Treasure Island, currently undergoing a transformative redevelopment that includes 8,000 new residential units, could probably use a new dining destination. That’s the thinking behind Mersea (699 Avenue of Palms), which opens Friday from chef Parke Ulrich and co-founder/investor MeeSun Boice.
Ulrich, who led the kitchen at Embarcadero restaurants Waterbar and Epic Steak, apparently knows how to cook for a crowd that can be a little transfixed by a view — the ones at Mersea are of the San Francisco skyline. He’s put together a menu of comfort food with some global influences and plenty of seafood that includes clam chowder, Dungeness crab melts, and a wagyu beef double cheeseburger. Mersea will also serve breakfast daily and boasts wide-open hours from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, for those who are really stranded out on the island.
Take a look at the whole menu below: There’s also a full bar, and the restaurant will serve some beverages from Treasure Island’s handful of winery and brewery neighbors like Woods Island Club. In another neighborhood partnership, Mersea is working with the Treasure Island Homeless Development Initiative (TIHDI), which provides job training and opportunities for low-income and formerly homeless people, offering training programs in its kitchen.
Treasure Island, an artificial piece of land next to Yerba Buena Island accessible via the Bay Bridge, was originally built for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition and later used as a Naval Station. That might have partially inspired Mersea’s design, by the restaurant’s Treasure Island neighbor Mavrik Studios, using a Field Food Service System (FFSS) and its mobile “military-grade” kitchen.
The rest of the restaurant is constructed from 13 shipping containers around a central courtyard. More elements of the design are repurposed, like an herb garden made out of recycled pallets and tables built from old bowling alley lanes at the former Treasure Island Bowling Alley. No more bowling here, but there is an outdoor bocce ball court and putting green for entertainment.