Californios SF

Reserve   Cuisine   Gallery About Team

Val M. Cantu is the chef and owner of, Californios restaurant in San Francisco's Mission district. At the age of five, his father moved the family to a small town in central Texas and opened a Mexican restaurant and tortilleria. Val graduated with a degree in English and Business from the University of Texas at Austin before returning to cooking. In Austin, he worked at Uchi, before moving to the Bay Area.

Once in San Francisco he spent a year as sous chef at Sons and Daughters in Nob Hill, and then quickly began working on Californios. Having fallen in love with the bounty of the Bay Area, Californios first appeared as a pop-up while he searched for a physical space. Val was named a Rising Star Chef by StarChefs and the San Francisco Chronicle in 2016, and one of America's Best New Chefs by Food and Wine Magazine in 2017.

Charlotte Randolph, Sommelier and Owner, began her hospitality career at the age of 16, in the small town where she grew up. She studied Spanish at the University of Colorado at Boulder before moving to Mexico to travel and explore.

Charlotte returned to the states and worked with Val to execute the pop up dinners. During the formative time, she matriculated to the French Laundry for her higher education and to hone her skills.

At Californios, she has curated a wine list that perfectly pairs with the cuisine, but is also a personal expression of her style and interests. Charlotte was named by Zagat as a 'Star Redefining the Industry.'


Carolyn Cantu, Maitre D' and Owner, brings a wide range of skills to Californios. She studied Art and Art History at St. Edward's University, in Austin, Texas. She has travelled the world and studied many different visual disciplines, including floral and interior design.

Before Californios, Carolyn spent time at Ken Fulk Designs in San Francisco, where she established a foundation for classic and modern design. She designed Californios, from the ground up, as an extension of Val and her style. With dark walls, moody lighting, and splashes of intense color, the restaurant was meant to envelope the guests and take them to a mysterious place that would not have existed otherwise.

David Yoshimura, Chef de Cuisine, brings over a decade of experience and knowledge with him, having cooked at some of the world's best restaurants. He began his training at Mark's, in Houston, Texas, before graduating from the CIA, Hyde Park in New York.

David joined the team after spending time at Asador Etxebarri in Spain, Ryugin in Japan and WD-50 in New York. Outside of cooking, David studies Wing Chun, a Chinese martial art specializing in close range combat.


Our Team: Nicolas Razatos, Sous Chef; William Clarke, Chef de Partida; Emily Van Dyke, Chef de Partida

Jck Sng Tan, Chef de Partida; Ian Gordon, Chef de Partida, Sergio Mesa, Chef de Partida; Liam Roberts, AM

Casey Kusaka, General Manager; Joon Ho Baak, Lead Sommelier; Nikki Stanbridge, Concierge

Hugo Boss, Captain; Caline Sachs, Captain; Ian Cobb, Captain

Elisao Gomez, Porter; Norberto Gomez, Porter;

Helen Howard, Ninny

For Employment or Stage inquiries, please email:


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