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The MINA Test Kitchen – San Francisco

4.7
118 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Mexican
Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Fun
  • Creative Cuisine

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About

The MINA Group is excited to announce the next pop-up Mi Almita, a concept collaboration with Chef Michael Mina and Houston-based Chef Hugo Ortega. Mi Almita will pay homage to the spirituality and tradition of Mexican cooking, and will be a culinary journey throughout Mexico. Mi Almita offers a 5 course menu for $39 per person.

The MINA Test Kitchen serves as the R&D laboratory for Chef Michael Mina. A continually evolving menu showcases a variety of different cuisines through a series of "pop-up concepts”.

The bar is first come first serve for cocktails, dinner & snacks.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Mexican, Seafood, American
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm,
Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
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Phone number
(415) 625-5470
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Antonio Votta
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Private party facilities
The MINA Test Kitchen can host your party for special events for dinner and is available to reserve in its entirety. Our Event Manager will assist in seamlessly planning your special event. Please email events-sf@minagroup.net or call 415-625-5460.

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Private party contact
Kelsea Albrecht: (415) 625-5460
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Catering
The MINA Test Kitchen is available for catering requests. Please contact our event's department at 415.625.5460 or events-sf@minagroup,net.
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Cross street
Fillmore
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Parking details
Lombard parking garage is located behind the restaurant on Moulton Street.
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Special events & promotions
The MINA Test Kitchen – San Francisco is available to host your party for lunch or dinner. Please call 415-625.5460 or email events-sf@minagroup.net.
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Wine
What 118 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.7based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.9
service
4.6
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Moderate
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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3.0Dined on December 31, 2017

This is our second test kitchen experience. The first one was “postcards from la costeria” and 5 stars all around.

The mi almita dining experience unfortunately did not Measure up To the previous. The food was just ok and pretty heavy. That said, we will definitely still try the next test kitchen chef, as we really enjoy the concept overall.

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5.0Dined on December 30, 2017

Everything was wonderful. The food was tasty & delicious with so much flavor and variety of the great Mexican foods! (And I’m from Texas!) We were stuffed by the end of the tasting menu (todo incluido) The staff was also so friendly and helpful from the second we arrived to the very end. It was perfect for our celebration and we definitely plan to visit again. In fact we can’t wait to see what’s next.

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5.0Dined on December 28, 2017

Wonderful meal! The menu had such great options - service was exceptional - very helpful and friendly! Chef Mina's group did an outstanding job!

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5.0Dined on December 27, 2017

We dined last night to an exceptional experience and outstanding food! We had three people at the table with severe food allergies. Santos R. created an evening that allowed everyone at our table to have a superb dining adventure! He was absolutely amazing! Every dish was adjusted so that everyone at the table could enjoy. We had never been to the restaurant before and did not expect to experience the accomodations that he created. The flavors and tastes were phenomenal!!

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5.0Dined on December 27, 2017

The food was indescribable! We read about the Test Kitchen in the AAA Via magazine and are so glad we went. Every bite of every course was fabulous. The wine pairings were perfect, and we are glad we did the 'todo incluido' so we could enjoy each taco and the oysters. Adam, our sever, was attentive and knowledgeable. This dinner complimented our day at the deYoung, seeing the Teotihuacan exhibit. We are sorry that the Test Kitchen is relocating to Beverly Hills!

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5.0Dined on December 26, 2017

Surprised hidden gem- excellent and friendly service, great food, not too expensive

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5.0Dined on December 21, 2017

Great service and impeccable dribks

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5.0Dined on December 13, 2017

Love this menu!!!!

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4.0Dined on November 29, 2017

The Food and service were amazing. Presentation was wonderful. The tasting menu we ordered covered the entire menu. We paired it with the tequila/mezcal tasting.
My only issue was that the tastings arrived rather quickly and the drinks appeared after the course had been set down.

