the cuteness of Cassava

My officemates and I were suffering. We work in a notoriously gloomy district of San Francisco, and, of late, it seemed we would never see blue sky again. The never-ending soup of San Francisco fog was getting to us.

We decided to take a break off campus. It proved an excellent decision.

Somehow, in the perma-grayness of the Outer Richmond, there exists a spot of sunshine: Cassava. I’d been hearing quite a bit about the bakery-cafe-restaurant for some time, but wasn’t able to visit until its recent remodeling was complete. It was worth the wait, because Cassava is, in a word, cute. So, so cute.

Cassava serves up classic breakfast, lunch, and bakery items with a bit of a quirky Asian-American twist. Impressively credentialed Chef Kris and his wife Yuka approach their project with love and creativity — even hosting special, sold-out tasting dinners each week. The space, the service, and the food were all light and cheery: exactly what we needed.

The staff kindly allowed me to order a breakfast item during lunch: the truffle hash bowl, with pork chorizo, truffle oil-tossed baby potatoes, and vegetables. The portion was perfect considering the decadence of the dish. My friends similarly enjoyed their salad and grilled cheese sandwich.

I bought a macaron for a treat later in the day. It was exceptionally light, subtly flavored with green tea and filled with a spot of yuzu preserves. A little aside: they initially brought the macaron out on a tiny ceramic plate. When I asked to take it to-go, the server handed me a cute little wrapper and wisely said, “Macarons are so cute! You have to wrap it up in a cute way, too.” Totally agreed.

3519 Balboa St (between 36th & 37th)
San Francisco, CA 94121


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