by Kasey Caminiti | October 14, 2021 2:00 pm
El Salvador–born coffee connoisseur Ana Valle, founder of newly opened Abanico Coffee Roasters in the Mission in San Francisco, has spent years visiting coffee farms and perfecting the cafecito (a Spanish term of endearment for coffee).The new space, replete with a colorful mural by local artist Jason Jagel, offers selections such as café con leche with condensed milk and café con morro concocted with morro seeds and allspice. “With the delicious diverse food options, the hustle and bustle of the community, the combined classic Victorian architecture and expressive murals, the Mission has and will always have a sweet spot in my heart,” says Valle. “It’s the neighborhood that my family and I were welcomed into when we first moved here from El Salvador. I love the fact that with this coffee shop I can share a bit of that endearment ‘cariño’ for coffee and my culture.”
Michelin-starred chef Ho Chee Boon (of Hakkasan Hanway Place in London and Hakkasan New York, to name a few) has created a buzz in Chinatown with the opening of Empress by Boon. Inhabiting the former beloved Empress of China restaurant space, the sophisticated eatery—reimagined by U.K.-based design studio Atelier LLYS and appointed with Chinese tableware by Ruyi by Legle France—features a prix-fixe menu for the first month, followed by an a la carte menu. “We have great respect for Chinatown and its community and we are very excited to finally have the opportunity to provide a celebratory space for gathering and dining, offering modern Cantonese dishes in a comfortable yet elegant space,” says Boon. “I want to utilize ingredients different from typical Chinese food using local organic produce from our own farm in Gilroy just outside of San Francisco. We will continue to surprise and delight our guests with our mix of nontraditional ingredients while preserving the natural flavors of Cantonese food to create something unique and special.”
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