Like the husband-and-wife team who own it, Lord Stanley is half European and half Californian. Superlative ingredients and a sun-filled space lend it an undeniable West Coast vibe, while house-made breads, confections, and an intriguing wine list of European vintages make it clear that these chefs were trained across the pond. Yet this is a charming little establishment right at home in its central Polk Street location, filled with a casual crowd of locals streaming in—imagine windows which offer a stellar, sweeping view of the neighborhood. Inside, the dining room is furnished with small bistro tables, while a larger communal table on the balcony welcomes groups. Bare wood tabletops set with handcrafted cutlery and warmed by candlelight set a simple and cozy atmosphere for enjoying meals that highlight artisanal and organic ingredients. Not unlike the space, the cooking here is approachable yet refined. A Berkshire pork chop is meltingly tender, balanced with just the right blend of sweet and sour flavors. Come dessert, a deconstructed dark chocolate pudding with sesame crisp is unmissable. Be sure to quiz the attentive staff on the dishes-they'll happily explain each intricate layer.
- MICHELIN guide inspectors