The interior of New Central. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
The chorizo burger with sweet potato fries at New Central. Photo: © tablehopper.com.
The corner of 14th Street and South Van Ness has seen a number of businesses come and go over the years (Los Rosales, Estrellita’s, New Central Cafe) and now the paper is off the windows to reveal its latest incarnation as ~NEW CENTRAL CAFE~. (Some will recognize it as a location in Blue Jasmine.) The space was renovated but is still casual, with a fresh paint job, a beautiful wood communal table, and some will recognize the stools from Waiheke Island Yacht Club, the pop-up that closed in January.
New Central Cafe is now one part taqueria and one part healthy Californian joint. The chef, Gustavo, who was previously at La Oaxaqueña, also has some healthy options on the menu. The place is very neighborhood-friendly: nothing is more than $8, from a quarter rotisserie chicken to a fried chicken torta to fish tacos (which are gluten-free—they’re made with garbanzo flour) to a very tasty New Central burger, complete with housemade chorizo, a fried egg, sautéed kale, roasted squash, and cilantro mayo, plus sweet potato fries. Oh, and I also tried the quesadilla California (yeah, be sure to check that baby out, she’s a looker) with kale, butternut squash, sautéed onion, refried beans, fried sweet potato, and sour cream, which is sometimes just the thing you need. Don’t miss the side of fried plantains ($4). It’s also worth noting that the tortillas are housemade.
On the weekend, there are breakfast burritos (only $4), chilaquiles and huevos rancheros (both $7), and birria. Get this: there’s even organic coffee for $1. And true to the space’s original agua fresca counter, they are making an excellent fresh-squeezed juice with beet, carrot, orange, apple, and lime for $5—Victor, who runs the juice counter, will hook you up. Hours are 7am-6pm, and they are launching some catering options too (just email). You can also take over the side room for private parties. 301 S. Van Ness Ave. at 14th St., 415-722-0601.
As reported in tablehopper last month, the former ~ROXY’S~ has been taken over by Shawn Naputi and Shawn Camacho. The new spot is called ~PRUBECHU~ and offers traditional recipes from Guam, where both Shawns hail from. Naputi will act as the executive chef (he previously worked at Incanto, Salumeria, and Roxy’s) and Camacho will run the front of house (he previously worked as the general manager at The Palace). They open for business today, Tuesday February 4th, and are accepting reservations by email or phone. 2847 Mission St. at 24th St., 415-952-3654.