August 1 Five, a modern Indian restaurant from ex-Googler Hetal Shah, opens in Civic Center today. It joins a growing rank of high-caliber restaurants that are expanding outside Hayes Valley's neighboring boundaries, like Corridor and Corridor Café.
Shah recently decamped from the world of technology to fulfill a dream, and fill the gap in high-end Indian food in San Francisco. Chef Manish Tyagi (formerly of Rasika in Washington, D.C.) is heading up a menu of California-influenced Indian flavors, like Kashmiri chili wings, lobster in coconut stew, and tandoor-fired lamb chops. There won't be any curries on the menu, says Shah, which is composed of small plates, and large, shareable items. You can see it in full below. The wine list is from Austin Ferrari (Hillside Supper Club), and cocktails are headed up by bar manager Brian Martinez.
The 4,000-square-foot restaurant boasts about 90 to 100 seats at the bar, communal tables, and booths. The design came from Shah and designer Craige Walters, using lots of peacock-inspired colors, as well as images of the bird itself. Leather stools with brass accents, booths covered in teal velvet, and design elements like a lattice entryway connect the environment to the cuisine, topped off with an enormous photo of a Maharaja who was known for a love of food and drinks. "We wanted to make sure it didn't feel like a traditional Indian restaurant," said Shah. "The food and experience is not traditional." That extends to the name, which references Indian Independence day, veering away from the "Bombay Gardens" of the world.
The restaurant is taking reservations, as well as saving room for walk-ins at the communal and dining tables. Lunch is served daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with dinner hours from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and to 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Happy hour is from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily.