Chef Maria Esquivel's NorCal-inspired Mexican concept Chica has become a fixture at Off the Grid Fort Mason and for brunch at Cease & Desist in the past year, growing in popularity to the point that Esquivel now has a space to call her own. Chica is officially here to stay via a new takeout window in Telegraph Hill that services a steady lunchtime crowd — despite quietly opening this past Monday, November, 9, there were already lines queuing up this week during peak lunch rush hours.
Esquivel started Chica after five years at the Vestry and El Techo, during which time she honed her Mexican and American mash-up menu of breakfast and lunch tortas filled with options like carnitas or roasted eggplant and mushroom and "Mexi-rice" bowls with jasmine rice, pickles, slaw and a meat or vegetarian topping. During breakfast, there's also granola and pastries from Batter Bakery and coffee via Mr. Espresso.
Esquivel is taking a break from pop-ups for a while to focus on the take-out window, but she is definitely applying for next season's Off the Grid Fort Mason. For now, though, Chica is open weekdays at the takeout window with breakfast from 8 a.m. to 11: 30 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.