A space above the storied Trident restaurant and bar, which played host to Janis Joplin, Bill Graham, and the Rolling Stones in the 1960s, has transformed into a new fine-dining spot that opens this spring, from a pair of Delhi-based restaurateurs.
The owners of Ditas — a popular restaurant with locations in Mumbai and Delhi — Udita and Utsav Khaitan, are expanding to the U.S., starting with this first American outpost in Sausalito. CEO of Ditas Marin Nikita Khandheria has brought on chef Aiki Terashima — formerly of Picazo Cafe in Sonoma and Morimoto Napa — to create an upscale, international menu that will lean toward Japan and Italy for influences.
Eater reported last month on the arrival Ditas, first scheduled for an early February opening. But Khandheria now tells SFist that the restaurant is only in friends-and-family mode for at least the next month, though it appears renovations are complete.
The new restaurant has taken over what was formerly an event space for The Trident, and it's been reimagined by Winder Gibson Architects and interior designer Maureen Kelse.
"Chef [Terashima] wants to be sure that every dish is the absolute best that it can be before we open to the public," Khandheria said, adding that the grand opening would likely be after March 15.
Ditas Marin currently does not have a website or publicly posted menu, and Khandheria said that the menus at the two locations in India will not be mirrored here. She said that the Mumbai and Delhi restaurants were more focused on "fair food," and the Sausalito restaurant would be more fine-dining focused. An Instagram post for Ditas Marin says it promises to be "an elegant restaurant by day and an exclusive bar by night."
Chef Terashima apprenticed as a sushi chef with Iron Chef Morimoto at his Napa restaurant, and in 2017 he opened The Reel Fish Shop and Grill in downtown Sonoma. Sonoma Mag described him expertly butchering a 150-pound tuna for the restaurant — taking a whole-fish approach in the kitchen, which he made a habit of at The Reel.
While The Trident lives on as a casual seafood restaurant downstairs — somewhat divorced from its rock-and-roll roots and with some decidedly mixed Yelp reviews — it sounds like it will be a far more fancy experience upstairs at Ditas.
The Trident began life as The Yacht Dock, and was bought in 1960 by music legends the Kingston Trio. They, in turn, attracted plenty of the San Francisco music scene of the 60s to the place, including regular customer Janis Joplin — who had her own table — Jerry Garcia, Joan Baez, Clint Eastwood, and Bill Graham, who threw parties there for the Rolling Stones whenever they were in town. The place was also used for a scene in Woody Allen's 1972 film Play It Again, Sam.
After a couple decades as Horizons restaurant starting in 1980s, the space on the water in Sausalito was re-christened as The Trident in 2012, and has continued chugging along ever since.