A new restaurant gives a nod to a piece of San Anselmo history, and restaurateur Michael Mina revamps the former Aqua space. Elsewhere, new shops boast locally made products, a new yoga studio and a new med spa.
Intent on honoring the family that opened San Anselmo Bakery in 1922 and ran it for 57 years in the same space (it closed in 1979), the Moana Restaurant Group named a restaurant after them, which melds a modern airy feel with a bakery’s warmth. Celadon walls and white-framed windows cast cool light on pine tables in a large main room and atrium. A whitewashed rooftop terrace with views of Mount Tam has room for 47 diners and boasts uncannily matched celadon umbrellas. Chef Gary Faulkner, whose pedigree includes stints at Mark Restaurant by Jean-Georges in New York and the Pebble Beach Company, helms the open kitchen. Anchored by live-fire cooking, the new restaurant, opened in late August, focuses on the savory side. Look for dishes like rotisserie chicken with caper salsa verde or spit-roasted tri-tip alongside hearty meatless options including a bevy of entrée-sized salads; fire-roasted eggplant with grilled fennel, spicy harissa and Castelvetrano olives; and Nantes carrots with spiced tahini-yogurt, dill and black sesame.
625 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo; 415.991.1502
EAT & DRINK
A Michael Mina Restaurant Mediterranean seafood with Greek and Egyptian underpinnings is the latest focus for the iconic Financial District space where chef Michael Mina first made his name at Aqua. Named for a beach on the Greek island of Mykonos, the restaurant is a partnership between chefs Mina, Girair “Jerry” Goumroian and Nikolaos Georgousis, and features a beachy vibe, including whole fish preparations. A fish cart with the day’s catch is helmed by what might be the city’s first ever “fish sommelier.”
252 California St, San Francisco; 415.417.3969
Snuggled into the nook under an overhang between The Vitamin Shoppe and Trader Joe’s stands a not-quite-food truck yet not-quite pop-up taco stand that opened in August. The restaurant team, lead by Steve Paoli, serves up tortillas crisped on the plancha before being turned into cheesy or vegan (or both) tacos and calzados, La Q’s version of a burrito. The tight menu includes a campechano Cadillac calzado (it’s big) and street tacos.
2040 Redwood Hwy, Greenbrae
Named for a 12th century mystic considered the mother of plant science for health and wellness, a line of botanical tincture tonics arrived in August from a Mill Valley-based business run by Meghan DeRoma, Christine Peck and Alexi Cashen. Flavors like elderberry hibiscus and guava ginger are boosted by adaptogenic and nootropic tinctures for an elevated, lightly boozy beverage in a can. Look for it at Mill Valley Market and Driver’s Market in Sausalito, among other locations.
131 Camino Alto, Mill Valley
Opened amid last winter’s Covid-19 shutdowns, this shop celebrating Mill Valley’s cultural history sells apparel for all genders alongside cosmopolitan home goods. Owners Christopher “Doc” Kelley and Marin native Karen “Eli” Loftus also offer a meditation room and altar space that reminds many customers of “old” Mill Valley.
118 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley
With long-running shops of the same name in Healdsburg and Saint Helena, owner Erin Morris dropped an outpost in Marin at the Mill Valley Lumberyard at the end of July. Focused on products for dogs (and their owners) from local small businesses, the store also carries seasonal items that are as suitably spooky or festive as the fall and winter holidays demand.
129 Miller Ave; 415.888.3298
Certified-organic CBD products and well-being are at the heart of this downtown Larkspur store from owners Allison Tryk and Ruby Hackney (a former Marin aesthetician) that opened this summer. Bath bliss sets and facial oils are part of the product line, complemented by brands that are woman-, BIPOC-, LGBTQ+- and AA&NHOPI-owned and share the same commitment to sustainability and quality.
270 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur; 800.484.0124
Clothes and accessories for women, including linen dresses, knits, jewelry, bucket bags, sharp T-shirts, and on-trend denim from well-known brands and local favorites, arrived in downtown Larkspur in August. Owner Margaret Tuttle is committed to offering an inspiring retail experience for the curious and confident woman.
260 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur; 415.891.8462
Though she first launched her brand online in 2001, Tysa Wright committed to a brick-and-mortar shop in Mill Valley earlier this year. Goods bearing the TYSA name are designed, made and produced in California, and the shop carries an array of apothecary and home goods, swim and baby gear, gourmet kitchen items and more.
74 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley; 415.302.0368
In an effort get people back together to reconnect, feed off each others’ energy, and inspire one another in a way that only in-person classes can do, Marin native Matthew Giannini opened a yoga studio in Mill Valley this spring with a full slate of yoga classes, room for 100 well-spaced participants and expansive views toward the Headlands. He also operates a coworking space, Trailhead Marin, next door.
650 East Blithedale Ave, Suite J, Mill Valley; 415.332.0025
Med – Cryo – Spa Dr. Cat Gibson and Randy Gibson, LAc, medical director, completed a move from downtown Novato to Vintage Oaks Shopping Center in October, sticking with the town they love for its proximity to the Buck Institute, local charm and neighbor-helping neighbor community feel. Dedicated to helping further their clients’ health, vitality and longevity, their new 4,000-square-foot space is designed to wrap you in a sensorial experience while receiving acupuncture, massage, bio coding, cryo pain relief and other detox therapies.
100 Vintage Way, Ste K29, Novato; 415.209.9600
For more on Marin:
- Holidays at Disneyland Resort: Seasonal Parade and Fireworks Return Along With Cultural Celebrations and First-Ever Merriest Nites After-Hours Event
- The Exploratorium’s Virtual Party at the Piers Event Rallies Support to Offset the Pandemic’s Impact
- View From the Team: Farewell Summer, Hello Fall
Christina Mueller is a long-time Bay Area food writer. She hails from the East Coast and has spent way too much time in South America and Europe. She discovered her talent as a wordsmith in college and her love of all things epicurean in grad school. She has written for Condé Nast Contract Publishing, Sunset, and the Marin Independent Journal, among others. She volunteers with California State Parks and at her child’s school, and supports the Marin Audubon Society, PEN America, and Planned Parenthood. When she is not drinking wine by a fire, she is known to spend time with her extended family.