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Walnut Creek Magazine


Feb 24, 2019 12:30PM ● By Pam Kessler

The burritos at La Taqueria. The English Cut at House of Prime Rib. The roasted chicken at Zuni Café. The shaking beef at Slanted Door. The Dungeness crab at Swan Oyster Depot. The dim sum at Yank Sing. The pizza at Golden Boy. Perennial classics that are quintessentially San Francisco. But did you know the city also pioneered vegetarian cooking and the farm to table movement in 1979 when the San Francisco Zen Center opened Greens at Fort Mason Center?

Called “the restaurant that brought vegetarian food out from sprout-infested health food stores and established it as a cuisine in America” by the New York Times, Green’s remains one of the most acclaimed vegetarian restaurants in the world. Delicious seasonal produce sourced locally from the Zen Center’s Green Gulch Farm and other organic, northern California farms, is transformed into sweet and savory delights under the direction of Executive Chef Annie Somerville and her team.

A kitchen fire last summer forced the restaurant to close for a few months, yet Green’s reemerged as remarkable as ever before. When asked about the success of Greens, Somerville commented, "I really believe our stability is about goodwill. As food culture has grown, we've had greater access to the most incredible ingredients of all time. We can execute high-level dishes with all the exceptional produce we acquire. Guests feel welcome here, and the employees feel a part of something special. Being located within the Golden Gate National Park is such a gift. People's lives are so busy, and they value these beautiful Bay Area open spaces more now than ever."

 Floor to ceiling windows reveal dazzling waterfront views that welcome guests at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Brunch is a favorite—homemade honey butter served with piping hot banana bread; pupusas filled with zucchini, serrano chilis, pumpkin seeds, cheddar, and grilled salsa; ciabatta French toast, with mascarpone cheese, and Vermont maple syrup. Hand-crafted cocktails, like a lime cucumber margarita, complement the meal. Whether you’ve lived in the Bay Area for years, or just arrived for your first visit, put this Michelin-guide restaurant on your bucket list.  

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