Fred Bollaci’s Best of San Francisco and East & South Bay Area, CA (Restaurants Listed Alphabetically from A-L)

Fred Bollaci’s Best of San Francisco, South, & East Bay, CA!

Note: PP designation means Platinum Palate. All others are Golden Palate award-winning establishments.

 

Above photo by Fred Bollaci, taken at Alioto’s on Fisherman’s Wharf.

Note: Napa, Sonoma, and Marin Counties will be a separate entry.

 

Absinthe Brasserie & Bar
398 Hayes St.
San Francisco, CA
415.551.1509

Absinthe Brasserie & Bar, in the heart of San Francisco’s charming Hayes Valley neighborhood is among the city’s most beloved and longest-running dining institutions. It features a creative menu of French brasserie fare, along with an inspired selection of classic cocktails. With lively, informal décor that evokes turn-of-the-century France, Absinthe’s warm, convivial atmosphere has been a favorite of locals and visitors alike since its founding in 1998. Sibs of Arlequin Wine Merchant, Harlequin Cafe, Bellota, Barcino, and Comstock Saloon.

 

PP
Acquerello
1722 Sacramento St.
San Francisco, CA
415.567.5432

San Francisco’s Two Michelin-Star Italian standout is owned by veteran restaurateur Giancarlo Paterlini, a native of Bologna, Italy, and graduate of the Italian National Hotel and Restaurant School. Giancarlo has worked at some of the finest hotels and restaurants in the world. His career has included stints with The Grand Hotel Savoia in Cortina, Italy; the Mirabelle Restaurant, Café Royal Grill Room, and Savoy Hotel in London; and The Donatello Hotel and Restaurant in San Francisco. During his tenure at The Donatello, Paterlini advanced in five years from maitre d’hotel of the classic Donatello Ristorante to food and beverage director, resident manager, and lastly general manager. During his career ascent at the famed hotel, he increased his skill set and studied at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Management.

In 1989, the opportunity arose to open his own restaurant. With Donatello Chef Suzette Gresham-Tognetti, Paterlini founded Acquerello, where the duo immediately received acclaim for creative cuisine and elegant service. “It was always my dream to open my own restaurant where the menu was evolved and modern,” he says. “I recognized a definite need for a fine dining establishment that could showcase true Italian cuisine as well as seamless service.” Acquerello has continually received media attention for its fine regional Italian cuisine, expansive wine list, and attentive service from publications such as Gourmet, Bon Appétit, San Francisco Chronicle, and Wine Spectator, as well as earning a Michelin star every year since the guide was first published in 2007.

Paterlini is widely acknowledged as a foremost authority on Italian wine in the Bay Area, consulting for other restaurants and conducting tastings and lectures for more than 30 years. Experience gracious, world-class hospitality, museum quality Italian cuisine inspired by local and seasonal ingredients in a warm, romantic, glowing atmosphere.

 

ADEGA
1614 Alum Rock Ave.
San Jose, CA
408.926.9075

ADEGA, meaning wine cellar, opened in 2015, and is an upscale Portuguese restaurant representing simple but elegant food is perfectly complemented by the restaurant’s smart casual environment. Enjoy fresh fish and seafood alongside a selection of salted cod and meat dishes with a modern approach to old classics and using the best ingredients available seasonally. The wine room offers a selection of some of the best Portuguese wines.

Chef David Costa was born in Portugal and graduated from the “Escola de Hotelaria e Turismo de Lisboa” culinary school and is an experienced Chef mastering the art of Portuguese cuisine. He has been creating classic dishes with a new twist and presentation for the past ten years. David worked at Restaurant Eleven in Lisbon under Chef Joachim Koerper when it was first awarded its one-star by the Michelin guide as the first restaurant in Lisbon. Later he moved on to Assinatura with Chef Henrique Mouro where he was a Sous Chef in a kitchen where they created the more traditional dishes from around the country in a modern way. David also worked as Sous-Chef of the five-star Ritz Four Seasons Hotel in Lisbon.

Pastry Chef Jessica Carreira was born in San José, California and showed early on an appreciation for the culinary arts. She travelled extensively accompanying her parents wine business and was exposed to different world cuisines, flavors and ingredients. However, she always returned to the tastes and aromas of her heritage in Portugal. After graduating from the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles she then lived for three years in Portugal where she perfected the techniques and learned the ingredients mostly used in Portuguese cuisine. While in Portugal she worked at some of the best restaurants in Lisbon and Porto with some of the best Chefs in Portugal. Lastly, she worked in the kitchen of the one-star Michelin restaurant Restaurant Eleven in Lisbon where she become Pastry Chef and responsible for the entire dessert menu at the age of 20.

 

āina
900 22nd St.
San Francisco, CA
415.814.3815

āina is a Hawaiian word meaning the land which feeds us.
‘āina features modern Hawaiian food, presented with the seasons and with love, using fine dining techniques and local ingredients from the Bay Area as well as specially imported ingredients from Hawai’i. The ‘āina concept strives to be a love letter to the islands, by merging the attraction of Hawaiian-inspired cuisine, the warmth and hospitality of the island spirit with a refined sensibility and great service in a casual and welcoming atmosphere.

Chef/Owner Jordan Keao was born and raised in Hawaii, growing up on the Big Island. His first cooking experience was helping his grandmother bake cookies as a child; by age 18 he knew he wanted to be a chef. Jordan attended the Culinary International Art Institute of San Diego, and started working at Roy’s Hawaii in La Jolla. He started his own private chef business before moving to the Bay Area to help open four sushi restaurants. He then worked directly alongside Roland Passot at the Michelin-starred French restaurant La Folie, for exposure to French and modern cooking techniques.

Co-Owner Cheryl Liew grew up in the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Singapore, and lived in Boston and Hong Kong before moving to the Bay Area. She is in charge of ‘āina’s financial planning and business development. In her day job, she is an executive search recruiter at Riviera Partners, focused on senior hires at venture backed technology companies. Cheryl is married to chef Jordan.

 

aliment
786 Bush St.
San Francisco, CA
415.829.2737

Located on the corner of Bush and Mason, Aliment is a friendly neighborhood restaurant serving chef driven cuisine in a cozy atmosphere utilizing locally sourced ingredients, preparing everything in house, and changing the menu with the seasons so there is always something new to enjoy.

Look for dishes like Citrus Salad with arugula mix, gooseberries, orange, basil vinaigrette, Mussels with chorizo, onion, lager sauce topped with fries and braised red cabbage, Chickpea “Meatballs” with harissa glaze, smoked feta, and tomato chutney for starters. Mains from a recent menu included a Steak Burger with bacon jam, aged cheddar, chipotle aioli, and a beer bun, Ricotta Gnocchi with roasted pears, sundried tomatoes, walnut praline, and gorgonzola sauce, and Australian Barramundi with corn purée, quinoa, pancetta, and smoked snow, and a selection of creative craft cocktails. Two favorites are The Smoke Show (mezcal union or altos tequila, agave, grapefruit, lime, and jalapeño tincture), and Spice Trail (four roses bourbon, ginger elixir, lemon, and demerara simple syrup).

 

Alioto’s
8 Fisherman’s Wharf
San Francisco, CA
415.673.0183

Alioto’s is a San Francisco landmark on Fisherman’s Wharf, serving its’ famous fresh Seafood and Sicilian family recipes for over 90 years. Now run by the fourth generation of the Alioto family, Alioto’s is San Francisco’s oldest family owned and run restaurant. In 1898, young Nunzio Alioto left his family’s small town of Sant’Elia in Sicily for the booming economy and richer fishing waters of San Francisco. By 1925 Nunzio began his fresh fish stall. Business grew steadily and by 1932, Nunzio Alioto constructed the first building on Fisherman’s Wharf by combining the fish stand with a seafood bar specializing in crab and shrimp cocktails, and fresh cracked crab. Nunzio Alioto’s plans came to an abrupt halt in 1933 when he passed away. He was survived by his wife Rose and three children: Mario, Antoinette and Frank. Left with no other means of support Rose took over the business, becoming the first woman to work on the Wharf. By 1938, she installed a kitchen and officially opened Alioto’s Restaurant. It was here that Rose was one of the first to create a shell-fish stew called Cioppino which became a San Francisco culinary legend and is still on Alioto’s menu today. Alioto’s unique menu offers distinctive Sicilian recipes handed down through the family. Also you’ll find traditional seafood specialties of the Wharf, standards such as Dungeness crab prepared many ways and clam chowder. Enjoy spectacular views of the wharf and Golden Gate Bridge beyond.

 

AL’s Place
1499 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA
415.416.6136

Hailing from West Sonoma County, Chef/Owner Aaron London has enjoyed cooking since he could reach the pots and pans. Constantly cooking for neighbors and family as a youth, the obsession with all things culinary carved his inevitable path to “chefdom.” With experience in top-tier Michelin starred restaurants such as L’ Astrance, Daniel, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York, the AL’s Place cuisine touts our fearless leader’s expansive palate and boundless capacity to explore and create. When pressed to pick one dish most representative of himself, he references the menu’s ‘eat-with-your-hands’ baby lettuces with herbed avocado and pistachio, explaining how they showcase his connection to the garden, as well as “taking something common and making it really special.” Tattooed and tactical, gregarious yet precise, the heartbeat and mastermind behind AL’s Place never ceases to tease and awaken San Francisco’s unsuspecting eaters.

Daniel Evers – Chef De Cuisine is a Bay Area native who fell in love with produce at a young age, spending invaluable time digging around his mother’s garden. A decade and one French Culinary Institute degree later, he debuted as an intern at Craft, NY. After years in the busy, New York fine-dining scene that took him all the way to double Michelin-starred Marea. He finds the lightly cured trout with bashed cucumbers, crispy potato and miso bagna cauda to be the menu item most reflective of himself. “It is both aggressively flavored and well-balanced, many interesting, strong components that come together to form something clean and delicious.”

 

Alta MSP
1275 Minnesota St.
San Francisco, CA
415.580.7662
(lunch, brunch, & dinner)
and
1420 Market St.
San Francisco, CA
415.590.2585
(dinner 7 nights)

Alta Group started as a free-standing restaurant in the mid-Market area of San Francisco, created by DPG (Coi, Aster, Alfred’s Plum Bar). With its innovative design, large bar and fun, high energy atmosphere, it was a success from day one. Alta’s core values – hospitality, deliciousness and accessibility – resonated with the neighborhood, and it became a popular gathering place. Minnesota Street Project is Alta’s second location.

