breads and desserts are a formidable treat here, so be sure to try the bread au chocolat made with chunks of caramelized brioche, or ice cream in flavors like pea, mint and macadamia.

Raoul's T-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief
Raoul's T-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief

Raoul's
New York, NY
Raoul's sweatshirts and T-shirts were designed by Merlin Mannelly, who hand-paints signs and does graphic design for New York restaurants. In a city that changes faster than you can go from uptown to down, Raoul’s (open since the 1970s) is a stalwart—here long before SoHo was a brand name. This is a place where diners return for consistently well-prepared French-American cooking. The kitchen has a delicate touch, lifting standards like a rack of lamb with oyster mushrooms or octopus with chickpea purée above the everyday. Chilled corn soup with tender chunks of lobster and creamy avocado is a perfect summer opener, while plats principaux unites seared halibut with zucchini and wild garlic risotto with freshly shelled fava beans for a simple and delicious dish.

Frenchette t-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief
Frenchette t-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief

Frenchette
New York, NY
Frenchette's T-shirt was designed in-house by Dava Nasr.  
Zinc bar, marble floors, burgundy leather banquettes—it’s textbook brasserie with a smattering of art deco finesse. This place is so much more than good looks, though. Begin with brouillade, a plate filled with scrambled eggs framing a pool of Peconic snails and—you guessed it—garlic butter. Traditional sweetbreads sport a crisp shell masking the smooth interior and are served in a savory jus studded with poached crayfish and spring peas. Savor a flaky mille feuille before bidding this delightful kitchen adieu.

Win Son T-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief
Win Son T-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief

Win Son
Brooklyn, NY
Win Son's T-shirt was designed by Vasco Morelli, a creative director in San Francisco.
This bright little spot aims to showcase Taiwan's culinary landscape with a fresh perspective. The exterior pays homage to New York's beloved bodegas, but the light-filled interior has a crisp, modern vibe thanks to glossy blonde wood tables, exposed brick walls and a small, polished bar that's perfect for both solo diners and couples. Don’t miss briny clams in a thick bath of Shaoxing rice wine, bobbing with cubes of butternut squash and red kabocha. This may be paired with soft bao—their unique twist is as addictive as it is sloppy—and tailed by thick and chewy zha jiang mian (noodles simmered with tender lamb, chili oil, and Sichuan peppercorn).

Oxalis T-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief
Oxalis T-shirt. Photo courtesy Merch 4 Relief

Oxalis
Brooklyn, NY
Oxalis' T-shirt was designed in-house.
Well-priced, product-driven tasting menus make this dining experience utterly enjoyable. Snag a table by the chef’s station to witness the action—like luscious uni being dolloped over miso-cured scallops in a delicious apple- and Thai chili-broth. Snappy rutabaga noodles then arrive covered in fontina cream with notes of deep and rich chicory. Your meal may reach its peak thanks to koji-rubbed smoked beef, or bright Steelhead trout with a bergamot-infused cream sauce. Desserts too attest to the kitchen's creative vision and deep culinary wisdom. Highlights may include caramelized white chocolate cream with Meyer lemon curd and meringue triangles, or a "chocolate bar" layering a dark shortbread cookie with decadent chocolate-sesame ganache.

Hero image: Flour + Water t-shirt. Photo courtesy of Merch 4 Relief

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