Last year, Top Chef alumn Preeti Mistry left her job as a chef at Google, spent a month eating the street foods of Mumbai’s Juhu Beach, and came back to riff on her findings in a funky pop-up lunch joint in SoMa that she launched in March.
It’s not every sushi chef in town who will bid his familiar customers farewell with a fist bump, but it suffices to say that Tim Archuleta is not like other sushi chefs. To begin with, he’s not Japanese—not even Asian. And for the past many months, prior to opening Ichi, he made a name for his business by serving sushi at catered events and during happy hour at Bender’s Bar (he earned his raw fish chops working at Tokyo Go Go). Meanwhile, along with his wife Erin, he had major projects underway. The first was a Japanese deli, Lucky Cat, that opened in the 331 Cortland market in Bernal Heights.
At Parada 22, the two-and-a-half-month-old Puerto Rican spot wedged between bustling Cha Cha Cha and divey Murio’s Trophy Room in the Upper Haight, the menu is small and simple. You can’t go wrong with a classic Cubano—roasted pork, ham, pickles, mustard and Swiss served on a pressed baguette—but the entrees give you more bang for your buck.