The second location is a joint project between Chef Daniel Patterson and Minnesota Street Project, created to strengthen San Francisco’s arts community. Open to the street, the 45-seat eatery is designed to become integral to life in the neighborhood as well as for the Project’s artists, galleries, programs, and visitors. Alta’s warm and welcoming design, with dark wood floors paired with a walnut bar and tables made by local woodworker Tyler Bradford, complements the visionary work by Jensen Architects and an open kitchen and highlight of the dining room is the featured artwork by photographer and Minnesota Street Project studio resident, Catherine Wagner. Look for market-driven, creative California cooking. Chef Matt Brimer, formerly of Haven, heads the kitchen. Alta’s menu is accompanied by a selection of low ABV cocktails, an extensive vermouth program, house-made sodas, and a wine list curated by Alta Group’s Bar Director, Aaron Paul.

 

A Mano
450 Hayes St.
San Francisco, CA
415.506.7401

Located in the heart of Hayes Valley, A Mano means “by hand” in Italian and refers to the way in which the kitchen and the bar approach the creation of each and every dish and cocktail. At the most basic level, A Mano is an Italian restaurant with an emphasis on pasta. Pasta–an inherently straightforward and inexpensive dish (the ingredients are simply flour and water!)–can, and should be, enjoyed at any time, for any occasion.

The menu consists of Italian specialties influenced by California cuisine and flavors that change with the seasons—and often daily, depending on what’s fresh and available. The star of the menu is house-made pasta (they make, cut and cook the pasta by hand every day)—copious meat, vegetarian and seafood pasta that you will crave. Dinner at a Mano is always satisfying and easily accessible on any night of the week. Antipasti, fresh salads, two pizzas (a margherita and a seasonally changing pizza), along with one daily dinner special round out a menu of well-executed Italian eats. Note: A Mano doesn’t currently take reservations–it is a first-come, first- served neighborhood spot!

Executive Chef Freedom Rains (Flour + Water, Incanto and Belga, among other notable SF restaurants) has crafted a menu of hand-made pastas and other traditional Italian dishes–all made fresh, by hand, daily. Having worked with some of the Bay Area’s most talented chefs and in many popular San Francisco restaurants for the past 14 years, Freedom draws from his superb education when creating delicious and well executed dishes at A Mano. With notable chefs such as Nancy Oakes, Thomas McNaughton, Jason Berthold and Chris Cosentino as references on his resume, Freedom brings to the kitchen the best he has learned from his mentors. While at Boulevard, Freedom’s first job in San Francisco and where he worked for seven years under Chef Nancy Oakes, he progressed from a line cook to sous chef. Freedom credits Nancy with expanding his view of Bay Area cooking.

 

A16
2355 Chestnut St.
San Francisco, CA
415.771.2216
and
5356 College Ave.
Oakland, CA
510.768.8003

Pizza fans and wine lovers visit A16 to enjoy the flavors of Italy’s soulful south. The name is derived from the highway of the two seas which runs across Italy from Napoli to Bari. A 16’s inspiration comes from the region, especially Campania. Executive Chef Nicolette Manescalchi oversees the menu, which features fresh pasta, house-butchered and house-cured meats and authentic Pizza Napolitana. Complementing the rustic fare, Wine Director Shelley Lindgren selects wines that highlight the indigenous grapes from Campania and nearby regions.

 

Aster
1001 Guerrero St.
San Francisco, CA
415.875.9810

Aster is a Michelin star restaurant serving up creative Californian cuisine in a lively, casual setting. The menu consists of familiar favorites, elevated through carefully sourced and house-made ingredients and the impeccable technique of chef Brett Cooper and his team. The team’s focus is on sourcing the finest, responsibly raised and harvested ingredients available and the local farmers, ranchers and purveyors help take the menu beyond the expected through their distinctive products.

Chef/Owner Brett Cooper began his culinary career at 17 as a prep cook in Colorado. After working in kitchens throughout Western Colorado and Aspen, he arrived in San Francisco for culinary school and spent two years at Rubicon with Chef Stuart Brioza (now chef and owner of State Bird Provisions), working up to sous chef. From there, he found his first opportunity to work with Chef Daniel Patterson as sous chef at Coi. After three years at Coi, Brett became chef de cuisine at Saison and helped develop their live fire cooking program. In 2011, Brett moved to a yet unknown Outerlands and undertook the new challenge of adapting his fine-dining techniques to a casual setting. By incorporating a deep appreciation for authentic products with classic and modern cooking techniques and fresh perspective, Brett transformed an out-of-the-way cafe into a dining destination.

 

PP
Atelier Crenn
3127 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA
415.440.0460

Chef Dominique Crenn’s renowned 2-Michelin Star French restaurant offers a multi course tasting menu experience for $325 with advance reservations made through Tock. Wine pairings begin at $175. Service is included. Dietary requests are happily accommodated with 3 days’ notice. Note: Reservations for 1, or Parties of 5-6, please call the restaurant directly. The dining space is intimate, with only 8 tables, and Atelier Crenn offers two seating turns each evening.

 

August 1 Five
524 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA
415.771.5900

August (1) Five is a modern Indian restaurant named for the date commemorating India’s independence from British rule. Located in the heart of San Francisco’s Civic Center neighborhood, explore the nuances of Indian cuisine rarely seen in the West.

Influenced by a range of culinary traditions, from colorful street foods to the hidden staples of home cooks, the menu is anchored in the regional cuisines of northern and central India. Using the best of the Bay Area’s seasonal ingredients, chef melds traditional Indian preparations with contemporary techniques. The restaurant sources the very best organic ingredients from local farms, and all meats are antibiotic free, raised on vegetarian diets and have no GMOs.

The creative approach we bring to the food extends to our cocktail menu which deftly blends Indian spices and herbs, from the subtle to the assertive, with our bartender’s collection of craft spirits. Our global wine list was carefully chosen to complement the array of flavors you’ll discover on our menus.

 

Bar Crudo
655 Divisadero St.
San Francisco, CA
415.409.0670

Bar Crudo was opened in 2005 as a modern raw bar serving pristine oysters and presenting creative ways of serving raw fish preparations. Providing sustainable seafood and supporting local producers is an important focus.

 

Bar VIA at Hotel VIA
138 King St.
San Francisco, CA
415.200.4977

Bar VIA is designed to reflect the cool vibe of the South Beach neighborhood. Whether it’s a beer before the game or relaxing with a signature cocktails, you’ll enjoy the stylish comfort of Bar VIA. Nineteen foot windows offer impressive views of AT&T Park, “America’s most beautiful ballpark” as well as the bustling street scene of one of San Francisco’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Seasonally inspired small plates created by Chef Leo Batoyon compliment the wide array of beers, wines and cocktails in this contemporary South Beach bar where neighborhood residents rub elbows with Hotel VIA guests from around the globe.

 

Baume
201 S. California Ave.
Palo Alto, CA
650.328.8899

Baume’s French modern plates by Chef Bruno Chemel tell the story of traditional French dishes in a new, evocative, distinct way. Beyond the mastery of classic techniques and the profound knowledge of long-acclaimed French cuisine, we choose to think about collective memories, colors, moods, accents, culinary design and happiness.

Baume serves a Seasonal Tasting Menu Only. The price of the menu change accordingly to the price of the premium ingredients. ​The restaurant offers a vegetarian tasting menu.

 

Belcampo Meat Co.
1998 Polk St.
San Francisco, CA
415.660.5573

Part artisan butcher shop, part country cafe, you can pick-up local, Organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised meat from their very own Belcampo Farms, which is located about 5 hours North of San Francisco. Ask the butchers about where the meat comes from, how it’s raised and processed, and the best ways to prepare it at home. Also, remember to pick up our carefully curated grocery items. They’re the perfect complement to your fresh meat cuts. Note: the restaurant is temporarily closed for remodel (8/17) but you can still pick up meaty goodness from our butcher shop, which is open daily from 10AM-8PM.

 

PP
Benu
22 Hawthorne St.
San Francisco, CA
415.685.4860

One of San Francisco’s Michelin-3 Star restaurants, be prepared for an extraordinary experience of inspired New American cuisine with a tasting menu at $285 per person, plus 20% gratuity (dinner only Tues-Sat).

Benu offers a tasting menu that features a wide variety of seafood and vegetables, a few meat courses, and some sweets. Please plan three hours for your dinner. With advance notice, they can adjust the menu to accommodate certain dietary restrictions. The wine list contains 300 selections with an emphasis on France, California, Germany and Austria. There is also offer a variety of wines and sake by the glass, select beers, and a beverage pairing to accompany the menu.

Chef Corey Lee’s career has spanned over 20 years of working at some of the most
acclaimed restaurants in the world, including a tenure as head chef at The French Laundry where his work was recognized with a James Beard Award. He then opened Benu in August 2010. The restaurant has gone on to receive three Michelin stars, four stars from the San Francisco Chronicle, and the AAA Five Diamond Award. In 2015, he authored the Phaidon-published cookbook Benu, an archive documenting the restaurant’s food, inspirations, and people who make it possible. In recognition of his work and influence, he also became a goodwill ambassador for his hometown of Seoul, Korea, an honor given to leaders in various fields.

Yoon Ha, MS joined Benu from La Toque in Napa Valley, where they were accredited with having one of the best “wine pairing programs” in the U.S. by Food & Wine magazine and earned a James Beard Award nomination for Best Wine Service. In 2012, Yoon became one of less than 250 people worldwide to have passed the Master Sommelier Examination.

 

Beretta
1199 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA
415.695.1199

One of the early pioneers in San Francisco’s popular Mission District neighborhood at Valencia Street and 23rd, Beretta has been a long-time industry favorite since opening in 2008. Dark, sexy and evocative, Beretta’s restaurant and bar are where to enjoy inventive cocktails, thin crust pizzas, and contemporary Italian comfort food that is fresh, organic and seasonal and sourced from local farmers. Beretta is great for both intimate dining experiences and large group affairs, (the cozy downstairs room is perfect for groups of 6 or more), and we are open for dinner and late-night dining, 7 days a week, with brunch served on weekends.

