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We Wanna Be Friends With: Michael Mina

Michael Mina

Michael Mina

Our city is chock-full of interesting people and wild personalities. Overwhelmed by the coolness? Every week we'll pick one standout local we'd love to be friends with to answer seven essential questions about their life in San Francisco.

Michael Mina is unquestionably on the short list of iconic SF chefs. Born in Egypt and raised in Washington, Mina first moved to the city when he was 22 to work at the legendary eatery Aqua. His own namesake restaurant now occupies the same Financial District space; he also has another 18 restaurants all over the world. 

Although this guy is one of the biggest names in food, he can still be found running the kitchen in SF and thinking up new ways to have fun with his guests. Mina is a big fan of tableside preparation, which means many of the dishes are finished off right in front of your eyes. And even though his food is masterful, he doesn't believe in hush-hush, white tablecloth dining either. The Michael Mina space is beautiful and elegant, but it's not somewhere you'd feel uncomfortable having a lively convo. 

Want to give his iconic restaurant a try but don't have a ton to spend? Michael Mina just launched a two-course weekday lunch special called "Business Lunch." For $35 you can get in and out in under an hour and try two of their dishes. Throw in a cocktail, and you've got the best work lunch ever.  

1. What neighborhood do you currently call home? Would you ever move or are you happy in your 'hood? 

Nicasio (Marin County)–I love everything about it!

2. What's your hands-down, absolute favorite thing to eat in SF?

Tough call, but the crab from R&G Lounge probably tops.

3. What's your perfect night on the town?

I really love walking around and visiting all my restaurants with my sons. One of them will immediately run into pastry to help, and the other one will start working the tables. It’s so energizing and fun to engage with our guests. We used to finish the night playing basketball, but have been looking for a new court!

4. When you need a low-key afternoon, where do you go for down time?

I have a special spot in the Presidio that I go to think, reflect, and write menus.

5. What's your favorite place to go on a day trip from the city?

I love taking my wife to Wine Country and picnicking with a basket from Oakville Grocery!

6. Lightning Round:

Burrito or Burger? 

Burger.

Presidio or Golden Gate Park? 

Presidio.

Bi-Rite or Mitchell's? 

Bi-Rite.

Bike or MUNI? 

Uber.

Fort Mason or Dolores Park? 

Fort Mason.

The Independent or the Fillmore? 

The Fillmore.

Baker Beach or Ocean Beach? 

Baker Beach.

7. Three words that describe your life in SF? 

Charmed, Inspiring, Evolving

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