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Fodor's Northern California 2014
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Michael Mina Review
Chef Michael Mina moved his eponymous restaurant and reopened in the former AQUA location on California Street, where he got his start (and worked for 13 years). In another flashback, Mina recently hired chef Ron Siegel, a former AQUA cook, to collaborate with him in the kitchen. The Euro-Japanese menu remains a treat, with luxurious renditions of shabu shabu, as well as classics like the lemon-poached fluke with black truffles. The most popular item, a lobster pot pie with Meyer lemons and smoked potatoes, blew up the blogosphere with raves. The space is chic and airy, highlighting natural elements like dark walnut tables and custom porcelain. The lounge area is the center of activity, drawing a busy Financial District scene after work (the cocktails and hors d'oeuvres sampler are recommended). Lunch is the time to sample the mastery of Mina at half the price, like his Ahi tuna tartare with habanero-infused sesame oil, Asian pear, pine nuts, and quail egg yolk.
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