My Bay Area + San Francisco Restaurant Lust List

I’m incredibly blessed to be living in a state that has an out-of-this-world culinary scene, so you would only assume I’ve been running around trying every single one of them right? Well, not exactly. Shy of two years here in the Bay Area, it hit me that I’ve been in a rut of going to the same places over and over again. 

I’m sort of over it and I want to branch out and try new things. I don’t want another year to go by without experiencing even a small portion of the amazing eats the Bay Area + San Francisco have to offer. 

Let’s be honest, I may not make it to every one in the next year, because I could easily go broke. That’s why I’m calling this my “lust list”. I’m lusting over every one of these menus and prices, while turning my wallet upside down and shaking out nothing but dust. None-the-less, you have to dream and push ahead towards greater things, right? Haha, at least that’s what I tell myself. 

Keep an eye out for recap of each restaurant as I cross them off of my list. And if you have any recommended must-try-spots, please let me know! I’m excited to see this list grow and try places I never knew existed. 

 


Our 2016 Restaurant Lust List

Atelier Crenn
Cuisine: Contemporary French
Address: 3127 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94123
Chef: Dominique Crenn  
Prix Fixe Menu: Grand Tasting Menu is $298 per person. Wine pairings begin at $175

Arcadia
Cuisine: Steakhouse
Address: San Jose Marriott 100 W. San Carlos Street, San Jose, CA 95113
Phone: (408) 278-4555
Chef: Michael Mina
A la Carte Menu: Craving the Black Cod with Romesco, Squash and Saffron Emulsion

Bar Agricole
Cuisine: Contemporary Tavern
Address: 355 11th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 355-9400
Chef: Melissa Reitz
A la Carte Menu: Craving the great variety of oysters | The Roast Pork Loin, belly and sausage with red lentils, asparagus and fried herb salsa

Benu
Cuisine: Contemporary American
Address: 22 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco CA 94105
Phone: (415) 685-4860
Chef: Corey Lee
Prix Fixe Menu: $248 per person

 

My Bay Area + San Francisco Restaurant Lust List | designsofanykind.com

Boulevard
Cuisine: American
Address: 1 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: (415) 543-6084
Chef: Nancy Oakes
A la Carte Menu: Craving the Hudson Valley Foie Gras Black Sesame Babka, Stone Fruit & Lime Preserve Honey Gold Apricots & Fresh Blackberries  |  Brent Wolfe King Quail Buttermilk Waffle with Red Flannel Jam & Crispy Fried Quail Legs Wild Pecans, Pickled Rhubarb & Radicchio Slaw, Spigarello Kale Foie Jus

Bird Dog
Cuisine: Californian/Asian Fusion
Address: 420 Ramona Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301
Phone: (650) 656-8180
Chef Robbie Wilson
A la Carte Menu: Craving the Tai Snapper with lime, chiles from peru, pecan, sesame oil  |  Pork Belly, squid, peanut, mango
The Down-low: If there’s anything Bird Dog has nailed to perfection, it’s beautiful, approachable food. Pulling inspiration from their travels around the world, Bird Dog brings you flavors that will awaken you senses. They are also rocking a pretty sick Instagram feed!

B. Patisserie
Cuisine: French style Bakery
Address: 2821 California St. @ Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: (415) 440-1700
Pastry Chef: Belinda Leong

 

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Chez TJ
Cuisine: Contemporary French
Address: 938 Villa Street, Mountain View, CA 94041
Phone: (650) 964-7466
Chef: Jarad Gallagher
Prix Fixe Menu: 10 course Seasonal Menu highlighting ingredients sourced within a 100 mile radius from the restaurant $120 | Chef Tasting Menu $185

The Redwood Room at Clift San Francisco
Cuisine: Modern Bar
Address: 495 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (415) 775-4700
A la Carte Menu: Craving the Vietnamese Chicken Buns with Pickled Vegetables / Spicy Hoisin Sauce | Crisp Kennebec Fries Parmesan Cheese & Truffle Oil