 

Bix
56 Gold St.
San Francisco, CA
415.433.6300

On an enticing alley in San Francisco’s historic Jackson Square, a lone neon sign leads into a soaring room of fluted columns, mahogany paneling, plush banquettes and distinguished artwork. White jacketed bartenders hold forth behind a gently curved bar, mixing what many have called the city’s best classic cocktails. Variously described as a civilized speakeasy, a supper club and an elegant saloon, BIX offers modern American cuisine served in a soaring two-story dining room with live jazz nightly.

Doug “Bix” Biederbeck is the proprietor of BIX, which he founded in 1988. His passion for jazz, appreciation of art and commitment to hospitality make BIX a decidedly personal restaurant. Doug recently published Bixology: Cocktails, Culture and a Guide to the Good Life, a vest-sized handbook offering advice on food, drinks, music and art, as seen through the eyes of a restaurateur. He is also the owner of Florio, a Mediterranean Bistro in Pacific Heights as well as MarketBar in San Francisco’s landmark Ferry Building.

A native of Washington, D.C., Chef/Partner Bruce Hill has been cooking in San Francisco since 1984. A self-trained chef, Bruce made his mark in legendary San Francisco restaurants like Stars and Aqua before joining BIX as executive chef and co-owner in 2002. Under his supervision BIX has gained 3-star status from SF Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer, yearly placement in theChronicles TOP 100 Restaurants and a Top 40 ranking in the Zagat guide. Bruce is also the co-owner and chef of Zero Zero, Fog City, Picco and Pizzeria Picco.

 

Blue Plate
3218 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA
415.282.6777

In 1999 two friends from college who knew absolutely nothing about opening a restaurant, did exactly that. Going on 17 years now, Blue Plate has organically grown into an iconic staple of the Outer Mission neighborhood where it was founded. Blue Plate under chef/owner Cory Obenour with co owner Jeff Trenam and longtime chef de cuisine Sean Thomas serves interpretations of new American fare with a Mediterranean twist, using the best Northern California produce and local farms.

 

Bluestem Brasserie
1 Yerba Buena Lane
San Francisco, CA
415.547.1111

Bluestem Brasserie is a San Francisco urban neighborhood restaurant, offering a lively dining experience with a familiar brasserie menu of fresh, simply composed dishes; distinct cocktails; a satisfying wine list; and 12 wines on tap, sourced directly from some of Napa and Sonoma’s finest producers and offered at a great value.

Named after the indigenous North American grass favored by cattle ranchers, Bluestem Brasserie showcases sustainably produced grass-fed beef from highly regarded purveyors, with an emphasis on whole-animal utilization. Savory items are balanced by a dessert menu of classic, brasserie-style pastry selections. A theme of terroir extends from the menu of house-made items to the carefully crafted wine list, highlighting each dish and wine’s unique point-of-origin qualities. “We envision Bluestem Brasserie becoming part of the fabric of San Francisco, a centrally located magnet at the cross-roads of the city’s downtown business, shopping and South of Market cultural districts.” — Adam Jed, Co-Founder.

 

Boudin Bakery
(multiple locations)
Out of towners: Visit the original flagship location at Fisherman’s Wharf.
160 Jefferson St.
San Francisco, CA
415.928.1849

Boudin at the Wharf is home of the mother dough that resulted in the creation of San Francisco’s famed sourdough bread back in 1849! This beautiful building is the place to see the bakers at work, dine with a view or in a casual cafe, and learn the full story of the famous sourdough bread and the city that made it possible. Watch bakers busy at work crafting batches of bread by hand through 30-foot observation windows. Have a question? Ask it directly to the bakers through a two-way intercom system. They are sure to have an answer.

PP
Boulevard
1 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA
415.543.6084

Chef Nancy Oakes grew up in Northern California and began her restaurant career in San Francisco as a hostess, first at the popular Carnelian Room, and later at Alexis Restaurant on Nob Hill. Her passion for understanding all of the moving parts of owning and operating a restaurant began with those front of the house positions. Her first experience in the kitchen was on the San Francisco waterfront at The Barnacle, which served American classics and San Francisco favorites. Following The Barnacle, she commanded the kitchen at Pat O’Shea’s for the next decade, creating comforting food and garnering many loyal customers. Chef Oakes then opened the much acclaimed L’Avenue in 1988. L’Avenue proved to be the beginning of her much deserved public recognition and success for the years to come.

In 1993, Chef Oakes opened Boulevard Restaurant with Pat Kuleto. This celebrated establishment has earned Chef Oakes numerous local, national and international accolades, nominations and awards; including Zagat’s San Francisco Bay Area’s Most Popular Restaurant, the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef in California 2001 and Outstanding Restaurant in the United States 2012, as well as the Filiale des Etats-Unis in France. Chef Oakes co-wrote Boulevard: The Cookbook with Pam Mazzola in 2005 which was nominated for awards from both the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

In 2010, Chef Oakes opened Prospect Restaurant with Pam Mazzola and Kathy King in San Francisco’s flourishing South of Market/Embarcadero neighborhood. Located at the base of the Infinity Towers, it is a warm and modern urban environment, with high service standards and exceptional cuisine.

 

The Buena Vista
2765 Hyde St.
San Francisco, CA
415.474.5044

The original building where the Buena Vista sits today was a boardinghouse until 1916 when the landlord converted the first floor into a saloon. That saloon was named the Buena Vista. (“Good View” in Spanish) The view was good indeed and it served as a warm meeting place for hundreds of fishermen and handlers who worked for the nearby Sardine Cannery. In 1952, with the help of a Pulitzer-Prize winning writer, the Buena Vista introduced to the world it’s now famous Irish Coffee. The recipe has never changed and the view is still quite good.

The historic venture started on the night of November the 10th in 1952. Jack Koeppler, then-owner of the Buena Vista, challenged international travel writer Stanton Delaplane to help re-create a highly touted “Irish Coffee” served at Shannon Airport in Ireland. Stan Accepted Jack’s invitation, and the pair began to experiment. Throughout the night the two of them stirred and sipped. The taste was “not quite right,” and the cream would not float. Stan’s hopes sank like the cream, but Jack was undaunted. The restaurateur pursued the elusive elixir with religious fervor, even making a pilgrimage overseas to Shannon Airport. Upon Jack’s return, the experimentation continued. Finally, the perfect-tasting Irish whiskey was selected. Then the problem of the bottom-bent cream was taken to San Francisco’s mayor, a prominent dairy owner. It was discovered that when the cream was aged for 48 hours and frothed to a precise consistency, it would float perfectly. With the recipe now mastered, a sparkling clear, six-ounce, heat-treated goblet was chosen as a suitable chalice. The recipe remains the same today, and The Buena Vista remains a must for anyone visiting San Francisco!

 

Cafe’ Jacqueline
1454 Grant Ave.
San Francisco, CA
415.981.5565

San Francisco institution by Chef Jacqueline Margulis, known for her famous souffle’s, both savory and sweet, as well as other French bistro specialties, like Onion Soup. It was apparently a favorite of Steve Jobs’, as was written in his biography.

 

Cafe Jolie
1500 Webster St.
Alameda, CA
510.523.4500

Cafe Jolie has a unique menu specializing in French American cuisine. Dishes are prepared from local, sustainable and organic vendors. We serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu ranges from Croque Monsieur, Steak Frites, to many versions of egg dishes. A favorite for great food and French wines. Serving brunch all day long on weekends.

 

Cala
149 Fell St.
San Francisco, CA
415.660.7701

Gourmet Mexican cuisine and adjacent Taqueria (Tacos Cala– open for grab and go lunch 11am-2pm daily). Don’t miss the Mezcal dinner series if you are into Tequila!

 

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Californios
3115 22nd St.
San Francisco, CA
415.757.0994

The Michelin-1 Star gourmet Mexican cuisine of Californios is a personal reflection of chef, Val M. Cantu. Our foundation is based on following tradition, and building upon it. The style is minimal, maximizing a purity of flavor and expression of ingredients. Our menu changes with the seasons. Each night features n ever evolving collection of around 16 courses. Californios works directly with the best farms and purveyors to source premium ingredients for their concentrated and vibrant flavor, at the height of its season.

Chef/Owner Val M. Cantu’s father moved the family to a small town in central Texas and opened a Mexican restaurant and tortilleria. Val graduated with a degree in English and Business from the University of Texas at Austin before returning to cooking. In Austin, he worked at Uchi, before moving to the Bay Area. Once in San Francisco he spent a year as sous chef at Sons and Daughters in Nob Hill, and then quickly began working on Californios. Having fallen in love with the bounty of the Bay Area, Californios first appeared as pop-ups while he searched for a physical space. Val was named one of America’s Best New Chefs by Food and Wine Magazine in 2017.

Charlotte Randolph, Sommelier and Owner, began her hospitality career at the age of 16, in the small town where she grew up. She studied Spanish at the University of Colorado at Boulder before moving to Mexico to travel and explore. Charlotte returned to the states and worked with Val to execute the pop up dinners. During the formative time, she matriculated to the French Laundry for her higher education and to hone her skills. At Californios, she has curated a wine list that perfectly pairs with the cuisine, but is also a personal expression of her style and interests.

Carolyn Cantu, Maitre D’ and Owner, brings a wide range of skills to Californios. She studied Art and Art History at St. Edward’s University, in Austin, Texas. She has travelled the world and studied many different visual disciplines, including floral arrangement and interior design.

 

Carmel Pizza Company
2826 Jones St.
San Francisco, CA
415.676.1185

Carmel Pizza Company prides itself in using the freshest and finest ingredients available.
The dough is made in-house using traditional pizza flours and techniques, and ingredients are sourced at the local farmer’s market, using organic produce whenever possible. A fire is made inside the oven and food is cooked directly next to the fire…
Steeped in centuries of tradition, the wood-burning pizza oven is a majestic testimony to the beauty and goodness of open-hearth cooking. All pizzas are traditional Neapolitan-style, wood-fired with a thin, crispy and slightly-chewy crust. At approximately twelve inches in diameter, with six slices, each pizza is meant to be a personal pie. But, it is often split between two people. All pies come with a pure, organic California plum tomato sauce and fresh fior di latte mozzarella, seasoned simply with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.

