What’s New in Town This November: Mamita Cocina Mexicana Brings Oaxacan Cuisine to Novato, Local Kitchens Opens a Mill Valley Outpost and More


Owners Shah Bahreyni, Peter Paul and executive chef Partner Bernardo Robles, who also own Novato and Corte Madera locations of Boca Pizzeria, pivoted Novato’s Crave space in late September to focus on the cuisine of Oaxaca. Chilies and spices imported from Oaxaca make their way into chicken enchiladas with mole coloradito and cauliflower al pastor with achiote and chipotle aioli. The built-in oak wood grill will roast chilies and veggies for salsas plus carne asada and chicken for the Mexican tortas. Heirloom corm masa is made in-house, a fine underpinning for quesabirria tacos at lunch and dinner and chilaquiles at breakfast. A tequila cart will transport some of the 60+ tequilas and margaritas from the bar straight to your table. Bahreyni, who has called San Rafael home for over 26 years, is planning on having a live DJ for smooth salsa nights on Thursdays on the patio. “It’s an authentic taste of the soul food of Oaxaca and Puebla,” Bahreyni says.

340 Ignacio Blvd. Novato; 415.883.0901.

Eat & Drink

Local Kitchens

Local Kitchens

Yes, there are plans in the works for another Marin location but for now, Mill Valley will be the sixth location from the San Francisco-based company. The self-proclaimed micro food hall offers takeout and delivery from Bay Area restaurant brands, including Oren’s Hummus, The Melt, Sushirrito, Proposition Chicken, The Plant, Wise Sons and Fiorella.

741 E. Blithedale Ave, Mill Valley; 855.384.2868.

Luma Bar & Eatery

Luma Eatery

After a lengthy remodel of the former Dempsey’s space on Petaluma’s riverfront, an ingredient-driven, plant-based restaurant shaped by the Petaluma-area food shed is scheduled to open in late November. Along with a chef who is a former owner of Thistle Meats, Jazmine Lalicker hopes to change people’s minds about what it can mean to eat a plant-based diet without being vegan or vegetarian. 

50 East Washington St, Petaluma.


Espin Bikes

After running an online only business since 2017, owners and San Rafael residents Josh Lam and Yina Liu sought to connect with their community and opened a retail shop in downtown San Rafael in August. The brand focuses specifically on serving the 50+ crowd, designing e-bikes with comfort, style, and durability in mind. They also offer tune-ups, repairs and test rides for the eco-curious.

1447 4th St, Ste B, San Rafael; 415.895-6763.

Abbot Kinney Marin 

Owner Mandie Oler seeks out local female artisans and labels that consider environmental impact in her clothing and lifestyle boutique that opened in September in San Rafael’s West End. The in-house salon specializes in cut and color and upcoming events include a nail art night with non-toxic nail polish and a winter equinox tarot night featuring local artists.

1700 4th St San Rafael; 415.526.3704.

Aerena Gallery 


The fourth gallery from founder Michael Polenske and gallery leader Gabrielle Miller hosted a grand opening in Mill Valley in October. While an assortment of fine art and design, including abstract contemporary paintings, bronze and blown glass sculptures, and collectible furnishings are offered, the duo are planning to activate the space with interactive artist talks and “dynamic demonstrations.”

53 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley 415.877.1776.

FI Flooring & Design

FI Flooring and Design

Utilizing his 20+ years as a flooring contractor co-owner and long-time Marin resident Hikmet and his wife and co-owner Monica opened a storefront in Terra Linda in June. Full flooring services, including carpet, hardwood, and vinyl, are available for commercial and residential needs.

3767 Redwood Hwy, San Rafael; 415.289.0465.

Chrisitina Mueller

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 childrens’ schools, 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.