A new concept has emerged in Kearny Mesa that aims to add a healthy option to the diverse food offerings in the neighborhood. Local contractor and realtor Dave Zecha, along with his cousin and business partner Michelle Racca, have soft opened Cafe Stems which replaces a former fruit shop in one of Convoy Street’s more bustling centers.
The founders spent time developing the fast-casual eatery’s salad-driven menu, which focuses more on globally-influenced flavors than some other concepts in the category. Inspired by a traditional Burmese tea leaf salad, Cafe Stems’ Positivi-Tea salad includes fermented organic sencha tea leaves, romaine, garlic flakes, roasted seeds and shallots seasoned with vegetarian fish sauce, lemon, and Himalayan salt while the Kale-In-Me Softly with kale, tofu, carrots, and almonds is served with creamy sesame seed dressing. Custom-made salads are also available, and chicken and hard boiled eggs will be optional protein add-ons. And Zecha is making an array of Japanese rice balls, or onigiri, seasoned with everything from pickled mustard greens to Japanese plum. The cafe is also offering smoothies and organic acai bowls.
After its grand opening on January 22, the eatery will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily and have its full menu in place, which will include 10 signature salads, wraps, Vietnamese spring rolls and a variety of teas.