About James Syhabout

James Syhabout is the chef/co-owner of Commis and Old Kan Beer & Co. He is the the only chef in Oakland with a Michelin-star restaurant — first learned about food, taught by his mom in the language of refugees, in a culture of kin related by circumstance. His food relies on quiet gestures: the subtle juiciness of chervil stems in a pork dish, or the gilded scent of caramelized onion in a savory financier cookie.


  • One Star (Commis)
    Michelin Guide
  • Nominee for Best Chef: West
    James Beard Foundation
  • 10 Best New Restaurants (Commis)
    GQ Magazine
  • Four Stars (Commis)
    San Francisco magazine
  • Best New Chefs
    Food & Wine
  • ChefsFeed Winner
    One of the Best Things to Eat in SF

My Restaurants

  • Commis
    3859 Piedmont Ave
    Oakland, CA

Where I Eat

Behind the Scenes

"Spatula prototype for the James Syhabout cookware line coming soon."
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"The freshest “sen khao poon” or “kanom jeen ” I’m ever going to have. Still luke warm, firm and toothsome, subtle tang on the finish with a sweet smell of fermented rice. The color of the noodles were not super white in appearance but almost a peeled raw almond color due to the fermentation process. Breakfast was the vermicelli noodles with a dose of fish sauce. Just two ingredient, simple but so complex with depth. Also see previous posts. #tbt #laofood #thaifood #hawkerfarecookbooktour #hawkerfarecookbook"
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"Pressed for time? Not really. Pressed for rice flour. See previous post. #tbt April, 2016 - Luang Prabang, Laos"
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"“Khao Poon” in Lao, “Kanom Jeen” in Thai. Same, same but different. Extruding fermented rice vermicelli made from fresh rice flour in Laos at a 35+ year old family home/business ran by the mother, two sons and a daughter in-law. They soak, grind and press the rice for the flour. Production starts at 3am and done and off to the local markets by 8am. April, 2016 #tbt #hawkerfarecookbooktour #hawkerfarecookbook #laofood #thaifood #laos #noodles #artisan"
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From My Menu