Local Flavor Edition in San Francisco, CA
Coi, pronounced "kwa," will take your taste buds on a journey through Northern California cuisine composed of fresh, local ingredients and a menu that changes daily. Pull up a seat in the rice paper-draped dining room and prepare to encounter textures, flavors, and ingredients you may have never even heard of. But, if you're a big fan of meat, you may want top opt to sit in the lounge where you can order a la carte, because many of the dishes on the set tasting menu are vegetables only. Nonetheless, the down-to-earth servers are highly knowledgeable about the ever-changing fare, helping to make this one of the most unique dining experiences you'll ever enjoy.
La Ciccia is a tribute to the Italian island of Sardinia, featuring wines and foods only from regions from the island of Sardinia. However, the extensive menu features so many tasty dishes to try, ordering your food to be served family style will give everyone a chance to taste each delightful dish. Although the menu choices for vegetarians may be a bit limited, the friendly staff is eager to accommodate if you simply ask for suggestions. Be warned of the popularity of this single-location eatery; reservations are highly recommended thanks in part to the can't-be-missed calamari appetizer and hearty, spicy octopus stew.
Looking for a unique dining experience that requires a short boat ride? Then Forbes Island is your place. Park at Pier 39's parking lot and stroll across the street to the docks where you'll wait for a 3-minute boat ride to island restaurant. You won't spy any salty dawgs, but this floating island restaurant is brimming with romance, whether you dine in the bungalows or in the underwater dining rooms. Just be sure to leave time to stroll the island and climb to the top of the lighthouse for breathtaking views. It is important to note that reservations are required, and diners who are easily motion sick should use caution - and Dramamine.
Prepare to be transported to Morocco when you visit Aziza. This Moroccan restaurant blends local, organic, sustainable food with spices for a meal that is paired perfectly with a medley of unique cocktails. Depending on the dining experience you seek, the three rooms and different table locations offer an ambiance that is private and cozy or buzzing and social. But, for those on a date or are looking to up the romance factor, request seating in the back room for intimacy and a romantic ambiance. Spring for the valet, because parking can be difficult. Check the website for their most current menu items.
You may need your sleuthing skills to find this hidden gem of a restaurant. Located up a set of stairs above "Minny's," Kappa is a husband-and-wife owned and operated Japanese restaurant that boasts authentic fare combined with a zen-like ambiance. But, once you get there, you'll see why locals love this hidden eatery, thanks in part to the ultra-friendly staff and the fact that most everything served is flown in from Japan. Be prepared for the owners to take a genuine interest in their guests, happy to explain the dishes and learn more about you during the course of your meal. Once you've tried it, you'll want to keep this destination diner your very own secret place to eat.