As of Monday, August 16, California-Filipino cuisine has a new home at Abacá, the much-anticipated brick-and-mortar restaurant from chef Francis Ang of popular Bay Area pop-up Pinoy Heritage. The upscale restaurant, located inside the Kimpton Alton Hotel in Fisherman’s Wharf, is rolling out dinner service Monday through Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m., while the attached panaderia tempts the sweet tooth set with fresh-baked pastries and coffee from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
Abacá dinner menu diverges three ways with a section of barbecue sticks, noodle and rice dishes, and larger plates, all of which combine the culinary knowledge and skills Ang learned from traveling and cooking in the Philippines with his commitment to using the best of northern California produce. “A lot of these recipes, it’s just us interpreting it into our own with California ingredients and produce and something we may have learned from like, literally, cooking with a tita on the street or somebody’s yaya,” Ang told Eater earlier this month.
Standouts include the delicately layered sisig fried rice, which Ang has been making since he first launched his Filipino pop-up in 2013, and a tomato and peach salad that’s boosted with mung bean hummus and a salty condiment made from smoked fish. Though familiar Filipino dishes including pork lumpia, a skewer inspired by breakfast classic longsilog, and chicken palabok lean to the meatier side of the scale, Ang balances things with vegetable-focused options like an adobo-glazed yuba skin barbecue skewer and squash dumplings.
The restaurant’s dedicated entrance off Jones Street gives way to lush space that’s drenched in sunshine thanks to a broad skylight covering most of the 33-seat dining room. A streetside patio will seat another 30 diners. Hanging faux plants lend tropical warmth aided by light wood flooring and cheerful canary yellow banquettes. Adorning the back bar and hanging throughout the restaurant are woven baskets made from abaca, the leaf fiber that inspired the restaurant’s name.
There are 13 more seats at the bar, where Kevin Diedrich (Pacific Cocktail Haven, Kona’s Street Market) has designed a list of seven cocktails infused with southeast Asian flavors like calamansi, pandan, ube, and guyabano. If the bourbon-based Kingbird, punched up with pineapple, jackfruit, and tamarind, isn’t the ticket, there’s also a tight menu of beer, wine, and sake up for grabs.
Dinner reservations at Abacá are available Wednesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and can be made on the restaurant’s website. Abacá is located inside the Kimpton Alton Hotel at 2700 Jones Street.