Michelin San Francisco Critique

French Laundry

Best Buffets in the World


Breakwater Barbecue, El Granada

Breakwater Barbecue, El Granada

Breakwater Barbecue is an American craft barbecue carvery specializing in all wood smoked high quality meats. They’ve been around since 2020 and were listed in the SF Chronicles top BBQ list. We were biking nearby (God’s Trail is legendary) and dropped in for lunch. They are located 2 blocks from the beach. We’ve been back already in June!

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Chapeau!, San Francisco

Chapeau!, San Francisco

One of San Francisco’s charming restaurants.. Chapeau! is a French Bistro located in the San Francisco Richmond district in the middle of the Clement Street shopping district. Chapeau! SF opened in 1996 and it means hat or wow in French.

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Saint Jean, Amsterdam

Saint Jean, Amsterdam

SAINT-JEAN is a plant based bakery and deli in the Jordaan district of Amsterdam. They have a deli across the street. The baked items are stellar, unlike any we’ve had before. Their deli is across the street. Another nearby vegan baker spot that is closeby is Margo’s – Not as exceptional, but they serve nicer sandwiches.  No gluten free options here. Prices are great, items would be at least 2-3x in San Francisco.

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Four Kings, San Francisco

Four Kings, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Four Kings is a Cantonese Chinese restaurant in San Francisco Chinatown. It is started by alumni Franky and Mike from nearby Michelin starred Mister Jius. Considering that this is one of our native cuisines, we just had to give it a try. The spot has also garnered extremely high reviews on Yelp.

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Prik Hom, San Francisco


Prik Hom is a small Thai restaurant in San Francisco’s inner Richmond district. It has 4.5 stars on Yelp right now. It was recommended by a friend and was also on the NY Times 25 best restaurants in SF 2023. Reservations are a must unless you want to walk in right when it opens. We’ve eat here twice.

The menu has limited selections in each of its different section, not like the usual Thai spots. No pad thai or pad see ew here! Simple concise menu with several options for vegetarians. Their spring menu saw several new dishes.

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Prospect Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Prospect Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Prospect is a long-awaited new restaurant from the Boulevard restaurant team – Nancy Oakes, Pam Mazzola, and Kathy King – located in the posh residential Infinity Tower complex of San Francisco’s Financial district / SOMA district. They named it with anticipation, expectation, and looking forward. Prospect is near the Millennium tower.

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Spoon, Tahoe City

Spoon, Tahoe City

Spoon is one of those rare finds in the Lake Tahoe region. The food is simply really good. Its easy to pay a lot up here, but not easy to find a spot like this. We’ve dined at all the stalwarts that have existed for decades and none match up. “Spoon is a funky, off-beat and cozy restaurant with an eclectic american dinner menu.” Closed Tu/Wed
Gluten free and vegetarian options. Specials change daily. Last visit end of 2023.

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Shizen, San Francisco

Must goto for City vegans/vegetarians. Plant based cuisine satisfying even Carnivores.

Shizen, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Shizen Vegan Sushi Bar & Izakaya has remarkable 4.5 stars on Yelp. With the plant based revolution booming, we just had to try this spot. We’ve returned a couple times..  Must go for vegans and vegetarians. They started offering takeout during the pandemic.  If you like this spot, be sure to try BAIA

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Boulevard, San Francisco

They’re back!

Boulevard, San Francisco

We have been coming here for years to Boulevard San Francisco Restaurant near the Ferry Building in the Embarcadero waterfront area. It is one of our favorite places as it is pretty consistent.. Always a candidate for the short list of best restaurants. It earned One Michelin Stars last in 2015. Nancy Oakes open Boulevard, a New American/French comfort food restaurant way back in 1993. She opened nearby Prospect in 2010. Alumni Ravi Kapor now runs Liholiho Yacht Club.

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Cotogna, San Francisco

Cotogna, San Francisco

Cotogna (meaning ‘quince’ in Italian), offers a seasonally-changing menu featuring spit-roasted or grilled meats and game birds, wood-oven pizzas, house-made pastas, fresh local fish and seafood, salads, salami and cheeses in the warm atmosphere of the restaurant’s refined urban design. This hot spot is the more affordable sister restaurant to Quince, which is located next door.

