Navi Kitchen is now open in Emeryville, serving chef Preeti Mistry’s signature style of Indian-meets-California cuisine. It’s the chef’s second restaurant, the follow-up to Juhu Beach Club in Temescal, but this time it’s an all day cafe, with counter service.
For now, Navi Kitchen is open from 8 a.m. til noon for brekkie, coffee, and chai; next will come sandwiches and salad the following week. By the end of the month, Misry says she plans to add dinner and Indian pizza. (Check out the full menu here.)
The space was designed by Mistry’s wife, Ann Nadeau, who is also behind the bright colors and floral wallpaper of Juhu Beach Club. The walls at Navi are also bright— blue this time instead of Juhu’s pink— and adorned with art that reflects the cafe’s theme of social justice. (There’s an entire section of the menu titled “comforting,” with each dish donating $1 of its proceeds to a different cause.) Berkeley artist and activist Nisha Sethi adorned the front hall with a brightly colored mural.
Besides serving as an excellent and convenient neighborhood hangout, Navi Kitchen hopes to build a community through programming and performances in the space— Mistry and Nadeau have long supported local non-profit Destiny Arts by hosting their annual party at Juhu. Mistry even mentioned the possibility of a weekly farmer’s market, bringing in the local purveyors from which she sources, as well as Planting Justice, another non-profit that teaches inmates to farm.
In the meantime, Navi Kitchen is offering pure enjoyment via its roomy 50-seat patio (where dogs and children are more than welcome), and ten seats at the counter inside. Spices, local pantry goods like Baia Pasta, wine, and beer are all available to take away, or drink on the premises.
Navi Kitchen is now open from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.; eventually hours will extend from 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. Keep an eye out for the possibility of brunch, and a “snacky hour” with charcuterie, popcorn, and drink specials as well.