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Fodor's Northern California 2014
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When you walk in the door of Waterbar, there's no mistaking what's on the menu. The sprawling dining room is dominated by sky-high aquariums filled with candidates—or some of the candidates (the kitchen has its own aquariums)—for your dinner plate. Every fin and shell is sustainably sourced, so there's no guilt in sitting down to a plate of chili-roasted Dungeness crab, pan-seared scallops, or grilled Pacific swordfish. Waterbar, like its next-door neighbor, Epic Roasthouse, is part of the empire of high-energy architect-restaurateur Pat Kuleto. Chef Parke Ulrich, who spent a decade at the city's celebrated seafood palace Farallon, dishes up the catch raw, cured, and cooked in dozens of ways, while nationally acclaimed pastry chef Emily Luchetti handles the sweet end of the menu. If you want to experience this splashy, watery world and can't afford the spendy seafood, grab a seat in at the raw bar, where you can snack off the bar menu and take in the drop-dead bay view (there's also a $1 oyster happy hour daily 11:30 am–6 pm); weekend brunch on the patio is glorious on a sunny day.
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