Tip from chefs Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani, the husband-and-wife team behind Ame in the St. Regis Hotel.
“First you have to know how shocked we were when we found out this restaurant has been here for over 23 years! It is definitely off the beaten path, literally underground. If you have a craving for sushi after the theater [the San Francisco Playhouse is just down the street] or a concert this is the place to go. They open at 5:00pm and last order is 1:00am. The place is a bit funky and they play rock and roll but the quality of fish is exceptional and the staff seems to know everyone (including us!). You will feel like you have really found a San Francisco secret. Also the baby grand piano you see in the dining room is for the owner, he is an amazing jazz pianist. If you catch him at the right moment he might play.”
SEE ALSO Neighborhood Places: Globe Restaurant.
This upscale gastropub in the Upper Haight is a favorite for whiskey connoisseurs. Its brief food menu, more of an afterthought to the expertly poured drinks, prudently tours recent trends in high-end comfort food, ticking off each formulaic item designed to make cardiologists grimace. (With bone marrow, pork belly “BLT” sliders and whiskey-glazed baby back ribs topped with fried pork rinds, all that’s missing is that familiar bowl of truffle macaroni-and-cheese.) But presentation is well-above par, the ambiance is relaxed, and patrons are far from complaining. Besides, the real draw of the Alembic is its near Bible-length list of whiskies, brandies, tequilas and liqueurs, not to mention a globe-trotting selection of beers—including a $6 South American pale ale alongside a $32 bottle of fruity farmhouse ale from trumpeted Wallonian brewery Fantome. The kitchen is now open until 1 a.m. seven nights a week, and one of their menu’s many jaunty idioms, “Take Your Time,” is certainly heeded by the venue’s stylish and relaxed drinkers.