I’m so impressed with the speedy turnaround for CASSAVA to update the former Pinocchio in North Beach, pass inspections, train staff, and close their Outer Richmond location (they were there for over 10 years)—yeah, owners Yuka Ioroi and Kristoffer Toliao have been pushing hard. (The renovations were led by both a female general contractor and mechanical engineer, so there’s also that. Go fempire.) Fun fact: the now husband-wife team visited Pinocchio restaurant on their first romantic trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 2007. Awwww.
Cassava officially opens their doors on Wednesday October 12th for regular dinner service, although they had some fun for the Italian Heritage Parade. The space has 40 seats, with bar seating for 10, and dog-friendly sidewalk seating has room for 40, with woven, French bistro-style chairs. The space feels airy and cheerful, with large windows, an open kitchen, colorful murals, and a bright aqua awning (plus blue tiles under the bar).
Toliao’s menu will continue to focus on California cuisine, featuring local and seasonal ingredients, offered in their affordable, three-course, prix-fixe menu ($48-52) with supplements. Dishes range from their buttermilk fried chicken to Marin Coast wild king salmon crudo to SF black cod to slow-braised lamb belly. Look for some exciting pairings from Yuka, ranging from wine to beer to sake, and more.
Ioroi and Toliao are very passionate about wage equity, creating an inclusive work environment, and working to eliminate the classism, racism, and sexism rampant in the industry. This new location is yet another step in their ongoing mission to be an equitable restaurant operation with zero exploitation. Keep up with their opening announcements on Instagram (@cassavasf). Open Wed-Sun 5pm-9pm. 401 Columbus St. at Vallejo.
The bright awning and outdoor seating at the new Cassava in North Beach. Photo courtesy of Cassava.