Commis
Cuisine: New American
Address: 3859 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611
Phone: (510) 653-3902
Chef: James Syhabout
Prix Fixe Menu: 8 Course Menu $125. Wine pairing $75

Farina
Cuisine: Italian
Address: 3560 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone: (415) 565-0360
A la Carte Menu: Gnocchetti di patate al ragu rustico fresh house potato dumpling tossed with a ground Milk fed veal slow braised in a tomato sauce finished with parmigiano cheese.
The Down-low: This was a restaurant recommended to me from our VP of Design. Since he hails from the ever enchanting city of Venice, Italy I have a feeling he knows what he’s talking about with this place.

Flour + Water
Cuisine: Italian
Address: 2401 Harrison Street San Fransisco, CA, 94110
Phone: (415) 826-7000
Chef: Thomas McNaughton
A la Carte Menu: Where does one begin? Currently crushing hard over speck wrapped rabbit with fig compote, farro verde & taggiasca olive or the rye radiatore with braised pork, mache &
pickled mustard seed.
The Down-low: Flour + Water is a staple in SF, and a must if you live here, therefore a must on my lust list.

French Laundry
Cuisine: Contemporary French
Address: 6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599
Phone: (707) 944-2380
Chef: Thomas Keller
Prix Fixe Menu: Chef Tasting Menu $310.00 | Tasting of Vegetables $310.00

Gary Danko
Cuisine: Contemporary French
Address: 800 North Point Street (@ Hyde Street), San Francisco, CA 94109
Phone: (415) 749-2060 x42
Chef: Gary Danko
Prix Fixe Menu: 5 Course Tasting Menu $119. Wine Pairing $85
A la Carte Menu: Craving the Roast Quail Stuffed with Mushrooms, Quinoa and Foie Gras with Wild Nettle Panisse, Baby Artichokes and Prosciutto.

GocHi Japanese Fusion Tapas
Cuisine: Japanese Fusion
Address: 19980 Homestead Rd, Cupertino, CA 94087
Phone: (408) 725-0542
The Downlow: Word on the street is that the pizzas here are the must try item on the menu. I’m having a hard time choosing one over another – will it be Mentai Kinoko spicy cod roe, snow crab, wild mushrooms, bacon & cheese or the Unagi Yanagawa bbq eel, gobo-burdock, eggs, seaweed & cheese? But what about the Kurobuta Chashu Miso miso sauce, shredded kurobuta pork, wild mushrooms & cheese? Ugh, so many choices!

Hong Kong Flower Lounge
Cuisine: Dim Sum
Address: 51 Millbrae Ave., Millbrae, CA 94030
Phone: (650) 692-6666
The Downlow: There’s a lot to this menu, but I literally want every single item! Another recommendation from our VP of Design.

Lazy Bear
Cuisine: New American
Address: 3416 19th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone: (415) 874-9921
Prix Fixe Menu: The tasting menu varies between $145 and $175 per person depending on day and time, for 14+ courses. Beverage pairings are available at an additional $85.

La Costanera
Cuisine: Peruvian
Address: 8150 Cabrillo Hwy., Montara Beach, CA 94037
Chef: Carlos Altamirano
The Downlow: La Costanera was recommended to me by the tasting room manager of our favorite winery in the world, Big Basin. He also happens to be a great friend, so he will be joining us when we hit up this destination location, overlooking the Pacific ocean! I don’t even know where Montara Beach is, but looks like I will be finding out. I will also be diving heavily into their authentic Cebiche offerings. And since I’m a diehard for Gnocchi, the Gnocchi Marino (potato gnocchi with Maine lobster, asparagus, & choclo in aji-amarillo-pisco sauce) is calling my foodie heart!

