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Mar 20, 2009 08:49 PM

Molecular gastronomy in Bay area?

Hi all,

I am looking for suggestions on any restaurants, if there are any, that might feature quite a bit of molecular gastronomy located here in the Bay area. I'm dying to try out Minibar in D.C. or Jose Andres's new place in LA, Bazaar, but I was hoping there might be somewhere closer to home.


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  1. Try Coi in San Francisco... he works more with essential oils, but still does a lot of foams. Not quite as "mad scientist" as some, but definitely not the same old same old.


    373 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

    2 Replies
    1. re: waldrons

      Thanks, I've heard a lot about Coi, I will have to give them a try.

      1. re: luckytomato

        Second on Coi. We were just there a couple of weeks ago, and the first course had us applying an essential oil to a wrist before eating the course. Not El Bulli, but what is?

    2. I know that you asked for restaurants but you probably will find Le Sanctuaire interesting. It's near Union Square and has a lot of the potions and tools that are used by Molecular Gastronomers.

      3 Replies
      1. re: gordon wing

        Thanks! If I can't have it prepared for me, it might be interesting to try to make. I've been watching too much Food Network lately, I think.

        1. re: luckytomato

          You might ask the folks at Le Sanctuaire which chefs have been buying gums and what not. Last time I was in there the guy mentioned someone but I've forgotten. I posted some photos on my blog:

          The one hardcore MG place was Antidote in Sausalito. Didn't last long.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Thanks. Guess I'll have to save the molecular gastronomy when next I'm down in LA or visiting my parents in D.C.

      2. Try Alembic, it is a bar with great cocktails and interesting food.
        Orson used to be good but I have heard mixed reviews lately

        1. It depends on how you define molecular gastronomy. If you include sous vide (which often does get lumped in with it), then many high-end restaurants are doing it, including the French Laundry, Luce, Manresa, eVe, Baumé, and my house. I've heard that Coi does, but I've not been there.

          For spherification and other encapsulation, I know that it can be found at Baumé, eVe, and Manresa.

          I've not kept track of foams and excessive emulsifications.

          Manresa Restaurant
          320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

          The French Laundry
          6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

          1960 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

          201 S California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306

          1 Reply
          1. re: smash

            Sous vide is the one thing from the MG bag of tricks that has gone mainstream.

          2. there's a new spot in Palo Alto called Baume that does molecular gastronomy.