A Nola State of Mind

Where San Francisco - - The Guide Food -

Alba Ray’s con­jures up some south­ern Louisiana rev­elry in this cool West Coast city. The Cajun restau­rant feels like a warm sum­mer night—airy and sul­try. Lush ferns dec­o­rate wrought iron arch­ways, an­tique chan­de­liers dan­gle from the ex­posed beams of a lofty, jade-col­ored ceil­ing and the scuffed floor and smudged walls lend patina. King-size, char­broiled Gulf Coast oys­ters ar­rive swim­ming in herbed but­ter, and the jam­bal­aya is mixed and dished out ta­ble­side. Lais­sez les bon temps roulez. 2293 Mis­sion St., 415.872.9409


Span­ish/ Tapas This el­e­gant restau­rant in the Cas­tro neigh­bor­hood serves tra­di­tional tapas and modern Span­ish dishes, sourc­ing in­gre­di­ents from sus­tain­able Cal­i­for­nia mar­kets, farms and fish­eries. The wine list is care­fully cu­rated to pair with the ex­ten­sive menu, and the dim, thought­fully dec­o­rated din­ing room has a ro­man­tic feel. Brunch (Su), D (nightly), closed M. 2272 Mar­ket St., 415.552.3000.


Cal­i­for­nia Serv­ing modern Cal­i­for­nia cui­sine in a neigh­bor­hood set­ting, ac­claimed Frances serves de­lights like chest­nut soup with roasted ciopollini and house- cured pancetta; slow-roasted beef with creamed win­ter greens; and ling cod crusted with Boccalone lardo, squash and ap­ples. D (nightly). 3870 17th St., 415.621.3870. $$$


Chi­nese This bustling spot has a col­or­ful lounge and cheer­ful, mod­est decor in the din­ing room down­stairs. The Hong Kong-style menu in­cludes tank-fresh seafood. The Travel Chan­nel’s “No Reser­va­tions” host An­thony Bour­dain vis­ited the res­tau- rant on his show and raved about the salt and pep­per crab. L, D (daily). 631 Kearny St., 415.982.7877. $$


Steaks Pace your­self: This au­then­tic Brazil­ian steak­house of­fers all-you- can- eat skew­ers (“espetus” in Por­tuguese) of slow-roasted beef, lamb, pork, chicken and shrimp for a fixed price. The gi­ant salad buf­fet is in­cluded. L, D (daily). 1686 Mar­ket St., 415.552.8792. 710 S B St., San Mateo, 650.342.8700. $$$


Amer­i­can Named for its lo­ca­tion North of the Pan­han­dle, this ex­pan­sive, hip restau­rant serves wood-fired rus­tic cui­sine that epit­o­mizes the best of San Francisco’s cur­rent food scene. One of the city’s best late-night din­ing op­tions, it’s also pop­u­lar for its brunch, burger and pork chops. Brunch (Sa-Su), D (nightly un­til 1 am). 560 Divisadero St., 415.864.8643. $$$


Amer­i­can Named one of the coun­try’s top 50 new restau­rants by Bon Ap­petit mag­a­zine in 2012, this James Beard Award-nom­i­nated hot spot is owned by a hus­band- and-wife team who serve un­fussy, mar­ket- driven food in a lively at­mos­phere. Mus­torder items in­clude in­no­va­tive snacks like sar­dine chips and porcini dough­nuts and cre­ative cock­tails. D (daily). 199 Gough St., 415.355.9085. $$$


Mediter­ranean Three words: Get the chicken. This San Francisco in­sti­tu­tion has been in busi­ness for more than 35 years and is most fa­mous for its cooked-to- or­der roast chicken for two (al­low an hour), a true stand- out on the Mediter­ranean-in­spired menu of roasted and grilled good­ness. Watch the vin­tage street cars roll down Mar­ket Street through the floor-to­ceil­ing win­dows while you wait. Brunch (Su), L, D (daily), closed M. 1658 Mar­ket St., 415.552.2522. $$$


