Of the traditional five senses, we must admit that “taste” is our favorite and we feel extremely lucky due to the fact that we are based in San Francisco and have access to so many wonderful restaurants.
Keeping with the senses theme, here is our short list of our favorite restaurants based on the five basic tastes: sweet, bitter, sour, salty and umami
Sweet: Devil’s Teeth Baking Company – 3876 Noriega Street, San Francisco, CA 94122
A gem of a bakery found in the outer Sunset neighborhood between 45th & 46th on Noriega Street. This lovely place serves made to order $1 beignets on Sundays. Plucked straight from the pot of hot oil lightly drained and tossed into a lunch bag size paper sack full of powdered sugar. They rival Café du Monde in New Orleans – seriously! If you want something a bit more MASSIVE try their cinnamon roll which is nothing short of extraordinary.
Sour: Nopalito – 1224 9th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122
Nopalito actually has two locations, one on 9th in the Inner Sunset and another on Broderick off of Fell. Both locations are fun although the Inner Sunset has a larger space with a patio in the back for those sunny afternoons. Start with the Totopos con Chile which are tortilla chips soaked with salsa de arbol, topped with cotija cheese served with crema and lime on the side. Delicious starter! And for the entrée we suggest the Quesadilla Roja con Chicharrón with crispy pork belly, salsa cascabel, jack cheese, queso fresco, onion and cilantro. Of course, wash that delicious flavor down with a house margarita which is smoky yet so full of lime flavor that you know that the limes were squeezed fresh to order.
Bitter: Rich Table – 199 Gough St (at Oak St), San Francisco, CA 94102
Even if you are not a fan of “bitters” you will be a convert after having a Martinez at the Hayes Valley neighborhood decadent affair known as the Rich Table. Made with Old Tom Gin, Carpano Antica, Maraschino and Orange Bitters it’s the type of cocktail that signals the end of the week and start of a great weekend. Grab some “Bites” at the bar such as Dried Porcini Doughnuts with Racellte, Brandade Churro with Sour Orange, or the Sardine Chips with Horseradish and Crème Fraiche and we guarantee you a very happy hour!
Salty: Anchor Oyster Bar – 579 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA 94119
An institution located in the Castro neighborhood. This small seafood restaurant and fish market has been owned and operated by the same owner since 1977. The shellfish is the freshest around and the atmosphere is delightful. There is always a line to get in which is a testament to what quality food they provide. Our suggestion for a light lunch for two is the Full Order Anchor Special to share over a half carafe of chardonnay. It includes 1 dozen oysters on the half shell, 8 steamed clams and 4 chilled prawns. Delicious!
Umami: The Cavalier – 360 Jesse Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Open since August of 2013, The Cavalier is across the street from the old Mint and is a San Francisco restaurant serving upscale British Pub fare. We suggest “The English” which is a traditional English breakfast with thick cut bacon, pork and beef bangers, roasted tomatoes, two eggs and toasted Pullman. And if you want something based on this side of the pond, try the Blue Bar Burger with cheddar cheese, tomato chutney, mustard and onion.
These are a few of our favorites although we have a plethora of recommendations in terms of fine to casual dining in the Bay Area. If you are looking to plan something special for a client or your staff or even your sweetheart feel free to contact us to help you plan.