Best Under-the-Radar Restaurant San Francisco 2004 - Absinthe
It's not what you'd call unknown, but Absinthe doesn't automatically come up when people are discussing San Francisco's best restaurants or competitively assessing celebrity chefs. Yet it consistently serves memorable, delicious food (we're still dreaming of a chilled Dungeness crab with truffle oil mayonnaise and sea beans, and the only boeuf à la ficelle we've seen on a menu in many years, perfectly prepared) in a comfortable, posh setting. Its good food is supported by thoughtful service, a superb wine list, witty and well-prepared cocktails (which can be enjoyed on their own in the spacious bar room), and excellent cheeses paired with suitable condiments. Every aspect of the dining experience can be satisfied here. And it's close to the opera house and the symphony, too.