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22 Hawthorne Lane
San Francisco, CA 94105 (415) 777-9779
Cuisine: Northern California foods with Asian influences
Pluses: Anne and David Gingrass (fabulous chefs!);the restaurant serves food continuously during the day; good location adjacent to Yerba Buena Center, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Moscone Center.
Minuses: Can be hard to get reservations
Don't Miss: Desserts
Prices: Expensive -- entrees range from $20-$27
Amenities: Open for Lunch, Monday-Friday, dinner nightly from 5:30p.m.; bar menu 2:30p.m. until late
Reservations requested; accepted up to four weeks in advance
All credit cards accepted except American Express
Valet or street parking
Non-smoking in dining room
One of the hottest restaurants in town, this place was opened by David and Ann Gingrass, who made a name for themselves at Wolfgang Puck¼s Postrio. Metal sculptures of blossoms serve as banisters and as polished insets in a light wood screen at the entrance. Crisscrossing earthquake-bracing beams rise up to a huge skylight in the middle of the room separating two dining areas that overlook an exhibition kitchen at the far end. A dramatic bar area is the perfect place for an afternoon snack and a cocktail.
Boldly flavored, the American food has a few Asian accents mixed in. Try starters like crispy tempura prawns with julienne salad and sesame scallion vinaigrette ($9.50); or hearts of romaine with pears, candied walnuts and a creamy dressing ($8). Another specialty is seared foie gras served with a baked apple charlotte and Calvados vinaigrette ($14). A pomegranate sauce is the perfect foil for the roasted Sonoma lamb, served with a butternut squash risotto ($24); while the Chinese roasted duck is reminiscent of Postrio's duck dish, and just as good ($20). Desserts also have an artistic bent: a Meyer lemon panna cotta is set off with a nice Meyer lemon sherbet ($7). Don't miss the warm chocolate hazelnut tart with caramelized bananas and banana ice cream ($8). The wine list is extensive and well-chosen. Service is professional.