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Checking In With San Francisco's Mission Beach Cafe

Checking In With San Francisco's Mission Beach Cafe

The last time I went to Mission Beach Cafe, Ryan Scott of Top Chef season 4, taught me how to make his amazing croutons. Since then, Scott has moved on (to work as a private chef) leaving the cafe in the capable hands of chef Thomas Martinez. At 22, Martinez is quite possibly San Francisco's youngest head chef. His food, however, tastes like something only a seasoned professional could make. While his dishes are classic, they're not without surprising flavors or interesting ingredients.

A mixed green salad expertly combines creamy avocado, sweet mango, and tangy feta cheese — components that I would never think to put together in the same dish. Instead of chicken, Martinez elevates his pot pie to the next level with rabbit. The oozing rich sauce is entirely encased in a flaky melt in your mouth pastry that's so flavorful I'm still dreaming about it. A burger is beyond gourmet with aged gouda and truffle dusted, thick-cut fries. With its laid back elegance, relaxed atmosphere, and intensely divine food, the cafe has quickly become one of my favorite spots in the city. Has anyone else dined there? What's your favorite cafe like?

To take a closer look at Martinez's food, click on one of the images below.

Grilled flatbread, fava bean spread, chili marinated olives, cowgril creamy mt. tam

The menu

Artichoke soup with pickled onion, truffle oil

Avocado and mango salad with baby greens, barrel aged feta, white balsamic vinaigrette

Fried wild rock shrimp and baby artichokes with spicy bruins farm tomato puree

Strawberry salad


Mixed wild rices, white bean puree, market vegetables, green garlic sauce

Slow-roasted halibut, purple cauliflower puree, kyra's miners lettuce, truffle dressing, buerre blanc

Prather ranch beach burger with aged gouda, caramelized onion, mushroom, kennebec fries

Grilled rose-brined pork chop

Rabbit pot pie, roasted market vegetables, rabbit demi

Dessert plate

Dessert plate

Rick Camargo Photography

Join The Conversation
nancita nancita 8 years
Wow, it doesn't seem like Ryan was there very long. But I want to check it out again. I love this place. I can't believe how young the chef is!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
Mission Beach Cafe is one of my favorite places to eat. The last time I was there, Ryan was still the chef, but I'm looking forward to going back now that I know it's in very capable hands. Thanks!
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
I may have chipped a tooth trying to bite down on my computer screen. Darn.
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