Corte Madera’s longstanding Jewish deli has received a makeover as a Mexican restaurant.
After a 16-year run, Max’s Cafe shut its doors on January 23, and reopened on February 9 as La Plancha Bar and Grill, a colorful restaurant off the southbound Highway 101 Madera Boulevard exit that utilizes seasonal and flavorful ingredients.
While Max’s had a “phenomenal run” for its first 12 years, business dipped in the last four as several new restaurants, such as the Cheesecake Factory and PF Changs opened their doors nearby, said owner Greg Boro.
“We became the old man on the block,” said Boro, who also oversees the remaining Max’s locations dotted throughout the Bay Area.
For 3.5 years, he worked on the concept of a new restaurant. “We thought, ‘let’s inject some new life into Corte Madera with La Plancha.’,” said Boro. “The full-style New York delicatessen is fading away.”
La Plancha’s aspires for an “innovative beverage program and cuisine,” said Boro, crafting their own sauces, creams and ways of handling meat.
There are several creative choices on the menu, such as the “Vegetal Burrito”, with roasted peppers, squash, cheese, pinto beans and guacamole or the “Pollo Achiote a La Plancha” with grilled chicken breast, cotija cheese, and charred pineapple salsa.
Boro’s personal favorite is the Barbacoa, slow braised brisket in chili sauce with sweet potato.
“We wanted an original design and flavor profile,” said Boro. “We’re aspiring to be a lot more than just another Mexican restaurant in Marin.”
So far, the restaurant has received mixed reviews on Yelp, with some customers raving about the well-stocked salsa bar and others lamenting a lack of flavor on some menu items.
There are no immediate plans to refurbish any of the other Max’s locations in the Bay Area, which include spots in San Francisco and SFO Airport, said Boro. Still, he's considering opening new locations with a Mexican theme.
For now, La Plancha is still in the process of getting off the ground, and will officially launch its website over the weekend, said Boro.
La Plancha is located on 60 Madera Boulevard in Corte Madera.