San Francisco, USA

Californios

Californios takes the expected out of Mexican cuisine and makes it luxe instead. California roots and Mexican flare has earned the restaurant a Michelin star.

Mexican Like No Other

Chef Val M. Cantu has produced a truly inspired dining experience with Californios. Like so many others, he sources ingredients locally, but what happens then is masterpiece in cooking. Taking the skills and experiences of his upbringing and professional career in Mexican cuisine, Cantu takes things truly to the next level. Chicharron becomes Wagyu beef on a corn chip. A menudo can include hamachi. Corn pudding wakes up with a dash of uni.

Luxury Counts

An evening at Californios is a tasting-menu only presentation of the best offerings Cantu can find. The menu is $157 per person for sixteen courses with an optional $95 wine pairing and vegetarian alternatives are available. The subdued exterior of the building gives way to a sleek, handsome interior with caramel-colored leather banquettes set against walls in dark chocolate brown. Artwork is from the owner’s own collection of bright, lively graffitti-esque prints that bring energy to the room. A lucky few can snag a seat at the kitchen bar and watch the action unfold with precision.