 

Central Kitchen
3000 20th St.
San Francisco, CA
415.826.7004

Central Kitchen is a restaurant in San Francisco’s mission district that creates thoughtfully cooked food, using locally sourced ingredients from Northern California. In the summer of 2016, central kitchen closed for two weeks in July and re-opened with a newly updated kitchen, new touches in the dining room and a new menu presented by Executive Chef Thomas McNaughton. Driven by the seasonality, Chef Thomas McNaughton creates a daily-changing menu inspired by locally sourced ingredients presented in an industrial-chic space, striving to shape Northern Californian cuisine and embrace the wines that enhance these flavors, with an emphasis on winemakers who practice organic farming and produce wines of high quality to complement the produce of this region.

 

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Chez Panisse
1517 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA
510.548.5525

A national culinary landmark. In 1971, Alice Waters and a small band of friends founded a neighborhood bistro called Chez Panisse. It was named for Honoré Panisse, the most generous and life-loving character in Marcel Pagnol’s 1930’s film trilogy about waterfront life in Marseille (Marius, Fanny, and César), as an homage to the sentiment, comedy, and informality of these classic movies.

From the beginning, Alice and her partners tried to do things the way they wanted them done at a dinner party at home, with generosity and attention to detail. The Restaurant, located downstairs, is open for dinner Monday through Saturday, by reservation only. The fixed menu consists of three to four courses and changes nightly, each designed to be appropriate to the season and composed to feature the finest sustainably sourced, organic, peak-of-their-season ingredients, including meat, fish, and poultry.

Alice Waters is a chef, author, food activist, and the founder and owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California. She has been a champion of local sustainable agriculture for over four decades. In 1995 she founded the Edible Schoolyard Project, which advocates for a free school lunch for all children and a sustainable food curriculum in every public school.

She has been Vice President of Slow Food International since 2002. She conceived and helped create the Yale Sustainable Food Project in 2003, and the Rome Sustainable Food Project at the American Academy in Rome in 2007.

Her honors include election as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007; the Harvard Medical School’s Global Environmental Citizen Award, which she shared with Kofi Annan in 2008; and her induction into the French Legion of Honor in 2010. In 2015 she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama, proving that eating is a political act, and that the table is a powerful means to social justice and positive change.

Prices for the Restaurant are $75 on Monday, $100 Tuesday through Thursday, and $125 Friday and Saturday (not including beverages, a 17% service charge, and 9.25% sales tax). Monday night menus are typically simpler and more rustic or regional than on other evenings. Friday and Saturday night menus are somewhat more elaborate.

The Café at Chez Panisse, located upstairs, opened in 1980 offering an alternative to the set menu served in the Restaurant downstairs. The Café provides a moderately priced à la carte menu for both lunch and dinner. It has an open kitchen along one side with a charcoal grill and wood burning oven. The menu is inspired by the market and changes twice a day.

Alice and Chez Panisse are convinced that the best tasting food is organically and locally grown, and harvested in ways that are ecologically sound by people who are taking care of the land for future generations. The quest for such ingredients has always determined our cuisine. For over 45 years, Chez Panisse has invited diners to partake of the immediacy and excitement of vegetables just out of the garden, fruit right off the branch, and fish straight from the sea. In doing so, Chez Panisse has established a close network of suppliers who, like the restaurant, strive for both environmental harmony and delicious flavor.

Chefs at Chez Panisse:
Amy Dencler was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and worked as a cook in restaurants in Pittsburgh and New York and at The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia. Impressed with the produce from California that she saw in East Coast restaurants, she drove across the country to get closer to the source. After working at Oliveto with Paul Bertolli and Mike Tusk, Amy was hired by Peggy Smith and Gilbert Pilgram to cook in the café at Chez Panisse, in 1996. In 2000, she moved to the restaurant kitchen, where she has worked with many other notable chefs, including Jean-Pierre Moullé, Christopher Lee, Kelsie Kerr, and David Tanis. When she is not at Chez Panisse, she enjoys gardening and helping in the vineyards and the winery at her boyfriend’s place, Sky Vineyards.

Nathan Alderson was born and raised in a farming community in Henderson County, Kentucky. He has received degrees in biology and music from Vanderbilt University. In 2001 he moved to California to pursue a career in cooking and started as an intern in the Chez Panisse kitchen in 2001. He has been sous chef in the Cafe since 2008. When Nathan is not cooking at Chez Panisse, he is cooking at home with friends and family.

Beth Wells grew up in Friendswood, Texas, a Quaker town near Galveston on the Gulf of Mexico. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, Beth moved to San Francisco. Upon graduation from culinary school, she started as a volunteer in the Chez Panisse kitchen. She moved quickly through the ranks, becoming sous chef, and in 2008, chef of Chez Panisse Café.

Mary Jo Thoresen began her cooking career at Chez Panisse in 1981 as an intern. Under the tutelage of Chez Panisse’s founding pastry chef Lindsey Shere, she continued her work at Chez Panisse for the next 12 years, eventually becoming pastry sous chef. In 1993 she left to open Café Amici with her husband Curt Clingman on the campus of the California College of Arts & Crafts. In 1999, they opened the much-loved neighborhood bistro Jojo in Oakland, which the two ran for nearly a decade. In 2008, she returned part-time to Chez Panisse, and has been pastry chef of both café and restaurant since 2013.

Carrie Lewis was born in the small coastal town of Reedsport, Oregon. As a young girl, she moved with her family to Palatka, Florida. She studied at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish. During her college years, Carrie studied in Italy and worked at a French bakery, where she discovered her passion for pastry. This interest eventually led her to culinary school in San Francisco. Carrie earned an entry-level position in the pastry department at Chez Panisse in 2007; she was promoted to pastry sous-chef in 2010 and to pastry chef in 2013.

 

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Chez TJ
938 Villa St.
Mountain View, CA
650.964.7466

Chez TJ is a contemporary french cuisine restaurant that is uniquely located in one of the most historic Victorian homes in Mountain View, CA. Originally built circa 1894, the structure was home to Julius and Fanny Weilheimer. Julius was a Vice President of the Mountain View Farmers and Merchant’s Bank and a town Council member. In early 1980s, George Aviet and Thomas J. McCombie acquired the property and served their first dinner on November 26th, 1982.
Thomas and George met at Thomas’ prior restaurant, Pear William, in Menlo Park, CA. Both dreamt of building a restaurant together and so, along with their wives, they were determined to turn their dreams into something real. Together with their vision and the resources they managed to accumulate, they built their restaurant and the public came! The press reviews were glowing and Gourmet said it was “worth a detour from San Francisco.” Unfortunately, in mid-1994, Thomas passed away. In honor of Thomas’ memory and their longtime friendship, George continued to run the restaurant on the same path as they had envisioned. George Aviet, his wife, and longtime employees ran Chez TJ as they always had.

George Aviet is a carpenter, electrician, plumber, janitor, cabinet-maker, painter and visionary — and the owner of Chez TJ in Mountain View, one of only four restaurants on the Peninsula to earn coveted Michelin stars. Born in Iran to an Armenian mother and a French-English father. Aviet came to the South Bay as an exchange student enrolling at Cañada College and took a part-time job at the now extinct Pear William restaurant in Menlo Park, where he met chef Thomas J. McCombie. It was there that Aviet found his life’s passion. He loved the restaurant business and worked in every capacity at Pear William. To make ends meet, he also worked late nights at a doughnut shop in Redwood City. In the early 1980s, McCombie proposed that the two should open a restaurant.
The partners traveled to Europe and ate their way around France, absorbing what they both adored about French cuisine — the menus, the ambiance, the use of local seasonal ingredients — and came home with a plan. They would offer prix fixe dinners at three price points, depending on the number of courses. With their wives, they scraped together enough money to launch Chez TJ in November of 1982.
Chef Jarad Gallagher is a second-generation chef whose early introduction to cooking began with a profound interest in his father’s trade. He nurtured this curiosity by studying an endless procession of cookbooks and taking advantage of any opportunity to learn from professionals around him, though it was his Seattle roots which exposed him to the incredible way in which fishing, farming, hunting and foraging coalesce into remarkable food. This knowledge aided him in becoming an expert in selecting the finest products available, from an opulent assortment of the rarest ingredients around the world to local goods at the peak of their season. His immense appreciation for food’s social aspects, particularly its extraordinary ability to bring people together, has hugely impacted what he considers his purpose as a chef. With his cooking he strives to create a symphony of highs, lows, and middles that invokes emotion in guests and keeps them actively engaged in not just their meal, but their company as well. Integral to Gallagher’s success as a chef, as well as his passion for food’s social aspects, was his time spent in Europe employed at many of France and London’s most elite restaurants, where he began to view food as a representation of culture. In the past ten years every restaurant Chef Gallagher has worked at has earned a Michelin star, including Michael Mina, One Market and Plumed Horse. For four years he has dedicated endless time and determination to continuing the tradition of maintaining Michelin star standards at Chez TJ.

 

China Live
644 Broadway
San Francisco, CA
415.788.8188

China Live is an interactive culinary and cultural destination in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown, offering an in-depth exploration of Greater Chinese gastronomy. China Live’s mission is to demystify Chinese ingredients and recipes while educating guests on the rich history and influence. The ground floor features the Oolong Café, Market Restaurant & Bar, and Retail Marketplace, and is a must-visit San Francisco Bay Area culinary destination.

Cock’s Comb
564 4th St.
San Francisco, CA
415.974.0700

Chef Chris Cosentino and partner Oliver Wharton introduced Cockscomb in 2014, a celebration of San Francisco’s diverse culinary heritage and homage to the chef’s adopted city. The menu features selections from the restaurant’s oyster bar and wood-fired oven, coupled with a dynamic beverage program composed of Cosentino’s favorite gins, cocktails, beers and ciders. Cockscomb pays tribute to the city’s fresh and native flavors, as well as Cosentino’s expert offal cookery and butchery.

 

The Codmother Fish and Chips
496 Beach St.
San Francisco, CA
415.606.9349

Owned by Brits, enjoy authentic Fish and Chips from this food truck locals swear by.

 

COI
373 Broadway
San Francisco, CA
415.393.9000

COI is a modern seafood restaurant located in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco by Chicago native Matthew Kirkley. COI offers one tasting menu nightly and is open for dinner service Thursday through Monday evenings from 5:30pm; closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Wine pairings are available, as well as an extensive wine list.

 

Commis
3859 Piedmont Ave.
Oakland, CA
510.653.3902

Enjoy gourmet two-Michelin Star cuisine with an 8-course tasting menu ($149) and an $80 beverage pairing by chef James Syhabout in a dramatic space with an open kitchen with locally-sourced ingredients.

