Boxing Room

By Laura Fraser

With 20 artisanal beers on tap, traditional Louisiana cuisine, dollar oysters, and sleek Hayes Valley atmosphere, the Boxing Room is a perfect fusion of the best of New Orleans and San Francisco. Louisiana native Chef Justin Simoneaux serves up traditional gumbos, jambalaya, crawfish, boudin balls, and other Bayou fare made from local ingredients. The massive space—in a former shirt factory with exposed wood beams and steel bracing—now sports a zinc-topped bar and faux-alligator seats, and the chef has tailored a distinctive exclusive menu to match, just for BBE. The first course is a crab cake, pan-fried to a golden crispy crust, on a bed of cole slaw with a creole remoulade tying everything together with a delicate yet spicy kick—the perfect pairing for a light, ever-so-bitter Pilsner Scrimshaw beer from the North Coast Brewing Company in Fort Bragg. The main course is a lesson in the comforts of NoLa hospitality: Mom's Smothered Chicken. This perfectly roasted bird is lounged on a plate of butter beans, bacon, and rice, completely innocent of vegetables. The hearty sauce and spice stood up to the hoppy Proving Ground IPA from San Francisco's own Magnolia Brewery. The not-too-sweet potato pie with a pecan crust, bourbon ice cream, and crispy strewn pecans is brilliantly paired with a Campfire Stout from High Water Brewing Co. in Chico, CA, which has the bitter darkness of the best coffee to finish the meal.

... on the side

on the stereo
The music is definitely down in the Treme—the Meters, Soul Rebels, Jon Cleary, Shamarr Allen, and other New Orleans bands.

eye for design
Boxing Room has more in common with its Absinthe Group cousins than anything you’d find in New Orleans. Don’t expect Mardi Gras beads festooned in this sophisticated, spare, elegant space.

mardi gras
If you can’t get to New Orleans, Boxing Room is the place to be for Mardi Gras, when the restaurant hires live brass bands.


lunch: Mon–Fri 11:30 AM–3 PM
brunch: Sat–Sun 11 AM–3 PM
midday menu: daily 3 PM–5 PM
dinner: Sun–Thu 5 PM–11 PM; Fri–Sat 5 PM–midnight