Ja­panese For the ul­ti­mate in sushi, look no fur­ther than this Miche­lin-starred restau­rant of­fer­ing a prix fixe menu in­spired by tra­di­tional Ja­panese “Kaiseki” cui­sine. At $95 per meal, the Kusakabe ex­pe­ri­ence isn’t cheap, but it is worth it—the restau­rant of­fers an “Omasake” menu cho­sen specif­i­cally by the chef and pre­pared to or­der. 584 Wash­ing­ton St., 415.757.0155. ONE MAR­KET

Amer­i­can This ever-pop­u­lar restau­rant on the Em­bar­cadero water­front across from the Ferry Build­ing of­fers con­tem­po­rary pre­sen­ta­tions of Amer­i­can clas­sics from chef/part­ner Mark Dom­men, show­cas­ing farm­fresh in­gre­di­ents, her­itage meats, ar­ti­sanal cheeses and an all-Amer­i­can wine list. 1 Mar­ket St., 415.777.5577. $$$


Cal­i­for­nia From the same team be­hind the enor­mously pop­u­lar Boule­vard restau­rant, this pol­ished and spa­cious spot, also helmed by ex­ec­u­tive chef Nancy Oakes, serves Cal­i­for­nia cui­sine in an el­e­gant yet com­fort­able environment. The enor­mous square bar and com­mu­nal din­ing op­tions cul­ti­vate a lively at­mos­phere, per­fect for happy hour or an af­ter-work din­ner. Cou­ples can sit at a cozy booth by the large win­dows and watch the world go by. D (nightly), closed Su. 300 Spear St., 415.247.7770. $$$$


Amer­i­can Step in­side celebrity chef Tyler Florence’s hand­some three-story restau­rant and be trans­ported back in time. Built with bricks sal­vaged from the streets of the dev­as­tated city af­ter the 1906 quake, the eatery chan­nels the Bar­bary Coast era with

Amer­i­can fare in­spired by the San Francisco restau­rant scene of the late 1800s. The menu fea­tures a raw bar and dishes like grilled sar­dines, salt-roasted bone mar­row, or­ganic fried chicken and the clas­sic Hang­town Fry. Don’t miss the ba­nana pud­ding for dessert and the hand- crafted cock­tails. L, D (daily). 558 Sacra­mento St., 415.772.9060. $$$


Seafood One of San Francisco’s old­est restau­rants run by one of the city’s most prom­i­nent fam­i­lies, this Fish­er­man’s Wharf land­mark has mag­nif­i­cent views of the San Francisco Bay and a rep­u­ta­tion for great ciop­pino and fresh seafood. Don’t mess around with the menu: Get the Dun­geness crab. Cracked, caked, stuffed or stewed, it’s im­pos­si­ble to get your fill. L, D (daily). 8 Fish­er­man’s Wharf, 415.673.0183. $$


Amer­i­can Known for its warm hos­pi­tal­ity and all- day break­fast, the key word at this diner is homemade, from meltin-your-mouth blue­berry pan­cakes to gravy-smoth­ered bis­cuits. The out­side pa­tio is a great spot to en­joy a break from city life. B, L (daily), D (SaSu). 380 Beach St., 415.867.1711. $$


Amer­i­can Sea­sonal cui­sine and sour­dough- crust piz­zas dom­i­nate the menu at the famed bread-maker’s two–story flag­ship fa­cil­ity, which also houses a sour­dough-bread mu­seum and an ex­hi­bi­tion bak­ery and a café and gourmet mar­ket down­stairs. Sad­dle up to the gor­geous oys­ter bar for fresh oys­ters, baked and topped with mignonette or shucked and served straight up. L, D (daily). 160 Jef­fer­son St., 415.351.5561. $$


Amer­i­can This wharf in­sti­tu­tion by the Hyde Street ca­ble car turn­around is fa­mous for first in­tro­duc­ing Ir­ish cof­fee to the U. S. in 1952, and it has served mil­lions of the hot cock­tails since. B,L, D (daily). 2765 Hyde St., 415.474.5044. $$