 

Commonwealth
2224 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA
415.355.1500

Commonwealth is a Progressive American restaurant located in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District. Executive Chef Jason Fox showcases first rate ingredients, incorporating modern techniques and diverse culinary approaches. Commonwealth donates a portion of each month’s revenue to local non-profits. Executive Chef Jason Fox’s progressive Californian cuisine harmoniously combines flavor palettes from around the world, and a broad range of techniques to create food that is refined, distinctive and satisfying. Fox creates harmonious, layered dishes rather than focusing on any single ingredient or mode of preparation.

 

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Campton Place Restaurant (in the Taj Campton Place Hotel)
340 Stockton St.
San Francisco, CA
415.955.5555

Those with an eclectic palate will love Chef Srijith Gopinathan’s Cal-Indian menu at the two-Michelin-starred Campton Place Restaurant, where a European-Californian sensibility combines with a Spice Route influence to result in a mélange of flavours. The elegant dining space and exceptional service make this one of the best fine-dining restaurants in San Francisco in the luxurious Taj Campton Place Hotel in Union Square.

Corridor
100 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA
415.834.5684

Corridor Restaurant offers the quality, service, thoughtfulness and hospitality of fine dining and is then turned upside down with walk-up counter ordering in a full service environment. With two distinct dining areas, a quiet and more reserved mezzanine or a more lively bar and communal main floor seating area, both options provide an opportunity to experience the crave-able all day menu. Reservations are accepted for those looking for a more intimate dining experience, but are not needed with the majority of the dining area exclusively for walk in’s. Corridor Café: features LAMILL coffee combined with over the top hospitality. Throw in a rising star chef, this is the perfect spot to get your expertly crafted coffee, morning starter, or grab and go lunch. Serving a variety of Firebrand pastries, house made breakfast and lunch items, any time of day it is a perfect pick me up.

 

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Cotogna
490 Pacific Ave.
San Francisco, CA
415.775.8508

Popular little sib of venerable Michelin-3 Star Quince (next door) by Lindsay and Michael Tusk, this casual Italian spot (meaning “quince”) is a local favorite. Enjoy lunch and dinner Mon-Sat, and don’t miss the Sunday dinner. The bar is open all day, featuring craft cocktails, and an approachable wine list. Don’t miss the Uovo in Raviolo pasta (pasta filled with an egg yolk). Cotogna is a celebration of rustic Italian cuisine and offers a daily-changing menu of spit-roasted or grilled meats and fish, wood-oven pizzas and house-made pastas.

 

Delfina
3621 18th St.
San Francisco, CA
415.552.4055

Craig and Annie Stoll’s local favorite for nearly 20 years for classic Northern Italian and homemade pastas, plus an interesting menu featuring seafood, poultry, duck, steak, tripe, and more. Their pizzerias are considered among the best around.

See also:

Locanda Osteria.Bar
557 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA
415.863.6800

Pizzeria Delfina:
Mission (SF)
3611 18th St.
415.437.6800

Pacific Heights (SF)
2406 California St.
415.440.1189

Burlingame
1444 Burlingame Ave.
650.288.1041

Palo Alto
651 Emerson St.
650.353.2208

 

Doc Rickett’s
124 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA
415.649.6191

Doc Ricketts Restaurant and the underground venue Doc’s Lab are located on the western edge of the Jackson Square Historic District—a neighborhood with a long history of food and entertainment dating back to the Barbary Coast Era of the Gold Rush. Doc Ricketts and Doc’s Lab’s extensive renovations preserved the 1911 building.

Doc Ricketts chef Kurt Steeber offers guests creative, refined and approachable Northern California cuisine. His food celebrates San Francisco and Monterey Bay regions’ fresh ingredients, while also showcasing an in-house charcuterie program. The thoughtfully designed wine list and artisan cocktails complement the menu. Downstairs from the restaurant is Doc’s Lab, a gathering place for music, comedy, and literary events. This basement originally housed a dance hall, then the legendary comedy and music venue The Purple Onion. Over decades many musicians, comedians, and artists performed (and some even launched their careers) at The Purple Onion—including Phyllis Diller, The Kingston Trio, The Smothers Brothers, Maya Angelou, Richard Pryor, Woody Allen, Robin Williams, Bob Newhart, Lenny Bruce, Jim Nabors, Judah Friedlander, and Zach Galifianakis. Doc Ricketts and Doc’s Lab get their name from the renowned American marine biologist Ed Ricketts. Ricketts lived in Monterey during the 30’s and 40’s, and became a prominent member of the community. In his lab, night after night he hosted writers, artists, scientists, philosophers, musicians, and locals. Author John Steinbeck, who was a close friend, created “Doc”, the beloved main character in his book Cannery Row after Ricketts. Doc and other characters inspired by Ricketts also appeared in Steinbeck’s Sweet Thursday (Doc), and The Grapes of Wrath (Jim Casy).

 

Duchess
5422 College Ave
Oakland, CA
510.871.3463

Duchess opened in December 2016 in the charming Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland, and features California cuisine, with all pastries, bread, and smoked meats made in house. The focus is on innovative techniques and quality ingredients put together with love. The bar program includes craft cocktails, beer, and wine. Designed and built by VerSacrum Design, Duchess reflects the handmade warmth of a traditional pub combined with quirky modern details representative of California and the Rockridge neighborhood.

 

Dumpling Time
11 Division St.
San Francisco, CA
415.525.4797

One of the area’s most popular spots for dumplings is owned by The Omakase Restaurant Group (ORG), whose portfolio features a diverse array of San Francisco eateries, from the Michelin-starred Omakase to the hip izakaya stylings of Okane, as well as the popular Live Sushi Bar in Potrero Hill and the beloved neighborhood diner Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

“In Asia, dumplings are served at all times of day and are an integral part of Asian culture, said ORG owner Kash Feng, a native of Xi’an, China, arguably one of the dumpling capitals of the world. “I grew up eating dumplings, so I’ve been wanting to create a fresh dumpling concept for some time. I was thrilled when this space became available just a couple of blocks from two of our other restaurants.”

One of the unique features of Dumpling Time is that it allows guests to watch dumplings being made by hand throughout the day. The dumplings are skillfully prepared and beautifully presented under the watchful eye of Chef Do Leung, using recipes inspired by Kash Feng’s mom.

 

Duna
983 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA
415.484.1206

Duna (“Doo-nah”) is a fine-casual (no reservations) restaurant serving Middle European “peasant” fare, wines, beer, cider, house-made cocktails & soft drinks. Everything is local,  organic, and most of it is handmade. Only the flatbread and spätzle have gluten, and there is a vegan menu.

 

El Sur Empanadas
300 De Haro St.
San Francisco, CA
415.530.2803

El Sur was started by Marianne Despres, a classically trained chef with roots in Argentina and France. Upon graduating from the Cordon Bleu in Paris, she continued her culinary training in some of the world’s best kitchens including Potel et Chabot and the French Laundry. After running a successful catering business in the Bay Area specializing in fine French cuisine, Marianne realized she most enjoyed cooking and sharing the food she grew up with, specifically the empanadas from her childhood. Marianne developed the recipes for El Sur’s empanadas using old-fashioned techniques and the finest local ingredients. The beef is sourced from Five Dot Ranch, a local ranch run by a family who has been in the cattle business for seven generations. The dough is made in house, the beef is hand-cut, and each empanada is folded and crimped by hand.

 

Farallon
450 Post St.
San Francisco, CA
415.956.6969

Celebrating 20 years in Union Square as one of the city’s top seafood destinations and raw bars, enjoy the undersea atmosphere and top notch service and cuisine by Mark Franz, who is always sourcing quality ingredients, to carefully craft the menu with the freshest seafood, rounded out with local produce, meat, and game. “I cook for many reasons. I cook because I love to eat and I love to feed people. I cook because I need to eat and because I need to earn a living. I cook for the creative fulfillment it gives me and because I love the adrenaline rush I get at show time. Sometimes I cook breakfast at home just for myself, and then I’ll go to work and cook dinner for hundreds of people. But whether I’m cooking at the restaurant or cooking at home for my family and friends, I get as much pleasure from the process as I do the result.” — Mark Franz

 

Finn Town
2251 Market St.
San Francisco, CA
415.626.3466

Called “a tavern with a twist,” Finn Town is a local favorite for upscale pub cuisine as well as the popular happy hour, as well as brunch and great burgers. Owner Rick Hamer is a consummate project innovator, with a 20+ year track record in brand building at major companies. As Chairman of the Food & Beverage Committee, of the San Francisco Bay Tennis Club and the San Francisco GLAAD committee he has been responsible for food and beverage coordination for major fundraisers, building a solid network of contacts in both the local and national food and political scene.

Chef Steve Dustin entered the fine dining world in 2001 at the 4 star restaurant Canoe in Atlanta before moving to New York City where he got a taste of perfection at acclaimed restaurant Bouley. After positions with progressively more responsibility in Boulder and then back in New York as Executive Chef of The Harrison and Monument Lane, Chef Dustin finally made the move to San Francisco in 2015 where he delighted diners at The Cavalier. Prior to joining Finn Town, Chef Dustin was the culinary director of operations for Big Night Restaurant Group, including national award winner Leo’s Oyster Bar.

 

flour + water
2401 Harrison St.
San Francisco, CA
415.826.7000

Opening the doors in 2009 in the heart of the mission district in San Francisco, flour + water continues to showcase a menu influenced by regional traditions throughout Italy with Northern Californian inspirations led by Executive Chef Thomas McNaughton. Enjoy wood-fired pizza, house made pastas, and more in the industrial chic space. Don’t miss their pasta classes!

 

Foreign Cinema
2534 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA
415.648.7600

Evolving menus. Sensual Environ. Champagne and Oysters on the Half Shell–since 1999. Foreign Cinema remains a magical destination for local, national and international visitors as San Francisco’s most enduring dining centers. A San Francisco Chronicle “Top 100 Restaurant” for sixteen consecutive years, Chefs Gayle Pirie and John Clark’s collective visions weave food, wine, cocktails, film, and art gallery into one harmonious ambience.

