Now Open: Outerlands

Inside Outerlands (4001 Judah), a welcome new addition to an increasingly more charming collection of businesses on the last few blocks where Judah ends at Ocean Beach, the use of mixed wood helps continue the feeling of water, sand and salty air.

Soups, salads and sides are the name of the game (for the moment at least), with a focus on organic ingredients from Northern California; the salad greens come from Heirloom Organics in Hollister, for example. There's also a rotating beer selection as well as organic, biodynamic and sustainable wine from France, Germany and Ukiah.
I enjoyed my first meal there: A surprisingly creamy vegan sweet garlic potato soup drizzled with rosemary oil and served with memorable homemade levain ($6) and a salad of arugula, navel orange, fuji apple, goat cheese and a sweet orange vinaigrette ($7). I ordered the small soup and had to question whether they brought out the large ($8) out by mistake; they hadn't, which was nice.

If I had a bigger appetite I would have added one of the sides that looked most tempting: beets from Santa Cruz's Dirty Girl Produce with citrus marinade, queso fresco and toasted almonds or braised winter greens with fingerling potatoes and melted fennel ($7). (How does one melt fennel?) The warm apple bread with Straus vanilla ice cream ($6) also made a bid for space, but I'll have to save it for next time, which will be soon.

Outerlands debuted its Sunday brunch yesterday and will soon be open most days for lunch, but for now it is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m.
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