La Cocina, the Mission nonprofit that cultivates low income food entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses, has another success story on its hands with the debut of its 22nd brick-and-mortar restaurant. El Buen Comer, the Bernal Heights restaurant focused on Mexican home cooking from Isabel Caudillo, started out of Caudillo’s home in 2001, offering guisados (home-style stews) and comida corridas (set lunches).
The ability of El Buen Comer to grow from its humble beginnings and successfully navigate San Francisco's tricky permitting and operating scene only highlights La Cocina's importance in bringing underrepresented cuisines to SF, in a time when only those with the most funding tend to flourish. Following the success of her home-based operation, Caudillo moved to the Noe Valley Farmers Market in 2008 and still sells there on Saturdays — now she has a shiny new brick-and-mortar to call home.
To start out, El Buen Comer will be serving lunch only for the month of June, relying on the daily-changing comidas corridas which include a beverage, appetizer, and guisado, or a bigger entree with a guisado. When dinner starts in July, it will be family style with guisados, tortillas, and entrees like mole, albondigas (meatballs), and chiles rellenos. Eventually Caudillo will start a Sunday buffet, too. You can see a sample menu below.
For now, El Buen Comer is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Starting July 1, hours will include dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.