The Lunch Box transcends grade-school memories of packed lunches, opting instead to fill bellies with piping-hot sandwiches and freshly tossed salads made with local, organic produce whenever possible. Sandwich fillings such as beet goat cheese and basil aioli treat tongues to uncommon flavors, with an option for gluten-free bread. They also offer fresh salads and house-made soups to round out lunchtime meals. Additionally, baker Melissa Geraghty fills the shop with freshly made treats and completes cake and cupcake orders for parties and especially long elevator rides.
The takeout joint does not offer sit-down service, making the shop a perfect stop before a hike to Muir Woods or picnic at Stinson Beach. Additionally, a rotating menu of dinners to go ease the stress of evening meals, with pickup and delivery options available.
Extreme Pizza is not your run-of-the-mill, ma-and-pa pizza shop. Here, the cooks pile their house-baked crusts with a slew of uncommon combinations, including the ginger-peanut-sauce-marinated chicken strewn across the Kickin? Chicken pizza, which is also topped with peanuts, green onions, swiss, fontina, mozzarella, and fresh cilantro. The Paia Pie may seem standard with pineapple and Canadian bacon, but the addition of mandarin oranges and its mozzarella-cheddar blend make it more unique than a unicorn with two horns. As an alternative to the pies, freshly baked calzones, creatively loaded salads, monster subs, and chicken wings also populate the menu.
The massive plate windows of The Caprice's main dining room afford panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Island, and the rolling hills of San Francisco's East Bay. According to Gayot, these windows have overlooked the same bayside view for more than 55 years. As sailboats effortlessly glide across water within full view of the tables, diners can enjoy a classically inspired menu of New American cuisine that draws almost as much inspiration from French culinary techniques as it does from the nearby ocean waters. The Zagat-rated eatery's menu brims with a variety of seafood dishes. Appetizers of oysters on the half shell with cranberry mignonette appear alongside entrees of halibut with a sundried tomato-almond butter sauce, quinoa, and wilted spinach. At the same time, the chefs' French inclinations shine through in dishes such as the duck breast a l'orange and the rack of lamb with mint-tinged balsamic sauce. Although the international wine list helps guests complete their meal with well paired bottle, Fodor's says that "polishing off the warm chocolate cake with almond ice cream while gazing out at the sunset and porpoises bobbing in the waves below is a near perfect end to the evening."
A slanted wood ceiling and large windows lend Dario's Pizza Restaurant an airy feel, which chefs fill with the appealing scents of 28 types of pizza baking in ovens. Pies boast a variety of topping combinations, such as the Cubano's mix of sausage, pineapple, and sweet red peppers, or the Margherita's simple blend of roma tomatoes and fresh basil. For fork-twirling fare, the chefs construct heaping plates of fettuccine alfredo and spaghetti with pesto and clams, both side-kicked by homemade bread and a choice of soup or salad. A bartender supplements tasty morsels with fragrant pours of draft beer and an assortment of red and white wines. Meals take place along the first floor's wooden tables, or upstairs, where a lofted area hoists homey décor and longer tables for private events or an invisible friend's extended family.
Whether seated in Servino Ristorante's waterfront dining room or on its second-story patio, diners can feast their eyes on San Francisco's skyline and watch sailboats meander past Angel Island. The restaurant's inspiration, however, comes from a distant location: southern Italy. The resemblance is evident in everything from its rustic cuisine to the staff's hospitality.
Light from a wood-burning brick oven flickers in one corner of the kitchen, roasting pizzas topped with combinations such as cremini mushrooms and white-truffle oil or buffalo mozzarella and green garlic. Homemade pasta dishes and hearty seafood entrees round out the menu of trans-Atlantic comfort foods, which are complemented by wine or cocktails.
Though Servino Ristorante takes its inspiration from abroad, the spot keep things closer to home when it comes to sourcing. Chefs source the majority of their organic produce and humanely raised meats from sustainable suppliers in the area. In addition to accolades for its locally sourced cuisine, Servino received recognition from the California Green Business Program, which honored the eatery for its commitment to ecofriendly practices and energy-conservation efforts.
Acclaimed restaurateur Yoshi Tome came to America for a teacher-exchange program, but he used his degree more in teaching Americans how to truly enjoy sushi. Today he owns the restaurant Sushi Ran, where his chefs craft entrees with fresh fish from local purveyors or from the Tsukiji market in Tokyo. Executive chef Scott Whitman has a plate for every taste—vegetarian options, seafood, and meaty entrees including slow-cooked duck breast and Vietnamese shaking beef. Meanwhile, executive sushi chef Nori Kusakabe rolls soft-shell crab, vegetables, and spicy tuna at the sushi bar. Wine director Gabriel Alamilla helps diners navigate the 300-bottle wine list and explore the collection of 30 small-production wines by the glass. He matches rieslings with raw fish and chardonnays with Japanese entrees. He can also recommend a selection from 30 different sakes, which are separated into four categories: fragrant, light/smooth, rich, and aged.