By Chelsea Larsson
When it comes to comfort food, Radius doesn’t stray far from home. In fact, it makes a point not to. Located in a cozy, refurbished SoMa bar, everything at this upscale restaurant is locally sourced within a 100-mile circle around San Francisco—hence the name Radius.
“Eat Local’ the buzz phrase of 2011—parodied in Portlandia and brandished by some as the panacea for global warming, obesity, and the faltering economy—has developed flack for being a fad. It is a fad, to some. Dabbling restaurants try to get clout without the commitment, serving California-sourced pork loin with off-season Ecuadorian pineapple and a glass of Belgian beer. Those restaurants aren’t local. Radius is local.
Produce, wine, fish, and foal, if the ingredient can’t be found within the 100-mile home circle, it won’t make it to the Radius kitchen. Beer, too. Even the tops of the tables are locally sourced, refurbished from the old dance floor that once occupied the next-door café space.
Making local a priority means that menu changes are frequent, since ingredient availability coincides with farm seasonality. When asked if sourcing the menu within a 100-mile radius poses a culinary challenge in menu planning, chef Peter Cham resounded with a hearty “Yes! But it is a challenge we should all take; it’s sustainable, cost-effective, and delivers better ingredients.” Not to mention a creative menu.