One of the first hot spots during the late ‘90s dot-com boom, this culinary (and still cool) stalwart in the Mission remains at the top of my list for its one-two punch of fantastic food and stunning atmosphere. Chef/owners Gayle Pirie and John Clark are on hand nightly, presiding over the daily-changing menu, which is dictated by the freshest finds at the morning’s farmers’ market and their own parade of purveyors. Always available are raw-bar specialties (oysters, crab, and more), and, if you’re lucky, showstopping appetizers like baked fromage d’Affinois in a fig leaf, Mission figs, olivada, new potatoes, crudité, and baguette crostini. But there’s so much more, you really need to try for yourself—and I recommend you do. Whether you eat inside the windowed, industrial-chic dining room or on the atrium patio where foreign and indie flicks play on the side of a neighboring building, it’s a magical experience.
San Francisco› Restaurant
2534 Mission St (btw 21st and 22nd sts)
Our Rating Neighborhood The Mission District Hours Daily 5:30–10pm (until 11pm Thurs–Sat); brunch Sat–Sun 11am–2:30pm. Transportation Bus: 14 Phone 415/648-7600 Prices Main courses $12–$31 Cuisine Type Californian Web site Foreign Cinema