Slated to open in January 2020, Ernest will be located in the Mission District.

By Nina Friend
Updated June 28, 2019
Courtesy of Daniel Brooks

While Los Angeles is off being the darling of the food world, San Francisco continues making culinary waves of its own. Whether the news is bittersweet, like the closing of Traci Des Jardins’ Jardiniere, or exciting, like when Food & Wine named Nite Yun, of Nyum Bai in Oakland, a 2019 Best New Chef, S.F.’s ever-changing restaurant landscape looks different on a daily basis. In winter 2020, the city’s dynamic food scene will once again shift as Brandon Rice, an alum of Clio, Coi, and Rich Table, opens his first independent project: Ernest.

Named for Rice’s grandfather, Ernest will be located on the corner of Florida and Mariposa in the Mission District—a short walk from Tartine Manufactory. There’s no need to squeeze both spots into one night, though, because Rice will be making his own bread cooked over open fire—think a hybrid of paratha and pita served with house-cultured butter.

The menu will be inspired by Rice’s travels—including his time staging at Quique Dacosta in Spain and Noma in Copenhagen—and focused in Asian flavors. Dishes might include a whole roasted duck, fried rice folded with parmesan cheese, and mango lassi soft serve.

Courtesy of Brandon Rice

Although the opening is still several months away, Rice is already getting excited about one dish in particular: beef tartare. The tartare will come topped with ikura and a side of toasted nori, for guests to make their own handrolls at the table.

“It's very emblematic of how I like to cook and how I like to eat,” Rice said. “It encourages sharing and eating with your hands. They're familiar flavors, but all put together, they're a little more aggressive and they kind of take it out of context.”

Beyond unique flavors, Rice hopes that Ernest will bring a relaxed, fun, and casual vibe to the San Francisco dining scene.