Seafood Floor-to- ceil­ing win­dows pro­vide spec­tac­u­lar bay views from ev­ery table in this three-tiered, spa­cious mid- cen­tury modern gem. Menu high­ights in­clude fish and chips, siz­zling iron skillet mus­sels and whole roasted Dun­geness crab. Free park­ing with val­i­da­tion. L, D (daily). Pier 43 1/2, 415.362.7733. $$$


Seafood This lively and at­trac­tive water­front spot in the Ferry Build­ing is known for its happy hours and un­con­ven­tional, ex­cep­tional clam chow­der with whole manila clams and a light, fla­vor­ful broth. Al­though fresh raw oys­ters are the star, the po’ boy sand­wich, grilled cheese and grilled oys­ters also shine. L, D (daily). 1 Ferry Build­ing, 415.391.7117. $$


Ital­ian This ca­sual cousin to the ac­claimed two Miche­lin star Quince restau­rant next door opened un­der the same chef- own­ers. The rus­tic Ital­ian eatery serves a sea­son­ally chang­ing menu that fea­tures spit-roasted meats and game birds, wood- oven piz­zas, house-made pas­tas and fresh lo­cal seafood. All wine bot­tles on the prix fixe wine menu are un­der $40. L (M-Sa), D (nightly). 490 Pa­cific Ave., 415.775.8508. $$


Ital­ian El­e­gant with­out be­ing stuffy, this in­ti­mate two Miche­lin star restau­rant with a su­perb wine list serves so­phis­ti­cated Ital­ian fare, such as a silky ri­cotta-filled ravi­oli in but­ter sauce and sole roasted on a fig leaf. A five- course tast­ing menu is avail­able, and din­ing a la carte is also an op­tion. D (nightly), closed Su. 470 Pa­cific Ave., 415.775.8500. $$$$


New Amer­i­can Named af­ter the Progress The­ater that oc­cu­pied the same build­ing over a cen­tury ago, this is the sec­ond restau­rant from the team be­hind the na­tional smash-hit State Bird Pro­vi­sions, and it’s lo­cated just next door. The bound­ary bust­ing, in­ter­na­tional menu is served fam­ily style (choose six dishes for $62 per per­son) and fea­tures dishes like lamb mer­guez with yel­low eye beans, oc­to­pus and crispy squid. If you don’t man­age to snag a reser­va­tion, the bar is walk-in only. The Progress is a 2015 James Beard Award win­ner. 1525 Fill­more St., 415.673.1294.


Amer­i­can It’s worth the ef­fort to get a reser­va­tion at Bon Ap­petit mag­a­zine’s 2012 Restau­rant of the Year (and the 2013 James Beard Award win­ner for Best New Restau­rant), run by one of Food and Wine mag­a­zine’s Best New Chefs of 2013, Stu­art Bri­oza, along with his wife Nicole Krasin­ski. This cre­ative and in­no­va­tive Miche­lin star restau­rant does dim sum, Amer­i­can-style. Carts wheel around small plates, and din­ers can point to choose what they’d like. The menu changes fre­quently based on sea­sonal avail­abil­ity, but

the house spe­cialty re­mains the epony­mous “state bird,” a crispy half quail served with sea­sonal “pro­vi­sions.” D (M-Sa). 1529 Fill­more St., 415.795.1272. $$$


French This modern up­scale restau­rant from the world’s only two Miche­lin-star fe­male chef blends the line be­tween food and art, pre­sent­ing gar­den- cen­tric dishes that are as pleas­ing to the eye as they are to the palate and menus that read like po­etry. Giv­ing cen­ter stage to the food, the 40-seat din­ing room has an earthy, min­i­mal­ist ap­pear­ance with teak ta­bles, fig trees and glass orbs that pro­vide soft light­ing. Din­ers can se­lect from one of two multi- course tast­ing menus. D ( Tu-Sa). 3127 Fill­more St., 415.440.0460. $$$$


