A rendering of the new Exploratorium. [Photo: EHDD Architecture]
It's been a busy spring for restaurants along the Embarcadero: with Hard Water now open and Coqueta arriving shortly, the next month will also bring the brand-new home of the Exploratorium on Pier 15, currently scheduled to open its doors on April 17. In addition to the exhibits (tactile dome!), visitors to the revamped museum will find two new restaurants from Loretta Keller of Coco500 fame: Seaglass, a 170-seat fine-dining spot, and The Seismic Joint, a take-out cafe. It's not Keller's first museum rodeo: she opened The Moss Room in the California Academy of Sciences back in 2008, eventually passing the spot on to Charles Phan in January of last year.
Sushi fans will be pleased to hear that Seaglass will feature a raw-bar program helmed by Sachio Kojima, the master sushi chef who ran the beloved Kabuto Sushi A&S in the Richmond until 2005, disappeared for several years to care for his ailing wife, and earned raves during his brief stint last year at Joseph Manzare's otherwise troubled (and now-closed) Hecho. In addition to overseeing everything from sashimi to oysters, he'll also be in charge of fermentation, which should mean some tasty Japanese pickles.
On the cooked side, Seaglass will offer comforting fare like Welsh rarebit, rotisserie chicken, and quesadillas, with plenty of options for visiting youngsters with finicky palates. Their parents will be happy to learn there's a full bar as well. For visitors on the go, The Seismic Joint will offer espresso drinks, sandwiches, salads, and chowder, while a mobile "coffee trike" will supplement the caffeinated offerings. Both restaurants will be accessible without a museum ticket.
The look of Seaglass and The Seismic Joint was put together by Phan's go-to designer Olle Lundberg (who's also responsible for, and a partner in, Hard Water). The design aesthetic is based on a piece in the museum that charts the color of the Bay at different times of the day, as algal blooms, sunlight, and sediment change it from steel gray to murky green to Mediterranean blue. Kojima's raw bar will feature stacked blue glass and stainless steel.