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Marla Bakery, An Outer Richmond Restaurant & Retreat

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[Photos: Patricia Chang]

After its owners took it for a test run by holding their utterly adorable wedding there, Marla Bakery officially opened to the public this weekend. It's a very personal project for Amy Brown and Joe Wolf, who met working at Nopa and went into business together as a farmer's market stand and pop-up a few years back. They chose their Outer Richmond location because it was walking distance from their house, and while the name may imply pastries and coffee, they'll actually have much more than that—breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch will all be available. And no, there's no actual Marla involved; the name is an acronym that stands for the first initials of the family members who inspired their love for cooking and baking.

For their first week in business (from tomorrow through Sunday, June 29), Marla will be open just for breakfast (8:30-10:30 am) and lunch (11:30 am-2:30 pm). The morning menu includes treats like candied-orange pain au chocolat, cherry-lemon scones, and farmer's cheese and green-onion turnovers. They'll serve their own bagels with housemade cream cheese and lox (Wolf is a Wise Sons Deli alum, so he knows his way around both), and baked eggs with thyme cream and leeks. They're baking all their own bread, too, including baguettes, levain, and savory walnut bread. At lunch, the menu expands to include dishes like a club sandwich, a crispy halibut sandwich with avocado and preserved lemon, ale-steamed mussels, and potato gnocchi with peas. There are some desserts, too, like a Mexican chocolate pot de creme or gateau Basque.

This Sunday, they'll offer their first Sunday Supper (6 pm), a family-style, single-seating prix fixe meal centered around the week's best produce. That will transition into dinner (Thursday-Saturday, 5:30-9:30 pm, beginning July 3), with a menu of dishes like asparagus soup with a sous-vide egg, a pork chop with pancetta and potato hash, and seared salmon with chorizo in a bouillabaisse broth. The final component is brunch (Saturday-Sunday, 10:30 am-3 pm, beginning July 5), with dishes like an English muffin with house-cured bacon, scrambled eggs, and fennel salsa verde, or a "butcher man's breakfast" of black bread pudding with a sunny-side-up egg and beet relish. (Fans of the bakery's Kitchen Communal window in the Mission, fret not: it will remain open with hours on Monday-Friday, 8am-3pm, and Saturday-Sunday, 9am-4pm.)

Throughout the various services, Marla will offer an extensive wine and sherry list curated by former Nopa wine director Chris Deegan, with four whites, four reds, and a sparkling wine by the glass, and 30-50 bottles, all under $65. A chalkboard will list special one-off bottles worth ordering, many at deep discounts. Moonlight's Death and Taxes and Almanac's Dogpatch Sour are the draft options, and there's a menu of 6-8 beers by the bottle, as well as some ciders.

The 26-seat interior centers around a custom wood-burning oven, while an outdoor patio designed by Paxton Gate offers a lovely garden setting (including fruit trees and herbs the duo plan to use in the restaurant). And in case that wedding wasn't enough charm for you, the entire place is suffused with family love: Brown's dad built the chairs and her brother did the artwork.

· Married at Marla Bakery: Owners Get Hitched [~ ESF ~]
· Marla Bakery Kickstarts For a Garden [~ ESF ~]
· Marla Bakery Opens Kitchen Communal in the Mission [~ ESF ~]

Marla Bakery

3619 Balboa Street, , CA 94121 (415) 742-4379 Visit Website

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