Fodor's Northern California 2014
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Chef-owner Loretta Keller working with chef Michael Morrison are behind this chic small-plates and not-so-small-plates venue. Menu categories like "California dirt (local organic vegetables)" reflect Keller's modern and ingredient-driven outlook. You'll also find wood-fired pizzas and pastas like cavatelli with a pork Bolognese and whole-wheat gnochetti with smoked trout, trout roe, and sour cream. The signature vacherin (crème anglaise, Swiss meringue, coffee ice cream, and chocolate sauce) is a nod to the restaurant's earlier days as Bizou. For a simpler and smaller sweet ending, order the COCOcups with chocolate and peanut butter. The delicious and flexible menu mix pulls in young SoMa office workers and sophisticated mature diners, all cheerfully grazing the menu, whether it's a business lunch, happy hour, or dinnertime. The dining room has a midcentury look to it, with comfortable chairs in a cornflower blue and tables set close to each other, plus a bar and lounge area. The cocktails are also a big draw here.
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