As the year comes to a close, we’ve compiled our five best new San Francisco restaurants 2014 list. Trust us, narrowing the list to five wasn’t easy, especially in this city where chefs pride themselves for their palate-pleasing creations—and foodies love them for doing so. If you haven’t checked out these eateries yet, we suggest you do soon for they will only get more popular as the word about their delicious offerings continues to spread.
Celebrity chef Chris Cosentino, yes, the same one who won Top Chef Masters winner, has done it again--this time with Cockscomb. The man who brought us haute cuisine offal dishes at Incanto, which he closed on March 24, is doing the same at Corkscomb, which he opened earlier this month in SoMa with partner Oliver Wharton. They describe Cockscomb as a celebration of San Francisco’s diverse culinary heritage and homage to Cosentino's adopted city. The menu features selections from the restaurant’s oyster bar and wood-fired oven, coupled with a dynamic beverage program composed of Cosentino’s favorite gins, cocktails, beers and ciders. Cockscomb pays tribute to the city’s fresh and native flavors, as well as Cosentino’s expert offal cookery and butchery. Offal and butcher's cut include Butcher's Choice (daily "fall offs"), Grandma Rosalie's Tripe and Bone Marrow Mixed Grill. For those like to share: there's a Pin Bone Steak large enough for a party of four and a Meat Pie designed to divide, not to mention a Wood Oven Roasted Pin's Head. Don't worry if you're not a carnivore. There's Petrale Sole as well as a Oyster Omelet with a Glass of Wine. (Photo credit: Blake Smith)
564 Fourth Street San Francisco, CA 94107
2 The Progress
Kudos to the husband-wife chef couple Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski for opening The Progress on Dec. 16 right next door to their wildly popular State Bird Provisions in the Western Addition and deemed by Food & Wine as the best new restaurant in 2013. At The Progress, you choose your own adventure with the family-style menu. Expect dishes like shaved cauliflower-herbs & pig fries, sunchoke, rosemary & smoked cured egg ‘roti’, ‘creamy’ pork broth with fresh grated pumpkin-kimchi rice balls and smoked black cod fried rice with squid & chrysanthemum, and lamb scallopini with pea shoots & cipollini. The space, once a movie theater called The Progress, is cool with a long bar at the entrance, live plants and two levels. One part of the mezzanine houses a chef's table while the other is ideal for large parties.
1525 Fillmore Street San Francisco, CA 94115
3 Crystal Jade Jiang Nan
We love the ginormous $15.7 million Crystal Jade Jiang Nan restaurant at Four Embarcadero Center as much for its style and elegance as its authentic culinary offerings. This Financial District eatery, a partnership between renowned restaurateur Gus Murad and the Singapore-based Crystal Jade Culinary Concepts Holdings, officially opened on Nov. 17 and unveiled 16,000-square feet of interiors expertly designed by Ken Fulk, plus an additional 4,000 square foot terrace that boasts dazzling views the Bay Bridge, Ferry Building and Embarcadero. The menu offers authentic regional dishes from south of the Yangtze River. [Jiangnan is home to four of the eight culinary traditions of China, which include Sichuan, Jiangsu, Hunan and Zhejiang cuisines.] Crystal Jade Jiang Nan also serves Cantonese roasted items and, on weekends, a dim sum brunch along with an a la carte menu. Dishes such as xiao long bao, spicy and sour seafood chowder “Sichuan” style and wood-oven roasted duck are on the menu, which is created collaboratively amongst a talented team of 35 culinary professionals.
Four Embarcadero Center San Francisco, CA 94111
4 Lazy Bear
Once a pop-up restaurant, Lazy Bear found a permanent home in the Mission. Don't think you can make a reservation at chef and founder David Barzelay's unique eatery. Instead, you purchase a ticket, in the same manner you would a show—for that is how the restaurant is run. Lazy Bear serves one menu each night, a tasting menu of eleven-ish courses plus some extras, in two seatings, 6 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.. Diners are seated communally at long American elm slab tables. The entire dining room is served each course at the same time and cooks come out and describe the dishes. Unlike an a la carte restaurant that takes walk-in customers and has lots of menu items from which to choose, Lazy Bear is a unique, social experience that depends on a packed house to create an energetic vibe. (Photo credit: Luke Andrews)
3416 19th Street San Francisco, CA 94110
Michelin-starred chef Michael Mina opened seven restaurants—that's right, seven!!!—in this year alone, bringing his total to 26. Those who have already been to Pabu at the landmark 101 California space in San Francisco’s Financial District know how well the marriage between Mina and chef Ken Tominaga, the man behind the famed Hana Japanese Restaurant in Sonoma County, is working. The restaurant, which opened in July, offers traditional Izakaya-style dining in a sophisticated and stylish place. We suggest you order the eight-course Omakase menu that changes daily and allows you sample more than 16 different types of fish. Terrific service, cocktails and whisky also dazzle. Don't pass up the Japanese whisky ceremony. (Photo credit: Christian Horan)
101 California Street San Francisco, CA 94111