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Mar 18, 2005 07:03 PM

Michael Mina, Gary Danko, Fleur De Lys or Masa's-which one?

  • m

I like to hit one or two 'fancy' restaurants when I'm on vacation, and I'm coming to San Francisco with my wife Apr 23-26. I want to go to one of these four places, has anyone been to any of them? How was your experience? Which one would you recommend if you had to choose one? Any help appreciated

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  1. I would search the archives for posts. There have been tons and tons of stuff posted on these four. Frankly, I would put Fleur de Lys below the other three. I really didn't get the urge to go back to FdL, unlike say Gary Danko. You might as well add the Dining Room to the list also.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Cary

      I can't help with the ranking, but I dined at Fleur De Lys last month for the first time in years, and was astonished at how good it was in every way. Hubert Keller invited us to peek into the kitchen while he signed a copy of his cookbook for our dazzled guest. And the room has to be the most beautiful and romantic in town.

      1. re: Rod Williams

        yeah the room is amazing. The food is good. But something is missing though (for me anyways). It's worth going at least once.

        1. re: Rod Williams

          The main room at Fleur IS beautiful, but you might not get to sit there. After making it clear that I wanted a table in the main room when I made the res, I was relegated to what I call the anti-room. And they would not switch us, even though most of the table in the good room were empty. The table next to us in the anti-room also asked to be moved (they had the same reaction, but likewise it was a no go). Seems that the good room is for the good (repeat) customers. Not the ones merely willing to shell out about $200 per person. And the food wasn't all THAT great. Wine pairings were weak.

          Danko--food was pretty damn good, service was weird, bathrooms are way cool.

          Masa--best meal of the three, by far. Ranked up there with my best meal ever. But that was before Ron Siegel moved on. I haven't eaten there since.

          You might consider the place he moved to (Ritz Carlton?)

          1. re: Rod Williams

            FDL is definitely one of my favorites. The food is getting better and better every time. I was once seated not under the tent, in the room in the back. I asked to be re-seated, and they did so. Had to appreciate their effort. In fact, when you make a reservation, you should ask to be seated under the tent, if that's what you want - which of course is highly recommended.

        2. gary danko

          not that there is a "Wrong" choice here.

          1 Reply
          1. re: laurie

            Well, there haven't been any reports on Masa's since Siegel went to the Ritz. I wouldn't consider it a sure thing at this point.

            I'd put The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton on your list -- there have been nothing but rave reports about the food since Siegel took over, and it's probably the "fanciest" restaurant in town.

            People are often dissatisfied with Fleur de Lys -- the service can be snooty and as one of the posters said, there's just something missing.

            Nothing anyone has said about Michael Mina has made me want to eat there -- very expensive and the food is very fussy, although people seem to think it's good.

          2. Echo other comments- summary is Danko and the Ritz.

            I haven't been to FDL or Mina- but probably won't based on what I have least for the time being.

            I have been to Danko and Masa's. They, to me, are Apples/Oranges. My preference is Danko (modern and cal cuisine)- without even a thought. And then I would say Ritz Carlton (formal, less modern atmosphere but the food from my reliable sources is second to none) for the second option.

            Can't find my review of Masa's, but I went recently. Have been to Danko 4-5 times over the past year and everyone who I have brought has completely loved the food, service, experience...

            Also, I wouldn't miss Tartine (18th and Guerrero, if you are in the area) and Recchiuti Confections in the Ferry Plaza- or really the whole Ferry plaza/farmers market. I think Zarzuela in Russian Hill is great, spanish tapas and on the Muni line or cab it from union square- its not far.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bandit

              Thanks for the advice. I have never heard anyone say anything bad about Gary Danko, says something I guess. I will keep your tips in mind, they are much appreciated

            2. I ate at Michael Mina last night. The meal was exceptional. All four of us loved it, and my guests had recently been to FDL, thought it was very good, and thought MM far surpassed it.

              1. r
                Robert Lauriston

                You might consider La Folie too. I think Roland Passot's as good a chef as any around here.