Since last summer, we've been hearing buzz about how Suvir Saran, the first chef to earn a Michelin star for an Indian restaurant in America, is leaving New York for our city on the Bay. Well, it's finally happening. The New Dehli native is moving into the increasingly popular Mid-Market corridor with a still-unnamed restaurant, and adjacent bar and lounge, slated to open this fall. His first restaurant on the West Coast will come into in the NEMA building (14 10th Street), across the street from Twitter.
Along with earning the first Michelin star for an Indian restaurant in America, while at Devi in New York, Saran has appeared on Top Chef Masters and penned several cookbooks. Saran's most recent book, Masala Farm, focuses on the upstate New York farm where he’s been spending much of his time since leaving Devi last year. This ethos will show up in the new restaurant with a seasonal approach as part of the operating plan. Bay Area Bites caught up with Saran recently. His comments have been edited for content and clarity.
Bay Area Bites: Tell us about your new restaurant.
Saran: My new project will be at 10th and Market, in San Francisco’s NEMA building. The overall concept is my version of California cuisine, a reflection of my Indian birth as well as flavors from the countries I have traveled. The staff will be a mosaic of hospitable people from all walks of life; a grouping that echoes the population of San Francisco, as well as the complexity of my food.
When I first moved to New York, I lived in Greenwich Village and frequented the nearby Meatpacking District, which at that time was a forgotten part of the city. Over the years I saw the Meatpacking District go through a transformation, becoming the city’s ‘most fashionable’ neighborhood. I see a similarity between San Francisco’s Mid-Market area now and New York City’s Meatpacking District from the 1990s, and am excited to invest in this community’s revitalization and give San Francisco another wonderful restaurant to enjoy.
The restaurant will offer something for everyone: a welcoming and comforting environment with the main focus always being that of serving delicious and memorable food and drinks to our guests. Our goal is to have the overall experience linger on your taste buds long after you leave our doors.
Bay Area Bites: Do you have a name for the spot yet?
Saran: Currently, we are deciding between two or three and will be choosing one in the next few weeks.
Bay Area Bites: What are some of your new menu favorites so far?