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Jan 10, 2008 06:59 PM

New SF Restaurant

Hi my sister lives in Munich and eats at great restaurants all over Europe. When she comes here she always wants to go to Zuni or Chez Panisse. Anyone have any suggestions for newer, more exiciting (not extremely expensive) places? I'm into molecular gastronomy, but it seems like there's not much of that in the SF Bay Area.

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  1. Anitidote was the only place here but that closed. Maybe you would like Coi.

    1. So much to chose from, Myth perhaps?

      1. Keeping "not extremely expensive" in mind (though I'm guessing here, numbers would help) you might consider Range. Whiner's suggestion of Myth is one I'd normally second, but they're potentially in all kinds of flux at the moment having been recently sold and with rumors about chefs coming and going. For a one-time special meal, I'm not sure I'd want to bet my own money on that, personally, so I'm hesitant to recommend it. Lori's suggestion of Coi sure seems like the best bet for any real molecular gastronomy, but you might also be running into very expensive at that point.

        1. The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton is one of the few places in SF that dabbles in molecular gastronomy. For example, wafers with flavors of shitake, smoke-infused gels, desserts featuring pop-rocks. The cuisine leans towards Asian and French flavors. However, it's pretty pricey. Also, Incanto offers interesting dishes with focus on offals (if you're into that). If your sister likes Zuni & Chez Panisse (both very "Californian"), consider Range, Canteen, Universal Cafe and the like.

          1. The three vanguards of Molecular Gastronomy in the Bay Area seem to be Ron Siegel at Dining Room at the Ritz (but yes, there is a rumour he is going to be heading over the Myth soon), Daniel Patterson at Coi, and David Kinch at Manresa. All of these are in the expensive category so they may not fit your criteria (although you can pare down a meal in Patterson's lounge - less formal and all that).

            I would consider Aziza as being more exciting (and not likely anything that your sister is going to get in Munich) with Cal-Moroccan cuisine which is a steal at $50.00 for five courses. Best deal in town, actually.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Carrie 218

              I agree about Coi, Dining Room at the Ritz, and Manresa being the most "molecular" of the Northern California restaurants. Also agree about them being expensive. However, if you eat at the lounge at Coi, you can order ala carte off of the tasting menu or the lounge menu, which can keep the cost down. Take a look at the current choices here: The other places will require a bigger time and money commitment.

              I've been meaning to respond to the "best tastes" thread. Two of them would certainly come from things I had at Coi this last year: 'roasted porcini mushrooms with pine needle dust' and 'slow cooked farm egg' (45 minute cooking time - amazing texture). One warning however, these restaurants, while excellent, are on the mild side of molecular. While they use some really neat and creative techniques, there is also a lot of focus on California best ingredient cooking.

              Also, if you are interested in molecular gastronomy, you should check out 'Le Santuaire' while you are here:

              1. re: Paul H

                I think molecular is expensive in general, when someone ask not too extremely expensive I think the three above are considered average and at least you are eating real food.