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Look Around Cala, Bringing Seafood-Focused Mexican to Mid-Market

Mexico City chef Gabriela Cámara has her stateside debut.

San Francisco's about to get a major dose of Mexico, as Gabriela Cámara's seafood-focused Cala is hitting Mid-Market as early as Monday. The highly anticipated projectfrom the Mexico City-native, who also owns the successful Contramar and Merotoro in her hometown, focuses exclusively on fish on the dinner menu, through a mainly Mexican lens, but with Italian and Spanish inflections as well. There will be plenty of ceviches, black cod and a mussels tamale, a dish that Cámara is especially excited about. What you won't find are burritos. "In California everyone has their idea of what Mexican food is, so it's a challenge to work against that," Cámara told Eater. "Everybody asks, 'Are you going to have burritos?' No. We hope to expand on what people have tasted of Mexican food."

Cala will also serve Saturday and Sunday brunch, where there will be meat dishes, and coming in about a month will be Tacos Cala, a back-alley taco lunch spot with tortillas formed from corn that is nixtamilized in-house. Drinks from Regina Schauerte (Blackbird) will mainly include mezcal, tequila and a few beers, and a coastal wine list curated by Lauren Feldman has mostly whites and roses, with a few light reds. "It's lighter food. You don't want a barolo with a ceviche; it just doesn't go," Cámara joked.

Take a look around the space, designed by Charles Hemminger Architects (State Bird Provisions) and Cámara, with input from Cala's general manager Emma Rosenbush. Cala plans to open Monday, September 21, with a grand opening to follow in early October.


149 Fell St, San Francisco, CA 94102