Fans of local food are glad to have a place to visit and be fed again by Marguerite Grifka. Grifka was one of the founding chefs at restaurant-lounge Starlite, where she help to establish its farm-to-table focus. In recent years, she's taught cooking classes, steered a food truck, volunteered with schools, and most recently, started a weekly meal service that she is still running out of her new daytime eatery, California's Table, which just opened in North Park.
Sharing a kitchen with kombucha tasting room JinBuCha, Grifka is preparing a wholesome and tasty from-scratch menu that's mostly organic and GMO-free, served quick-service style, with dishes available to-go or to eat-in on a small sidewalk patio. There's a warm rice and quinoa pilaf topped with vegetables, herbs, housemade garlic-lemon sauce and roast chicken and "The Rubenesque" sandwich on house-baked ciabatta that can be made with oven-roasted tofu layered with smoked jack cheese, housemade kraut and mustard, plus salads, daily soups and a spiced Indian dahl. True to her cooking ethos, the chef sources carefully — the chicken hails from Pasturebird in Temecula and the tofu from San Diego Soy Dairy, while local produce comes from area farms and the North Park farmer's market.
Now open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., California's Table will soon extend its hours and serve breakfast beginning at 7 a.m., offering French press and cold brew from a local roaster, plus baked goods, egg and rice bowls and more.