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5.0Dined on November 28, 2017

This current concept at the Michael Mina test kitchen is Mexican and it is amazing!!
The knowledgeable staff explained our options and we chose the larger tasting menu to get the full experience.
The food was delicious, surprising and delicious throughout.
The spices and the flourishes were perfect to compliment the main ingredients of each dish.

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5.0Dined on November 24, 2017

This was an amazing culinary journey throughout the five courses. The service was excellent and the staff was very knowledgeable. I am glad we ordered the flank steak tacos recommended by our waitress ...OMG what great addition. I would highly recommend Mi Almita.

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5.0Dined on November 24, 2017

Food was great. Service was top notch. Drinks menu was yummy.

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5.0Dined on November 17, 2017

We weren't sure what to expect, but menu was varied and delicious. We opted for the wine pairing and so glad we did. All but one winery was Mexican and the wines definitely complemented the foods.

Kudos to our server who explained (a couple of times!) the menu options. Perfect amount of food and everything was delicious. I can't pick a favorite.

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5.0Dined on November 17, 2017

This place is a treat night for you and someone special. We did the 5 course tasting menu and the wine pairing. Everything on the tasting menu is shared so not a first date place - better for old and dear friends. Will come back here again!!!

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5.0Dined on November 11, 2017

Great spot! Highly recommend it, fun to taste all different items

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4.0Dined on November 10, 2017

Like Mina test kitchen— enjoyed the Italian concept and really thought we would love the Mexican, but food was just ok. We felt disappointed and didn’t feel it was worth the money. However, we’d return to the test kitchen because it’s fun. Hopefully we enjoy the next one better than this one.

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5.0Dined on November 8, 2017

I went for a birthday dinner and had such a good time. The staff was awesome and food was great! I would definitely come back again and recommend to friends!

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5.0Dined on November 8, 2017

The food was amazing especially the Costilla Corta! I wish there was more ice cream as it was too small to share. But it was fantastic! Our server was awesome!

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5.0Dined on November 4, 2017

Incredible food and they went out of their way to cope with my lactose intolerance.

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5.0Dined on November 4, 2017

Cozy atmosphere, great staff, interesting concept!

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5.0Dined on November 4, 2017

The dining room is intimate and the noise level was at times loud. The service was impeccable. You could tell every staff member that we interacted with was knowledgeable of the menu and the wine pairings. The tasting menu was without a doubt amazing and at $39 a real bang for your fine dining buck. I recommend visiting!

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5.0Dined on November 4, 2017

Loved it. And loved it. And then loved it again. I should be eating here at least twice a day. And thrice on Sunday.

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3.0Dined on November 3, 2017

This Mexican menu was subpar. I had enjoyed the previous Italian one though.

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5.0Dined on November 2, 2017

Outstanding

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3.0Dined on November 1, 2017

We were really disappointed by this latest pop-up. We loved Little Italy, his last pop-up venture in this space. However, we felt let down by Mi Almita. Most of the food was either over seasoned or too sweet. Our server was a sweet lady who checked in on us frequently, but when we were first seated, they just plonked us down with the menu and didn't bother to explain it to us until we asked. Although it was reasonably priced, the experience and food overall were lackluster and we would pass if given another opportunity.

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5.0Dined on October 28, 2017

Get the all inclusive

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4.0Dined on October 25, 2017

This Minna Test Kitchen-Mi Almita was delicious! It starts with two appetizers, a squash soup and a little masa cup with braised short rib on it. Then we got 3 ceviche, all of which were amazing. The sauce on the snapper one was my favorite, but the yellowfin tuna was also delicious. Following, we got the berkshire pork tacos and the molotes. The homemade tortillas that came with the tacos were sooo delicious. We also added the special of two flank steak tacos for $12. Those were incredible, probably my favorite of the whole meal. Our last part of the meal was the tuna mole, which was cooked perfectly and a huge amount of tuna!! It was definitely plenty of food.

The reason I give this four stars instead of five, was the dessert. It was so weird and bad, even though the rest of the dinner was amazing. These weird merigunes with some orange blossom cream that was so bad and had a weird after taste. Then black sesame ice cream which was also very strange.

