La Cocina Alum Isabel Caudillo Opening El Buen Comer

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Isabel Caudillo of El Buen Comer. Photo by Kassie Borreson/Haus Fotografie.

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Plates of Caudillo’s food at a recent test dinner. Photo by Kassie Borreson/Haus Fotografie.

It’s always thrilling to hear when one of La Cocina’s alums is opening their own place, and the latest is Isabel Caudillo, who will be opening her own brick-and-mortar restaurant. It’s called ~EL BUEN COMER~, just like her catering business and Noe Valley farmers’ market stall. It will be located on Mission Street in Bernal.

Caudillo has been a permanent fixture at the Noe Valley farmers’ market for years, serving cuisine inspired by her upbringing in Mexico City. She’s been offering guisados del día, or daily specials, alongside her street food-style snacks and breakfast items. Her tostadas de tinga are a particular favorite, and her chilaquiles are very popular. She is also currently producing all the breadsticks for the Delfina Restaurant Group and runs a catering business with her husband, Juan Carlos Caudillo.

The backstory is very much “all in the family”: Isabel discovered La Cocina through Verónica Salazar, chef-owner of El Huarache Loco in Larkspur. It ends up Isabel babysat Verónica’s kids while she was running an informal restaurant out of her Mission living room—when she saw Verónica appear on Univision to talk about her business, she was inspired to join La Cocina as well.

As for the new restaurant, it will be open for lunch and dinner and should be up and running in October. The space was previously an office, so it will take some work to convert it to a functional cooking space. Debra Resnik, who previously worked on developing the 331 Cortland marketplace, is helping with the buildout. Caudillo has been trying out new dishes at the farmers’ market to feature on the menu, including a mole verde de pato over beans and rice, and enchiladas verdes, hand-rolled using her housemade tortillas. Her tamales, braised meats in housemade sauces, and tostadas with seasonal toppings are also a highlight.

If you just can’t wait until October (we understand) to get your fill of Isabel Caudillo’s wonderful food, consider booking one of her EatWith dinners. There are a few spots left for one tonight, and the next one is on Tuesday July 7th, with more planned in the coming months. She’ll also be running some crowdfunding campaigns on Indiegogo and Credibles, which we’ll be sure to update you on. Congratulations, Isabel, and we can’t wait to see your new place! 3435 Mission St. at Kingston (near 30th St.).