If there is one place to splurge in San Francisco, this is it. The sophisticated cuisine of chef/owner Gary Danko eschews over-the-top molecular gastronomy pomp to focus instead on expertly prepared dishes influenced by global ingredients and French technique. Over the 2-plus decades that Chef Danko’s sleek, art-filled dining room has been an “it” destination, he’s garnered plenty of prestige—Michelin stars, a five-star Mobil rating, the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant and Best Chef in California. But the real win is that diners continue to rank his dining room at the top, despite an ongoing rush of contenders. The portions are generous, the service is unparalleled, and there’s not a hint of pretention—as it should be.