Chef-owner Hoss Zaré has brought vitality and personality to this classic San Francisco locale, while still maintaining its air of history and class. Both the bar and communal table fill up with an after-work crowd getting cocktails and digging into lamb burgers and other flavorful bites on the Mediterranean menu. (Note that Fridays can be particularly boisterous.) A sit-down dinner here is ideal for friends, dates, dinner with the parents, and casual business—the non-tablecloth
environment keeps things comfortable. The menu features many exotic ingredients from the chef's Persian upbringing, while still maintaining a California vibe and some updated presentations. Boneless short ribs, bone marrow, and braised lamb neck are more on the hearty side, while the smoked trout with cucumber "noodles" and pan-roasted salmon keep things light. The goat cheese cake with apple cavier for dessert (and the baklava) are crowd pleasers. Solo diners are welcome at the bar.