The attitude that "I can make it at home" is something I see plague simple, comfort food establishments. But let's take a closer look at what these restaurants are doing that you can't do at home.
Bright sunlight flows across the tables. The light reaches the counter, where patrons sit enjoying their coffee, the pastries and the 1970s London coffee-house chic that informs the design of Amanda Michael's café Jane.
What's cooler than knowing something that nobody else does? Ordering and eating something that nobody else knows about, of course.
Bay Area restaurants are not trying to re-invent the grilled-cheese wheel. Rather, they seek to create a new-age sandwich; embarking on culinary endeavors that make our mouths water and our hearts, for lack of a better term, melt.
The menu (lunch and dinner) is small, but features dishes of great complexity and taste. The wine list is large, mostly French, all excellent. The ambiance is simply intended for conversation.
Getting your feet wet under someone else's tutelage is common in the restaurant world and so is leaving the comfort of someone else's place to start your own endeavor.
San Francisco is home to one of the most ethnically and economically diverse populations in the world. And, of course, our foods and menus reflect this... often taking the next step in mixing it up.
Since opening in June, co-owners and bakers Katrina Svoboda, Anna Derivi-Castellanos and Lenore Estrada have struggled to keep up with demand for their homemade pies, the flavors of which change weekly.
Himalayan yak, Brazilian piranha, sausage made from rattlesnake and even wild lion are just a few of the items you'll find on the menu at The Big 4 restaurant at San Francisco's Huntington Hotel.