Updates: Sam Wo, Cala (the New Restaurant from Contramar's Gabriela Cámara)


Sam Wo’s rice noodle stuffed with char siu pork. Yelp photo by Connor F.

Just a little update for you since our last report on ~SAM WO RESTAURANT~, which we mentioned is moving into the Anna Bakery space in Chinatown. Since they will continue to offer some baked goods and will be keeping the Anna Bakery baker, the new name will be ~SAM WO RESTAURANT AND BAKERY~.

Construction should be under way in a week or so, and they are targeting July for the reopening. The kitchen is already there, but they are doing a fair amount of renovations: there will be a mezzanine for groups, and upstairs they are installing an all-new soup kitchen, where they will prepare jook and wonton soup. And like the previous location, there will be a dumbwaiter—although this will be a modern one bringing food up from the basement. The restaurant will have the same amount of seats and will offer some express takeout. Hours are looking like they’ll be 7am-3pm, with more hours in the afternoon for tea and a partial menu. (Anna Bakery used to be a hangout for the elderly in the afternoon for tea, and they want to preserve that tradition.) The plan is to then open again at 9pm, serving until 4am like they used to. Time will tell; we’ll keep you posted. 715 Clay St. at Kearny.

Some more details have emerged about chef Gabriela Cámara’s plans for her Hayes Valley opening. The Mexico City chef, known for the beloved restaurants Contramar and MeroToro, is calling her SF (and U.S.) debut ~CALA~ (a fitting name since it means “cove”). Scoop shares that the 85-ish seat space will be focused on local and sustainable seafood, but Cámara has reportedly been encountering some issues with sourcing. Housemade tortillas will be en la casa, and like Nopalito, they will nixtamalize their corn. The full bar will have plenty of tequila and mezcal, and then there’s the taco stand they’ll be opening in the back alley (Hickory Street) during the week for lunch, offering tacos de guisado (stewed meats) for takeout. Oh yeah. Look for a July opening, we plan to have more updates in coming months. 149 Fell St. at Franklin.