Californios SF

“Californios first appeared as a pop up in 2013. Californios was the name given to the Mexican people, that first settled California.”


The cuisine of Californios is a personal reflection of chef, Val M. Cantu. Our foundation is based on following tradition, and building upon it. The style is minimal, maximizing a purity of flavor and expression of ingredients. Our menu changes with the seasons. Each night we serve an ever evolving collection of around 16 courses. We work directly with the best farms and purveyors on earth. Each ingredient is meticulously sourced and chosen for its concentrated and vibrant flavor, at the height of its season.


Val M. Cantu, Chef and Owner

Val M. Cantu is the chef and owner of, Californios restaurant in San Francisco's Mission district. At the age of five, his father moved the family to a small town in central Texas and opened a Mexican restaurant and tortilleria. Val graduated with a degree in English and Business from the University of Texas at Austin before returning to cooking. In Austin, he worked at Uchi, before moving to the Bay Area. Once in San Francisco he spent a year as sous chef at Sons and Daughters in Nob Hill, and then quickly began working on Californios. Having fallen in love with the bounty of the Bay Area, Californios first appeared as a pop-up while he searched for a physical space. Val was named a Rising Star Chef by StarChefs and the San Francisco Chronicle in 2016, and one of America's Best New Chefs by Food and Wine Magazine in 2017.


Charlotte Randolph, Sommelier and Owner

Charlotte Randolph began her hospitality career at the age of 16, in the small town where she grew up. She studied Spanish at the University of Colorado at Boulder before moving to Mexico to travel and explore. Charlotte returned to the states and worked with Val to execute the pop up dinners. During the formative time, she matriculated to the French Laundry for her higher education and to hone her skills. At Californios, she has curated a wine list that perfectly pairs with the cuisine, but is also a personal expression of her style and interests. Charlotte was named by Zagat as a 'Star Redefining the Industry.'


Carolyn Cantu, Maitre D' and Owner

Carolyn Cantu, Maitre D' and Owner, brings a wide range of skills to Californios. She studied Art and Art History at St. Edward's University, in Austin, Texas. She has travelled the world and studied many different visual disciplines, including floral and interior design. Before Californios, Carolyn spent time at Ken Fulk Designs in San Francisco, where she established a foundation for classic and modern design. She designed Californios, from the ground up, as an extension of Val and her style. With dark walls, moody lighting, and splashes of intense color, the restaurant was meant to envelope the guests and take them to a mysterious place that would not have existed otherwise.


David Yoshimura, Chef de Cuisine

David Yoshimura, Chef de Cuisine, brings over a decade of experience and knowledge with him, having cooked at some of the world's best restaurants. He began his training at Mark's, in Houston, Texas, before graduating from the CIA, Hyde Park in New York. David joined the team after spending time at Asador Etxebarri in Spain, Ryugin in Japan and WD-50 in New York. Outside of cooking, David studies Wing Chun, a Chinese martial art specializing in close range combat.



3115 22nd Street

San Francisco, California 94110