Local Dishes Utilizing Corn, Summer’s Sweet Bounty

Corn owns its corny-ness. Well, not really. In the hands of local chefs, corn’s sweetness is transformed into something grander than kernels or sugar bombs. It achieves a complexity that defies its simplicity. And that’s very modern.


Gott’s Roadside, Street Corn

Gott’s Roadside, Street Corn

California-grown corn is grilled over open flame to temper its sweetness before getting gussied up with mayo, Cotija cheese and asado seasoning. “A squeeze of fresh lime juice cuts through thdirector Jennifer Rebman. As you bite into the cob, keep an eye out for slinging squirts of corn juice. 302 Bon Air Center, Greenbrae; 415.785.4233.

San Rafael

Arizmendi Bakery, Corn Pizza

Arizmendi Bakery, Corn Pizza

With dough made from the house’s aged starter, the pizza crust’s subtle tang is a suitable underpinning for bold, smoky romesco sauce and roasted cauliflower. Topped with sliced almonds, lemon juice, and herbs, the result is a savory-sweet pie that screams summer while thrilling all parts of your palate. 1002 4th Street, San Rafael; 415.456.4093.


HenHouse Brewing, Elote En Vaso

Executive chef Lauren Garcia seeks out festive foods from beer-centric cultures around the world and her Elote En Vaso, also known as esquites or ‘corn in a cup,’ is a classic Mexican street food. Tossed with mayonnaise, lime, and chili, the dish is served either in a glass (en vaso) or on the cob. This dish is popular in Mexico, too, where it is often paired with lager. 765 Center Blvd, Fairfax; 415.485.1005.

West Marin

Station House Café, Seared Corn and Braised Greens 

A new addition to the long-running restaurant in Point Reyes Station, the veggie dish doubles down on summer’s favorite fruit. (According to Marin Master Gardeners, corn is a fruit.) Seared corn tops garlic-infused Swiss chard and carrots which pairs nicely with the accompanying polenta. Did someone say “corny?” 11285 Hwy 1, Point Reyes Station; 415.663.1515.

San Anselmo

Cucina sa, Corn Ravioli

At the best Italian restaurants in Italy, pasta takes on the flavor of the seasons. So, too, at Cucina sa, where corn ravioli appears once the weather is warm enough to source corn at Marin’s farmers’ markets. Of course, the pasta is made in-house and cherry tomatoes amp up the seasonality. The best complement for the dish? Someone to share it with. Now that’s corny! 510 San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo; 415.454.2942.

Mill Valley

Piatti, Polenta Pudding and Corn Agnolotti

Piatti, Polenta Pudding and Corn Agnolotti

The team at Piatti loves corn so much, there are two dishes that highlight the sweetest member of the Poaceae family. A polenta pudding appetizer rests in a pool of corn soubise, embellished with roasted cherry tomatoes, lemon oil and a parmesan crisp. Corn-o-holics will swoon for the sweet corn agnolotti. Into a folded square of pasta, Brentwood corn and ricotta are stuffed. Though there is no silk in the dish, the corn factor is amped up with popcorn shoots and smoothed by chanterelles and fava beans before the finishing touches of peperonata and a dusting of corn husk ash. Quite the opposite of “corny,” the dish is an elegant reminder of what a simple ingredient can become when placed in the right hands. 625 Redwood Hwy, Mill Valley; 415.380.2525.

Christina 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 PublishingSunset, and the Marin Independent Journal, among others. She volunteers with California State Parks and at her child’s school, and supports the Marin Audubon SocietyPEN America, and Planned Parenthood. When she is not drinking wine by a fire, she is known to spend time with her extended family.