Movida in S.F. will blend Persian and Mexican foodstuff with cocktails


A new restaurant and DJ-driven lounge that includes an unusual menu of Persian-Mexican food and cocktails is opening in San Francisco this summertime.

Known as Movida, the venue at 555 Next St. in SoMa is beneath construction and is expected to open in July. The two-degree house, previous household to bar Lord George, has a 90-human being capability. It is the 1st hospitality task for operator Bobby Marhamat, who is fifty percent Persian and fifty percent Italian but was elevated in his family’s Mexican dining places in Nebraska.

“I grew up with the Mexican tradition and Mexican foodstuff, and of training course we built some Persian foods at property, too,” claimed Marhamat, who is also CEO of Raydiant, a San Francisco tech business that makes electronic signage widely applied by places to eat and bars. “The strategy initially arrived from loving Mexican food stuff, loving Persian foods, tinkering with it and being aware of how the flavors go collectively tremendous effectively. And then bringing authorities in to convey that to lifestyle.”

Individuals specialists include Hoss Zaré, lead operational executive chef for catering huge Bon Appetit Administration Co. and, from 2008 to 2016, the operator of beloved San Francisco cafe the Fly Lure (then identified as Zaré at Fly Entice). When Marhamat, who was a standard consumer at Zaré at Fly Trap, requested Zaré to be Movida’s executive adviser, the idea resonated with the Iran-born Zaré. Following all, his culinary mission has been to showcase a modernized interpretation of Persian foods intermingled with flavors and procedures from all over the earth. 

Movida’s chief mixologist Carlo Splendorini (left), CEO Bobby Marhamat and executive adviser Hoss Zaré.

Movida’s chief mixologist Carlo Splendorini (still left), CEO Bobby Marhamat and executive adviser Hoss Zaré.

Benjamin Fanjoy/Specific to The Chronicle

“I simply call him the godfather of this location, in the feeling of staying just one of the cooks that a ton of people today seem up to and respect,” said Marhamat, “so it was very humbling when he made a decision that he would work with us.”

Zaré commonly explained his menu at Fly Lure as expressing Persian flavors with Mediterranean affect. In 2011, he presented a lunch menu of burrito-like wraps and taco-esque creations with fillings like abgoosht (lamb stew) on Persian sangak bread and lavash. And a calendar year soon after he offered the restaurant, he returned to host a sushi pop-up, in which he rolled “rice bites” crammed with koobideh (beef kebab), kuku (herb frittata) and ghormeh sabzi (beef and herb stew). 

“It’s a ideal marriage,” Zaré said of merging Persian and Mexican cuisines.

Parisa Parnian, a Persian artist and party organizer in Southern California who is not connected to Movida, agrees. In 2021, she produced Pérxican, a commercially readily available spice blend inspired by Persian and Mexican cooking. Before this 12 months, she released a regular monthly Persian and Mexican cocktail and songs party called Aziz Amor. 

Parnian traces this culinary connection back again to Middle Japanese immigrants to Mexico in the 19th and early 20th generations, who introduced herbs and spices found in Persian cooking this sort of as mint, cilantro, cumin and turmeric. “As significantly as flavor profiles go, both of those Mexican and Persian cuisine integrate a ton of sour flavors from citrus, such as the sour oranges and limes,” she observed. “Both cultures also convey dried fruits as well as pomegranates into their dishes to develop a sweet and sour flavor profile,” she explained.

CEO Bobby Marhamat (left) and executive adviser Hoss Zaré at the under-construction Movida. The bi-level lounge space will feature music from DJs.

CEO Bobby Marhamat (remaining) and executive adviser Hoss Zaré at the beneath-construction Movida. The bi-amount lounge room will attribute tunes from DJs.

Benjamin Fanjoy/Distinctive to The Chronicle

The Movida menu involves dishes like a saffron chile relleno stuffed with rice, lamb, tomato, parsley, cilantro and Queso Oaxaca and halibut aguachile with serrano, tomatillo and environmentally friendly plum broth, lime juice, Persian cucumbers, dill oil, Persian blue salt and dill blossoms. The family-design dishes will incorporate gluten-absolutely free, vegetarian and vegan choices, and Zaré notes that most of the meat and seafood entrees can also be designed vegetarian or vegan. Chef Afrand Nikoukar created the menu Nikoukar is centered in Orange County, the place he hosts a Persian pop-up called Bezan Berim, so Marhamat and Zaré are searching for a neighborhood chef who can execute the choices and produce new dishes. 

Carlo Splendorini, the associate and bar director at Bar Sprezzatura, produced a cocktail menu meant for pairing with the food. Highlights incorporate Saffron & Soul, with saffron-infused Blanco Tequila, lime, orange blossom and agave nectar and Besame Mucho, a shot flight with matcha environmentally friendly chile liqueur, Aztec chocolate butter and coconut cream mezcal.

Movida’s agenda will involve late-night hours on weekends (midnight on Fridays and 2 a.m. on Saturdays) and all-working day brunch and support on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. DJs will combine audio every day from a focused booth, and dwell musicians who participate in music from both cultures will look frequently. Marhamat cites the all-day nightclub brunch strength that bubbled at the late cafe Bagatelle New York as an inspiration for weekends at Movida, and the team is excited about getting situated close to Oracle Park.

“Any temper they are in (just before they get listed here), they’re gonna be in a very good temper,” Zaré said. “It’s a festivity, a party — just bring people to have a very good time.”

Marhamat reported he has funding in position to extend Movida into other marketplaces, too. “We are hunting at distinct demographics in distinct regions,” he explained. “I assume Southern California is 100%, I imagine New York is 100%. (I want to go) into the main markets originally the place they appreciate these forms of cuisines coming alongside one another.”

Movida, opening mid-July. 555 2nd St., San Francisco.

Tamara Palmer is a freelance author. Reach food [email protected]

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