Beneath the California Academy of Science's rambunctious café full of kids digging into macaroni and cheese is a grown-up oasis: the 70-seat Moss Room. Come for the quiet. You descend stairs, past a wall of ferns, to arrive at this Charles Phan outpost, which has a floor-level tank of fish and nature photography on the walls. The menu changes concepts seasonally (not just ingredients) but expect mostly California-inspired fare, like a Prather Ranch burger or pickled-beet
salad. In winter, a New Orleans menu was on tap, with trout amandine and black-eyed peas. Creative cocktails are expertly executed as at Phan's other restaurants. It's possible to eat here without paying academy admission (if you're hungry and wandering Golden Gate Park). Just ask at guest services and they will escort you in and out. It's a nice option when you're in the area but not quite a food destination.