Long a favorite address for power players, super-chef Michael Mina’s San Francisco flagship has softened its hard-charging edge a bit, altering the décor and removing a few tables to create a more intimate ambience. Nonetheless, you’re still likely to see plenty of expense-account types, along with a handful of occasion-celebrating couples receiving attentive service from the suited waitstaff. Change has also come to the kitchen, where a new chef de cuisine has made waves without shifting too much (Mina's famed "trio" presentations are still alive and well). The focus remains on luxurious ingredients coaxed into harmonious balance, from black-truffle rice “snowballs” crowned with sliced raw tuna to potato-leek soup accented with uni and trout roe. Even the banana tarte Tatin boasts a double dose of truffle—a drizzle of black truffle caramel atop, with white truffle ice cream alongside. A five-course menu allows you to select your own options (including Mina's signature lobster pot pie), or you can put yourself in the kitchen's hands for a larger, ten-course affair. Be sure to spend time with the wine list as well: it offers an impressive roster of both familiar labels and unusual varietals.
- MICHELIN guide inspectors