Lemonade, the cafeteria-style restaurant chain from SoCal, is poised to make a debut in the Bay Area, starting with its first location in Yerba Buena. It's the first of six locations planned for the region, taking over spaces that were once La Boulange from Palo Alto to Walnut Creek.
The restaurant is vegetable-focused, following the growing trend of making meat a side dish rather than the star of the plate. "I've spent the better part of my life in fine dining, where I focused on the center of the plate," chef/owner Alan Jackson told Eater. "What I'm doing at Lemonade is taking the accoutrements— the vegetables, sauce— and making those ingredients the focal point. All the things that would be tucked up under a piece of steak or fish are taking the forefront."
Though based in LA where sunny skies are the norm, the bright and airy brand will launch in San Francisco with a slightly different menu offering, to match the weather. New hot station items like a braised lamb shank with lentils will cater to the foggier climate, while the stores themselves will also adapt. According to Jackson, even the color palettes of the new store will become warmer, from the type of wood used (SF will feature ash, while LA has maple) to the paint.
"The name itself could give pause as to the seriousness to which we take our food," said Jackson, also referring to the brand's playful aesthetic. "But when guests experience what we do, they'll realize that it's all about the spirit in which we manage our business and create food."
Check out the San Francisco menu below, available May 5 at the Yerba Buena location. (The menu items listed below are seasonal, in addition to Lemonade's Classics.)
Tatsoi and Mizuna Lettuce with Shaved Heirloom Carrots & Honey Roasted Peanuts - Suggested Dressings: Sesame or Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrettes
Butter and Red Oak Lettuce with Breakfast Radish, Avocado & Grapefruit - Suggested Dressings: Citrus or Sherry Shallot Vinaigrettes
Baby Artisan & Gem Romaine with Garlic Croutons & Parmesan with Caesar Dressing
Lime Beans with Strawberries, Smoked Gouda, and Red Wine Vinaigrette
Spring Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes with Tarragon Salsa
Smoked Salmon with Watercress, Bagel Chips and Horseradish Dressing
LAND & SEA
Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewers with Mango Chermoula
All Day Breakfast Sandwich with Bacon, Egg, Bechamel, and Cheddar
Enchilada Torte with Zucchini, Queso Fresco, Cheddar Cheese, and Hoja Santa
Slow Roasted Lamb Shank with Cherry Tomatoes, Olives, and Capers
Sautéed Kale with Goat Cheese and Bechamel