Amer­i­can A clas­sic since 1947, this diner is known for staples such as chicken pot pie, meat­loaf, burg­ers and milk­shakes. It’s open late, serves break­fast all day and even has a fresh-squeezed fruit juice bar. The vinyl and chrome decor, juke­box and cheer­ful servers make for a fun, nos­tal­gia-filled din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. The Lom­bard Street and Geary Street lo­ca­tions of­fer free park­ing. 2165 Lom­bard St., 415.921.2867; 3355 Geary Blvd., 415.387.2255; 801 Mis­sion St., 415.227.0793; 1050 Van Ness Ave., 415.292.6357. $


Cal­i­for­nia Cui­sine Named Amer­ica’s best new restau­rant of 2015 by Bon Ap­petit mag­a­zine, Al’s Place is a ca­sual, 46-seat restau­rant lo­cated on an unas­sum­ing cor­ner in the out­skirts of the Mis­sion Dis­trict. Chef and owner Aaron Lon­don, a Sonoma na­tive who’s worked at ac­claimed restau­rants like Ubuntu, cre­ates veg­etable-fo­cused and seafood main dishes, of­fer­ing meat as a side. 1499 Va­len­cia St., 415.416.6136.


Ital­ian This bustling neigh­bor­hood trat­to­ria is a lo­cal fa­vorite that pi­o­neered San Francisco’s farm-to-table move­ment. It has re­ceived rave re­views since its open­ing in 1998 and still packs the house (and out­door pa­tio) each night. D (nightly). 3621 18th St., 415.552.4055. $$$


Ital­ian A haven (or heaven) for ar­ti­san pizza and pasta lovers, this in­cred­i­bly pop­u­lar, wel­com­ing spot serves ex­cep­tional Neopoli­tan-style, wood-fired piz­zas and house­made pas­tas. D (nightly). 2401 Har­ri­son St., 415.826.7000. $$$


Cal­i­for­nia Never was the old din­ner-and-a-movie done so art­fully, or so de­li­ciously. The vast, bo­hemian- chic space suits the al­ways ex­cel­lent Cal­i­for­nia- Mediter­ranean cui­sine. A heated, cov­ered pa­tio screens a ro­ta­tion of clas­sic, for­eign and in­de­pen­dent films pro­jected onto one of three walls, and speak­ers on each table al­low you to ad­just the vol­ume. Me­an­der­ing through the chang­ing ex­hibits in the ad­ja­cent gallery is the per­fect way to wait for a table. Brunch (Sa-Su), D (nightly). 2534 Mis­sion St., 415.648.7600. $$$


Sushi Cel­e­brated as one of San Francisco’s top sushi des­ti­na­tions and iza­kayas, Ichi Sushi is the place to go for tra­di­tional ni­giri, sashimi and an ex­ten­sive sake list. Sus­tain­abil­ity is a huge fo­cus here, and the re­cently ren­o­vated space fea­tures a wall-sized mu­ral with play­ful in­struc­tions on how to eat sushi cor­rectly. D (M-Sa). 3282 Mis­sion St., 415.525.4750.


New Amer­i­can This pop­u­lar Mis­sion Dis­trict restau­rant de­scribes it­self as a “modern Amer­i­can fine- din­ing din­ner party.” It started as an un­der­ground venue in 2009 and opened its first per­ma­nent lo­ca­tion in 2014. The tast­ing menu changes weekly and ranges from $100-150 per per­son and fea­tures about 12 cour­ses. Past menus fea­tured dishes like hal­ibut with as­para­gus, Perig­ord truf­fle and fin­ger­ling pota­toes; and lamb with mus­tards, farro and garum. 3416 19th St., 415.874.9921.


Ital­ian Fa­mous for its deep dish, Chicago-style pizza with a slightly sweet, corn­meal crust, this place draws a stream of ad­dicted reg­u­lars. Va­len­cia St.: L, D (daily). Divisadero St.: L (F-Su), D (nightly). 400 Va­len­cia St., 415.551.7827; 846 Divisadero St., 415.441.1118. $$


Dessert/Cof­fee This pop­u­lar ar­ti­san bak­ery serves fresh­from-the- oven pas­tries all day, as well as pies, cakes, ar­ti­san bread and cof­fee. Break­fast quiches, gourmet sand­wiches, clas­sic pas­tries and an ad­dic­tive bread pud­ding keep folks lin­ing up. B, L (daily). 600 Guer­rero St., 415.487.2600. $


