If you are looking for a quick bite during lunch, Tacos CALA uses the restaurant's Hickory Street back alley entrance to serve affordable Mexico City-style tacos with rice and beans Monday - Friday, 11am - 2pm.
What Insiders Are Saying
The seafood and vegetable-focused Mexican food at Cala is some of the best in San Francisco.
Food was overall quite good. All small plates were incredible, but the cod was bland and underwhelming. Absolutely terrible service, which was explained once we realized the tip was included.
Great experience after seeing the Netflix documentary on the restaurant and Contramar! Had heard about Cala several years ago but never made it out to the city to dine.
Amazing experience and service was exception, delicious food — we had the Kampachi ceviche, roasted sweet potato (it was our favorite of the night — we’d buy the bone marrow salsa negra if you sold it by the jar), pork tamal, and roasted Codfish. The house made tortillas were to die for - we asked for more with each dish. So good.
Can’t wait to come back with more friends and try the weekday tacos!
Delicious inventive food and great service. We very much enjoyed the Kampachi ceviche, the Black cod en pipián with grilled onion, the grilled squid & Yukon potato salad, the spicy mezcal cucumber cocktail, the flan w/honey & cappuccinos. The Sopes with smoked lingcod and pickled onion would have been so much better had the lingcod had the flavor of the smoked mezcal. All in all a wonderful meal well worth the price especially knowing we're contributing to our fellow humans earning and being paid a living wage. Thank you Gabriela for brining your beautiful food and restaurant to my hometown San Francisco and for working tirelessly to effect change in criminal justice reform. Everyone should be so fortunate to be given a 2nd chance.
Delicious food, love the seafood focus, and some of the best service I’ve had in a long time—warm, friendly and very attentive without being pretentious.
We had one of our favorite meals in a long time at Cala! The food was creative, flavorful, clean, and fresh. Beautiful presentation. Great drinks. So good we came back for tacos for lunch the next day!
I have wanted to go to Cala for a long time but only recently had the opportunity. The food exceeded my expectations. My friends were there solely on my recommendation and were also very happy. It is a perfect place for pre SF Jazz shows or the Orpheum.
Our visit to Cala was memorable. From the moment we arrived to when we left we enjoyed ourselves. The entire evening was perfect. The recommendations from our server were spot on in terms of specific dishes and the overall amount of food our party should order. The pace in which the items came to the table was great and we never felt rushed. Overall this was the best dining experience I have had. I would highly recommend you visit if you have a chance. I look forward to my next visit.
Absolutely a great place. Great food and service. We let the waiter choose the food for us.
Glad the place got a bit loud as the evening evolved as we had a 14month old boy with us.
Staff was great with him and us. Food exploration ! I will return, and we will try the Rockfish, Camote and Tamal if they are still on the menu.
Very good service and great ambiance but the food was over priced for what you get.
A+ Mexican restaurant. One of my favorites in San Francisco
Contemporary take on traditional flavors . Some people might not like the small portions, but I see it as an opportunity to try more dishes.
Simply AMAZING. Authentic Mexican and healthy. Professional and polite wait staff. Get a reservation, grab a friend and ENJOY. Try the Mezcal Margarita!
Horrible service, overpriced, and 25% mandatory tip. I'll never return, and I'll never recommend.
Lackadaisical service. Food too expensive for what it was. Have eaten at Contramar (the chef's Mexico City restaurant, which was a hundred times better. And much better value, so it may be worth flying there and having lunch there.
Best Mexican food I have ever had but SF was 95 degrees that day and Cala has no A/C so there we were in formal attire for the opera, sitting in a pool of sweat in the 95 degree restaurant
Extremely expensive for what it offers.
Food is nothing special. The tamale awful, the sweet potato with bone marrow the same.
