Commonwealth is a collectively owned American restaurant with good crowd, a do-good mission (a portion of the tasting menu goes to local nonprofits), and a high-wire chef. Once an ugly taqueria, the Mission District building has undergone a Pygmalion transformation, now spare and welcoming. Chef Jason Fox does things like fry shishito peppers with rose petals, serve cured foie gras with preserved-plum paste and nori toast, and deconstruct a s'more into chocolate ganache, cardamom marshmallows, and burnt-honey ice cream. The food can tilt so far into stunt cooking that it stumbles, but Fox also produces complicated pleasures unlike anything else in town, and for a half to a third of the price of anything similar. It's experimental dining for Mission budgets.
Reservations: Highly Recommended
Extra Info: Muni: 14, 49, 33