The sweeping reclaim-wood design give the restaurant a sophisticated beach shack feel.

The sweeping reclaim-wood design give the restaurant a sophisticated beach shack feel.

The story: Located in the far reaches of San Francisco’s Sunset District, Outerlands has been drawing crowds since it was a little cafe near Ocean Beach. It’s especially popular for weekend brunch, with long waits. Owners Dave Muller and Lana Porcello expanded next door, giving the interiors a fresh, reclaimed wood rustic decor. Last year, Outerlands saw a bit of chef shuffles after longtime chef Brett Cooper left and a new chef lasted only four months before Muller and Porcello placed the kitchen helm under sous chef Bayani Inclano and pastry chef Brooke Mosley.

Why I went: Early last year I took a day off so I could beat the weekend crowds by going for lunch during the weekday. But after I went with my friend Craig, Chef Cooper left so I felt I couldn’t do a review of the place. So recently I returned with my friend Blake for weekend brunch, going early to avoid the crowds and wait, which still can happen at peak times.

The vibe: A chic cabin feel with the reclaimed-wood decor, and a young hipster crowd, primarily people living in the neighborhood. And you can’t go without seeing some guy wearing plaid or a knit cap.

The Outerlands Cubano ($15) was popular from the old menu. When I ordered it, I didn't realize it was an open-faced version of the Cubano, so I missed the traditional pressed sandwich technique. I ate it with the also popular tomato soup, which I didn't notice in the new menu.

The Outerlands Cubano ($15) was popular from the old menu. When I ordered it, I didn’t realize it was an open-faced version of the Cubano, so I missed the traditional pressed sandwich technique. I ate it with the also popular tomato soup, which I didn’t notice in the new menu.

The menu: The limited menu emphasizes fresh, local ingredients and include a section of pastries. The concept continues under Inclano-Mosley, but gone is the often ordered cubano ($15), which was an open-faced Cubano sandwich with braised pork, mortadella, swiss cheese and pickles. But the new menu has some creative touches, such as the two dishes Blake and I had as our brunch mains: the Dutch pancake baked in a cast iron pan ($12) and the “eggs-in-jail” ($12), which is similar to a toad in a hole but with the addition of chermoula, sweet sausage and squash (that seemed more like carrots).

The booze: Outerlands has a full bar with specialty cocktails, wine and beer, but since I went for lunch and brunch at both occasions, I didn’t really delve into the drink program.

My favorite dish: In my recent visit, I was surprised by the mustard green salad ($10), a beautiful plate that was refreshing with a mixture of ingredients (smoked curd, apple, artichoke, honey, ume, crispy alliums) and a light vinaigrette that really brightened the dish and opened up my palate for the rest of the meal.

Insider tip: Do like the regularsย โ€” after putting your name on the wait list, head over a few steps down to Trouble Coffee for some unique coffee experience at one of the neighborhood’s parklet.

The last bite: Despite the changes in the kitchen, Outerlands is going strong under the new chefs, with a creative menu and beautiful plating that delivers in flavor. While some of the baked goods can sometimes seem straight-forward, the service and open space make it a fun spot for brunch.

The rating: 2.5 out of 4 camera snaps

2.5snaps

 

 

The deets: Outerlands, 4001 Judah St. (at 45th Street), San Francisco. PH: 415.661.6140. Open weekday lunch, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; weekend brunch, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and dinner daily, 5:30 to 10 p.m. Reservations accepted for dinner only, for parties up to 6. Major credit cards accepted. outerlandssf.com

Outerlands on Urbanspoon

A chef working at the open kitchen during brunch service.

A chef working at the open kitchen during brunch service.

A window view of the outdoor tables

A window view of the outdoor tables

A large and refreshing plate of the mustard green salad ($10) with smoked curd, apple, artichoke, honey, ume, and crispy alliums.

A large and refreshing plate of the mustard green salad ($10) with smoked curd, apple, artichoke, honey, ume, and crispy alliums.

Freshly baked bread along a shelf.

Freshly baked bread along a shelf.

Dutch pancake ($12) gets its unusual shape from being baked in a cast iron pan. I thought it would be a nicer presentation if it actually came in the pan. Served with sweet roasted apples.

Dutch pancake ($12) gets its unusual shape from being baked in a cast iron pan. I thought it would be a nicer presentation if it actually came in the pan. Served with sweet roasted apples.

Eggs-in-jail dish ($12) made with an egg enclosed in a bread topped with sweet sausage, chermoula, squash and leeks. The squash was a bit tough like carrots, and didn't seem to blend with the whole dish.

Eggs-in-jail dish ($12) made with an egg enclosed in a bread topped with sweet sausage, chermoula, squash and leeks. The squash was a bit tough like carrots, and didn’t seem to blend with the whole dish.

A closer look inside the eggs-in-jail dish. I felt the egg was a bit overdone.

A closer look inside the eggs-in-jail dish. I felt the egg was a bit overdone.

The counter with tickets lined up. Outerlands gets steady business.

The counter with tickets lined up. Outerlands gets steady business.

Chocolate brioche with berries and salted caramel ($4). It was sticky but a bit dense.

Chocolate brioche with berries and salted caramel ($4). It was sticky but a bit dense.

You can always spot someone wearing plaid.

You can always spot someone wearing plaid or wool.

Outerlands is at the corner of Judah and 45th Street in the outer Sunset and often draws a crowd outside, although service is efficient to keep tables turning and waits relatively short.

Outerlands is at the corner of Judah and 45th Street in the outer Sunset and often draws a crowd outside, although service is efficient to keep tables turning and waits relatively short.

4 Responses to Brunch Review of Outerlands in San Francisco

  1. Carolyn Jung says:

    Oh, the bread there looks magnificent, as does the Dutch Baby. I’m thinking they don’t serve it directly in the cast-iron pan out of fear people will burn themselves. I dunno about you, but every man I know who hears the words, “Please be careful, this plate is hot” MUST then touch the plate to find out for sure. LOL Is it a guy thing? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Ben Ben says:

      Haha, I never heard that about men, but makes sense. We don’t believe anything unless we experience it for ourselves! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. I was JUST at Outerlands on Saturday – I went for brunch! I had gone the day after Thanksgiving too and waiting zero minutes for a table. Love this place.

  3. Brenda Ton says:

    The eggs in jail look incredible, but that’s disappointing to hear that it wasn’t up to par. These photos are beautifully captured, Ben!