Meet Chad Kaneshiro, the New Chef at the Liberty Cafe


There’s a new chef at the Liberty Cafe on Cortland. Chef Chad Kaneshiro is a veteran of Barracuda sushi in Mountain View, Kingfish in San Mateo, and Oryza Bistro Asiana in Santa Clara, and he arrives at Liberty Cafe with this introduction from Megan Conroy:

We have a new Chef by the name of Chad Kaneshiro. We are so excited about our new menu and we want to get the word out to all of Bernal Heights. Chef Kaneshiro has spiced up the menu with healthier Asian inspired appetizers and entrees while keeping the California-French cafe style Liberty has always been known for. He is committed to serving simple food created with seasonal ingredients sourced from local purveyors. Here’s the new menu:

Chef’s Soup of the Day
Please ask server for details   8

Romaine hearts, Parmigiano-Reggiano, house-baked croutons 8

Uni “Flan”
Chilled Sea urchin custard, salmon roe, olive oil crostini 12

California Hamachi Crudo
Thinly sliced Yellow Tail, English pea & mint puree, truffled Yuzu vinaigrette   13

Seared Ahi Tuna Salad
Fresh Ahi seared rare, cucumbers, edamame, mint, cherry tomatoes, thai vinaigrette, red curry aioli   15

Pickled Beets & Burrata
Honey vanilla pickled Chiogga beets, arugula, balsamic reduction, sea salt, cracked black pepper   12

Goat Cheese Souffle
Twice baked, served on a bed of arugula, granny smith apples, blue lake beans, balsamic vinaigrette   10

Spring Vegetable Risotto
Arborio Rice, Vegetable Stock, Parmigiano-Reggiano, spring vegetables, tomato gremolata   18

Striped Bass
Crispy skinned, fresh English pea risotto, lemon parsley relish  21

Pacific Sword Fish
Olive oil poached, served with sautéed spring vegetables   26

California Halibut
Saffron broth, fennel, drake’s bay clams & mussels, kale, grilled liberty loaf   25

Chicken “Al Mattone”
½ Petaluma Farms organic chicken, pan seared & roasted, arugula panzanella, duck fat croutons   19

Duck & Red Curry
Maple Leaf duck breast, Kabocha squash, blue lake beans, coconut red curry, pickled sour cherries   24

New York Strip Steak
Pan seared grass-fed beef, mac & cheese gratin, arugula salad, fondant potatoes, house steak sauce   25

Chicken Pot Pie
Roasted chicken, potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, parsnips, peas & house-made puff pastry   15
(Vegetarian available upon request)

Sides: Curried Kabocha Squash / Arugula Panzanella / Fondant Potatoes / Blue Lake Beans Mac & Cheese Gratin / Kale / Sweet Potato Fries   6

20 thoughts on “Meet Chad Kaneshiro, the New Chef at the Liberty Cafe

  1. The menu looks fantastic, though the prices seem rather high for a local neighborhood restaurant. The Liberty will now only be on my list for special event dinners, rather than a regular go-to neighborhood restaurant. I guess Bernal is pricing itself both in food and real estate for our new tech neighbors….

  2. I’m hoping Chad will breathe some new life into Liberty Cafe. It would be nice to add another restaurant into the neighborhood rotation. Last time we were there (mid September of last year) the menu was uninspiring, food was mediocre, and the mid-week service was terrible. A trifecta that ensured I have not been back since.

    • +1. I’ve always been a fan of Liberty and think of it as one of Bernal’s treasures. We go a few times a year but the last few times were completely underwhelming. The food took forever to come, the service was terrible, and the food was somewhat uninspired.
      BTW, what’s up with the breakfast side of things? It seems to get good for a few weeks a year, then the whole staff gets replaced, the menu drastically changes, and the place is empty again. I personally love Liberty’s breakfast stuff more than any other place in Bernal, but it never seems to last.

  3. I’ve tried the Uni Flan, which was AMAZING! And I rarely love Uni. Wasn’t sure why I felt compelled to order the Uni Flan but am very happy that I did. More recently I had the veggie risotta, which was tasty and filled with fresh spring veg. Snuck a few bites of the halibut off hubbys plate, it was delicious! Thanks Chef, I look forward to trying your future creations!

      • Glad to hear that – I thought all swordfish and yellow tail were no-no, but you’ve prompted my to check the website and see that there are sustainable options for those.

  4. I love the atmosphere of liberty cafe but the two times I’ve been there were not good experiences. The service was unprofessional and the food took forever to come out. So hopefully a new chef will help turn things around.

  5. Hey Bernalwood,

    Speaking of The Liberty, here’s a little something happening there this Sunday night:

    On Sunday, March 24, at 7 PM, Notty Bumbo will have his first photography exhibit opening!

    Expanded Visions – Shifting Perspectives

    Expanding our vision beyond the narrow spectrum we normally perceive.

    A small sample of paired photos designed to shift perspectives.

    At: The Liberty cafe Wine Bar, at 410 Cortland Avenue in Bernal Heights, San Francisco.

    Thought you might want to know!!

    Notty Bumbo

  6. As a vegan in the neighborhood who goes to Liberty once a week or more when I can (“can” meaning when there are options on the menu I can actually eat), I am very sad that the new menu is even LESS vegetarian/vegan friendly than before. I’m always happy for any excuse to eat there, but the chefs do not make it easy.

  7. This is my Yelp review from last April 2012. Hopefully the Liberty Café has improved since that time. We had been going to LC since the early ’90s,

    April 7 went to Liberty Cafe for brunch. My husband & I had not been there in awhile & were looking forward to their brunch menu & delicious morning pastries. We were so disappointed. Also, there was a very bad vibe amongst the staff. Fortunately, our waitress, who has waited on us many times before, was as friendly & helpful as ever. She is terrific! We had ordered the breakfast basket; turned out it is no longer available. So we ordered the morning buns – Terrible One was burnt, the other like a dough ball. So we ordered the croissant which was like the ones you get @ Costco. Turns out on weekends the regular pastry chef will be no longer, just during the week. The toast which came with our breakfasts was hard as a rock; we could not eat it. Turns out Sandbox Bakery will do the weekend baking. Poor choice as lately the baked goods from there have hit a downslide. Sometimes it is better to keep the essence of what made the place so great & a local go-to spot. The people who took over after the original owner passed away kept the integrity of the cafe but made subtle, but good changes to the menu, & upgraded the service. They knew their stuff. This current owner….Well! I wish them luck in keeping this former gem open. It will be a long time we before we go back.

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