At Gabriela Cámara’s Mexico City flagship, Contramar, the kitchen is open for only lunch– a long, boozy meal (usually followed by a well-earned siesta). Cámara brings this Mexican tradition across the border to her SF restaurant, Cala, for Sunday brunch.
Bridging her Mexico City roots with the Bay Area’s produce cornucopia, Chef Cámara creates authentic Mexican dishes with a Californian twist. The rolls are baked fresh by Tartine bakery, exclusively for Cala, and Chef Camara always goes the extra mile: the tortillas, which are the star attraction, are prepared fresh in-house. The house specialty is the “Bloody María”–a concoction of the house mezcal, Amarás, and signature sangrita. As Cala knows, brunch is best served with a buzz.
Here are five standout dishes in a lineup of 10’s:
Raw Oysters and Champagne: Start brunch off the old-fashioned way, with a half-dozen oysters and a half-bottle of champagne. Hog Island oysters and Veuve Fourny bubbly are on rotation through the end of the month, a winning combination–and a steal.
Trout Tostadas: At Contramar, this dish is made with tuna, but in the Bay Area, locality plays. Caught fresh from McFarland Springs in Northern California, the trout in these tostadas is on another level. Brunch or dinner, don’t miss ‘em.
Torta Ahogada: What happens when you combine San Francisco’s top bakery with Mexico’s hottest sandwich? Meet the “Torta Ahogada.” Pork confit carnitas are seared on the plancha until crispy and sandwiched between Tartine’s specially-made “bolillos” rolls. Finish it off with a healthy dose of ahogada sauce and this sandwich is a show-stopper.
Carnitas and Tortillas: This typically seafood-forward menu only serves meat one day out of the week, so there’s a reason brunch at Cala is a special occasion: carnitas. Cala serves its carnitas simply, with anything-but-ordinary fresh tortillas. These golden California-grown corn tortillas are made fresh every day, and served in a tortillero that keeps them warm over a hot stone. You haven’t tasted a tortilla until you’ve tried one here.
Enfrijoladas: Brunch enchiladas, Cala style. Made with purslane and queso fresco, the enfrijoladas are topped with an Apple Tree Farms fried egg. Break the yolk and get saucy.
Chilaquiles: Is it a Mexican brunch without Chilaquiles? At Cala, you’ll find them covered in carnitas and topped with salsa verde and a fried egg. It’s exactly what Sunday morning called for: ¿Hola? Chilaquiles are on the line.
Grab a seat at Cala today!