Written By Treve Ring Elsewhere / Folks / Out of Towners Nov 14, 2014 Ask An Expert : SAN FRANCISCO SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter PinterestIn this series, Treve Ring asks local food and drink experts in various cities around North America to share their insight and appetite. Editor’s note: to read more stories like this, including more Ask An Expert articles, click here.Every time I make the quick and easy two hour flight back up the Pacific coast from SFO, I feel that I’ve left my heart in San Francisco (but still gained 5 pounds). It’s hard to believe, what with the mountain-goat hills, healthy outdoor lifestyle and farm-fresh foodstuffs at every eatery. But the food and drink scene is just that good. It’s a hugely walkable city. The epicenter of new California cuisine is informed by the choicest local and seasonal produce, and filtered through the cultural influence of San Francisco’s global citizens. From humble breads to haute cuisine, bacon beignets to craft brews, pizza, oysters, wine and every level of spice, flavour and budget, this is a city based on eating, and drinking superbly well. I always revisit my trusted favourites (love you long time Slanted Door), but the best way to dine around the city by the Bay is by asking the talented tastemakers and masters of taste themselves.Jon BonnéWine Editor; The San Francisco Chronicle; author, The New California WineWebsiteTwitter Best new restaurant in San Francisco (opened within last 12 months)?It is very, very dicey territory to talk about bests, especially when it comes to new spots. But the opening of Maruya by Masaki Sasaki and Hide Sueyoshi, and the evolution of tiny Ichi into the much more ambitious Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar, has brought serious sushi back into San Francisco dining in a way I haven’t seen since I’ve lived here. No longer do I plan on getting on a plane for L.A. (Vancouver, if I was really smart) for world-class sushi.Also, the rebirth of Tosca Café was a big deal. It needs to figure out how to balance a healthy bar ecosystem with its restaurant half, but April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman are skilled at such things – and I think as San Francisco evolves out of its current short-attention-span phase of indulgences, Tosca’s worth will be proven.Your favourite standby, never disappointing restaurant/eatery?Nopa, just like every other wine nerd in San Francisco. But as my friends will know, I will almost always default to one of the Lers Ros locations. I’d put their Thai cooking up against anyone on this coast.Best spot for quick bite (food trucks suggestions welcome)?The steamed chicken bao at Out the Door. Failing that, the al pastor tacos at the Tonayense truck near the Best Buy on Harrison or the seafood tostadas at Mariscos La Costa on Oakland’s International Boulevard.Most exciting winelist in San Francisco right now?Our wine lists are in an odd, almost timid place this particular moment. But I adore what David Lynch is doing at St. Vincent – the sort of list that comes from someone who’s mature enough to explore the depths without just falling back on the hipster canon.Best place to fuel your caffeine habit?My kitchen. I am admittedly a total espresso snob, but the beans from De La Paz finally made me give up having Vivace shipped in from Seattle; I’m eagerly awaiting their retail space.If I’m out around town, Sightglass for their iced pourovers; Four Barrel for espresso.Best bar seat in San Francisco?Right now Trou Normand is killing it with their focus on brandy. Although the work Jennifer Colliau is doing at the Interval at Long Now is thoughtful and charming; it’s one of the most thrilling places to drink I’ve seen in a while.Hot neighborhood in town for food & drinks?(Because surely you didn’t mean “’hood,” right?) The ‘hood is where s**t goes down.I mean, the Valencia corridor of Mission, and Hayes Valley, are cray-cray right now. I try and stay away from both.Favourite local winery?Even if I could begin to choose just one, you couldn’t waterboard it out of me. The New California Wine has about 125 to start with, and we can build the list from there.Favourite local brewery?The Bay Area has an embarrassment of riches on this front. You’ve probably deduced you’re not going to get favorites from me by now, but I am ever more impressed by what Oakland’s Linden Street Brewery is doing. Their black lager speaks to me in strange tongues.Favourite local distillery?Well of course everyone loves St. George. But we could use some more local distilleries in the city proper. (Oakland, too.) California has made it embarrassingly hard for microdistilleries to open shop, which is why cities like Portland and New York are running circles around us.Most welcome trend in San Francisco dining?Our logarithmic growth of new pizza restaurants is finally slowing down. Even San Francisco can eat only so much pizza.Your one favourite local ingredient?Not gonna lie. Freshly steamed Dungeness crab slightly after the start of the season, right around mid-December, is one of the great joys in life.Rajat Parrwinemaker- Sandhi wines, Partner – RN74WebsiteTwitter Best new restaurant in San Francisco (opened within last 12 months)? Kin KhaoYour favourite standby, never disappointing restaurant/eatery?Zuni CafeBest spot for quick bite (food trucks suggestions welcome)? Out the DoorMost exciting winelist in San Francisco right now? Alta CABest place to fuel your caffeine habit? Blue BottleBest bar seat in San Francisco? Bar AgricoleHot ‘hood in town for food & drinks?NopaFavourite local winery? Bluxome Street WineryFavourite local brewery? Anchor BrewingFavourite local distillery? St. George SpiritsMost welcome trend in San Francisco dining? Restaurants without tablecloths.Your one favourite local ingredient? Dungeness CrabNick Balla & Cortney Burns Chefs of Bar TartineWebsiteTwitter Best new restaurant in San Francisco (opened within last 12 months)? Bouli barYour favourite standby, never disappointing restaurant/eatery? My tofu houseBest spot for quick bite (food trucks suggestions welcome)? ABVMost exciting wine list in San Francisco right now? St. VincentBest place to fuel your caffeine habit? My house.Best bar seat in San Francisco? AmnesiaHot ‘hood in town for food & drinks? The MissionFavourite local winery?ScribeFavourite local brewery? Linden streetFavourite local distillery? St. GeorgeMost welcome trend in San Francisco dining? Ethnic flavors in modern restaurants.Your one favourite local ingredient? Wild fennelYoon Ha, MSBeverage Director, BenuWebsiteTwitter Best new restaurant in San Francisco (opened within last 12 months)? VerbenaYour favourite standby, never disappointing restaurant/eatery? San TungBest spot for quick bite (food trucks suggestions welcome)? SouvlaMost exciting winelist in San Francisco right now? NopaBest place to fuel your caffeine habit? SightglassBest bar seat in San Francisco? Bar AgricoleHot ‘hood in town for food & drinks? Hayes ValleyFavourite local winery? MathiassonFavourite local brewery? Anchor SteamFavourite local distillery? St. GeorgeMost welcome trend in San Francisco dining? DiversityYour one favourite local ingredient? Nasturtium SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Treve Ring Treve Ring is a wine writer, editor, judge, consultant and certified sommelier, and has been with EAT Magazine for over a decade. 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