The RundownSan Francisco

At the Lower Haight’s New Otra, Family and Masa are Central

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Before you go to a new restaurant, what do you want — or need — to know most? In this new series, The Rundown, we’re sharing all the essentials about newly opened Resy restaurants.  

This is Otra in the Lower Haight, which recently opened for indoor and outdoor dining. Here’s everything you need to know.

ANOTHER ONE (in DJ Khaled voice).

Otra means “another” in Spanish, and is a reference to husband-and-wife team Nick and Anna Cobarruvias’s second restaurant. Their first, Son’s Addition, has an eclectic menu, while Otra is a more focused on the Mexican fare that Nick grew up eating (his father is from Jalisco).  

More on the Cobarruvias family. 

Nick attended CCA in San Francisco and has been cooking for almost two decades, working everywhere from Jardiniere to Marlowe, where he was chef de cuisine before striking out on his own. Anna’s background is in front-of-house, and you’ll likely see her handling business on the floor.

The Cobarruvias family.

What was that about the food?

Otra makes their masa in house from yellow,  blue, and purple heirloom corn from Masienda, nixtamalizing, grinding and all to make beautiful tortillas, tostadas, and tamales from scratch.

As such, you’ll want to order things that highlight corn. (See the full menu here.) You could start with the light bright limey aguachile that comes with a side of housemade chips, but the tacos and tostadas are the name of the game here, particularly the vegetable-leaning ones. Hen of the wood mushrooms with avocado puree, charred poblano, crema, and salsa macha is a treat that’ll make you forget meat, and the (vegan) roasted carrot tostada comes on a crispy tostada over a shmear of hearty jalapeno hummus, arbol salsa, and toasted pumpkin seeds.

The coconut flan is not very vegan, but is nice and thick and should not be missed.

 

Photo by Omar Mamoon

And the drinks?

There’s wine and beer on tap, but the move is to sit at the bar and sip on cocktails made with mezcal or tequila. Start with a mezcaroni (which is, you guessed it, a negroni made with mezcal) to really whet your appetite, and move onto a house margarita. Important: These can also be made by the pitcher.

Two more things…

Otra is in an old sushi restaurant in the Lower Haight–the move is to sit at the bar and crush a couple tostadas and tacos and mezcal cocktails, but if it’s nice outside, consider sitting in their patio and catching up with friends over a pitcher.

Though they are not currently accepting reservations, but are open daily from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. They’ll soon be expanding hours, and introducing happy hour and brunch options.

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