Sad face: Longtime Mission landmark Woodward’s Garden—we’re talking about the restaurant, of course, not the 19th-century amusement park it was named for—lost its lease in 2014. Happy face: its owners and co-chefs, Dana Tommasino and Margie Conard, transplanted their Garden to the Fillmore, and their writer and artist regulars quickly followed. In the year since the move, Gardenias, as the new place is called, has become the heart of its next neighborhood, serving the same brand of fresh, seasonal California food they’d become known for. (Be careful not to call it fusion, though—Tommasino and Conard “believe wholeheartedly in one plate/one country.”) Think a salad of blood oranges, medjool dates, and fennel with kale and ricotta; roasted-beet ravioli with broccoli rabe and breadcrumbs; braised short ribs with tangerine and star anise over stone-ground polenta; and blackberry–Mission fig tart with a shortbread crust. Happy, happy, happy face.
Photos Courtesy of Gardenias