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Pho Hanoi, San Jose, Cupertino, Palo Alto

Pho Hanoi, San Jose

Why did we dine here? – Pho Ha Noi is a Vietnamese restaurant located in an outdoor mall Vietnam Town Plaza in San Jose. The area is full of high quality Asian restaurants and shops. Their pho is some of the best in the SF Bay Area. This restaurant also has a location in Cupertino and added Palo Alto in 2023.

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Osaka Trip December 2023 Reviews

We visited Osaka, Japan in December 2023 and made a list of interesting finds.  Our goals are to eat local and seek out authentic experiences.  Sushi, udon, soba, yakitori, oden, whatever! Yelp and Trip Advisor were not helpful in spotting places to eat at, only Google reviews were useful. We did not seek our Michelin rated spots.

Osaka Trip December 2023 Reviews

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Ettan, Palo Alto

Cutting Edge Cal-Indian in Palo Alto.

Ettan, Palo Alto

Why did we dine here? – Ettan, Palo Alto open one month before the Pandemic. Talk about bad timing. Open/close – Open close syndrome. Things were opening up again, so we decided to give them a try. This was one of our first high end sit down meals in quite a while. They are tucked away in a small alley in Downtown Palo Alto. Beautiful restaurant, inside and out. Great spot to eat outside in their large patio. East Asians have discovered the spot, helping to validate the cuisine in our book.

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Great Eastern Dim Sum Restaurant, San Francisco

Great Eastern Dim Sum Restaurant, San Francisco

When we get asked, “where do we get the dim sum in Chinatown?” The answer usually is.. Great Eastern Restaurant San Francisco has been serving Cantonese Chinese food in this location for many years. They serve dim sum during lunch and traditional items during dinner. We visited for dim sum lunch lunch, early on a weekend day. Great Eastern Dinner was reviewed on a separate visit. President Obama famously ate here in 2012. Our last visit for dim sum was in the fall of 2023.

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Cheung Hing Seafood & Dimsum (Formerly China Village), Belmont

Cheung Hing replaces China Village Seafood Restaurant in Belmont, California located just off the Highway 101’s Ralston Exit. The former had been around since 1996, serving dim sum during both lunch and dinner, as well as standard Cantonese Chinese cuisine, but changed hands in 2022. It appears that they may have a similar menu and chef from before. The interior and exterior are still the same too, so is the phone number.

Cheung Hing has several locations in San Mateo, Millbrae, and San Francisco. Those concentrate on Chinese barbecue dishes and don’t serve dim sum.

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Blue Sky Cafe, Belmont

Blue Sky Cafe, Belmont

Blue Sky Cafe is a casual Hong Kong style Chinese eatery in the middle of an industrial park in Belmont. Weird location but solid food and a popular destination. If you appreciate this type of food, run here as there is nothing like it on the Peninsula. Everyone knows now, because the place is really busy on the weekend. Takeout on a Saturday night had a 2 hour delay.

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Liholiho Yacht Club, San Francisco

Exciting food in an energetic atmosphere.

Liholiho Yacht Club, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Liholiho Yacht Club is a Hawaiian influenced restaurant from Ravi Kapur, formerly of Prospect and Boulevard. He returned to Hawaii and found inspiration in the cuisine he grew up with. It is a very popular restaurant with hard to get online reservations, so book on Resy weeks in advance.

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Din Tai Fung, Santa Clara

Din Tai Fung, Santa Clara

Why did we dine here? – Din Tai Fung is a popular Xiao Long Bao (It means small bamboo steamer bun in Chinese) – Shanghai Steamed Soup dumpling restaurant with locations in Bellevue, Seattle, Southern California, Taiwan, Japan, China, Indonesia, Macau, Singapore, and several other countries. Few Chinese dishes generate so much obsession. Think of it like a quest to find the best burger or pizza. We have been to this location several times.

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Eleven Madison Park, New York City

Eleven Madison Park, New York City

Why did we dine here?Best Restaurant in the USA? Tips to Dine here on the cheap! Eleven Madison Park is a well respected American restaurant situated at 11 Madison Avenue in the Flatiron District of New York City. Three Michelin stars were awarded in 2023. The restaurant was ranked #3 in the World by The World’s 50 Best Restaurant list.

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Lai Hong Lounge Review, San Francisco

Lai Hong Lounge Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Lai Hong Lounge Restaurant is a Cantonese Chinese restaurant on the outskirts of Chinatown. They have been around since Lichee Garden closed, 2012. They are VERY popular for lunch (Noon had a Wait for a Monday lunch), but it was much more quiet at dinner. We were in the neighborhood so we decided to try it out, being big Chinese food fans. Last visit was in Winter  2024.

