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Fast-Casual Indian Fusion Will Replace Seed + Salt's Vegan Cuisine in The Marina

Dabba is expanding from SoMa


Seed + Salt, a vegan counter-service restaurant, will close in November after three years in the Marina. But 2240 Chestnut Street won’t be vacant long, since Dabba, an Indian fusion breakfast and lunch business from a former Spruce executive chef, is moving right in, expanding from its popular SoMa location.

Seed + Salt opened to cleanse the Marina in 2014, but owner Mo Clancy says her business has become a victim of its own success. “Our sales our at the top of their game,” she tells Eater SF. But, she claims, she’s unable to keep up with the demands of yoga pants-clad, superfood guzzling Marina customers. Clancy will take “a hiatus and a step back” and look to reprise the business in some form afterward. The restaurant’s last day will be November 28, and she’ll be handing out free cookies until they run out.

Her staff will stick around to work at the incoming Dabba, a decidedly different direction from their previously plant-based employment. The business, which began with a food truck, already runs a catering operation on top of its SoMa brick-and-mortar location, which opened in July 2016.

Dabba is a collaboration between chef Walter Abrams and CEO Andy Mercy. It’s named after the Hindi word for lunchbox, and and takes Mumbai’s lunch delivery system as its inspiration. Before Dabba, Abrams was executive chef at Spruce, and he brings experience from The French Laundry. He created Dabba’s mashup menu of Indian, Mexican, and Cuban cuisines, inspired in part by Mexican-Indian restaurant Avatar’s in Sausalito. Avatar’s chef, Ashok Kumar, helped hone Abrams’ menu, and is credited on the restaurant’s website as the business’ “Inspirational Friend.”

Mercy describes Dabba’s food as a “global mashup,” adding that “our spices are about 50 percent Indian and 50 percent everything else.” And when Dabba opens on Chestnut, it will wade into new territory: Dinner, a meal not frequently consumed in the SoMa/FiDi area.