Despite the playful name upon opening, this swanky yet approachable new Marina eatery located at 3213 Scott Street at Lombard has become a beloved dining destination. Chefs and owners Erik Lowe and Aaron Toensing (Bix, Fog City) took over the former The Republic bar and transformed it into what they call a fine dining restaurant with cocktails that doesn't take itself too seriously. While Lowe and Toensing’s reimagined American classics are fun and even playful at times the focus on top ingredients, technique and refinement is clear. While some guests understood the intention behind the name many remained confused. And so in recent months the establishment was renamed to Maybeck's, in homage to one of San Francisco's luminaries and famous architects. Bernard Maybeck designed the Palace of Fine Arts and was a major contributor to the arts and crafts movement of the early 20th century.
Photos by Sloane Morrison
The space was overhauled by designer Michael Guthrie and architect Mark Topetcher and includes seating for 120 guests. There is a 20-seat, copper-topped bar and a lounge with mocha leather banquettes. The main dining room is quite posh with classic white tablecloths and Thonet bentwood chairs with beige leather seats and tartan-upholstered backs. One can imagine Don Draper and Roger Sterling from Mad Men entertaining clients at Maybeck's in high style and with plenty of stiff drinks.
Scallop and uni crudo
Start off your night at the bar for a negroni—there are several to choose from and then make your way to one of the cozy tables. Noteworthy starters include the crudo (true American snapper, lemon, chili oil). The spaghetti (black pepper, sweet butter, Parmesan) with local uni butter is ethereal in its simplicity as is the orecchiette mac and cheese (mornay cheddar, green chili salsa). A dramatic, not-to-be-missed dish for the table is the Flannery dry-aged prime New York steak (creamed spinach, delicata squash gratin, l’entrecote sauce, rosemary frites). Dishes change regularly but I'm happy to say the radiatori pasta (with smoky pork Bolognese & chile oil) is back on the menu! The restaurant also does a special beef wellington every Wednesday--aka "Wellington Wednesdays"--that is sliced at 7pm until sold out. Maybeck's is open daily from 4:30pm until 11pm, closed Mondays.
Chef & owner Erik Lowe working the Josper grill at Maybeck's
James is a food writer and Bay Area chef who owns and runs a private dinner party and cooking class business specializing in regional Italian and Spanish cuisine. See CookWithJames.com