Erin Rooney named her restaurant for California’s state rock, serpentine, a jagged specimen of which she found under the floorboards during construction. Serpentine’s space was the boiler room for a 100-year-old can factory back then, and the room today still benefits from high ceilings and well-worn concrete columns. But despite the elemental name and space, the food is completely polished. Chef Deepak Kaul tweaks the menu daily, depending on what’s in peak season. For summer, peach and nectarine salad is a highlight, with house-cured pancetta, little gem lettuce, purslane, toasted walnuts, elderflowers and champagne vinaigrette. Pan-seared Petaluma chicken livers are aggressively spiced with fenugreek and Thai chiles. Rosy-hued Alaskan sockeye comes with a side of artichoke barigoule, a warm, earthy Provençal dish. No matter what you order, save room for an inspired twist to the classic bananas Foster, in which roasted-banana ice cream is sandwiched between chewy burnt-sugar cookies and placed over a rum sauce moat littered with cashew praline. Jump in and indulge.

sweet seats

The booth closest to the bar seats four and offers views of the lounge through porthole-like windows. If you’re looking for more privacy, grab a seat closer to the kitchen.

chew on this

California claims to have been the first to catch the wave of designating a state rock, back in 1965.


lunch: Mon.–Fri. 11:30 AM–2:30 PM
dinner: Tues.–Sat. 6 PM–10 PM
brunch: Sat.–Sun. 10 AM–2:30 PM

price range

$4.50 (spiced lupini beans) to $24.50 (grilled Storm Hill Ranch Hanger steak)