We recently stopped in for dinner at San Francisco’s top Mexican restaurant, Cala, located in Hayes Valley. The food and cocktails were beautiful — full of flavor and life. Some of our favorites included the trout tostadas, the halibut ceviche, and the fire-charred sweet potato served with bone marrow salsa negra.
We caught up with the famous Mexico City chef, Chef Gabriela Cámara, who’s made Cala one of the best refined seafood-focused restaurants in San Francisco. We wanted to find out some of Chef Cámara’s favorite spots and tips for new Mexican cooks.
What kitchen tool you can’t live without?
Sharpie. Joke. Paring knife!
Is there a book or resource that you would recommend for people who want to learn how to cook authentic Mexican food?
Diana Kennedy, no doubt.
Where do you eat in San Francisco when you’re not at Cala?
Zuni, 20th Century Café, and Izakaya Rintaro. Love many, many places, but these are my local ones…
What’s your go-to wine right now?
A cold, crisp, savory rosé.
Cala is coming up on its two year anniversary, how have you seen Cala evolve and where do you see it going? What is your vision for Cala?
Cala has evolved from being the new, cool looking, Mexican, women-owned and run, out-of-the-box project of a restaurant, to being an actual successful and well-established business which promotes social change in subtle but efficient ways. We still have a very long way to go, and it has not been an easy ride, but my vision is that we can keep on making a mark with delicious, yet innovative food prepared with love and care, with sustainable, local ingredients which are served with a great selection of wines and cocktails in an environment which is unique aesthetically but mostly in terms of how you are cared for and looked after. And the real dream is that by doing so we can continue our work in promoting a more equitable society.