Yesterday Lisa and I took a morning vacation to the Outer Sunset to visit the outcropping of inspiring shops and foodie halls coming up two blocks in from the ocean on Judah Street. It is a peaceful, beachy village amid our jumble of a city, well-served by its constant blanket of fog, with a tight-knit community of folks hand-forging their own really terrific projects. The master carpenter Keith Aderholdt, who helped us build our shop, lent a very able hand to each house of coffee, surf gear, and soup. It is a trove indeed. We started off at Trouble Coffee, a fantastic very small joint owned by Giulietta Carrelli. Giulietta's partner Byron also helped us to build our shop and we have been meaning to get over here for a taste of their fresh coconut served in the shell, extra-thick cinnamon toast, and Elbow Grease coffee for quite some time. Man, did it deliver. The snacks themselves were delicious, the art on the wall made us smile, and the driftwood counter coated in a thick, boaty coat of epoxy made us want to coat everything in the world in a thicky, boaty coat of epoxy. It is such a delight to take one's morning coconut, toast, and coffee in an place built and sustained with such righteous dedication and care. Onward to Mollusk, the famed more-than-a-surf shop, granddaddy of the new efforts in the neighborhood. You can't hardly a spy a salty boy wandering around who doesn't have a Mollusk T-shirt on. We especially fell for the simple wave ones designed by Johanna St. Clair and the entire Warriors of Radness line. This place, too, which has Keith's hand all over it, is such an inspiration both in terms of how it looks, the far-reaching array of what it offers, and the approach of the people who make it happen. Ah, you know all about it. Get over there! Hungry again, we looped back to Outerlands, a brand-new restaurant built and run by the lovely David Muller and Lana Porchello, parents to a magnificent new baby girl, Leithian Shore. Dave, Lana, Keith, and friends took about a year preparing the space, building it out with weathered woody salvage, installing a kitchen to accommodate daily bread baking, making handmade chairs and a swirling driftwood nest in the lofted studio overhead. Every loving effort delights.
Lovely Dave sporting a Mollusk shirt of course, with a design my Barry McGee.As for the food itself—couldn't be better, except perhaps if we had been salty dogging it up from the surf in wetsuits. They offer just a few choices that change daily—soup, salad, sandwiches, and cider—the perfect antidote to the cold and fog or the sun and sand, depending on the day you hit. We had squash soup with roasted pumpkin seeds and a hot, open faced pastrami sandwich, unsparing with the mustard, all mopped up with Dave's sourdough bread, the secrets of which he learned by Tartine's way. All very sophisticated and wholesome at the same time. One of those very quiet-making lunches where you hardly make time to breathe between bites. We pulled out of the Sunset an hour late to open the shop, fueled by good food and better people, fully amped, and full of thanks for everyone doing exactly what they're doing in that oceanside hamlet of their own design. Looking forward to getting back (and looking around at what I can build myself).