Dabba, the brain child of a socially conscious tech entrepreneur and former fine dining chef, will bring its unique mashup of Indian, Caribbean, and Mexican flavors to SoMa on July 11. This is the first brick-and-mortar location of the former food truck, helmed by chef Walter Abrams and CEO Andy Mercy.
Abrams, who has worked alongside Thomas Keller and Corey Lee at The French Laundry, and spent time as executive chef of Spruce, has developed a menu of what he calls "ethnic confusions." That is, mash-ups of flavorful cuisines with an eye towardquick delivery, sustainability, and nutrition. Abrams' cuisine was inspired by Marin's Indian-Mexican restaurant Avatar's, which has been offering similarly confusing ethnic combinations for almost thirty years, including a "punjabi burrito."
Abrams worked with Avatar's chef Ashok Kumar to nail down some of the restaurant's recipes, adding his own flavors along the way. Diners will choose entrees like chicken and pumpkin, or pork and mustard greens, which is offered in a bowl or paratha bread burrito or taco.
The 2,000 square-foot-space was designed by Zero Ten Designs and designer Laura Martin Bovard. The concrete-laden dining room offers a grey landscape with intermittent warm accents inspired by Indian spices, like turmeric and paprika, and plenty of light from high ceilings and skylights; 30 seats are available inside, with 20 courtyard seats around a fountain. The restaurant's name is derived from the hindi word for "lunchbox," inspired by the lunch delivery system in Mumbai that ferries hot lunches from home kitchens to workers each day.
Starting July 11, Dabba will be open Monday-Friday from 10:30 a.m.- 6 p.m.; breakfast will be added in the near future.