Steaks This swanky, sprawl­ing steak­house with a strik­ing Art Deco in­te­rior is lo­cated just across the street from Grace Cathe­dral in the sto­ried Nob Hill neigh­bor­hood. Menu stand­outs in­clude dry-aged steaks and but­tery Dun­geness crab. D (nightly). 1177 Cal­i­for­nia St., 415.771.6776. $$$


Seafood Founded in 1912, this seafood mar­ket and oys­ter bar is a San Francisco in­sti­tu­tion. There’s al­most al­ways a wait at this in­ti­mate, 18-stool oys­ter bar, but you’ll be re­warded with a pint of An­chor Steam beer and a lunch of a dozen oys­ters on the half shell. L (M-Sa), closed Su. 1517 Polk St., 415.673.2757. $$$


Ital­ian Owned by le­gendary film di­rec­tor and wine­maker Fran­cis Ford Cop­pola, this neigh­bor­hood Ital­ian restau­rant is named af­ter his fa­mous pro­duc­tion com­pany and lo­cated in the same steel­framed struc­ture, the Sen­tinel Build­ing. L, D (daily). 916 Kearny St., 415.291.1700. $$


Ital­ian Dubbed Amer­ica’s old­est Ital­ian restau­rant, Fior d’Italia has been serv­ing au­then­tic North­ern Ital­ian cui­sine since 1886. It has has more than 20 va­ri­eties of pas­tas to choose from, most of them made in-house. L, D (daily). 2237 Ma­son St., 415.986.1886. $$


Ital­ian This up­scale Ital­ian restau­rant serves house­made pasta, roasted meats and wood- oven piz­zas. The San Francisco lo­ca­tion is a mul­ti­ple-time re­cip­i­ent of Wine Spec­ta­tor’s Award of Ex­cel­lence. Brunch (Sa-Su), L, D (daily). Levi’s Plaza, 1265 Bat­tery St., 415.986.0100; 327 Lor­ton Ave., Burlingame, 650.375.8000; 223 Corte Madera Town Cen­ter, Corte Madera, 415.927.4400; 520 Cow­per St., Palo Alto, 650.853.3888. $$


Ital­ian This clas­sic restau­rant serves gen­er­ous por­tions of hearty Tus­can cui­sine from its ex­ten­sive menu. The award-win­ning wine list boasts over 500 bot­tles to pair with house spe­cial­ties such as chicken al mat­tone with Ital­ian herbs, filet of lamb alla Bruno and ciop­pino alla pesca­tora. The four din­ing rooms cater to a va­ri­ety of oc­ca­sions, from a power lunch

to a first date. 1512 Stock­ton St., 415.392.1700. $$$


Seafood One of Tony Ben­nett’s fa­vorite San Francisco restau­rants, Sotto Mare is an au­then­tic Ital­ian North Beach ex­pe­ri­ence. The seafood restau­rant serves up oys­ters and clams on the half shell, Bos­ton-style clam chow­der, bac­cala, crab ciop­pino, Louis sal­ads, seafood pas­tas and more. Sotto Mare’s daily fresh fish can also be pur­chased re­tail if you feel like cook­ing your­self. L, D (M-Sa), close Su. 552 Green St., 415.398.3181.


Ital­ian Fol­low your nose to one of the city’s most in­ter­est­ing din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences, where gar­lic is king. This restau­rant goes through more than 5,000 pounds of the pun­gent in­gre­di­ent each month. Spe­cial­ties in­clude 40 clove gar­lic chicken, pork chops, roasted Dun­geness crab and even gar­lic ice cream. L, D (daily). 325 Colum­bus Ave., 415.781.7673. $$



Amer­i­can Near Ocean Beach and Lands End Trail, this iconic his­toric site lo­cated on a head­land above the coastal cliffs is home to two restau­rants and spec­tac­u­lar views of the Pa­cific Ocean (whale and sea lion spot­ting is a pos­si­bil­ity) and Sutro Baths. The cam­era ob­scura on the deck is on the Na­tional Reg­is­ter of His­toric Places. Sutro’s of­fers an up­scale set­ting, while The Bistro of­fers a more ca­sual ex­pe­ri­ence, with burg­ers, sand­wiches and other Cal­i­for­nia fa­vorites. B, L,D (daily). 1090 Point Lo­bos Ave., 415.386.3330.


