El Techo on a sunny day. Photo by Wes Rowe.
The nighttime view. And check out those powerful heat lamps. Photo by Charlie Villyard.
~LOLINDA~, the Argentine steakhouse that moved into the former Medjool space on Mission, has finally opened up one of the arguably best elements of their space: the roof deck. It officially opened last night, Monday May 13th, as El Techo de Lolinda. They’ve got a separate menu and bar program from the main restaurant, with a more casual, pan-Latin concept than the main space.
First off, getting there can be a little tricky. You go up to the fifth floor in an elevator that hasn’t been glamorous for years, but that’s okay. Once you arrive, you’re greeted by a great view of the city. To the north you can see the Bay Bridge on-ramp, the skyline of the Financial District, and the fog rolling in on the rest of the city. And if it does roll in, they’ve got some serious heated umbrellas to keep you toasty. With the Mission sunshine and distance from the loud street below, you really feel like you’re in an urban oasis. They could definitely enhance this feeling with some foliage around the perimeter, and more comfortable, loungy seating—as it is now, the space feels a little industrial and bare, more like a roof, less like a deck. It is, however, very well protected from the wind by both the kitchen structure on the western side of the roof and the major glass wall, which can withstand winds of up to 150 miles per hour. Hold on to your hats!
The special menu is casual, and focused on street food from all over South America. They’ve got grilled skewers of chicken, beef, chorizo, shrimp, or vegetables; sandwiches including their rendition of a choripán, empanadas, and patacones; or plantain chips with black beans and salsa. The food is definitely designed for sharing, and the cocktails are on the sweeter side and summery. There are Mexican beers on tap and by the bottle, and a selection of wines as well. El Techo is open for dinner Sun-Thu 4pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 4pm-11pm, and for brunch on Sat-Sun from 11am-3pm.