Enjoy dining al fresco under the stars and catching a film projected on the wall with gourmet California cuisine and cocktails. In recognition of 15 years of distinctive service and community stewardship, September 18th was proclaimed “Foreign Cinema Day” in San Francisco. California State Senator Mark Leno presented a City Proclamation acknowledging Foreign Cinema on their unique neighborhood and city-wide leadership and standards in excellence. Chef/Owners Gayle Pirie and John Clark have received multiple James Beard Foundation nominations for the “Best Chef: Pacific” and “Most Outstanding Restaurant” awards.

 

Frascati
1901 Hyde St.
San Francisco, CA
415.928.1406

Frascati is a Mediterranean style bistro, located in one of San Francisco’s most desirable neighborhoods – Russian Hill. When a guest walks through the door of Frascati, he or she is initially treated to a friendly and comfortable dining room. Frascati encompasses a truly European aura, but is also a cozy, San Francisco neighborhood bistro. This tri-level restaurant features warm colors, high ceilings, antique light fixtures and street views of cable cars clanging up and down Hyde Street. The natural light and energetic atmosphere all convey a lively spirit, and is a local favorite for “date night.” The cuisine is inspired from the Mediterranean coast and has strong Californian influences. The menu changes frequently to utilize the best and freshest ingredients any season has to offer. Also, all of the desserts and ice creams are made in-house.

Of equal importance, Frascati has become known for having an eclectic wine list which nicely complements the food. Sharing a common ambition, Owners Rebecca and Jon Rader have both worked within the restaurant industry from very young ages. Driven with a passion for food and a love for entertaining people, their strong work ethic has led them to the ownership of Frascati, where they never stop smiling. Their secret goal behind Frascati is to make each guest feel comfortable in a welcoming atmosphere, coupled with an upscale dining cuisine and a unique wine list to match. Executive Chef Michael Pawlik is a young, talented, up and coming chef who is quietly making his name in the big city of San Francisco. A Michigan native, Michael has made his way up and down the east coast honing his culinary skills in various country clubs, hotels and resorts, as well as private yachts. He received his degree from Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina. As Executive Chef at Frascati, Michael creates enticingly inventive, fresh and delicious dishes each night that not only come from experience, but from his heart as well.

 

Garden Creamery
3566 20th St.
San Francisco, CA
808.224.6626

Garden Creamery is considered one of the top places fro ice cream and frozen desserts in town. All are hand-crafted in small batches right here in Northern California with the best local ingredients available, from scratch, pasteurizing the dairy and modifying each recipe according to flavor, resulting in vibrant flavors and superior textures. The ice cream and semifreddo novelties are made with Straus organic dairy and sorbet and vegan ice creams are coconut-based and sweetened with organic agave nectar.”As a kid growing up in Hawai’i, I couldn’t get enough sweet, cold treats. When I moved to California I created my own. Before I knew it, my boyfriend Donny and I were selling them from a dessert truck on the streets of San Francisco. We make our frozen treats from scratch in small batches with the best local ingredients. Taste one & you’ll be back for more!”—Erin Lang

 

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Gary Danko
800 North Point St.
San Francisco, CA
415.749.2060

Since opening in 2000 in the Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood, Gary Danko has been considered the ultimate upscale gourmet dining destination known for award-winning combination of classic French cooking, inventive use of local ingredients, and personal, professional service. “You don’t just open a great restaurant, says Chef Gary Danko, it is a constant work in progress.”  This commitment to excellence and innovation has earned Restaurant Gary Danko its twelfth Five Diamond rating from AAA as well as a coveted Relais & Chateaux designation. The Michelin 1-Star rated restaurant has also earned several James Beard Awards, including Best New Restaurant, Best Service and Best Chef – California. In a warm, enveloping space overhung with orchids and vibrant artworks, an evening at Gary Danko is both intimate and theatrical, a loving nod to an old world dining experience with its heart thoroughly planted in the new: fresh, locally grown and raised foods drawn from the region.

Gary Danko is one of America’s most talented and respected chefs. Danko’s interest in cooking began in his mother’s kitchen in upstate New York, where he watched the Louisiana native deftly balance flavors through the judicious use of simple seasonings and farm fresh ingredients. It later brought him to the classrooms of French-born Madeleine Kamman, his exacting and visionary mentor who refined him in the techniques, science and history of French cooking.

Gary Danko is a 1977 graduate of the Culinary Institute of Hyde Park, New York. From his earliest days as chef at the Tucker Hill Inn in Vermont to subsequent years running award-winning kitchens in the Bay Area, including Beringer Vineyards and The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco, Danko dedicated himself to seasonal, locally grown and raised foods before the practice was widespread. At restaurant Gary Danko, these ingredients are still the foundation of his adventurous and spirited cuisine and are never upstaged. While forging close relationships with artisanal cheese, meat, and produce suppliers to secure the best ingredients possible, Danko continues to push the envelope, incorporating culinary traditions, techniques, products and seasonings from around the world to create a cuisine of great finesse and balanced flavors.

 

Gioia
2240 Polk St.
San Francisco, CA
415.359.0971

Berkeley
1586 Hopkins St.
510.528.4692

Memories of getting pizza by the slice as a kid growing up in Brooklyn were largely what inspired Will Gioia to open the slice joint in North Berkeley in 2004. Now a fixture and go-to neighborhood spot in the East Bay, Gioia Pizzeria has proven to keep lots of folks, including East Coasters, happy and satiated. Both Karen and Will Gioia bring a rich background in food. After meeting at the CIA in Hyde Park, NY, the couple worked in the south of France, baked artisan bread in Michigan, and then beelined it to the Bay Area to work with some notable restaurants such as Oliveto, Chez Panisse and Zuni Café. The Gioia’s success at the pizzeria in Berkeley spawned the idea of bringing their NY-style pizza to SF. The new location in Russian Hill, is the big brother of the hole in the wall spot in Berkeley. Gioia serves the same East Coast, thin crust pizza that they have for years, but also bring to the table a menu that reflects their history and experience as a passionate husband and wife team in the kitchen. They are serving up what they know and love best in their 50 seat restaurant – inspired, simply prepared and delicious food that relies on the seasonal bounty that the Bay Area has to offer. Having worked with local farmers throughout the years they feel proud to support them and their hard work at the restaurant. Italian wines and locally crafted beers round out the menu.

 

Harris’ Steak
2100 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA
415.673.1888

A local landmark and throwback to classic “gentlemen’s club-like” steakhouses since 1984, enjoy top notch steaks and sides with attentive service. Opened by Ann Lee Harris, who sought to create an atmosphere of traditional elegance and feature prime beef in an atmosphere that romanticizes a time gone by. Diners also enjoy the bar and piano lounge. The award-winning menu emphasizes dry-aged beef grilled to order on an open range mesquite grill. The kitchen is overseen by Chef Michael Buhagiar, and menu also features pan roasted Chicken with Sherry Glaze, Lamb, Live Maine Lobster, creative appetizers, soups, and salads, plus an in-house pastry chef.

 

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Hashiri
4 Mint Plaza
San Francisco, CA
415.908.1919

“SHUN-KA-SHU-TOU” – THE FOUR SEASONS.
Japanese culture finds great importance in utilizing fresh ingredients from their four beautifully distinct seasons. In Japan, the season of each ingredient can be broken down into three categories; “Hashiri” means the beginning peak of a season, followed by “Shun” the peak of a season and “Nagori” the end of a season. Understanding the phases of the season is highly valued among food connoisseurs and chefs. It is said Umami, Kaori and the essence of the season are most balanced during Hashiri. Hashiri presents the optimal time for chefs to have the best quality product and showcase their skills.

Hashiri San Francisco follows in the spirit of the Daikanyama Tokyo location. At Hashiri San Francisco traditional elements, contemporary design, and cutting-edge culinary techniques combine to create a locally inspired interpretation of vibrant Japanese seasonal cuisine and ambiance. Chef’s coursed tasting menu creates the Hashiri experience by harmonizing innovative Japanese Kaiseki-style cuisine with Edomae sushi techniques. Hashiri is strikingly reminiscent of a true meal in Japan, yet incredibly unique and rooted in the San Francisco Bay Area. The restaurant privately imports fresh fish from Tsukiji Market in Tokyo, complemented by locally sourced, sustainable produce. The experience at Hashiri is elevated further when patrons indulge in the extensive collection of fine wines, rare sake and aged Japanese whiskey. Old vintage Burgundy and exclusive sakes have a special prominence on the Reserve List which has over 600 selections. Owners: Kaoru Hayashi, Ryuichi Terayama, Yasuyuki Rokuyata. Hashiri has been awarded 1 Michelin Star.

 

Heirloom Cafe’
2500 Folsom St.
San Francisco, CA
415.821.2500

Heirloom Café was founded with two concurrent ambitions: to offer a wide variety of aged wines from a carefully managed cellar, and to serve simple, very well-prepared food at reasonable prices. The wine cellar and owners’ love of mature wines are the foundation of the restaurant, sourcing wines from favorite producers in California and regions all over Europe for many years. The kitchen at Heirloom is dedicated to offering a menu which is concise, seasonal, highly selective and exceedingly tasteful. .

When guests arrive at the restaurant, they are made to feel as though they are in someones home, with an entirely open kitchen, half of our seating at communal tables, and five seats at a counter overlooking the kitchen, combined with old jazz, played by Charlie Parker or Duke Ellington or Dave Brubeck.

 

Helmand Palace
2424 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA
415.362.1641

Helmand Palace offers delicious dining, takeout and delivery of authentic Afghan foods and has been recognized for its outstanding Afghan cuisine, excellent service and friendly staff. The restaurant is known for its modern interpretation of classic dishes and its insistence on only using high quality fresh ingredients. Try the famous lamb dishes and variety of vegetarian specialties.

 

Hinata Sushi
810 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA
415.829.8291

Hinata, “sunny place” in Japanese, is located in San Francisco’s Van Ness district specializing in Omakase, a ordering style where the chef chooses the most surprising and innovative eating experience for the customer. The restaurant uses the highest quality ingredients for their sushi. Nearly all of the fish is ordered from the famous Tsujiki Fish Market in Tokyo, Japan. Every piece is meticulously cut and prepared Traditionally.

