Visiting in Feb - what can I not miss?
dixeiday had a pretty detailed post last week on the "new" Fifth Floor under new chef Laurent Gras (George Morrone left for Redwood Park.)
Masa's seems to be a favorite on this board.
Perhaps you could let us know where you coming from -- would help us suggest things that are less common in your part of the country (or world). Also, if there are particular dishes or cuisines that are your favorites, tell us, so that we can be more focused in giving recommendations.
One thing that I would consider seriously is to check out the Mission neighborhood, the murals etc... and chow down on a couple of good burritos or tacos. A search on this board would definitely come up with a bunch of good Mission buritto places. Ice cream at Mitchell's or Bombay Ice Cream and Chaat are good deals.
Also good: spend long lunch grazing through the mini-"Chinatown" on Clement street. Pop into a place, pick up a few pieces of dim sum or other little snacks. Eat and stroll. Repeat. Stop for the best tropical fruit flavored gelato (favorites: lychee, coconut, taro) at the Chinese candy and dessert place on Clement between 6th and 7th. You won't find any gelato like this anywhere else in SF; probably non-existent or very rare elsewhere. Extremely high quality, intense delicious flavors and creaminess/texture is comparable to good ones I've had in Florence.
Actually, Fifth Floor's new chef is Laurent Gras, not Manrique. The food's VERY pricey but quite wonderful, if rather spare. I'd skip Bacar--more hype than substance. Alma and Andalu are, as Rochelle pointed out, the latest "hip" places. I've also heard very good things about Merenda--Italian place in the Marina. Anyone tried James Ormsby's food at Plumpjack lately? If you can go up to the wine country, don't miss Martini House in St. Helena.
The next absolute must for me is Alma. See link below.
We're in three slowest restaurant months of the year and in a recession. So there aren't a lot of "hot new restaurants", its mostly the same high end places trying to hang on.
Redwood Park is Morrone's new place. And Andalu is the flavor of the month tapas place that is packed young, black-clad thinsters - but their menu looks interesting and the food is supposed to be good.