Tasting menus are a wonderful way to discover the breadth and depth of a chef, an indulgent overview that’s a noticeable level up from a typical fine-dining experience. They don't have to break the bank, either. Here are five restaurants whose tasting menus provide extreme value for money while offering something unique in the always-competitive San Francisco dining scene.
Californios is Val M. Cantu’s unmatchably elegant Mexican restaurant, with dark colors, expensive art books, and an overall noirish cinema feel. You won't know exactly what’s ahead of you, since the ingredients highlighted on the abstract, ever-changing menu you’re presented with read in only the vaguest of terms, like arroz (rice) and frijoles (beans). This poetic approach makes for an evening of surprises. The number of courses varies but is typically around seven to nine.
—From $75 | 3115 22nd St. | (415) 757-0994
2. Coco Frio
—From $29.99 | 2937 Mission St. | (415) 375-1185
3. Michael Mina
—From $105 | 252 California St. | (415) 397-9222
—From $100 | 665 Townsend St. | (415) 865-0633
5. The Progress
—From $65 | 1525 Fillmore St. | (415) 673-1294
Tamara Palmer is a daily news writer, rapper confidante, DJ, and celebrity chef ghostwriter from San Francisco.
If you want to stay current on what's happening in the San Francisco dining and entertainment scenes, check out Tamara's weekly AFAR Local column