In true Spanish style, dinners are served late at César, whose kitchen closes at 11:30 pm on Friday and Saturday and at 11 pm the rest of the week. Couples spill out from its street-level windows on warm nights, or rub shoulders at the polished bar or center communal table. Founded by a trio of former Chez Panisse chefs, César is like a first cousin to that stalwart eatery right next door, each restaurant recommending the other if there's a long wait ahead. For tapas
and perfectly grilled bocadillos (small sandwiches), there's no better choice. The bar also makes a mean martini and has an impressive wine list. Come early to get seated quickly and to hear your tablemates; the room gets loud when the bar is in full swing.