Best Chef

A staggering number of San Francisco restaurants serve up mind-blowing food — Fleur de Lys, the Fifth Floor, and the Dining Room spring immediately to mind — but Passot's incredible creations are not only in a class by themselves, they so completely transcend La Folie's unexciting, inelegant setting that the food demands separate and effusive notice. Luxurious ingredients are terrined and interwoven into transcendentally delicious artworks: duck consommé with foie gras flan, tuna and lobster tartare with osetra caviar, roti of quail and squab with wild mushrooms and truffles. There's a four-course Discovery Menu available at $75 and a vegetarian version for $55. Passot also masterminds the more casual, less expensive (and delightful in their own rights) Left Bank brasseries in Lark-spur and Menlo Park, where homier, more rustic menus allow the chef to flex his culinary muscles even further.

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