Best Bar Food - 2001
Without a doubt, Hawthorne Lane is one of the finest restaurants in San Francisco. The prices are steep, but chef Bridget Batson lives up to them with her painstakingly subtle, Asian-inspired riffs on California cuisine. Even better is the bar menu, where the prices rarely exceed $10 and the somewhat more down-home small plates never seem to disappoint (try the tempura green beans with sweet-and-sour mustard sauce; ahi tartare over crisp nori chips; and the spectacular, ever-changing pizzas like rock-shrimp-broccoli-rabe-pesto or the lamb-sausage-potato-chevre-puréed-eggplant. Hey, we said somewhat more down-home). The drinks are good, the clientele is sophisticated in a MOMA patron kind of way, and bar plates come with free bread sticks, salami, and olives. Happy hour has never been such a joy.