Amer­i­can Housed in the his­toric, pre- earth­quake At­las Build­ing, Ar­chive of­fers a menu de­signed with shar-

ing and so­cial­iz­ing in mind. Piz­zas are the fo­cus, but the restau­rant and bar hy­brid is also known for its slid­ers, sal­ads and char­cu­terie as well as sea­sonal cock­tails and lo­cal and craft beers. 602 Mis­sion St., 415.987.5770.


Cal­i­for­nia With roots in agri­cul­ture, Bar Agricole (Farm Bar) is a con­tem­po­rary tav­ern serv­ing in­gre­di­ent- driven dishes, ex­cel­lent wines and some of the best ar­ti­san cock­tails around. Nose-to-tail North­ern Cal­i­for­nia cui­sine pre­pared with the day’s for­aged pro­duce is washed down with tra­di­tional mixed drinks from spir­its that cel­e­brate the tra­di­tion of farm­house dis­till­ing or wine from more than 20 es­tates. D (nightly), closed M. 355 11th St., 415.355.9400. $$


Amer­i­can This three Miche­lin star restau­rant dis­tills fine din­ing down to the el­e­ments most rel­e­vant to modern din­ers: ex­quis­ite in­gre­di­ents, unique fla­vors, pre­cise tech­nique and at­ten­tive ser­vice. It of­fers in­spired, pro­gres­sive Amer­i­can cui­sine in a his­toric, cleanly de­signed space. The a la carte menu al­lows for in­di­vid­u­al­ized cus­tomiza­tion, and the tast­ing menu varies be­tween 8-12 cour­ses, re­flect­ing sea­son­al­ity and evo­lu­tion. D ( Tu-Sa). 22 Hawthorne St., 415.685.4860. $$$$


Cal­i­for­nia This up­scale ur­ban neigh­bor­hood restau­rant in the heart of the mu­seum dis­trict is a modern in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the clas­sic Amer­i­can brasserie. The menu fea­tures fresh, sim­ple fare em­pha­siz­ing a nose-to-tail cook­ing phi­los­o­phy. Lo­cal in­gre­di­ent sourc­ing ex­tends to the wine list. Dishes in­clude grass-fed beef burg­ers and steaks, ap­ple-fed pork with ched­dar grits and sev­eral se­lec­tions of house-made char­cu­terie

and sa­lumi. L, D (daily). 1 Yerba Buena Ln., 415.547.1111. $$$


Amer­i­can Lo­cated on the fifth floor of the Palo­mar Ho­tel, Dirty Habit is a sexy, glam­orous bar and restau­rant with a film noir-in­spired din­ing room and rooftop pa­tio. While known for its craft cock­tail menu and sea­sonal bar bites, it also fea­tures a din­ner menu. 12 4th St., 415.348.1555.


Amer­i­can Named af­ter the 1913 build­ing in which this restau­rant and bar is housed, The Key­stone serves up sophis­tated Amer­i­can fare in­clud­ing bar bites or lunch and din­ner op­tions rang­ing from Thai style fried chicken to New York steak. The bev­er­age pro­gram high­lights hand- crafted cock­tails as well as a large se­lec­tion of whiskeys. 68 4th St., 415.777.1200.


Amer­i­can This pop­u­lar neigh­bor­hood bistro (sis­ter restau­rant to the ac­claimed Park Tav­ern) just moved into sleak new digs in the SoMa dis­trict. The mar­ket- driven menu is known for up­scale com­fort foods like the fa­mous burger, crispy brus­sel sprout chips and dev­iled eggs. L (MF), D (nightly). 500 Bran­nan St., 415.777.1413.