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Perbacco, San Francisco

Perbacco, San Francisco

One of our favorite Italian restaurants in San Francisco. Perbacco is a popular Italian restaurant in San Francisco’s financial district that opened in 2006. We had been to their sister restaurant next door Barbacco recently, and felt it was high time that we came back to Perbacco. Founder Chef Staffan Terje left in 2022 but is still an owner.

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Copra, San Francisco

Copra, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Copra is run by Srijith “Sri” Gopinathan and Ayesha Thapar (who also own Ettan in Palo Alto) so we had to give it a try. The chef last had two Michelin stars at Campton Place. It is located across from Japantown in the location that used to be Dosa.

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Lily, San Francisco

Lily, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Lily is a Modern Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco is inner Richmond District. Sort of a neighborhood joint kicked up a notch. The Chef Rob Lam used to run restaurant Butterfly on the waterfront. There are a ton of VERY good restaurant options nearby including Burma superstar, Chapeau!, Wako, and Mamahuhu. Traditional Vietnamese restaurants are a block away. We have been here 3 times for lunch during the Pandemic, last visit Spring 2024.

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HL Peninsula, South San Francisco – Burlingame

Top Notch Modern Hi-End Dim sum
HL Peninsula, South San Francisco
Our goto Chinese Restaurant in San Francisco Area..

Why did we dine here? – HL Peninsula opened near Costco Business center of South San Francisco. This is a large and opulent restaurant that is typical of ones in China. High ceilings, huge TV screens, and many private rooms. (Reminds us of J Zhou in Tustin) There is no other place like this nearby. They are part of a restaurant group that has locations in Vancouver and China. Yes, China money is flowing in and we are benefiting from better restaurants.

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Routier, San Francisco

Routier, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Routier is a Hot Frenchish restaurant from the folks at nearby B patisserie. A friend recommended this restaurant, and we’ve been back twice. Highly rated at 4.5 stars on yelp. Belinda Leong and Michel Suas joined forces with JP Carmona, formerly chef de cuisine at Manresa, to lead the kitchen of this elevated neighborhood joint in the former jazz club location. Last visit was in Fall 2023.

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Horn BBQ, Oakland

Horn BBQ, Oakland

Horn BBQ Is a legendary barbecue restaurant in Oakland, California. It has 4 stars on yelp and long lines whenever it’s open. Horn barbecue has been attracting long lines ever since it opened.  A fire closed them down and made them re-open in April 2024 at 464 8th St., Oakland.

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B Star, San Francisco

B Star Bar Restaurant Review, San Francisco

B Star Bar serves Pan Asian style comfort foods with flavors from Thailand, China, Burma, India and Japan. It is the sister restaurant of popular Burma Superstar Burmese restaurant (And has several of their dishes) and is located a couple blocks from it. Our last visit was in Spring 2023. No more parklet.

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Hong Kong Lounge, San Francisco

Great choice for reasonably priced, solid dim sum in San Francisco.Hong Kong Lounge Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Hong Kong Lounge is a popular Chinese Restaurant located in San Francisco’s Outer Richmond district that opened in late 2008. They serve dim sum at lunch time and are quite busy. We ate here last in 2010, so it was great to catch up with the changes in 2023.

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Coque, Madrid, Spain

Coque, Madrid, Spain

Coque (coal in Spanish) is a very expensive (340€) 2 Michelin star restaurant in Madrid Spain. There are five total Two star spots in this great city. (Available 160€ optional wine pairing)

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Encanto, Lisbon

Encanto, Lisbon

Vegetarian heaven! Encanto is a vegetarian restaurant in Lisbon with one Michelin star from star chef José Avillez. We have no vegetarian restaurant with this rank back in San Francisco, so we had to give it a try. You can book online, they have a single 12 course tasting menu that is also available in English. Our server spoke English too.

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Octavia, San Francisco

Octavia, San Francisco

Why did we dine here? – Octavia is the latest restaurant from Melissa Perello, chef-owner of 1 Michelin Starred and well loved Frances. A small 54 seat neighborhood restaurant that is already drawing crowds from throughout the City. We are in this area a lot, so we were waiting for it to finally open.

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