At long last, we present the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s “Best of the Bay 2007.” As you may be aware, the annual guide has traditionally offered many eclectic awards; of course, this year is no exception. The ten overarching categories– Local Heroes, Neighborhoods, Classics, City Living, Food and Drink, Nightlife and Entertainment, Shopping, Sex and Romance, Outdoors and Sports, Readers’ Poll–all contain notable, witty awards (Best Fedoras We Adore-a, Best Opportunity To See Grown Men Beat One Another With Sticks) that are definitely worth your perusal, but this being a restaurant blog and all, allow us to highlight some of our favorites from the Food and Drink category.
BEST WHIMSICAL CALIFORNIA PUB GRUB: Salt House: “… if you can’t be bothered with such formality, sit at the nice long bar and graze your way through a pot o’ pickles, served in a real crock, or a dish of mixed nuts roasted with truffle honey.”
BEST SHOT OF OLD HAVANA: Cafe Lo Cubano: “The average ho-hum latte will never stack up for anyone who’s had a well-made cortadito (sweetened espresso with a splash of milk and foam) or shared a colada (several shots of café cubano served in a large cup).”
BEST PRIX FIXE PERSONAL CHEF: Jai Yun: “The cat has been out of the bag for some time now about Jai Yun (Mandarin for “home”), chef Nei Cha Ja’s tiny, no-frills Chinatown dining room, where for a set per-person price he will turn out an exquisite, delicately prepared multicourse mystery meal replete with enough gourmet goodies to rival the repasts served at any of the Bay Area’s fanciest Hong Kong dinner palaces.”
BEST LAPHROAIG TO GLENMORANGIE: The Alembic: “Owner David McLean knows quality liquor - he also owns Magnolia Pub and Brewery - and the Alembic is cresting a wave of rye-drinking popularity.”
BEST POTATO PARADISE: Frjtz: “In our opinion the perfect fry has a crispy, translucent aura where the oil has penetrated the outermost layer, but the inside remains soft and fluffy - and still tastes like an actual potato. The french, or rather Belgian, fries at Frjtz fulfill all the above requirements and more.”
The rest of the winners and more at the official site.