I’m beyond excited to have a new bar and casual Mexican restaurant in the Lower Haight, a mere 15-minute walk from my place for quality cocktails and tacos and tostadas, hubba. Meet OTRA, from Nick and Anna Sager Cobarruvias of the Mission’s Son’s Addition. They live in the neighborhood and are excited to (finally) open something there after some pandemic delays—they softly opened in the beginning of May (first reported by Eater).
The former SushiRaw space been transformed into a cheerful hangout, with 49 seats available at the window counter, at tables in the front dining room or up on the mezzanine, and at the gleaming bar with bottles of mezcal and tequila—there’s also a heated and protected Shared Space out front. Designer Dan Vickery commissioned Rachel Sager to create a tropical 50-foot mural on the mezzanine (which will be a great space for private events), and a tiled floor is coming soon. There are ornate mirrors, some lovely family photos, walnut tables, and various shades of punchy blue, from the Mid-Century inspired bar chairs to the ceiling covered in papel picado (tissue paper banners).
Nick is digging into his family playbook of flavors and recipes (his grandfather came to the U.S. in 1918 from Jalisco), folding in some inspiration from a couple trips to Oaxaca, while nixtamalizing and grinding his own masa for the tortillas (using heirloom corn sourced from Masienda), and weaving in that seasonal Bay Area thang, offering a number of vegetable-driven dishes, including roasted sweet potato or hen of the woods tacos, and roasted carrot or grilled asparagus tostadas ($11-$12). (There are also slow-cooked beef tacos in guajillo chile, and cod tostadas.) There’s kampachi aguachile (with charred habanero-miso-lime), beer-steamed mussels with house chorizo, and charred cabbage with smoked bone marrow and toasted pecan dukkah (sign me up—I’m seeing some pent-up creativity getting unleashed here). There are some larger plates as well, including a pork tenderloin, and Nick’s pozole is coming soon—and you’ll note a number of housemade salsas, including their peanut salsa macha. Menu here.
There are seven well-made but uncomplicated cocktails designed to please ($12), plenty of quality mezcal and tequila pours to try, and all wines are Old World and $13, with five beers to choose from (including local Barebottle and Standard Deviant). Hours are Sun-Thu 5pm-10pm, and until midnight Fri-Sat. Brunch will be coming, a welcome addition to the neighborhood. 628 Haight St. at Pierce.
The cheerful front dining room and bar at Otra in the Lower Haight. Photo: © tablehopper.com.