In the Outer Richmond, across the street from the Balboa Theater is the renowned brunch spot: Cassava. Located in a neighborhood that braves the cold breeze of the ocean and Karl, the thick blanket of fog that covers the city’s coasts, Cassava has persisted and thrived in more ways than one. Their menu combines unique flavors ranging from burrata to yuzu to buttermilk fried chicken, all designed by co-owner and chef Kristoffer Toliao. “We want to challenge the status quo in the restaurant business” tells me Yuka Ioroi, Kristoffer’s wife who co-owns Cassava, manages operations and beverages there as well.
Cassava’s unique and delicious food also includes their famed Japanese breakfast served on their brunch menu. The breakfast includes rice, miso soup, a lightly poached egg, wakame salad, natto (soybeans fermented in stringy bacillus subtilis) and a grilled piece of salmon. Cassava is to my knowledge one of only a few places where you can get Japanese breakfast in the city and it is absolutely delicious!
When Yuka said her and Kristoffer wanted to challenge the status quo in the restaurant industry, she wasn’t only talking about the food. “We strive to give our employees higher wages and a happy working situation - employees stay with us for an average of 5 years and there is a reason!” Yuka explains. Although many food businesses try to keep an ethical stand, staff are often overworked and underpaid. “We didn’t lay off anybody and tried to keep our staff happy - and that’s the way restaurants should be run!” says Yuka.
Moving to a new North Beach location in spring of 2022, Cassava will be missed in the Outer Richmond but still definitely worth a visit for their delicious Japanese breakfast and all the other incredible items on their menu!