Pasión Slated to Open in the Sunset By December 30th

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Mural by Michael Brennan. All photos by Blair Sneddon Photography.

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A round table built for group dining.

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View of the dining room.

After being closed for almost two years, the PJ’s Oyster Bed space is finally coming back alive with ~PASIÓN~ from chef-owner Jose Calvo-Perez and family (behind local fave Fresca, which has three locations throughout the city). They are aiming to open by December 30th, and with the full bar, you know the pisco will be flowing (there will also be an extensive wine list). The 55-seat establishment has been updated with a chic, modern look, including a bar/lounge area, and a mural by Michael Brennan (no scary Pinocchio in this one, however). In fact, the lounge area in the front, which features about 10 seats and low tables, will be open “after hours” for drinks until 2am Fri-Sat.

Chef Calvo-Perez tells me the menu of modern Latin cuisine will feature good sourcing and ingredients. It includes a wide selection from the ceviche bar, like the Julianna ($12) with eastern fluke, prickly pear mojito juice, mint, rocoto-yuzu juice, and purple corn; erizos y tiradito ($12) with hamachi, sea urchin, basil, rocoto pepper, sesame seeds, pepper, pickled jicama, and Andean corn; and langosta ($15) with Maine lobster, avocado, chives, sweet aji, garlic, tarragon, and plantain chips (you’ll be able to order three kinds for $18, and four for $24). Appetizers range from $9-$14, with dishes like a crispy cangrejo salad ($12) of Dungeness crab, jicama, chayote, green apple, radish, butternut squash, toasted pepita seeds, and pomegranate, and buñuelos de bacalao ($10), salt cod fritters with romesco sauce and honey-lemon aioli.

Mains include some seafood dishes, like paella ($22) and lenguado ($26), which is sautéed halibut, crispy risotto cake, saffron cream, mushrooms, olive tapenade, and piquillo pepper sauce. Meat and poultry ($20-$32) will benefit from the wood-burning grill, with dishes like pollo a la brasa ($20), free range rotisserie chicken, blue potato mash, “solterito” salad, and huancaina sauce; and arroz con pato ($22), rum-cured duck breast, duck confit verde rice, green pea velouté, sarsa criolla, and tomatillo-jalapeño marmalade. There are also a variety of vegetable side dishes ($5-$6), which include yuca fries and tostones (fried green plantains). Lunch will be served Mon-Fri 11am-3pm, dinner Sun-Thu 5pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-12am, and brunch Sat-Sun 10am-3pm.