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1.0Dined on October 20, 2017

We were flanked by two tables of four loud and unchecked patrons.

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5.0Dined on October 19, 2017

I really don't think I could have loved this place much more. All the food was so delicious, and the service was excellent. I'm eager to go back to try the next concept.

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5.0Dined on October 17, 2017

The current Mexican-themed Test Kitchen iteration hits it out of the park. Drinks (all tequila or mezcal-based) are superb, and every course is an amazing new take on a Mexican classic. Be sure to take the optional extra course -- it's well worth it.

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4.0Dined on October 14, 2017

Went here with my wife for a date night - the food on the tasting menu ranged from good to excellent, and they were able to accommodate my wife's dietary restrictions (pescatarian) without hesitation. The service was a bit disjointed, with a couple of different servers presenting food at times, and a very uh...attentive maitre d who insisted on re-folding napkins to a fault, but our main waitress was very helpful overall. Standout dishes were the amuse bouche soup, oysters (an add-on for the tasting menu), and dessert hot chocolate/chocolate mousse. The only mild let down was a couple of the ceviches being fairly bland. Overall, a really enjoyable meal, especially for the price.

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1.0Dined on October 14, 2017

Obviously taking advantage of the MINA brand. Extremely poor food, amateur cocktails and overall bad experience. Don't bother waste of time and money.

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5.0Dined on October 10, 2017

We had a really great experience! Service was perfect and every bite of food was better than the next. Also, the cocktails were incredible. The Chupacabra was my favorite. Can't wait to come back. I've already booked my next reservation.

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3.0Dined on October 10, 2017

We have been to the Test Kitchen a couple of times now and always enjoy the food. And we love the concept and being part of testing new recipes and ideas for a restaurant. But the service has always been the low point---from lackluster greeting, to servers who are not knowledgeable, to drinks being brought at uneven times to the food with a pairing. And you are crowded in and it is loud! But always interesting food.

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5.0Dined on October 4, 2017

Food was the best I had in SF

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4.0Dined on September 29, 2017

Service excellent, food good and menu is nice. A few misses by the kitchen that night: the tamales were delicious, though only one was hot ( steaming) while the other was not. The duck was very good, however the mole sauce was scant. Not able to really say whether mole was good or not, given that we got about a couple of teaspoons total. Rest of meal was excellent.

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3.0Dined on September 26, 2017

Service was terrible. We waited at least 15 minutes before anyone came over to offer to take our drink order. Then when we wanted to order food they said it was a different person so we had to wait, then the person that took our drink order came later and was unprepared to take our order. Then we had to flag down people to make a second drink order as no one noticed our drinks were empty.

Food was decent. Highlights include the cerviche with uni, octopus and duck.

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5.0Dined on September 26, 2017

I came with my fiance after missing the other pop ups and I'm so happy I did. Everything we ate was delicious and although you think the portions are going to be small, I was completely full as was my 200 lb fiance! The corn soup and pozole made me rekindle my love with soups, both delectable and seasoned perfectly. The ceviche with shrimp, crab and octopus was my favorite due to the sauce and the octopus tacos were beyond perfect. By the time the duck came I was already full, but managed to eat a few bites and the fig paired with Duck was really refreshing and tasty. I of course have a second stomach when it comes to dessert and made sure to finish the chocolate flan and mini hot chocolate. All around kudos to every single person that works there! They were beyond friendly and helpful in picking my wine, my fiance's cocktail and explaining every dish. Muchas gracias por todo!

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5.0Dined on September 20, 2017

Great food. Servers were very informative about the menu. Had a good time.

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4.0Dined on September 20, 2017

We did the full course with a sample of just about everything on the menu. The food was generally pretty good, but presentation and creativity was lacking when compared to the premium paid over other quality Mexican restaurants. A good one-time experience, but I don't see this place as a regular haunt to keep coming back to.

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