French De­signed to mir­ror the rus­tic road that runs through Bur­gundy, this spot serves nearly 3,000 wines and a menu fea­tur­ing Michael Mina cre­ations such as glazed duck con­fit and olive oil poached hal­ibut. L (M- F), D (nightly). 301 Mis­sion St., 415.543.7474. $$$


Amer­i­can The in­spired con­tem­po­rary cui­sine at this su­perla­tive three Miche­lin star restau­rant is de­rived from ob­ses­sively sourced in­gre­di­ents and in­te­grated into the nightly prix-fixe menu with up­wards of 20 cour­ses. The

pris­tine tuna loin is smoked for 30 days, the squab salted and air- dried for three weeks and the fresh herbs for­aged daily. Come for a spe­cial oc­ca­sion. D ( Tu-Sa). 178 Townsend St., 415.828.7990. $$$$


Ital­ian This new Ital­ian restau­rant spe­cial­izes in their Naples-style piz­zas. Their name, orig­i­nat­ing from the ‘se­cret in­gre­di­ent’ flour used to make pizza and pasta in a small town in Italy for hun­dreds of years, Zero Zero is the new­est craze South of Mar­ket Street. L, D (nightly). 826 Fol­som St., 415.348.8800. $$


Amer­i­can This in­ti­mate Charlie Palmer tav­ern ad­join­ing the Burritt Room bar has cur­tained booths and dark cor­ners, cre­at­ing a film-noir vibe (the place was named for Burritt Al­ley from “The Mal­tese Fal­con”). Like an old-fash­ioned speakeasy, the den-like tav­ern serves ob­scure clas­sic cock­tails, as well as orig­i­nals like the Smokin’ Hops. Din­ner brings dishes like 36-hour lamb shoul­der with goat cheese po­lenta, grilled Duroc pork chop with ba­con bean ragout and grilled bone-in rib eye. L (M- F), D (nightly.) 417 Stock­ton St., 415.400.0561.


Bri­tish Pub Food Lo­cated in Ho­tel Zetta near West­field San Francisco Cen­tre, this posh, at­mo­spheric Lon­don-in­spired brasserie, a 2014 James Beard Award semi­fi­nal­ist, was cre­ated by the duo be­hind the pop­u­lar and crit­i­cally ac­claimed restau­rants Mar­lowe and Park Tav­ern. B, L,D (daily). 360 Jessie St., 415.321.6000.


Seafood This clas­sic Pat Kuleto restau­rant in Union Square has been en­chant­ing guests for 18 years with care­fully crafted de­tails that cap­ture the life aquatic. Blend­ing ca­sual and high- end coastal cui­sine, Farallon of­fers fresh seafood op­tions and sim­ple raw prepa­ra­tions from the oys­ter bar. Be­yond the wel­com­ing spot’s din­ner menu, find an ap­proach­able wine list, one of the largest col­lec­tions of sin­gle malt whiskeys in the city and in­ven­tive desserts. D (nightly). 450 Post St., 415.956.6969. $$$


Amer­i­can Founded in 1908, this ca­sual steak­house is one of the city’s old­est restau­rants, steeped in San Francisco his­tory. It served as a set­ting for the clas­sic book and movie, “The Mal­tese Fal­con.” The framed black-and-white pho­to­graphs and news clip­pings hung through­out serve as a ver­i­ta­ble mu­seum of San Francisco mem­o­ra­bilia. Live jazz ev­ery night. L, D (daily). 63 El­lis St., 415.986.0069.


Thai A con­tender for Bon Ap­petit mag­a­zine’s list of the 10 Best New Restau­rants in Amer­ica for 2014, this au­then­tic Thai spot serves dishes made from sea­sonal pro­duce and sus­tain­ably raised or caught meat and fish. Stand­out dishes here in­clude ribs made with house­made curry paste, rab­bit green curry and a pad Thai made with lo­cal Dun­geness crab. Ex­pect plenty of unique dishes not found at many other Thai restau­rants. 55 Cyril Magnin St., 415.362.7456.


