Thursday, June 12th, 2014
You know a restaurant’s under-the-radar when you can’t find it, even with Google Maps.
But four miles west of Petaluma, where goats scamper in fields and signs for “lost family pig” aren’t at all unusual, is The Secret Kitchen.
Tucked behind an unassuming convenience store, Brenda Anderson, Janice Clement and their tiny staff of friends and neighbors are running a walk-up, take-out kitchen with dishes like Korean BBQ chicken rice bowls with kim chee, “Hog in a Blanket” (pork brat with Lagunitas IPA mustard, cheddar cheese sauce and caramelized onions), caramel rum cake and fresh peach strawberry galettes.
“These are just dishes I’ve pickup up from around the world. Everything is just something I love,” says Anderson, whose Asian/Latin/American dishes harken from cooking gigs in Thailand, teaching at the Culinary Institute of America and running a restaurant at Google.
The secret’s already leaked out to locals, who line up at the split door to order and often grab a seat at one of the wooden picnic benches near the parking lot. But this is only the opening act for the Secret Kitchen gals, who weren’t really planning to be a restaurant at all.
Their commercial kitchen accidentally became a walk-up when a batch of tamales sold out with just a homemade sign out from. A truck (the original idea) is still in the works, but for now, the team is operating at full capacity.
Best bets include the bahn mi with slow roasted pork, pickled carrots and daikon, peanuts and secret sauce ($9); Korean BBQ tacos ($3), Korean BBQ chicken rice bowls with kimchee and pickled onions ($9), The American Hog in a Blanket ($9), Khao Soi (a Thai curried noodle bowl, $9.50) and desserts of the day. Just keep our little secret, okay?
Open 11a.m. to 7:30p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 4701 Bodega Ave., Petaluma (707) 787-8243.