Coqueta is a Spanish restaurant from chef Michael Chiarello. Since its opening, it has been considered one of the best newcomers, with authentic Spanish cuisine that had North California touch. I went on a Sunday brunch and agree that Coqueta is a very solid restaurant.
Any meal at Coqueta should start with pintxos, or bite-size skewers with various ingredients. I sampled all of the pintxos available, and all of them were tasty with a variety of ingredients from chorizo to anchovie to quails egg to pepper. You could tell that the North California focus on freshness of ingredients is also reflected in each bite. I proceeded to order a couple of tapas. “Sunny side-up” huevo with shrimp, crispy potato and chorizo dressing was a delicious dish that could work pretty well for brunch as well. I wished duck and pork meatballs were slightly less sweet, but there was nothing wrong with the absolutely crispy yellow cauliflower steak a la plancha accompanied by coal roasted romesco sauce.
For the main dish, I had to try paella (serving 2-3 persons) that came with a variety of seafood, chorizo and broccolini. I was a fan of the hearty dish, with fresh shrimp and clams going very well with the bomba rice in jamon Serrano-shellfish broth. For dessert, apple pie with blue cheese ice cream, despite its intriguing combination, somewhat felt flat, but I liked the skewer of manchego cheesecake with caramel popcorn.
The restaurant, located nearby Pier 5, is a perfect place for a brunch on a nice sunny day, with a casual dining area where you can look at the open kitchen in action while also enjoying the view of the bay. I don’t know how crowded the restaurant gets during dinner time, but getting a reservation for brunch wasn’t too difficult. The restaurant has a full bar menu, and for brunch a glass of sangria is probably the way to go. Coqueta is definitely a worth place visiting for a taste of Spanish cuisine in the Bay Area.
- Creativity: 8.0/10
- Execution: 8.0/10
- Ingredients: 8.5/10
- Flavor: 8.0/10
- Texture: 7.5/10
Address: Pier 5, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111
Telephone: (415) 704-8866