You would never know that the end of summer is nearing in San Francisco, with its endless sunshine that has created a capacity problem in urban space from Delores Park and Baker Beach. You actually have to queue-up at beloved rooftops like El Techo in the Mission with its sopas and tostadas that are guarded by an imposing hostess that humbles the muscle to get inside even the newly reopened SF MOMA and its inaugural Pop, Minimal and Figurative Art exhibition.
Sadly, new hotels for this year like Viceroy-managed Hotel Zeppelin and Hotel G are geared towards trend-oriented business travelers looking for modest accommodations and a central location. Disappointing luxury hotels also abound in SF, from poorly remodeled chains like Ritz-Carlton to the grimly branded Lowes Regency. Four Seasons is once again our top choice with its discreet style and revamped MKT eatery - at least until the Waldorf Astoria arrives in the first 16-floors of the yet-to-be-built The Oceanwide Center in SoMa designed by Foster + Partners.
The culinary epicenter of the US, we admit to having more than our share of average meals in SF - albeit with memorable price tags. High-profile openings like Waxman's by Berkeley native Jonathon Waxman as well as Leo's Oyster Bar were, to us, altogether forgettable. Cala, however, stuns with its simplistic take on Mexican cuisine that proves Mexico City native Gabriela Camara as one of the world's greatest chefs. Mr. Jiu's gives the city a least one hip and delicious Chinese eatery while Bellota proves even better tapas than long-loved Coqueta. Liitle has changed since touting Kokkari and Cotogna our two favorite SF eateries, even if the staff at each could use a little tenderizer even on a hot summer night in SF.