San Francisco: Hotel Palomar
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Address12 Fourth Street 94103 San Francisco , California 415/348-0302 hotelpalomar-sf.com
The complimentary morning coffee and tea bar featuring organic single source coffee and artisanal organic teas.
Room service: the hotel also will send jars of fresh baked cookies and small bottles of their signature cocktails, like the Pink Elephant, to your room.
- Complimentary Yoga In-Room Kits
- Complimentary Bikes
- Complimentary Morning Coffee Bar
- Complimentary New York Times near each elevator bank
- Complimentary Boarding pass printing and wake-up calls
- Shuttle service to golf and area attractions
- Hotel car service
- Room service featuring dishes from the Fifth Floor restaurant lounge
Since November 2011, award-winning chef David Bazirgan has been drawing diners to the Fifth Floor (named for its location, on the fifth floor of the hotel) with his take on modern, globally influenced American cuisine. His inventive, thoughtful cooking, along with perfect pairings from the likewise lauded sommelier, Amy Goldberger, have made the Fifth Floor a premier fine dining destination for San Francisco residents and visitors alike.
The dinner I had at the Fifth Floor was one of the more joyful, surprising, and delightful meals I can remember. A seven-plate tasting menu kicked off with a lush, creamy celeriac soup served with "urfa granola" of puffed wild rice, dehydrated caramelized onion, oats, maple syrup, honey, and delicate elderberry flowers and suffused with the flavor of smoky-tasting urfa chile flakes. The plates that followed included a course of earthy, subtly charred octopus confit tossed with pine nut vinaigrette and served with eggplant puree and purple potatoes, and a dish of perfectly crisp, tender veal sweetbreads, lightly dusted with vadouvan—a French curry masala and served with figs, turnips, lollo rosso lettuce and lemon verbena over a savory puree of fig. The final course, corn crémeux, inspired by pastry chef Francis Ang's childhood in the Philippines, was a total knockout. The cremeux, a chilled, flan-like dessert of corn milk and toasted corn tea enriched with heavy cream and egg yolks, was served in a shallow bowl and topped with a crunchy roll of filo and a dollop of Parmesan ice cream and a splash of huckleberry foam. The next morning I made a beeline for the complimentary coffee and tea bar in the lounge, featuring organic single source coffee and artisanal organic teas. I could have lingered there, or in my comfortable room all day, ensconced in the plush chair by the massive window overlooking Market Street, but the hotel's in too good of a location, and the neighborhood beaconed: I hiked up Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower and then down to Fisherman's Warf and on to the Embarcadero walking path by the bay. But of everything else I did, saw, and ate that weekend, the Fifth Floor meal remains the most memorable. I think Bill Kimpton would be pleased. —Felicia Campbell
In the Area
- Ferry Terminal Market: Full of great restaurants and artisanal food shops with seating overlooking the bay. Ferry Building Marketplace, One Ferry Building, San Francisco, California 94111; tel: 415/983-8030
- Gracias Madre: A short 15 minute BART ride away, this unique vegan-Mexican restaurant is worth the trek, especially for the butternut squash quesadillas and the divine, fresh tomato juice michelada. 2211 Mission Street, San Francisco; tel: 415/683-1346; gracias-madre.com
- Ritual Coffee Roasters: Fantastic coffee and a lively atmosphere in the Mission. 1026 Valencia (at 21st St.), San Francisco, CA 94110; tel: 415/641-1011; ritualroasters.com
- Taqueria Cancun: Casual Mexican taqueria with a few seats and a take-away option. Their Carnitas Tacos are particularly good. 1003 Market Street, San Francisco, CA; tel:415/864-6773
- Nearby Museums: Steps away are a half-dozen museums, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of the African Diaspora, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; 151 3rd Street; tel:415/357-4000; sfmoma.org
Museum of the African Diaspora; 685 Mission Street; tel:415/358-7200; moadsf.org
Contemporary Jewish Museum; 736 Mission Street; tel:415/655-7800;thecjm.org