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Monday, October 29, 2007



"Sourced primarily from California, Spain, and France." Don't you mean, Italy, Spain, France and California (in that order)? (Big subtle hint.)

I really like the name Olallie - except for one thing: 9 out of 10 will stumble over pronouncing the name. And that is just not good. If you stick with Olallie, you need to at least teach customers how to pronounce it using some printed method, in the restaurant and on your website (and in your ads, if you place a few).


I am hoping to have more than one suggestion. My first attempt:

Cafe Tango

(PS, is it a bonus that I live across the street from your locale?)


How about Sardinia? The name not only incorporates your beloved sardines, but the island is also encircled by your culinary inspirations.
According to Wikipedia, "The island lies surrounded (clockwise from north) by the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands."


Good morning.

I still like Olallie but since there are prizes involved, I guess I could throw out a couple suggestions:



Cava or Bar Cava

I've always liked feminine names for restaurants. Not necessarily more than any other name but I think they are inviting and pleasant.

Clara is slightly ambiguous in that most people will think of a person but you know that it is a refreshing cerveza and lemon soda combination which excites the palette. It is usually a half portion, consistent with the Pintxos spirit of exciting the appetite with several small delicious drinks and dishes.

Neblina, the Spanish word for fog, sounds nice, it's easy to pronounce and is something that San Franciscans are very familiar with. It is also a facilitator in the growing of grapes which California does so well.

Cava or Bar Cava another Spanish word. A word that is short and sweet, happy and bubbly. The "Bar" conjures up obvious images of hanging out and sipping Cava.




...due to the name of your blog, the Spanish flavor, the inclusion of the subword "bar" and the benefit of being towards the top of any alphabetical listing...


Bardine / Bar·dine / Sar·dine / Bar·diner / Sar·diner...


How about Bar Sardina?


The day would not be complete without an afternoon suggestion, or two, or three, or....





BE is to the point. To be is to exist. To be hungry, to be thirsty, to be excited, to be aware, to be creative, to be conscientious, to BE in the Castro. BE is Brett Emerson.

Seya is a word that I made-up. It sounds like "sea" which is "BE" in Spanish.

Mosto is a straightforward Spanish wine term but sounds pretty serious.

Campo is another Spanish term that again has a bit of a firm ring to it. It of course is the earth from which all plant life comes from.


It's so hard coming up with names that don't evoke Mexico instead of Spain (a la Yerba Buena).

Ok, how about:
- Bar Verde
- Califia (the mythic queen for whom the Spaniards named California)
- Cortijo (farmhouse)
- Calimento (california + alimento)
- Valle
- Alcalde (Jose de Jesus Noe was the last mayor of the city under spanish rule)
- Hogar (home/hearth)
- Rinconada (I know you're in the middle of the block, but I can't shake loose from the idea of the corner bar)

I keep trying to come up with a word in Spanish that's like 'arrondissement' in French. 'Barrio' isn't right (and, again, it feels too much like a n upscale taqueria :) ) but maybe there's something in the 'vecino / vecinidad' family. (I'm playing off both the neighborhood join aspect and the foods from nearby areas.) Maybe 'Cerca'?

I'm gonna let this roll around my brain for a while and see what happens.

(Oh, and not that you asked, but: Cocktails, yes please.)


How about S.O.L.E. (Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical).

First, it's what you will feature.
Second, it's a really tasty fish.


Alright, one more, third time's a charm:

Bar Berri or Cafe Berri

Berri is the Euskadi word for new, double check though if you are curious, because I'm just going by memory.

But I like the idea of new. New restaurant, new beginnings, new experiences.


Ok how about...
Alegria....it's easy to pronounce and all about the feeling you want.
El Punto...I named my first dog spot and it worked for him. Thought maybe some of the magic would rub off. He was very special...and a dalmation.
Good luck with this!