Manresa
Cuisine: American
Address: 320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030
Phone: (408) 354-4330
Chef: David Kinch
Prix Fixe Menu: Featuring a nightly tasting menu showcasing and offering the finest of each season’s products. Tasting menu $235. Beverage pairing $198
The Down-low: This 3-star Michelin rated food meca isManresa farm-to-table menu

Marlowe
Cuisine: New American bistro
Address: 500 Brannan Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
Phone: (415) 777-1413
Chef: Jennifer Puccio
A la Carte Menu: Craving the Duck Liver Mousse with citrus marmalade, micro basil and chives  |  Anson Mills Polenta, wild mushrooms, parmesan, truffle salsa verde & poached farmed eggs

Mina Test Kitchen
Cuisine: Test Kitchen
Address: 2120 Greenwich Street, San Francisco, CA 94123
Phone: (415) 625-5469
Chef: Michael Mina
The Downlow: This “pop up” style dining experience, allows you to try out various cuisines and techniques Chef Michael Mina and his talented team are testing before making their way to the MINA Group restaurant menus across the world.  

Mingalaba
Cuisine: Burmese & Mandarin
Address: 1213 Burlingame Avenue, Burlingame, CA
Phone: (650) 343-3228
The Downlow: Another highly recommended restaurant from a good friend. This will be a first for me, to try Mandarin or Burmese cuisine. Cannot wait to report back.

 

My Bay Area + San Francisco Restaurant Lust List | designsofanykind.com

Morimoto Napa
Cuisine: Japanese
Address: 610 Main Street, Napa, CA 94559
Phone: (707) 252-1600
Chef: Masaharu Morimoto
Reservations: Required
Our experience: Morimoto Napa an amazing experience, but be prepared to spend some money. Though every dish we enjoyed was flavorful and unique, I feel it could have been a bit more “edgy”. The presentation was rustic, but at the higher price range, I prefer a bit more complexity and artistic representation. Despite my preference, I will always be a huge fan of this magnificant and beautiful restaurant!
Must try: Morimoto Bone Marrow with teriyaki sauce and five spices. Spicy Alaskan King Crab with tobanjan aioli, micro-cilantro and green mango. Toro Tartare with Wasabi, nori paste, sturgeon caviar, sour cream. Live octopus nigiri (mizudako).

Check out our review

 

Octavia
Cuisine: Contemporary American
Address: 1701 Octavia Street, San Francisco, CA
Phone: (415) 408-7507
Chef: Melissa Perello
A la Cart Menu: Craving just about everything here! Especially the “Deviled Egg,” fresno chile relish, dolcini egg, marash pepper & spice | Beef Tartare, provolone mandarone, taggiasca olive, watercress, garlic toast | Sonoma Duck Breast,  roasted larian cherry, watercress, wild ramp ‘panzanella’

Omakase
Cuisine: Japanese/sushi
Address: 665 Townsend Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 865-0633
Chef:Jackson Yu
Prix Fixe Menu: $150 Hideaki Omakase: 2 appetizers, 1 sashimi, 10 pcs nigiri, 1 owan | Yamato Omakase $200: 2 appetizers, 2 sashimi, 1 yakimono, 12 pcs nigiri, 1 owan | Sake pairing $80.00
The Downlow: If you actually manage to get reservations, this 14 seat sushi destination will turn your world upside down. Nestled into the SoMa district of San Fran, this place is definitely worth the hefty price.

Orenchi-Ramen
Cuisine: Japanese
Address: 3540 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara, CA 95051
Phone: (408) 246-2955
The Downlow: Ramen shops are a recent discovery for me, which is probably something I shouldn’t admit to, but it’s true. So now that I’ve had the opportunity to try a few, I’m pretty much hooked. After spending some time on Orenchi-Ramen’s website and literally drooling over every photo, I cannot wait to cross this one off of my list!

Parcel 104
Cuisine: American Fine Dining
Address: 2700 Mission College, Santa Clara, CA 95054
Phone: (408) 970-6104
Chef: Bradley Ogden & Chef Sergio Morales
The Downlow: I’m a huge fan of Bradley Ogden! Back when I lived in Utah, cooking out there for a resort, I ended up going to the opening night of Bradley Ogden’s restaurant in Vegas and I was instantly in love! His innovative, yet down to earth approach to american cuisine has made him a pillar in the culinary world. To my excitement, Bradley Ogden now lives in my neck of the words, so it only seems appropriate to have one of his restaurants on my bucket list.

