As soon as you walk into DEAR INGA, you’re greeted with the light smell of smoky goodness, giving you a hint of what’s on chef David Golovin’s Eastern European-inspired menu (bring on the smoked fish and New York strip). I stuck my head in just as they were about to hold their friends and family night a couple weeks ago, but sadly I was leaving for NYC early the next morning and couldn’t stay for dinner (or take pics).
But the space looks great: the bone structure of the beautiful and airy Farina is still there—with the huge windows that face 18th Street and the skylights, and some of the stunning marble work—but none of the corrupt juju that the previous owners infected the space with, ahhhhh. Ciao, bad vibes!
Seth Boor of Boor Projects has introduced many wood elements, adding a bit of a playful mid-century feeling with some of the fixtures. The tabletops feature a fun, multi-colored patchwork, and there are tones of blue and grey throughout, like the teal tiles under the bar and the wainscoting. Oh, and cute plants. SF old-timers will recognize pieces of the location’s original Anna’s Danish Cookies sign in the front tables.
The “new old world cooking” menu is so appetizing, with plenty of dishes to share, lots of comfort food (bring on the pork and beef-stuffed cabbage!), and new-style dishes too, like scarlet runner bean croquettes with sour plum sauce and cultured cream aioli. Golovin is known for his sausage-making skills, so don’t miss those.
Desserts include plum poppy cake, a sundae with frozen kefir, chocolate cake with fig leaf jam and cream, and a plate of adorable cookies and sweets (click through to see it).
Inspiration from the team’s (Liholiho Yacht Club’s Ravi Kapur and Jeff Hanak) travels to Georgia not only come through on the menu, but also on their wine list. And then there’s the cocktail list! Expect some dill, caraway, and beets to make some savory appearances.
Look for the awesome roofdeck to open at a later date. At least there’s outdoor seating for now where you can enjoy these warm evenings. Open Tue-Sun 5pm-10pm. Brunch is coming soon. 3560 18th St. at Guerrero.
Grilled whole rock cod, roasted hen of the woods mushrooms, potatoes, sorrel sauce. Photo: Rasami Ruangsri.