Commonwealth is a cool food-cum-tech haven, appropriately set in the heart of the Mission District. Inside, the dining room nails that Nordic-Cali sensibility, with sleek filament light bulbs, bare wood, and frosted glass that allows sunlight but shields guests from the bustling (read: gritty) surroundings. The hospitable team of servers shares that same informal style, making the counter the absolute best place to drink, dine, and chill with a few friends. À la carte offerings are a welcome alternative to the fixed menu, and light portions encourage ordering four or more courses. The full tasting lets guests thoroughly explore the kitchen's adept contemporary cooking, but this meal may not be for everyone, as the chefs' creativity can be more eclectic than crowd-pleasing. Begin with small bites like house-made potato chips with malt vinegar foam and a jasmine tea cream accented with buttery nuts and crisp rice. Then transition into beautifully composed plates like artichoke toasts with black truffle cream or luscious sablefish with shrimp foam, coconut powder, and salt-roasted rutabaga. For dessert, a lemon cake stuffed with pear purée is nicely enriched by burnt cinnamon ice cream.
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