La Cocina's Heena Patel Opening Besharam at Alta in the Minnesota Street Project


Besharam is opening in the Alta space at the Minnesota Street Project. Photo courtesy of Alta.


Heena Patel. Photo courtesy of Besharam.

The partnership between La Cocina’s Incubator Program graduates and Daniel Patterson’s Alta Group continues with the excellent news that the talented Heena Patel (of Rasoi) is going to be taking over the Alta location at Minnesota Street Project in Dogpatch. She will be opening a restaurant called ~BESHARAM~, which translates to “shameless”! The name is inspired by the fact that at 50, she’s following her own dreams and doing something she has always been too scared to do: open her own restaurant. (“Besharam,” her Indian aunties would whisper.) And on Friday May 11th, that’s when Patel will shamelessly open her first restaurant.

Patel spent her childhood in Gujarat and her teenage years in Mumbai, followed by a life in London when she married, and then, with her own children, in the United States. She has been in La Cocina’s Incubator Program the last five years and has gained a reputation for her incredibly flavorful and innovative food. “When Heena cooks,” chef Traci Des Jardins said after hosting a pop-up at Jardinière featuring her food, “I look up. She takes ingredients that I know well and reintroduces them to me. It’s an excitement that’s rare in our industry.”

At Besharam, look for local grains and seasonal produce in her khichadi, and updated pav bhaji for lunch. Dinner will be family style, bringing Gujarati hospitality and flavors to the forefront, with a focus on vegetables in dishes like malai kofta with cashew pakoras and paneer dust, or her signature gunpowder over uttampam with spring greens. Also on offer: cocktails and wine pairings from Patel’s husband, Paresh, and the Alta bar team.

The Alta Group will provide infrastructure and ROC United systems for staff and management. Another collaboration is the upcoming Dyafa from Reem Assil of Reem’s California, opening in the former Haven in Oakland. 1275 Minnesota St. at 24th St.