“I had the itch to cook Portuguese," chef Telmo Faria told Inside Scoop recently, "and that’s when it clicked.” Born in the Bay Area but whisked away by his immigrant parents to the island of Faial in the Azores, he was also born into the restaurant world. His father soon opened a restaurant in Horta, Faial.
Eventually, Faria would return to the Bay Area — honing his craft first at the California Culinary Academy, then over a decade in the kitchen at Sonoma's LaSalette Restaurant, Monterey's Montrio Bistro, and finally as executive chef and a partner at the restaurant group behind Tacolicious, Mosto, and the late Chino.
Now Inside Scoop reports that Faria has signed a lease for a new restaurant incantation in the former Incanto space (Chris Consentino's spot there closed last year). It's a place to call home for his currently pop-up Portuguese operation Uma Casa.
The space at 1550 Church seats 75 and has a bar and private dining room. There, Faria will be serving Portuguese fare — with an inevitable California influence — paired with wines from Portugal and Portuguese vintners operating in California. He's likening that California influence to the style of chefs like Ravi Kapur at the heralded Liholiho Yacht Club (Hawaii by way of NorCal), among others. First the chef's team will redesign the space, but it's not too soon to start looking forward to Telmo's, and Uma Casa's, arrival in Noe Valley.
Last, fans of HBO's Looking will be happy to note that he cooks a mean piri-piri chicken — a pop-up from one of the characters was a recurring subplot on the now cancelled San Francisco-based show.
Uma Casa - 1550 Church Street, at Duncan