New American cuisine has its innovative, fine-dining roots in Northern California and today, highly talented chefs in the SoMa District are serving some of the best of this cuisine. We pick the best places in SoMa to try this style.
Benu‘s culinary style embraces Asian, Western, technique-driven, and flavor-forward influences with the intention of elevating dishes on a creative level. Benu is a restaurant at the height of the New American cuisine trend, the success of which has been driven by the passion of ever-evolving culinary artists.
Vegan lovers and vegetarians beware, because this go-to spot with a marble bar and hip lounge area serves New American cuisine with an emphasis on perfectly cured, house-made charcuterie. Using 100 percent organic, pasture-raised, rare-breed pork, Trou Normand focuses on whole-animal butchery with up to forty different types of salumi and charcuterie available all-day.
Named after the North American grass favored by cattle ranchers, Bluestem Brasserie showcases sustainably produced, grass-fed beef from highly regarded purveyors with an emphasis on whole-animal butchery. Centrally located in downtown Union Square, Bluestem Brasserie is a convenient place to meet up during working hours. The Brunch Burger, however has become a fan favorite at all hours.
The New American restaurant that opened this past September at Mid-Market in the SoMa District goes by the name ‘Oro,’ which translates to ‘gold’ in Italian or Spanish and represents the Mint Building it resides in. The structure, built in 1854, produced gold coins during the California Gold Rush. Today, the elegant space is adorned with a large white marble bar, wood wall panels, dark walnut tables, and custom-made chandeliers highlighted by gold, red, and blue hues over a 100-set dining room. Commonwealth Owner and Chef Jason Fox and business partner Timothy Felkner opened Oro with the intent to create eclectic, family-style California fare with a heavy Mediterranean influence. Local fish and shellfish, such as spot prawns caught fresh from Half Moon Bay, squids from Monterey, and rock cod from Bolinas are among the seasonal foods featured on the menu. The shareable dishes at Oro offer harmonious flavor combinations and textures like the savory Pork Terrine, served with sweet elderberry capers and horseradish.
Marlowe epitomizes high-end California comfort food. The very stylish Marlowe caters to a younger San Francisco crowd with spacious white hexagonal floor tile and a butcher shop vibe, signaling mid-priced, Cal-American dishes.
Twenty Five Lusk has a speakeasy aura, with dim lighting, stainless steel fireplaces, exposed-wood beams between concrete walls, and cement bunkers that act as private alcoves. The interior design evokes the sexy-sleek masculine aesthetic of the historically industrial SoMa District. With a 115-seat dining room and comfortable brown leather and chrome chairs, Twenty Five Lusk’s dramatic space is a perfect venue for private, romantic, or celebratory dinners.