Winner of the 2019 SF Eater "Restaurant of the Year" Award!
Chef Heena started cooking professionally late in life. She was always told her goals were too besharam, an Urdu word for shameless that is often used in South Asian culture as an insult, a label for a woman who dares to do things not considered “respectful” or “appropriate.” Chef Heena is reclaiming that word by naming her restaurant Besharam and personifying the meaning with a new attitude, dishes, and cocktails to show the community her creativity and technical culinary expertise. Grounded in traditional Gujarati food, the dishes on her new menu are meant to embody culture and hospitality. Bold flavors served family style, with a utensil optional approach in true Gujarati fashion!
While Heena cultivated her distinct style over five years at La Cocina, a culinary incubator in San Francisco which provides resources to entrepreneurs with an emphasis on working class women and immigrant communities, her food narrates her diaspora and experiences living around the world. At La Cocina, Heena’s soulful dishes, unmistakably hers, won the hearts of Bay Area chefs and luminaries such as Traci Des Jardins of Jardiniere, and Stuart Brioza & Nicole Krasinski of State Bird Provisions and The Progress, through collaborative pop-ups.
Nestled between Minnesota Street Project’s vibrant art galleries, the restaurant features an expansive mural and cheeky plateware with satirical quotes designed by HateCopy’s Maria Qamar, mirroring Heena’s bold approach to Gujarati cuisine.