92 South Bay Accent
Alexander’s Steakhouse, 19379 Stevens Creek
Blvd., Cupertino. 408/446-2222. A luxury destination
for globally sourced beef and innovative
dishes, Alexander’s has redefined the traditional
steakhouse by melding classic American fare with
Japanese techniques and influences. The result is
an exceptional dining experience where steak takes
center stage, including certified, dry-aged Angus
and authentic imported Japanese Kobe beef. An
extensive wine list features over 2,500 bottles
from around the world, handpicked to
complement everything on the menu.
Boutique sake, craft cocktails and beer
are also offered. Vaulted ceilings and
elegant table settings provide a sumptuous
dining atmosphere. The restaurant
also boasts a large bar, private dining
rooms and an outdoor patio. $$$
Manresa, 320 Village Lane, Los Gatos.
408/354-4330. Chef David Kinch amazes
diners with his creative, award-winning cuisine.
Viognier, 222 E. 4th Avenue, San Mateo. 650/
685-3727. Features a world-class wine selection
and seasonal dishes, this Cal-French restaurant
combines Californian and Southern cuisine. $$$
Baumé, 201 S. California Ave., Palo Alto. 650/328-
8899. New venture from the Michelin-starred chef
Bruno Chemel. $$$
Black Sheep Brasserie, 1202 Lincoln Ave., San
Jose. 408/816-7251. Stylish Willow Glen Parisianstyle
brasserie melds contemporary and classic
French and Californian tastes. Full bar offers creative
craft beers and a changing wine selection. $$–$$$
Chez TJ, 938 Villa Street, Mountain View.
650/964-7466. This Michelin-starred restaurant is
known for its high-end, contemporary French cuisine
and use of fresh ingredients. $$$
Le Papillon, 410 Saratoga Ave., San Jose.
408/296-3730. Acclaimed for its award-winning
French cuisine, this Bay Area institution blends
fresh ingredients with impeccable preparation. $$$
Left Bank, Menlo Park. 650/473-6543; San Jose.
408/984-3500. Popular eatery features contemporary
French cuisine and a variety of seafood prepared
with fresh, seasonal ingredients. $$$
Melting Pot, 1 Transit Center Way, San Mateo.
650/342-6358. Fondue spot features four flavorful
cooking styles. Save space for the chocolate
The Plumed Horse, 14555 Big Basin Way, Saratoga.
408/867-4711. This 2011 Michelin-starred
restaurant delivers contemporary, seasonal California
cuisine based on solid French techniques. $$$
White Shallot, 3143 Stevens Creek Blvd., San
Jose. 408/246-5251. Serving traditional French
and Vietnamese menu items including ratatouille
and lemongrass tofu. $$
Zola, 565 Bryant St., Palo Alto. 650/521-0651.
Seasonal French cuisine features regionally sourced
meats and produce, complemented by a wide selection
of French and California wines. $$–$$$
Wursthall, 310 Baldwin Ave., San Mateo.
650/931-4282. Led by James Beard Award-winning
Chef Kenji López-Alt, this gourmet bierhaus
serves handcrafted pretzels, schnitzel, sauerkraut
and other German delicacies. $$
San Francisco is one of the great foodie capitals of the world,
and the people who live there and come to visit usually have one pressing question,
according to Eater San Francisco: “Where should I eat right now?” Here
are a few of the recent must-try restaurants the website (sf.eater.
Getting a lot of attention is Kaiyo¯ (1838 Union St.), a stylish
Japanese-Peruvian 60-seat restaurant in Cow Hollow featuring
leopard-embossed wallpaper and a 35-foot high moss wall.
The cuisine is called Nikkei, sprung from Japanese immigrants
to Peru who combined Peruvian ingredients with their homeland’s
culture. It’s a place where ceviche is served side by side
with Wagyu steak and eggs or Peru’s version of sashimi: Hokkaido
scallop tiradito. The bold and edgy cocktail menu is turning heads, highlighting
Peru’s traditional spirit, pisco, and Japanese whisky, combining them
with spices, herbs and fruits from both countries.
Spinning off from Chinatown’s popular Z&Y Restaurant is Z&Y Bistro (606
Jackson St.), serving up Asian-fusion ramen, hot pot and skewers. The décor is
upscale and contemporary, with a minimalist style. The dishes range from mild
to “hot and numbing” spicy. Yakitori offerings include grilled chicken wings,
or bacon-wrapped tomato. The tonkotsu ramen is served in a rich and creamy
pork broth perfect for a cool San Francisco day. An entire section of the menu
is reserved for spicy dishes like the spicy fish with flaming chili oil or chicken
with explosive chili pepper.
Angler (132 The Embarcadero) is the casual eatery created by Chef Joshua
Skene, also behind the three-Michelin-starred Saison. Seafood—or “sea-life” as
Skene calls it—is front and center in the décor and the menu, although wild game
is also highlighted. The restaurant features tanks of live purple sea urchins, box
crabs and spot prawns. The menu changes constantly, depending on what’s fresh
and in season. There’s a raw bar with items like oysters and clams or even antelope
tartare. Fish and meat are roasted “over the embers” and served with sides
like artichokes, potatoes, mushrooms and other fresh vegetables.
Hawaiian comfort food meets upscale San Francisco style at Trailblazer Tavern
(350 Mission St.). Eater calls it a “massive tribute to Hawaiian food” from island
chefs Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka. It’s massive both in size—7,000
square feet—as well as its impact on the local food
scene. There are inventive dishes from both the
land and the sea on the menu. A playfulness
is revealed at lunchtime: The Wiki
Wiki special lets diners choose three
dishes from a set menu, an appetizer,
a main plate and something
sweet, either the strawberryhibiscus
shave ice or a family
recipe macadamia nut-chocolate
chip-oatmeal cookie. —P.M.