Not so long ago, the Ritz-Carlton decided to remake its former Nob Hill dining room, Parallel 37, into a more approachable neighborhood spot (but let's be clear, residents here normally fill seats on museum boards) with wood tables, an open bar/lounge area and a back-lit wall with images of oak trees. Not too long after the dressed-down Parallel 37 made its debut, Chef Ron Siegel departed. Chef Michael Rotondo, from Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, came on in January 2013,
choosing the small plates route, with each dish influenced by the cuisine of the countries that run along the 37th parallel North line (it touches Northern California). Despite a more approachable dining room, dishes remain elegantly presented and... expensive. Three small plates are $75. Highlights are oxtail fritters with homemade mustards, and a melt-in-your-mouth black cod with Yuzu citrus. The chic bar and lounge area delivers on stellar hand-crafted cocktails, like the Bourbon-based Bar Fly with a spicy kick. Valet parking rates have been lowered to $10 to encourage people to swing by and enjoy the scene.