 

Hog Island Oyster Co.
Ferry Building Marketplace (Embarcadero)
1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA
415.391.7117

Hog Island Oyster Co. started out with the aim of cultivating the highest quality oysters possible, and that is still the driving principle behind Hog Island. “Good things grow slowly.”  “Shuck to live. Live to shuck.” “Strong backs and weak minds” was the early motto in July of 1983 when partners John Finger and Terry Sawyer planted the first oyster seed in Tomales Bay, CA. It began with a five-acre shellfish lease, a handful of spat, and a headful of dreams. Marine biologists by day, oyster farmers by night, and everything else in between just to stay afloat. Hog Island Oyster Co. has grown to become one of the premiere producers of certified sustainable shellfish. With 160 acres in Tomales Bay, they harvest and sell over 3.5 million oysters, Manila clams and mussels each year. Their thriving ‘family’ of 200 plus employees cultivate, shuck and serve an exceptional oyster experience at Hog Island locations in Marshall, Napa and San Francisco.

 

Hook Fish Co.
4542 Irving St.
San Francisco, CA
415.268.5673

It started with a bike tour. A ride down the Pacific Coast from San Francisco to Cabo San Lucas, MX. On the journey, Christian and his brother Chad reconnected with the roots of their childhood – a life centered around the ocean – and gained new inspiration by meeting and building relationships with fishermen along the trip. They spent three months sleeping on beaches, spear fishing for subsistence, surfing for meditation, and getting to know people who have positioned their lives around the ocean.
Likewise, Beau ventured down the coast of Baja in a truck he bargained down to $1,200 (just three days before leaving San Francisco, no less). His goal was to meet Christian and Chad upon their arrival in Cabo. On his way to Cabo he camped, surfed, fished, and experienced the culture of Baja’s seafood producers: their connection with the place, their deep knowledge … and of course, their creative approach to solving truck problems.
Each of their journeys sparked their entrepreneurial spirit with plenty of interesting business concepts, but one stuck: a retail seafood business that brings the joy and roots of the ocean to their local San Francisco community.

 

The House
1230 Grant Ave.
San Francisco, CA
415.986.8612

Larry and Angela Tse opened this original location of The House in May of 1994 bringing their unique brand of Asian American food to San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. The House embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of growing up Asian in America with an emphasis on freshness and quality of ingredients, and a distinctively Asian philosophy towards food preparation. Simple, classic, soulful food.

 

Huxley
846 Geary St.
San Francisco, CA
415.800.8223

Huxley strives to create a delicious neighborhood menu of items that should be both comforting and familiar, as well as exciting and new. The menu changes weekly, as well as, with the seasons and as always much of what we make from burger buns to charcuterie is all produced in house.

 

ICHI Sushi + Ni Bar
3369 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA
415.525.4750

Since opening, ICHI Sushi was named one of American’s Top Restaurants in the Zagat 2013 guide and Zagat San Francisco Bay Area Guide 2013’s Top 20 Restaurants, has won Best of the Bay in five outlets, and is included in the 2013 and 2016 San Francisco Louis Vuitton City Guides. ICHI is one of SF Chronicle’s Restaurant Critic Michael Bauer’s Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants and has been featured in publications like Elle, Vogue, Athlete’s Quarterly, and The New York Times.

At ICHI Sushi, sustainability is the focus, and menus change seasonally. ICHI offers Omakase service at the bar and tables. ICHI keeps an extensive chilled sake list and serves regional beer, wine, and Japanese beer on tap.

ICHI Sushi accepts walk-ins, please just stop in and add your name to the list.
Executive Chef Tim Archuleta and Wife-Partner Erin Archuleta founded ICHI Catering in April of 2006 in San Francisco’s Mission District. In 2010 ICHI opened its Lucky Cat Deli in the 331 Cortland Bernal Heights incubator space. ICHI Lucky Cat Deli graduated from 331 Cortland in 2011. Simultaneously in 2010, ICHI launched its first sushi bar, ICHI Sushi, at 3369 Mission Street. ICHI is returning from its location at 3282 Mission Street to its original 3369 Mission Street location in January of 2017.

 

Ijji Sushi
252 Divisadero St.
San Francisco, CA
415.658.7388

Much of Japanese dinning centers around the neighborhood restaurant.
Often small, but always an intimate setting, where neighbors and friends gather together to not only eat, but enrich each other’s lives. ijji has replicated this dinning experience.
ijji is the culmination of our unwavering focus to the purity of the fish and
the expression of our devotion to traditional Japanese techniques. This fidelity to our beliefs, is evident in every piece of nigiri.

 

Il Casaro Pizzeria & Mozzarella Bar
348 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA
415.677.9455

Il Casaro Pizza & Mozzarella Bar which opened in San Francisco’s historic Italian district of North Beach in March of 2014, has redefined quality pizza for the neighborhood. Their philosophy stems from a simple Italian reality that pizza should always be affordable and accessible for everybody and anybody. Enjoy authentic Neapolitan style pizza from a recipe consisting of caputo flour imported from Naples and San Marzano tomatoes with D.O.P certification. This special kind of D.O.P tomato can only be found in 41 Italian municipalities in the province of Naples. These are baked off in the beautiful wood burning oven, which was also specially imported from Naples and gives the pizza a smoky hint most others lack. The result; a crispy, delicate and thin crust with a 12” inch pie that your teeth will simply sink into. Il Casaro, meaning the cheese maker in Italian sheds light on the way they compliment all our styles of pizza with the mozzarella bar, which includes mozzarella di bufala, fior di latte mozzarella and our most popular being the burrata, all specially imported from Italy.

 

Izakaya Rintaro
82 14th St.
San Francisco, CA
415.589.7022

Named one of America’s best new restaurants in 2015 by Bon Appetit, this Sushi and Japanese-Asian spot featuring fresh local ingredients, owned by Sylvan Brackett is a top spot in the city.

 

Ju-ni
1335 Fulton St.
San Francisco, CA
415.655.9924

Each night Ju-ni (meaning twelve in Japanese) combines technique, tradition, and evolution to transform 12 seats into memorable omakase experiences.Our sushi bar is designed so that every 4 guests get a personal chef to meticulously craft and guide them through each course. This format allows every guest a chance to connect with their chef and delve into the intricacies of each dish. 2016 SF Chronicle Rising Star Chef, and 2017 Michelin Star Chef Geoffrey Lee and business partner Tan Truong created Ju-ni to craft an elevated sushi experience in an atmosphere that is both intimate and approachable.

 

Kagawa-Ya Udon Noodle Co.
1455 Market St. #3A
San Francisco, CA
415.703.0995

This is the spot for meticulously prepared udon noodles, according to tradition, paying homage to the Kagawa prefecture, the udon capital of Japan.

 

The Kebabery
4201 Market St.
Oakland, CA
510.922.1601

Enjoy a few classics done right, all of which are available to-go. Choose from three kebab options — chicken, lamb, and mushroom, and four salads to go with them (beets, pickles, a carrot salad, and sauerkraut). If you get the $15 kebab plate, you get one kebab and two salads, plus yogurt, spicy pickled chilies, and herbs, and a choice between homemade grilled flatbread or mashed red lentils. Everything is organic, and gratuity is included.

 

Keiko a’ Nob Hill
1250 Jones St.
San Francisco, CA
415.829.7141

Enjoy sensational French-Hapanese cuisine by Chef Keiko Takahashi, a combination of exquisite flavors and artistic presentations, combines with polished service in an elegant, old world setting.

 

Kinjo
2206 Polk St.
San Francisco, CA
415.921.2222

Much of Japanese dinning centers around the neighborhood restaurant. Where neighbors and friends gather together to not only eat, but enrich each other’s lives. Kinjo has replicated this dining experience, in Russian Hill. Kinjo is the culmination of unwavering focus to the purity of the fish, and the expression of our devotion to traditional Japanese techniques.

 

Kin Khao
55 Cyril Magnin St.
San Francisco, CA
415.362.7456

(Kin= eat, Khao= rice): Born and raised in Bangkok, Pim took a circuitous route through the world of food–from writing, teaching, to jam making [ahem, award-winning jam making]–before finding her way back home to the food she grew up with. Longing for Thai food of richer quality and variety in the U.S. Pim is now on a mission to liberate her beloved Thai cuisine from the tyranny of peanut sauce. Her Thai cooking has earned effusive praise from world-class chefs like Alain Passard and Rene Redzepi. Ingredients are sourced locally and organically.

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Kusakabe
584 Washington St.
San Francisco, CA
415.757.0155

Kusukabe’s menu mainly consists of sushi along with a few other complementary dishes. Although it changes according to what ingredients are available, it will always reflect seasonality and harmony based on the kaiseki cuisine principle. Kaiseki is a traditional multi-course dining that is comparable to Western haute cuisine. It is originated from the Japanese tea ceremony tradition that emphasizes seasonality and being in the present moment. “Goshoku, Gomi, Gokan, Gohou” is one of the essential tenet in creating kaiseki menu that is translated to “Five Colors, Five Tastes, Five Senses, Five Methods.”

Five Colors
Color pallet that is visually expressed in dishes: white, black, yellow, red, green

Five Tastes
Balance of tastes throughout the course: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, spicy

Five Senses
Kaiseki cuisine aims to appeal to five senses: sense of taste, smell, vision, hearing, touch

Five Methods
Five cooking methods used to create the menu: roast, steam, fry, simmer, raw

Variety of Sushi – explore beyond Edomae sushi
It’s been a while since Omakase sushi (the choice of sushi is left up to the sushi chef) has been popular in many sushi restaurants in the SF Bay Area and beyond. Most of Omakase widely known is Edomae style, which originated in 1820’s in Edo, or now commonly known as Tokyo. It started as a fast food business style where they only used local fish from the Tokyo Bay.

While Edomae style has been most widely accepted worldwide, it is in fact a single variation within many other types of sushi that exist in Japan. Others include Temari-zushi, Bo-zushi, Oshi-zushi, and Nare-zushi. It is considered that a type of Nare-zushi, fermented sushi is the first type of sushi that appeared in the 8th century. Kusukabe will showcase the variety of sushi beyond Edomae style. Chef Nori uses the technique of old sushi styles and arrange them to be appealing to today’s sushi lovers. You may be able to discover the new realm of sushi you have never experienced before. Please ask our sake and wine sommeliers for drink suggestions to find the best match with the menu for you.

Born in Kyoto, Japan in 1970, Mitsunori Kusakabe has worked at prestigious restaurants in major cities including Kyoto where he learned and traditional “kaiseki” preparations and classic sushi techniques. He made his mark as a chef at Nobu Tokyo, followed by positions as a chef at Nobu New York and then the executive chef at Nobu Miami Beach.

