Partner Spotlight: Cala Restaurant

Cala Restaurant strives to exceed expectations in service and to provide guests with food and drinks prepared with the best ingredients. Cala is passionate about improving our skills and the experiences of their guests, knowing that attention to the smallest details of their restaurant and genuinely caring for their team, guests and space sets Cala apart from other restaurants. They also aim to disrupt cycles of incarceration and reduce chances of recidivism by providing employment to individuals despite a history of incarceration. Read more in this Partner Spotlight with general manager Emma Rosenbush.

Why did you choose the Civic Center district in San Francisco to open a new restaurant?
Chef Gabriela Camara and I were interested in opening a restaurant in San Francisco that would be of interest to all types of people in our new city – just like her restaurant Contramar in Mexico City. We wanted to be sure it would be a place where the people who celebrate the arts would want to come and we were elated when we discovered the beautiful space of 149 Fell Street amongst the SF Jazz, Opera, Symphony, Ballet and Norse Theaters.

What sets Cala apart from other dining establishments in San Francisco?
Many things! We are a Mexican seafood restaurant that celebrates authentic flavors and dishes from Mexico with locally and organically sourced ingredients. We also take great pride in our second-chance employment practice.

Chef Gabriela Camara

How does Cala stick to its Mexican roots?
Mainly in flavors and dishes that are often very different from the California Mexican food we are familiar with in the Bay. Plus we pride ourselves on having many experienced cooks from Mexico preparing the food with a lot of love and dedication.

How does Cala partner with other local businesses or organizations?
We participate in various fundraisers and partner with other restaurants and organizations that share our values of sustainable agriculture, fair employment practices, immigrant rights and female leadership. As a second-chance employer, we also partner with the local service providers who work hard to match clients to jobs, including San Quentin prison.