Best Brunch, Buffet-Style San Francisco 2006 - Sunday Jazz Brunch at the Garden Court
At $59 per person ($35 for children under 10), this meal might not seem like a good value. But if you add up all the dishes offered at the 10 or so food stations within the fabulous skylit Garden Court (its 1909 décor intact), you'll realize you're paying pocket change per item. And if you sample everything, you probably won't eat a bite for the rest of the day. The offerings are a cut above: the roast beef sliced to order is American kobe, the sushi and sashimi station presided over by the award-winning Kyo-Ya restaurant, the French toast made with cinnamon brioche, the bacon applewood-smoked. There's a made-to-order omelet station; then an array of salads, including Caesar, baby greens, and perhaps a seafood salad made with calamari and scallops; followed by an icy counter boasting shrimp and oysters on the half shell; opposite a table laden with half a dozen p?tés and an impressive cheese board. The soup of the day might be minted carrot with cinnamon croutons; the hot dishes might include smoked chicken and crab hash, and bouillabaisse. The big round dessert table that you pass as you enter (and leave) is covered with more than a dozen temptations, including cr�me br?lée and chocolate-dipped strawberries. And not only coffee and fresh orange juice but champagne flows at will, as a piano, bass, and sax trio plays cool jazz.