In launching his eponymous interior design firm, Eche turns his passion for architecture and design into a singular approach, one informed by classical design and bold contemporary art. Eche’s work reflects a fun, almost naughty and irreverent approach to life. Eche believes that the everyday should be imbued with bits of theatricality and playfulness.
Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Eche Martinez attended design and business school in Buenos Aires and Paris respectively. Over the course of his career, Eche has shaped brands and interiors for premier real estate developments and homes in Europe and The Americas.
Where are you from and why do you love it?
I live in what I like to call the Bermuda Triangle of San Francisco: Lower Pacific Heights. For Pacific Heights purists my part of town would be considered the Western Addition or ‘The Fillmore’. Either way I love being close to Fillmore street and everything it has to offer. There’s something in the oxymoron ‘Lower Heights’ that just works for me and feels SO San Francisco!
I keep it classic, La Boulange de Pine. The original bakery where it all started. There’s nothing like walking there in a cold San Francisco morning and being seduced by the smell of fresh batches of almond croissants being baked. When it comes to coffee drinks I like to keep it simple: Decaf Americano. I’m a morning guy so I don’t need the caffeine to jump start my day.
Favorite spot for a cocktail?
Cocktails are not my thing, but I do love a good glass of wine after a long day of work when the fog starts rolling into the neighborhood. The Social Study on Geary and Fillmore has got such a great vibe. It’s a small venue with a great wine list and the perfect ambiance to end a long day!
Date night destination?
Cafe Florio on Fillmore. When I first moved to San Francisco I used to call this restaurant ‘my second dining rom’ because I’d dine there at least once a week. It’s such a SF icon with a great chic yet casual European atmosphere. Their steak frites cannot be beat and they always greet you with a smile. It’s a small European vacation without the need of a passport. It’s such a great date spot that if your date is not sailing perfectly smoothly be warned… red flag!
Favorite find in the neighborhood?
I’m only a few blocks away from Japantown which makes some people consider this part of ‘Lower Pacific Heights’ as a Japantown addition. Inside the Japantown mall there’s a hole in the wall that serves the most comforting Ramen noodle bowls you can think of. It’s called Suzu and their Karagee (fried chicken) noodle bowl is everything you can think of comfort Japanese food and more.
Outdoor space to enjoy in the sun?
Dining al Fresco is a premium on Fillmore Street. My favorite spot is brunch at Elite Cafe. Their deviled eggs and donut holes are a perfect start to any Sunday.
Best kept neighborhood secret?
Each month La Boulange de Fillmore hosts a three course dinner at their original bakery to benefit a non-profit. There are only 24 seats available and the guests can enjoy an evening with the founder and chef de cuisine of La Boulange. At the end of the evening guests donate the amount they wish to the non-profit, and La Boulange makes a contribution to match those donations.