Eating at San Francisco’s Gary Danko is a luxurious experience. From the service to the flower arrangements to the classic California mix of local ingredients with French cooking, everything you encounter works to shape your visit. It is located at 800 North Point St, San Francisco, California. That’s part of the reason why Gary Danko has been one of San Francisco’s hottest restaurants since it opened in 1999, and why it snagged the top San Francisco spot on Yelp’s list of highest-rated restaurants in the US this year.
Chef Gary Danko, for whom the restaurant is named, began cooking professionally at just 12 years old in the kitchen of a local restaurant in his hometown near New York’s Canadian border. He rose through the ranks of various high-end restaurants, including the Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton, before striking out on his own with Gary Danko, located in Fisherman’s Wharf. They have over one-thousand reviews on the World Wide Web giving them four-point-six star reviews.
When you dine at Gary Danko, you get the choice of three fixed-price menus: 3 courses ($83), 4 courses ($101), or 5 courses ($119). But you get to select what you want from any of the sections, like “fish and seafood” or “appetizers.” Technically, if you wanted 5 desserts, you could do that.
Unlike San Francisco’s historic establishments such as the Cliff House or the Tadich Grill, Lazy Bear is as modern as it gets. The concept began in 2009 when Chef and Founder David Barzelay hosted a dinner party for friends at his home. Word of his impressive culinary skills got around fast. Before David knew it, he had to contend with a growing guest list. After doing a pop-up, underground events for six years, Lazy Bear found a permanent home in the Mission District in 2015. It is located at 3416 19th St, San Francisco, California.
Lazy Bear is in a two-tier warehouse. The upper floor is for drinks and aperitifs. After sampling tasty concoctions and appetizers like Kumamoto oysters, guests head downstairs to the dining room. At the dinner table, each diner gets a pencil and a notepad. The cuisine at Lazy Bear is full of contemporary surprises. The menu changes every month, depending on the season and availability of ingredients. Chefs put together complex flavors, resulting in imaginative dishes that will please most palates.
In the past, Lazy Bear has served such interesting combinations as chilled peas with ham and shellfish. Their matsutake mushroom consomme deserves a special mention. If you like seafood, you will love the Antioch Delta crawfish, served with pickled cucumbers and rice grits. There is also the smoked beef strip, served with tomato raisins and amaranth. The tomatoes are seared in beef fat to bring out their sweetness, which works very well with the smokiness of the beef. Other favorites at Lazy Bear include lightly seared Miyazaki ribeye served with a pumpkin puree, as well as horchata ice cream. They have over seven hundred reviews on google giving them four-point-eight star reviews.
Benu is an oasis in the heart of the city. The mandatory stroll through the courtyard not only sets the mood but also offers insight into the meal to come. It is located at 22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, California. Peruse the onggi pots with fermenting ingredients you’ll later find on your plate and glimpse the kitchen hard at work. The interior is awash with earthy hues and sleek banquettes, and the serene dining room with clean lines draws the eye across its meticulous design. The service is impressively warm and relaxed.
They have over four hundred reviews on google giving them four-point-six star reviews. Patience seems to define this kitchen in its relentless pursuit of excellence, whether that may be perfecting technique or waiting for just the right moment to serve an ingredient at its peak. Meals begin with a series of highly technical small bites. While these delicacies alone may rival some of the country’s most ambitious tasting menus, there’s more. Faux-shark’s fin and xiao long bao are a delightful classic, but Chef Corey Lee continues to reimagine and redefine his nightly offerings. Dishes like barbecued quail with house-made XO sauce and an elevated take on traditional Korean beef barbecue convey a distinct personality and reflect a singular marriage between contemporary Asian influences.
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