Best Seafood Restaurant, Expensive San Francisco 2006 - Farallon
The wacky under-the-sea décor, complete with art-glass creatures swimming above, still thrills, delights, and impresses, as does the let's-put-on-a-show cooking presided over by award-winning chef-owner Mark Franz. The offerings change daily, but there's always an array of oysters and a grand tasting of iced shellfish (which might include, in addition to oysters and clams, Maine lobster, Dungeness crab, gulf prawns, crayfish, scallops, even the rarely seen cockles and periwinkles). Entrees are distinguished not only by the careful handling of the freshest of fish, but also by the inspired combinations on the plate: Seared diver scallops might come adorned with rich Robuchon potatoes (inspired by French chef Joel Robuchon), foie gras, and a red wine gastrique; roast cod might be served atop spinach layered with fingerling potatoes, crowned with diced foie gras, and bathed in lobster consommé poured tableside. Meat and game also appear on the menu, though outnumbered by the seafood offerings. Don't miss Emily Luchetti's inventive desserts. You can sample all this bliss affordably: There's a bargain pre-theater three-course prix fixe ($45) served until 6:30 nightly.