Emmy Kaplan — Emmy's Spaghetti Shack
“I like all kinds of food — very fancy places and very divey places, as well. To me, the food has to be good. And it’s not that hard. That’s the bottom line...”

High quality food is one thing that Emmy's Spaghetti Shack takes very seriously. Otherwise, patrons come to this fifteen-year-old neighborhood favorite to unwind and feel at home.

Emmy Kaplan opened her restaurant when she and her coworkers realized they had nowhere to go for a delicious meal after work (ironically, their work involved serving delicious meals to fine dining patrons, leaving them especially hungry). The one dish everyone craved at the end of the night was a hot plate of spaghetti and meatballs. One waiter, an Italian expat named Giupe, pitched in with an old world recipe and the rest is Mission/Bernal history.

When you walk into Emmy's Spaghetti Shack, you're met with quirky decor, an unstuffy attitude, and a family-friendly bustle. Lovingly called "the Shack," the restaurant has played a pivotal role in some of the Bay Area's fine dining heavyweight restaurants, including chef Sarah Kirnon of Miss Ollie's and chef Rebecca Boice of Zuni Cafe.

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Emmy prepares a kumquat cocktail at the bar Voila! The kumquat cocktail is ready. Meatballs simmer on the stove
The meatball recipe comes from an old Italian friend of Emmy's Red sauce and pasta with fresh ground pepper, awaiting their meatballs
Linguini with clams are prepared with lots of butter and lots of fresh clams. Danger: men cooking.
Emmy takes pre-cooked spaghetti to mix with simmering meatballs in a pan Mixing the spaghetti with meatballs
The final plating finishing touches A freshly plated bowl of spaghetti and meatballs - Emmy's specialty. Siamese cats eye your food at the counter Steam curls off a hot plate of spaghetti. Linguini with clams and hot Italian sausage are another favorite on the Emmy's menu. The decor at Emmy's reflect Emmy's own personal funky style No frills, no arrogance, and lots of excellent food. Emmy thinks it's important to provide enough food for her customers to feel satisfied. Emmy got the idea to open her own restaurant at the age of 23, when she and her colleagues just wanted a good meal after waiting tables. Leopard print tablecloths - not something you find every day at a quality Italian restaurant. The bar at Emmy's is perfectly grungy chic.

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