Larkspur resident and private chef Lorenzo Rios may be known around town for his pandemic-born empanada delivery business, but his goal is to set deeper roots with a brick-and-mortar restaurant in downtown Larkspur. Rios initiated a Kickstarter fundraising campaign last week and hopes to make his vision for an upscale, fast-casual organic restaurant he’s calling Marin Provisions a reality.
“Our goal is to increase the dining options in Marin with healthy and house-made items,” he wrote in a recent email. The funding he raises will go to securing a lease; light remodeling; hiring and training; and purchasing a point-of-sale system, inventory, insurance and equipment (rotisserie, hood, fryers and stove).
“Timing is key to success,” Rios writes on his project page. “So, with the right space and the right conditions, we feel now is the time.”
Rios is zeroing in on the storefront space at 250B Magnolia Ave. presently housing Posie ice cream, which owner and chef Kyle Caporicci plans to vacate at the end of July.
The menu will feature organic rotisserie chicken brined for a minimum of 12 hours, sandwiches, paninis and a few vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Rios will include a few of his catering customers’ favorites like a Caesar salad that follows a 25-year-old secret recipe and the aforementioned empanadas with fillings such as Mexican birria; Jamaican-style beef or chicken; and spiced apple or pumpkin. He also plans to have meat and vegetarian paella nights, and private, multi-course seasonal dinners for up to 12 diners.
Rios has been a caterer and private chef since early 2000 when, shortly prior to the coronavirus shutdown, he decided to leave his position as team leader in the prepared foods department at Whole Foods in Mill Valley to build a small-scale catering business and later empanada and dinner delivery service.
The chef brings a well-rounded background to the initiative, from his training at L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland and under the tutelage of renowned chefs such as Gérard Pangaud, José Andrés and Thomas Keller of landmark Napa Valley restaurant French Laundry. He’s owned and operated a bed and breakfast and a coffee shop, and worked on the East Coast at a fledging wholesale fish company in Bethesda, Maryland, that he helped turn into a gourmet market, among other places.
“We are excited to bring this new concept to Larkspur and the surrounding Marin communities as well as introduce ourselves to visitors to our great town,” he wrote. The restaurant will offer indoor and courtyard dining, takeout and delivery.
Read more about chef Rios, his background and his all-or-nothing Kickstarter project that expires at 6:37 p.m. June 3 at kickstarter.com/projects/thetattooedchef/healthy-organic-food-in-marin/community. Questions and comments are encouraged.
Rios continues to offer his private catering and empanada delivery services. Place orders at thetattooedchef.com or by contacting Rios via email at email@example.com or phone at 415-699-4569.
What’s the latest with Posie owner and pastry chef Caporicci and his inventive, house-pasteurized ice cream and finely crafted baked goods?
Stop by the shop at 250B Magnolia Ave. for ice cream in cups and bars, cookies, pies and cakes from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays through July. After that, he plans to continue his wholesale and pop-up business. For now, you can also find a selection of Posie ice cream and baked goods at Bay Area locations like Palmetto in Oakland and periodically at the Lodge in Fairfax.
Follow updates on Instagram @posieicecream.
Aloha to ALOH-O
Strawberry Village in Mill Valley has a new addition to its assortment of eateries with last week’s opening of ALOH-O in the space vacated by Nekter Juice Bar that remains open in Novato. This is No. 5 for sushi chef Jerry Zhang and his wife and co-owner, Jasmina Luo, as they consistently expand on the course he established three years ago to offer nutritiously driven and quick takeout meals.
He labels it American-Japanese fast food and taps into his more than 20 years of experience in authentic Japanese cooking for the fast-casual restaurant’s poke bowls, bento boxes and sushi.
Like the classic Hawaiian-born dish, ALOH-O poke bowls are made up of a base layer of white, brown or sushi rice, mixed greens, chips or a combination, followed by two scoops or more of protein (salmon, regular or spicy tuna, yellowtail, crab meat, butterflied shrimp or gluten-free meatless chicken) and topped with sauce (spicy or non-spicy original, Hawaii, sesame, ponzu, spicy mayo or spicy shoyu) and unlimited add-ons such as green, red or crispy onions, cucumber, edamame, corn, avocado, mango, jalapeno, masago, tamago, tofu, seaweed salad, pineapple, ginger and wasabi.
The fish is also available nigiri-style or in sushi rolls. Bento boxes are served with white rice, greens and two hot or cold items including beef, chicken and salmon teriyaki, tonkatsu, nigiri, sushi rolls or tempura. Japanese snacks and beverages are also available.
Zhang and Luo, the former owners of Sushi Tri in Novato and Woking in San Rafael, opened their original location in San Rafael’s Northgate One shopping center in the summer of 2018 followed by Novato, Petaluma and Santa Rosa. Dine-in service is not available right now, but Mill Valley and Petaluma both offer limited outdoor seating.
Place orders for takeout at aloh-o.com or go to 800 Redwood Highway in Mill Valley from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Learn to make handmade pasta with Italian chef and cooking instructor Deborah Dal Fovo, who will teach an online cooking class titled “Handmade Flour + Water Pasta Workshop” to help raise funds for 10,000 Degrees, an organization based in San Rafael. The livestream, interactive event takes place at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Chef Dal Fovo will teach participants how to measure, mix and knead pasta dough into a variety of interesting shapes. No rolling machine or special equipment is necessary. She’ll be joined by alumni and staff of 10,000 Degrees who will share details about the organization’s college success programming. It supports Bay Area students from low-income backgrounds to and through college with financial aid counseling, Nearpeer coaching, scholarships, financial aid management and career advice.
Tickets are $50 and include a live lesson, ingredient list and recipe, and link to the class video for later viewing.
To learn more about 10,000 Degrees or to donate, go to 10000degrees.org. Chef Dal Fovo’s recipes, photos and writings about Italian living and cooking can be found on her blog La Bella Vita (Italian for “the good life”) at theartofitalianliving.com.
Leanne Battelle is a freelance food writer. Please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with local food and restaurant news and follow Instagram.com/therealdealmarin for updates on the reveal of the Real Deal Marin restaurant guide.
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