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181 Third St. San Francisco, CA 94103 | South of Market | 415-817-7836

Location Description:

Hundreds of thousands of dollars have transformed the W Hotel's restaurant and bar into a clubby space meant to evoke the San Francisco skyline, drawn in yard-square pixels. The slatted walls glow purple, the tables glow white, and on the mezzanine, a DJ spins loud house and trance music. The restaurant's seasonal menu, however, lists rustic, simply conceived dishes padded with sexy ingredients: steaks from Piedmontese cattle, fennel pollen sprinkled over pasta, braised farro verde (green spelt). Trace is at its finest at lunch, when bright sunlight floods the room and the salads, sandwiches, and pastas are well tailored to the tastes of the expense-account customers. Dinner comes with higher expectations, and Trace's uneven execution and the disconnect between the clubby atmosphere and farm-to-table food can be too much.

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