One Market restaurant, located at the beginning of San Francisco’s longest street, has been a standby in the Financial District / Embarcadero for almost 30 years. Originally opened by noted local chef Bradley Ogden (who would go on to open a few restaurants in Las Vegas), the kitchen’s been helmed by Mark Dommen since 2004. Dommen led the restaurant to Michelin star recognition from 2008-2012, although it hasn’t been able to crack the list since.
Mott 32, a Chinese concept based in Hong Kong, opened at the Palazzo in 2019. There are a handful of locations across the world serving a refined take on the cuisine. Its most famous dish is probably its Peking duck – aged 48 hours and smoked in apple wood, but there are a number of other signature items like its char siu, a lobster mapo tofu, and a triple-cooked wagyu short rib.
While in Marin County one evening last week, I was spontaneously looking for a restaurant to go to that would have good food and a good vibe. Enter RH Restaurant, which opened in October of last year. The RH restaurants are an extension of the home furnishings company (formerly Restoration Hardware) that is based here in Corte Madera. There’s a dozen of these across the U.S. and Toronto.
The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the furniture store, partially indoor and partially outdoor. As one would expect, the ambiance was elegant highlighted by chandeliers dangling throughout the space. Indoor landscaping and even a fountain heightened the look & feel.
I’m not sure when I visited House of Prime Rib last, but it’s probably been close to two decades (!). Opened in 1950, the restaurant was already an old standby when I grew up, but has certainly solidified its status as an SF institution at this point.
I’d largely been getting my fill of prime rib from Lawry’s in Beverly Hills. The restaurants are very similar in their old English aesthetic; in fact, for a long time, I thought Lawry’s was a copycat of this place (I subsequently learned that Lawry’s predates this place by over 10 years).
Sushi Ondo is part of a wave of San Francisco restaurants doing more reasonably-priced omakase meals (~$100). While I haven’t found anything quite like Sugarfish around here, I have been interested in what kind of quality / value these restaurants can offer. Sushi Ondo opened in 2019 and is part of a group of restaurants that includes Sushi Hon, Barnzu, Sushi Hakko and Izakaya Hon.
On this most recent trip to Japan, Florilege was the choice for our lone fine dining meal in the country. The Michelin two-star restaurant, ranked 59th best in the world, was opened in 2009 by Hiroyasu Kawate after cooking at well-known Quintessance.
One of the unique aspects of the restaurant is that the vast majority of the seats surround an open kitchen. Diners are able to watch all of the action, and dishes are served directly by the cooks.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to try Gaggan. Despite it being ranked the “fifth best restaurant in the world” and garnering two Michelin stars, I felt uneasy about dining at an Indian restaurant in Thailand. It just seemed very counter-intuitive. Further, its 6,500 THB/$200 price tag is downright expensive compared to almost any other fine dining restaurant in the city. Regardless, I made the plunge and settled in for 25 courses of Gaggan Anand’s unique interpretation of Indian cuisine.
I’ve dined at Pierre Gagnaire’s Twist once before and have been meaning to return. Recently, the hotel housing the restaurant (Mandarin Oriental) was sold to the Hilton group and it’s been unclear how long Twist will be be around. I figured it would be a good chance to try the restaurant one more time.
The restaurant offers a number of tasting menus (5, 6, 7 courses), in addition to a la carte options. For this meal, we went with the six-course ($185). Some of the best view of The Strip are included – we were lucky enough to get a window table.