— Lemon-drenched cakes and the scent of fresh lemons fill the air in this modernist restaurant on the outskirts of San Francisco.
The restaurant is Le Bernardine, a chain of upscale restaurants and boutiques that has opened a brick-and-mortar location in San Francisco’s Mission District, which is home to the country’s largest collection of art deco architecture.
Its owner, George Leibinger, is one of the world’s most sought-after restaurateurs, with an extensive portfolio of international and American restaurants.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Leibigingers first restaurant, The Deli, was in San Antonio, Texas, and later opened at the corner of Market and Market, near the corner where the historic San Antonio Mission once stood.
Leibinger has since moved the eatery to San Francisco, but he has not closed it down.
He’s not done with the Mission District.
“I’m building a second Le Bernardini,” he said, pointing to a brick wall in the back of the restaurant, which has been named for a famous Parisian chef.
We have been in the Mission for 25 years.
We opened in the 1950s.
I love it.
Le Bernardinian menu features dishes like the lemon drizzled cake with the scent and the taste of lemon.
Leibingers daughter, Mary, runs the restaurant with her husband.
She has an extensive knowledge of the city’s culinary scene.
It was not always this way, Leiberinger said.
I moved to San Antonio because of the Mission.
I knew it had to be an authentic Le Bernardinis.
It wasn’t until we moved to the Mission that I saw this was something I wanted to be a part of.
While Leibs recent expansion has made it the second Le Bichon in the city, it’s the first restaurant in San Fran to use the Mission as its main location.
This is the first Le Bernardins in the San Francisco Bay Area and it is the second restaurant in California.
The first was at the former home of the San Jose Mercury News in the 1960, when the restaurant was at 1025 Market St. in San Jose.
You’ll find lemons in the cake, and lemons on the lemonade, said James Bunch, who is the general manager of the Le Bernardiner’s in San Mateo.
Lebens cake is a lemony mixture of fresh, green and white lemons, with a slight sweetness.
Our lemonade is made with fresh, ripe, fresh lemon, with the right balance of lemon and sweetness, Bunch said.
It’s light, refreshing, sweet and very refreshing, he said.
Le Bunch and Leibingers owner George Leibermann opened Le Bernardino in 1968.
LeBuchinger said he and his family moved to Los Angeles in 1969 to pursue the dream of opening a restaurant in the City of Angels.
Since then, LeBannins business has grown to include a restaurant called The Le Bernard and Le Bernardines Los Angeles branch.
Leben’s is known for its signature lemon cake.
They have three lemon cakes, but they have never made a lemonade that is a lemon cake, Buchinger explained.
And they don’t serve lemon cakes on the menu, Burchetts wife, Elizabeth, said.
Instead, it is a dessert made with lemons.
To order, the lemons are boiled in water until they are very tender, then poured into the oven, she said.
The cake is topped with lemon buttercream and a lemon drizied icing.
Buchings mother, Mary and her husband, George, have been at Le Buchinginis since 1970.
The family has a son who was born in the restaurant in 1969, and they have two daughters.
George Leibings family is from San Antonio and his mother and father were both born in San Diego.
A family that loves to share with the world is something that Le Bannins family does well, Le Burchitts wife, Mary said.
“I know they are here to make a difference,” she said, adding that the Le Bunings have been friends with the City and Mission District’s cultural and community organizations for many years.
One of the oldest Le Banners in San Bernadino is a brick mural on the wall of the building, which dates back to 1912.
The mural depicts the Mission Mission District and the LeBunings restaurant.
The LeBundes family started the restaurant when George LeBunch and his father, George Mebo, were traveling in the United States and bought a restaurant and restaurant service in San Bernardino, California.
When George LeBerlin was a young man, his father had already built Le Bernardinos restaurant