Plumed Horse
Cuisine: American Posh
Address: 14555 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070
Phone: (408)-867-4711
Chef: Peter Armellino
The Downlow: I’ve had the Plumed Horse on my unwritten list since day one of my new life in Silicon Valley. Then on one of my weekend hangouts in Saratoga, I walked past the most amazing Audi R8 (yeah, I’m sort of a geek for fast cars!) Low and behold, this sexy beast of a car just happens to belong to the chef of Plumed Horse. I’m just saying if he cooking is like his tasting in great cars, I have no doubt I’m going to really enjoy his restaurant.

Press Club
Cuisine: Wine Bar
Address: 20 Yerba Buena Lane, San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 744-5000
A la Carte Menu: Craving every one of their cheese plates. For instance, how fantastic is this combo, Prairie Moon, Landmark Creamery Albany, WI (cow’s milk, pasteurized) Fennel Marmalade, Pickled Jalapeño, Espalette  

Quince Restaurant
Cuisine: Contemporary American
Address: 470 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133
Phone: (415) 775-8500 ext. 5
Chef: Michael Tusk

SPQR
Cuisine: Italian
Address: 1911 Fillmore Street San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: (415) 771-7779
Chef: Matthew Accarrino

State Bird Provisions
Cuisine: American
Address: 1529 Fillmore Street, San Francisco CA 94115
Phone: (415) 795-1272
Chef: Stuart Brioza & Nicole Krasinski
The Downlow: A Michelin star and James Beard Award for best new restaurant adorns this hot spot in the Fillmore area. If you actually manage to score a reservation, expect one incredible meal to await you. The restaurant boasts a fun atmosphere, the bill will not break your wallet and these small plates are served from an adorable Dim Sum cart!

Sushi Hashiri
Cuisine: Japanese/Sushi
Address: 4 Mint Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 908-1919
The Down-low: This is the ultimate experience for Japanese “Omakase”, meaning Chef’s Choice. A multi-course meal skillfully prepared by the chefs base on the freshest of ingredients is even more enhanced by the restaurant itself. Modern flare meets Japanese minimal Japanese design. I cannot wait to cross this one off of my list!

 

My Bay Area + San Francisco Restaurant Lust List | designsofanykind.com

Tartine Bakery
Cuisine: Bakery
Address: 600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone: (415) 487-2600
Chefs: Husband and wife duo Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson
The Down-low: This highly acclaimed bakery is a must for every pastry addict, so it only seems obvious that this should be added to the list. I’m excited to try out

Terra
Cuisine: Contemporary American
Address: 1345 Railroad Ave., St. Helena, CA 94574
Phone: (707) 963-8931
Chef: Hiro Sone

The Restaurant at Meadowood
Cuisine: Californian
Address: 900 Meadowood Lane, St. Helena, California 94574
Phone: (707) 967-1205
Chef: Christopher Kostow
The Down-low: The Restaurant features a $350 Tasting Menu in the dining room and a $500 Counter Menu at the Chef’s Counter in the kitchen. A wine and spirit pairing is available.

Vive la Tarte
Cuisine: Bakery
Address: 1164 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 634-5444
The Downlow: let’s be honest, you can’t go to a bakery without trying their chocolate croissant and from a quick peek at their Instagram, I spy a very flaky, chocolate croissant just waiting to be savored!

Yoshi’s Oakland
Cuisine: Japanese/ Jazz Lounge
Address: 510 Embarcadero, West Oakland, CA 94607
Phone: (510) 238-9200

Zazie
Cuisine: French Bistro
Address: 941 Cole Street, San Francisco, CA 94117
Phone: (415) 564-5332

My Bay Area + San Francisco Restaurant Lust List | designsofanykind.com

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