In­dian Dec­o­rated like a Ma­hara­jah’s pri­vate ban­quet room, this re­gal restau­rant serves north­ern In­dian food, with recipes culled from royal menus dat­ing back 400 years. Chef- owner Ranjan Dey cre­ates daily spe­cials with his six gourmet spice blends. The bar has drawn down­town pro­fes­sion­als since the ‘80s with its Dou­ble- Hap­pi­nessHappy Hour, 5:30-7:30 pm and 10 pm-mid­night. Try the Madras Mad­ness or Oh! Calcutta. L (M-Sa), D (nightly). 160 El­lis St., 415.397.8470. $$


Cal­i­for­nia The brain­child of two young chefs, this restau­rant on the ca­ble car line brings con­tem­po­rary fine din­ing to Union Square. An open kitchen is cen­tered in the mid­dle of the sleek din­ing room, turn­ing out in­ven­tive dishes like sweet­breads with lob­ster claw, laven­der pork belly and scal­lop with mush­rooms and veal tea. D ( W-Su). 708 Bush St., 415.391.8311. $$$


Steaks This iconic restau­rant rep­re­sents clas­sic steak­house din­ing, but chef Michael Buhagier adds a Cal­i­for­nia sen­si­bil­ity, The Kobe rib eye, cut from se­lect Ja­panese cat­tle reared for op­ti­mal marbling, has a rich and del­i­cate tex­ture. A red caber­net but­ter melts on its seared sur­face, typ­i­fy­ing a sub­tle flair for the un­ex­pected. 2100 Van Ness Ave., 415.673.1888.


Lo­cated in Bris­bane, 7 Mile House is a fam­ily and dog-friendly restau­rant, sports bar and live mu­sic venue. The his­toric site is more than 163 years old and was orig­i­nally built as a stage­coach stop seven miles from the San Francisco Ferry Build­ing. To­day, the restau­rant is known for Filipino dishes in­clud­ing sisig and adobo, as well as live jazz per­for­mances three times a week. 2800 Bayshore Blvd., Bris­bane, 415.467.2343.


Cal­i­for­nia Don’t for­get to make reser­va­tions for Chez Panisse, the famed Berke­ley restau­rant founded by Slow Food move­ment chef Alice Wa­ters. The wait for a table at the main restau­rant can be up to a month! If you’re look­ing for a more ca­sual ex­pe­ri­ence, how­ever, the cafe be­low of­fers sim­i­larly or­ganic, gourmet meals at an af­ford­able price. 1517 Shat­tuck Ave., 510.548.5525.


Mex­i­can Lo­cated in the heart of down­town Sausal­ito, this neigh­bor­hood restau­rant and tequila bar is the vi­sion of le­gendary res­tau­ra­teur, Larry Min­del, and San Francisco TV per­son­al­ity and cook­book au­thor, Joanne Weir. En­joy el­e­vated ver­sions of sea­sonal tra­di­tional Mex­i­can cui­sine and in­ven­tive cock­tails in this com­fort­able, open space com­plete with an out­door pa­tio. Brunch (Sa-Su), L, D (daily). 739 Bridge­way, Sausal­ito, 415.331.7400.


Ital­ian This tra­di­tional Ital­ian trat­to­ria in the sea­side town of Sausal­ito fea­tures com­fort­able neigh­bor­hood charm and des­ti­na­tion- cal­iber cui­sine. Us­ing the best avail­able lo­cal in­gre­di­ents and prop­erty- grown or­ganic herbs and veg­eta­bles, the daily chang­ing menu fea­tures clas­sics of North­ern Italy, sim­ply and earnestly pre­pared. B,L, D (daily). 777 Bridge­way, Sausal­ito, 415.332.7771. $$


Cal­i­for­nia Lo­cated at the fa­mous Wente Vine­yards in Tri-Val­ley Wine Coun­try, this restau­rant fea­tures Cal­i­for­nia wine coun­try cui­sine. En­joy sea­sonal dishes made from in­gre­di­ents sourced from the vine­yard’s mag­nif­i­cent herb and veg­etable gar­den, along with nu­mer­ous wine pair­ings for each dish. L (MSa), D (nightly), brunch (Su). 5050 Ar­royo Rd., Liver­more, 925.456.2450.

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