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Inside Arguello, Traci des Jardins' New Presidio Mexican Restaurant

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It's housed in the historic, freshly renovated Presidio Officers' Club.

[Photos: Patricia Chang]

Along with Mission Dolores, the Presidio Officers' Club is one of SF's two oldest buildings, which means it needs a little TLC every once in a while. The latest refresh boasts a new museum, the Presidio Heritage Gallery, as well as space for meetings and events. And it has a restaurant: Arguello, the second Traci des Jardins project to arrive in the Presidio in the past five months (The Commissary, adjacent to the main post, opened in May).

While The Commissary takes its culinary inspiration from Spain, Arguello takes on Mexican flavors. It's named for former Presidio commander Luis Antonio Arguello, and Mexican food is definitely in Des Jardins' wheelhouse—she also owns fast-casual Mexican mini-chain Mijita. Arguello, however, is more upscale than Mijita, especially in the evenings, when dishes are more complex. (Lunch, intended to serve tourists visiting the museum, is a bit faster and more casual.) Culinary director Robbie Lewis is also behind the food, while Enrique Sanchez, formerly of La Mar, created the tequila- and mezcal-centric drink menu.

The space is massive, with 118 seats, including a wind-sheltered outdoor courtyard that has a fire pit and heaters. There's a 34-foot mural of an old Presidio map (by Julie Coyle), and some of the fixtures, like the pendants and wall sconces, are original to the building. Arguello isn't taking reservations, so be warned that it's first come, first served. For now, hours are Wednesday-Saturday, 11 am-9 pm, and Sunday, 11 am-4 pm.

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