August 1 Five
Brenda’s French Soul
El Buen Comer
El Molino Central
The French Laundry
House of Prime Rib
Liholiho Yacht Club
The Restaurant at Meadowood
Old Mandarin Islamic
Original Joe’s Westlake
Red’s Java House
Rico Rico Taco
Saul’s Restaurant & Deli
State Bird Provisions
Swan Oyster Depot
Taqueria El Castillito
Terra Cotta Warrior
Wojia Hunan Cuisine
Yoshizumi didn’t make the cut?!
Neither did Saison, Quince, or Manresa
At a bare minimum, a top restaurant has to have great food. But it’s also a restaurant that must have some shimmering, extra quality to it that makes it memorable, the stuff that makes restaurants neighborhood centerpieces and anchors for people. A Top 100 restaurant may be a place that’s worth making a special trip out via train, car or plane, or it may be one that folks would want to walk to with their families every week. It has that magnetic ‘something else’ — star power and charisma. …
The Top 100 should be a list that recognizes great experiences not just for diners but for staff as well, so restaurants with thoughtful leadership, above-and-beyond worker benefits and wage parity were specifically sought out.
So Tommy’s Joynt and Red’s Java House, but not Chez Panisse? No amount of blather can rationalize that cut.
Cotogna and Verjus but not Quince, I like that. Overall an excellent course correction after the long and shameful run of MB.
According to Ho, she and the Chron’s food and wine team pitted the $200 and up tasting menus against one another and chose the best out of the group.
Soleil is totally unqualified to tell me what Bay area’s 100 best restaurants are. Shes only been living in this area for 6 months, so even if she’s done 2 meals a day all at different restaurants, thats 350 restaurants. How can you visit 350 restaurants and then say you’ve found the Bay’s top 100? I’m very skeptical she even visited many of these places.
Also, I thought she was morally opposed to ranking restaurants and saying one was superior to the other. Why the list then?
I will agree that of the tasting menus, Benu/TFL/Meadowood/SingleThread are better than Saison/Quince/Manresa. But outside of that this list a complete disaster. Akiko’s is better than all the other sushi places? Some of the Chinese selections are also really odd. These lists don’t really work with ethnic cuisine–how can I possibly compare Ethiopian and Chinese food?
But unlike years past, this edition is a group effort. Since I’ve only been here since January, I enlisted the help of The Chronicle’s brilliant food journalists and we fiercely debated what belonged, what had to go and how to compare restaurants.
Just noticed Miss Ollie’s. About fucking time Sarah Kirnon got on there. That useless twit Bauer wrote an over-the-top rave review but gave her only two stars.
They’re not really saying superior, just listing their top recommendations. it’s nothing like the narrow-minded, racist star rankings from Bauer and Michelin. It’s more like the Eater 38: a diverse cross-section of places they think are worth trying for various reasons.
We figured it is more valuable to readers to be able to identify our favorite fine dining restaurants rather than all the fine dining restaurants … did this menu surprise me? Did I walk away wondering about the nature of food, the universe, of life itself? At that price point, most people will only go to such a restaurant once in their lives. Thus, I’d argue that the food should be an experience akin to seeing great theater or reading a masterpiece: something that transcends the mundane experience of putting food in one’s mouth and chewing, that confuses you and makes you think newer, brighter thoughts. The ones that made it onto the list did just that.