Thank you so much for leaving suggestions everyone. I'm having a lot of fun reading them. They're all very creative and there are some real gems. You all seem to be putting some effort into this, and for that I'm thankful. Everyone also seems to have grasped my concept well. I've decided not to address each name specifically as, in my opinion, that would interfere with everyone's creative flow.

Keep the suggestions coming!



The dictionary notes Viridian as a durable blueish-green pigment, or more specifically, a darker shade of spring green.

But the name Viridian goes further. It's a wonderful metaphor. Just like "green" is traditionally used, Viridian means youth and promise, verve and vitality.

But take it a little further. Viridian suggests the freshest of meals. It's a nod to Brett's commitment to local, sustainably harvested (bred and grown) ingredients.

Of course, I could also make the pitch that Viridian is a nod to the restaurant's environmentally friendly design. Or maybe suggest how Viridian hints at the generous amount of open space in the rear garden. Or perhaps Viridian could simply be a shoutout to the spring green color that will be adorning the walls.

But at the heart of Viridian is Brett, a fellow whose optimism and vigor match the name's definition in every sense of the word.

Oh yes, and isn't it sexy on the tongue?

Thanks for letting me play along in the Name Game.


de la tierra - porque todo somos de la tierra


How about sazon? It means seasoned in spanish, but even more than that it also refers to that "je ne se quoi" that every cook/chef/grandmother has that makes their food unique and unforgettable

shuna fish lydon

little fishes

Bar Sardine


sardine house

casa pescado piquito

and I'll second:
Cortijo & Neblina


Anita D

How fun! And, I am smiling at all the fun everyone else seems to be having.

My thoughts about Olallie: to me, it invokes rustic, earthy, whimsy. While it is fun and delightful, whimsical and rustic earthiness are not what I think of when I think of you, Brett, and your food. I see rustic in that you are certainly not fanciful in your plating. I see earthy in that you choose perfect ingredients from the earth. And, yet, what I also see is a calm and serenity about your food. Not whimsy.

I certainly don't have as much creativity as the other posters, but I will try in the upcoming days to come up with at least ONE name!

Amy Sherman

Field Fork



Sardinella (Latin name for the Spanish sardine)




Back again...

None of these are quite names yet, but I am having fun tinkering with these concepts:

cal -- as in calar/calor, California, calidad...
enciende -- ('illuminate', but also 'ignite')
narri -- (Catalan for neighborhood)


Okay, I have to join in the fun! Inspired by your Catalan-theme, I just punched some words into an online translator and came up with these:

Bocí = small piece of food
Àpat = meal
Fresc = fresh
Veinat = neighborhood
Estació = season
Bon Profit = Bon Appetit
Plaer = joy, pleasure

I could see any of these alone, or with a 'Bar' or 'Cafe' tacked on the front.


-one of your tenets
-and you described your food as Californian with a Spanish flair, so maybe not a Spanish word?

-okay, if you want to emphasize the Spanish connection, I second this suggestion

-local and Spanish product

-one of my favorite memories of Spain: the beautiful rolling hills of sunflowers as we drove through Andalusia--field after field, with all those giant yellow heads looking the same way. field.
-plus this will emphasize your garden space
-not difficult to spell



I'm running low on ideas today, but that's o.k., I've got a few more to play:




Mission Olive

Arbequina, little olive that packs a punch, some of the best olive oil in my opinion.

Patxaran, liquor made from a Spanish berry. In-line with your original berry concept. Obviously the pronunciation may be a mystery to many people. "Pah-cha-rahn"

Castropub, obvious play on the neighborhood and catching a ride on the gastropub train.

Mission Olive is another great olive used for locally produced olive oil (Sciabica, 1st choice) and has the name of a great S.F. neighborhood.


Some American names:


Cafe Local




last one,

I promise...



Spanish for cork.

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  • sar·dine (n) 1. a young herring or similar small fish. 2. a metaphor for the small and often less well-known ingredients, restaurants, farmers, and artisans that San Francisco-based chef Brett Emerson writes about in this website.
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