The menu is a great read- for only 2 people choosing was hard. I down rated a little because we ordered for one of our first courses what we thought would be a mushroom quesadilla appetizer and got what looked and tasted like rather leaden empanadas instead- took extra care of the fat and carb part of the menu! Closer questioning of waitstaff would have resolved that I suspect. Perhaps because the tip is built into the bill, the waitstaff played hard ball with food and drink and we were encouraged to order more food than we needed. We avoided most of the alcoholic blandishments and the sugary drinks but had to say no a lot. In general though the food is excellent and if you know the drill and what you want you can dine well and probably less expensively than we did- by not over ordering and convincing the staff that no thank you means no —not now not ever.
GREAT Drinks- the trout was too fattty- the sweet potato was AMAZING. Main call out - it was a VERY hot day and even hotter in the restaurant- forced me to get that 2nd delicious mezcal drink.
Excellent food, great service. Everyone was knowlegable and ready to help.
Special occasion upscale Mexican restaurant.
I'm from Mexico City and I can tell this is as authentic as any restaurant in CDMX.
Love the food and service.
Great in general but I'd expect more for that price range and mandatory 20% gratuity.
Fantastic experience all around.
The food was delicious, well prepared, authentic Mexican with the proper sophistication.
Servers were professional, polite and helpful ( without being pushy ).
If I had it to do over I’d have a drink and the squid plate at the bar and leave dinner to somewhere else. Good food but so pricey and was only super impressed with the squid and the mezcal margarita.
We ordered the caviar sopes ($38.) what arrived was two tiny sopes with barely a schmear of
of caviar. Ridiculous. Then we ordered the squid dish which should have been callid a potato
dish with a sprinkling of squid. The food was delicious but portions so small the menu should
be called a children's menu.
Please change you plate sizes. Juggling dishes and glasses on the table really detracts from dinner. I would suggest bigger tables but the room is already very crowded and I assume the number of tables is based on profit/loss issues.
It’s difficult not to review this restaurant without using superlatives, but this may have been some of the “best” food I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying. Tucked away behind an unassuming building facade, the dining experience inside I would rank among the top restaurants in the world. The staff was very friendly and professional, the ambiance was a chic industrial setting, and the food plating and presentation and taste were impressive. The cocktail and food menus were well curated, but the standout dishes for our table were the abalone tostadas, grilled oysters, the sweet potato with bone marrow mole, and the black cod. In short, I would highly recommend Cala for a special dinner.
Expensive restaurant serving gourmet Mexican food. Great service, if over attentive. (e.g., they kept trying to take away our plates and wine glasses, even though we weren't finished.) Seems to cater to the young tech worker crowd.)
We eat out frequently and aren’t easily impressed. We lived every thing about this restaurant. Delicious and somewhat unusual food and drinks, wonderful service. It is a bit pricey but you get what you pay for.
Great service! Staff very knowledgeable of menu/drinks. Food was amazing.
Excelente lugar para probar comida mexicana revolucionada. La atención impecable, un must cuando se esté en San Francisco.
Great mexican restaurant, not the classic food but a great modern seafood twist. Excellent decoration. The oysters were superb! A must in San Francisco!
The food is so good and so unique here as is the service. We had just seen the documentary on this restaurant and her other restaurant in Mexico City, so we were happy to be there. Not our first time. We enjoyed everything about it. Loved my drink too with mezcal.....really smokey and good! Would recommend this restaurant to anyone who love good innovative food!
Very good ambiance, everyone one was super attentive.
CALA IS A LOT OF FUN! The food is great the ambiance is terrific and the servers are most friendly and work hard to please everyone. All very much appreciated!
Quite possibly the best meal of my life. Our bartender, Orlando, walked us through everything we asked about on the menu and was very helpful with drinks. Words cannot do this place justice. It was an incredible experience and we will always remember it.
Thoroughly enjoyed it
Food and ambience were good. Drinks were amazing. Service was on the slow side. They were packed, and we were at the communal table but our server was struggling to keep up.
Been here many times. This last time was just great. Food was fantastic and the ambiance for a group was really wonderful