After Nobu Miami Beach, Mitsunori moved to San Francisco to be the executive chef at Sushi Ran, which received Michelin stars both in 2006 and 2007 and was consistently in the top 10 Bay Area restaurants as rated by Zagat’s readers.

In 2008, Mitsunori was the grand winner of Eat Japan-World Sushi Awards in London (aka the Oscars of the Sushi World) and acknowledged as the US Sushi Technical Champion. Mitsunori worked at Sushi Ran until 2013 when he acquired a restaurant in downtown San Francisco, renovated it, and in the spring of 2014, opened KUSAKABE. At KUSAKABE, guests enjoy the mix of Mitsunori’s expertise in kaiseki cuisine, authentic Edomae sushi techniques and the other cooking skills that Mitsunori has acquired in his culinary journeys, including his expertise as a certified blowfish butcher.

 

La Ciccia
291 30th St.
San Francisco, CA
415.550.8114

La Ciccia is an intimate restaurant located on the edge of Noe Valley. Husband and wife owners, Massimiliano Conti and Lorella Degan work together to take you to a culinary journey through the Italian island of Sardinia. The chef is committed to use the freshest and the most authentic ingredients from his native island, resulting in pungent, lively, flavorful food. The all Italian wine list contains 180 labels and a selection that represents every region with more than a quarter devoted to Sardinia in order to pair the traditional, earthy flavors in addition to the seafood influence of Sardinian cuisine. La Ciccia is a tribute to Sardinia and is an experience not to be missed.

 

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La Folie
2316 Polk St.
San Francisco, CA
415.776.5577

Chef Roland Passot grew up in Lyon, the culinary capitol of France, and began cooking as an apprentice at the age of fifteen. Trained by some of France’s most famous chefs, Passot soon became an assistant sous-chef to Chef Paul Lacombe, the two Michelin star chef of French Gastronomic institution Léon de Lyon. As a young man, Chef Passot crossed the Atlantic to spend four years cooking in Chicago before being hired away to open The French Room at the legendary Adolphus luxury hotel in Dallas. There, Chef Passot earned national accolades for his cuisine, which he served to both Hollywood celebrities and European royalty.

After a brief stint at the renowned Chez Michel in San Francisco, Chef Passot opened his own groundbreaking and distinctive restaurant, La Folie in 1988, where his clientele will still find him in the kitchen, cooking each dish, every night of the week. Unlike other celebrity chefs, Roland Passot is a hands-on gastronome intimately involved in the daily running of his restaurant. Cooking at La Folie is his life’s passion. Come join us and see why Chef Passot has earned his reputation as maestro d’ cuisine and reaps overwhelmingly positive critical acclaim year after year.

Chef Roland has been awarded the James Beard Award for Best Rising Star Chef in 1980, James Beard Best Chef in California 2005-2007, Inducted into the Maitres Cuisinier de France in 1991, Best Food and Best French Restaurant by Zagat in 2002, Best French Restaurant in 7×7 Magazine, 4-starts by the San Francisco Magazine, Top 100 Restaurants 2015 in San Francisco Chronicle, 4-stars by the San Francisco Chronicle, and 1 star by Michelin since 2015.

 

La Mar Cebicheria Peruana
1  1/2 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA
415.397.8880

Celeb chef Gastón Acurio serves gourmet Peruvian seafood in a large, partially outdoor space on the pier. Peruvian cuisine is the most heavily influenced by the variety of ethnic backgrounds found throughout Peru. The blending of these cultures mixed with Peru’s unusually large number of climate changes due to its many geological difference, combined with its unique, indigenous agriculture is what gives Peruvian cuisine its edge and makes it some of the best cuisine from around the world.  The clean minimalist décor preserves the beauty of this classic building with an added Peruvian flare. Enter the historic Pier 1½ lobby to find multiple lounges, an expansive dining room and a waterfront patio overlooking Treasure Island.

 

La Torta Gorda
2833 24th St.
San Francisco, CA
415.642.9600

One of San Francisco’s most unique restaurants, La Torta Gorda, opened their doors on July 2, 2002. This traditional Mexican restaurant was inspired by the flavorful foods found in the Mexican state of Puebla. Founder Armando Macuil, also a native of the state, wanted to share the foods of his homeland with the Bay Area and the rest of the world.
Armando began offering take out meals and eventually opened La Torta Gorda’s current location at 2833 24th Street in San Francisco. The new venue offers it’s patrons indoor and out door seating, along with a beautiful patio for those that love the sun and fresh air.

 

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Lazy Bear
3416 19th St.
San Francisco, CA
415.874.9921

Lazy bear’s food is modern American with  flavors that are intrinsically delicious and familiar, in a format that calls to mind those great American shared eating experiences that we love. It’s communal and social, but the food and drinks are refined. Lazy Bear serves one menu each night, a tasting menu with many courses, in two seatings: 6pm and 8:30pm. Diners are seated communally at long American elm tables. All guests are served each course at the same time, and cooks come out and describe the dishes. Lazy Bear is a unique, social experience that depends on a packed house to create an energetic vibe. Tickets via Tocktix, and varies between $165-185pp, plus wine pairing at $95pp, with a reserve pairing for $140pp.

 

Leopold’s
2400 Polk St.
San Francisco, CA
415.474.2000

Leopold’s offers the cozy ambiance (“Gemütlichkeit”) of a traditional village gasthaus that one might find in Alpine Austria, Bavaria or northern Italy, viewed through the keen eye of San Francisco’s sophisticated Russian Hill-Polk Street urban-neighborhood environment. The hand-crafted pine booths and central communal table at the heart of the room, the rustic marble beer and wine bar tucked in back and the warm wooden wainscoting and Kaiser-yellow walls, hung with family photographs, antique oil paintings, antlers and stag-head trophies, exude the hospitality that carries through in the friendly yet professional service.

At Leopold’s, the art of Alpine cooking benefits from uncontrived preparation in our casual neighborhood gasthaus that neatly captures the essence of our “village.” The food is timeless without being cliche. It is intensely flavored, but not heavy, and has a lightness of touch and an assuredness of seasoning that focus on a harmony of flavor.

The eight old-world classic tap beers and numerous beers by the bottle also reflect Leopold’s’ Alpine flavor, with a wide variety of countries of origin and type of beer represented among them. Our wine selection reflects primarily smaller producers from the wine regions of Austria-Hungary, Slovenia, Friuli, Alto-Adige and Germany.

 

Leo’s Oyster Bar
568 Sacramento St.
San Francisco, CA
415.872.9982

Leo’s and find a cocktail and oyster bar of the golden era. This is where the vintage champagne and raw bar are very cold, and the baked and fried oysters are served hot. Where caviar and tater tots are loved equally, and where the rooms are a series of intimate and well-appointed experiences.The light and fern-filled conservatory at the front might be the ideal spot to have a proper Martini and Rock Shrimp Toasts in the afternoon. You might never look better than while sitting at the hammered brass and onyx bar, rakishly enjoying apertivi and a “Leo’s Louie”. Cozy up to the bar, and settle into the banquettes in the nestled back room, the Champagne Bar. It’s all very polished, fun and delicious. Sib of Marlowe, Petit Marlowe, Park Tavern, The Cavalier, and Marianne’s.

 

Liholiho Yacht Club
871 Sutter St.
San Francisco, CA
415.440.5446

Back in Hawaii in the early 80’s the Kealoha uncles would race Hobie Cats, and throw “pop up” parties to pay for their supplies. They would go to the beach, fire up the grill, chill the beer, and get a band to play. They charged a modest price with the intention of making enough money to allow them to keep doing what they loved. They realized they needed a name for their ‘organization’, and the brothers — who lived on Liholiho street — decided to name it Liholiho Yacht Club. The cuisine is a tribute to Hawaii with fresh, local ingredients.

 

Locanda
557 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA
415.863.6800

Popular Roman-style trattoria (sib of Delfina), expect to find great pastas (like Carbonara, Amatriciana, and Cacio e Pepe) as well as offal dishes, Tripe, and Jewish style artichokes with a craft cocktail menu, wine, and beer.

 

Lolinda
2518 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA
415.550.6970

A new kind of Argentinean steakhouse that combines Latin American flavors with California sensibilities, Lolinda opened in San Francisco’s Mission District in August 2012 by chef/owner Alejandro Morgan. Offering a wide range of meats cooked perfectly over the wood-fired asador (grill), as well as ceviche, empanadas, specialty dishes, and grilled skewers, Lolinda is a lively destination restaurant for group dining, dates, business dinners and celebrations, as well as a spot for locals and restaurant industry types who congregate at one of the restaurant’s two full bars for expertly made nuevo (new) and clasico (classic steakhouse style) cocktails.

 

Lord Stanley
2065 Polk St.
San Francisco, CA
415.872.5512

Located on Polk Street in Russian Hill, Lord Stanley offers simple yet refined cuisine with European influences served in a casual, friendly atmosphere. The wine list focuses on unique and exciting organic/biodynamic wines from around the world.

Rupert and Carrie Blease, owners and co-Chefs of Lord Stanley, have training which stems from working throughout Europe and the US, most notably at Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons, Per Se, Blue Hill, Texture, L’ Amphytrion, and locally at Central Kitchen and Commonwealth. Rupert and Carrie aim to bring influences from their travels and experiences to Lord Stanley, resulting in a menu that is simple yet refined, with British and European influences. The atmosphere is relaxed and casual, with a stand up bar serving unique and exciting wines from Wine Director Louisa Smith.

Lord Stanley was voted #3 Best New Restaurant in America in 2016 – Bon Appétit, has earned 1 Michelin Star (2016 & 2017), and Louisa Smith was named Wine Director of the Year by San Francisco Magazine.

 

Lucia’s Berkeley
2016 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA
510.225.9467

Popular, casual Neapolitan style pizzeria with thin crust pies baked in the signature 950-degree Stefano Ferrara wood-burning oven imported from Napoli in the heart of downtown Berkeley, opened in December 2016.

 

 

About Fred Bollaci

I'm CEO and President of Fred Bollaci Enterprises. I lost more than 100 pounds while living "La Dolce Vita" and I'm now known as "The Healthy Gourmet." Sample the good life with me through fitness, fine food, and good wine. Meet chefs who cater to a healthy gourmet lifestyle through my Golden Palate blog.
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