Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Californios

3115 22nd St. (S. Van Ness Ave.) Send to Phone
415-757-0994
Chef-owner Val M. Cantu presents a multi-course tasting of Mexican fare in the Mission district.

Cuisine
Open
Dinner Tues.-Sat.
Features

* Click here for rating key

Californios, San Francisco, CA

Californios Restaurant Review

: Chef Val M. Cantu, his wife and maître d' Carolyn Cantu and her sister, beverage director Charlotte Randolph, have created a unique modern Mexican dining experience in an unexpected corner of the Mission. The only option is the chef’s tasting menu, which offers surprises: the vaguely-worded document doesn’t actually arrive at the table until the conclusion of the meal. The unknowns are exciting, though, so there’s no need to worry. The tostada, with nixtamal and PEI mussels, evokes the familiar notes of classic taqueria fare with unique twists of flavor and texture. A dish called simply “frijoles” comprises humble heirloom beans prepared three ways and layered with shallot and garlic relish; it somehow manages to be the richest and most luxurious item on a menu that includes smoked venison saddle. The gorgeous space is dark and moodily chic, with vibrant paintings, Deco light fixtures and a warmth that evokes an artist’s fashionable living room. Randolph’s wine pairings from small producers the world over are daring and fun. Staff is warm and friendly. Putting oneself in their capable hands is nothing short of an adventurous pleasure.
GAYOT has uncovered the best restaurants in (and around) San Francisco for you to enjoy right now
Top 25 Restaurants in San Francisco to Eat at Right Now

San Francisco is buzzing with everything from craft cocktail bars to eateries inspired by destinations around the globe. Discover the hottest restaurants in San Francisco.



AMERICA'S TOP RESTAURANTS

Discover the best female chefs, top pizzerias and stellar seafood restaurants with GAYOT's Top 10 lists of the best restaurants in America.