Mírame’s squid aguachile with fennel and hibiscus.
A modern Mexican restaurant helmed by a critically acclaimed Los Angeles chef is bringing salmon-skin chicharron and cauliflower ceviche to the Bay Area.
Mírame in Beverly Hills, which Eater LA critic Bill Esparza called “the most exciting new restaurant” to open in Los Angeles in 2020, will open a second location next year at Springline, a splashy, food-filled development in Menlo Park.
Chef Joshua Gil, known in Los Angeles for earning a Michelin star at Joe’s Restaurant in Venice and, later, his own popular Tacos Punta Cabras in Santa Monica, will develop the Menlo Park restaurant’s menu. At Mírame, he’s won over Los Angeles restaurant critics, including the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Addison, who wrote last year that Gil’s “flavors expressed a soulfulness that transcends surface notions of luxury.”
The restaurant plans to bring to Menlo Park dishes that have become hits in Beverly Hills, like those crispy salmon-skin chicharrones, dipped in a fermented garlic aioli for a twist on chips and salsa. Whole fried snapper gets painted in a dried shrimp chile rub and served with handmade Sonoran-style flour tortillas — still a rarity in the Bay Area, though some small producers are making them. Mírame sources heirloom Sonoran wheat for tortillas from the Tehachapi Heritage Grain Project, which grows and preserves heirloom grains in Southern California.
Mírame is the final restaurant to move into the Springline buildings at 1300 El Camino Real, which are still under construction. Several top names in the Bay Area food-and-drink world, including Italian restaurant Che Fico, omakase spot Robin and beer favorite Barebottle Brewing Co., are slated to open there in late 2022 and early 2023. The restaurants are a key part of the developer’s effort to attract diners and office tenants to the quiet Peninsula city.
The salmon-skin chicharron from Mírame, served with a fermented garlic aioli.
Mírame co-founder Matt Egan, who convinced Gil to helm the Beverly Hills restaurant via Instagram DM, said the food falls under the umbrella of “Alta California” cuisine. (He reportedly read about Gil in Esparza’s book “L.A. Mexicano,” which documents the Alta California movement.)
“It’s what we call the next iteration of Mexican cuisine,” Egan said. Ingredients like black lime, celtuce and tom yum salsa show up on the menu alongside lamb barbacoa and squid aguachile.
Because of Gil’s roots in Mexico’s Baja California, there’s lots of regional influence and seafood, like the campechana, a seafood cocktail-esque ceviche with a clarified citrus broth. Tacos rotate seasonally; current iterations include grilled yellowtail with wasabi crema and crispy braised pork belly.
Mírame works closely with Southern California farms that grow produce for the restaurant (which also operates its own mini farm) and plans to do the same in the Bay Area.
The bar will be heaven for fans of Mexican spirits: Every bottle, from mezcal to gin, will come from Mexico. And Mírame Menlo Park will be one of the first in the Bay Area to serve a 100% Mexican wine list. (Taqueria Los Mayas in the Inner Richmond has plans to open a Mexican wine bar, and some Mexican wines can be found on the shelves of San Francisco market Tahona Mercado.) The restaurant will share a wall with Barebottle, so they plan to allow brewery customers to order food at Mírame and vice versa.
Mírame Menlo Park will serve seasonal tacos, like this fried shrimp taco with pineapple chipotle salsa and wasabi crema.
The Menlo Park restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner, with some outdoor dining. The space will be designed by Alexis Readinger of Preen, Inc., a Los Angeles firm behind popular restaurants like Lasita and Pine & Crane.
Menlo Park might seem like an unlikely destination for a buzzy Southern California restaurant. Egan discovered the Springline project by coincidence, when a friend was having lunch at Mírame with Desmond Tan of San Francisco Burmese hits Burma Superstar and Burma Love, the latter of which is also opening at Springline. Egan had been interested in expanding to San Francisco and was pulled in by the project’s star-studded lineup and Menlo Park’s demographics, which are similar to Beverly Hills.
Other businesses heading to the development include Canteen, the second restaurant from chef-owner Greg Kuzia-Carmel of Camper in Menlo Park; the second location of San Francisco sushi restaurant Robin, which will serve a sliding-scale omakase menu ($99-$199) and a bar focused on Japanese whiskey and spirits; and an outpost of Proper Food, which serves grab-and-go meals and salads — including via a 24-hour automated fridge.
Elena Kadvany is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: elena.kadvany@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @ekadvany
 
Elena Kadvany joined The San Francisco Chronicle as a food reporter in 2021. Previously, she was a staff writer at the Palo Alto Weekly and its sister publications, where she covered restaurants and education and also founded the Peninsula Foodist restaurant column and newsletter.

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