WARNING: Please, if you are the type of person that thinks you cannot compare, or should not compare restaurants, food quality, etc... then just stop reading this, it will only cause you pain and misery to read. Just do us both a favor and realize that some people like to have theoretical discussions, and others do not. I'm fine with that, but I would like to get some information in a theoretical fashion with this thread if it's ok. Thank you for understanding, and tolerating me!
On to the post!
So, first maybe I should ask whether this list is a pretty accurate listing of the best restaurants in SF (approximately as accurate as, say, Jonathan Gold's 101 list in LA):
Specific things I would like to ask those who have the big bucks. What is the difference in a meal that costs $68-$78 for a full pre-fixe (places like Commonwealth, Sons and Daughters, or AQ, versus places that are a full $100 more, like Coi, Saison, Benu, Atelier Crenn, Manresa, etc... (even Quince is almost $100 more at $158, so lets count that too)?
It seems like we almost totally lack that level in LA. Our best places are about $100 for pre-fixes it seems. (I am excluding beverage pairings in all of these prices).
What is the jump in cuisine like? Are the flavors just far superior? Or is it setting, privilege of dining (exclusivity), better plating, etc... mainly?
(Ok maybe any frequent high-end diner in SF can answer that portion).
Now, I am really curious, what you transplants (or frequent inter-city diners) compared places like State Bird Provisions, Cotagna, Incanto, Mission Chinese, Nopalitos, SPQR, AQ, Aziza, Commonwealth, Flour + Water, Ad Hoc, or Son and Daughters in terms of quality of cuisine, flavor, atmosphere (or any other kind of theoretical modality, besides actual precise type of cuisine they serve, which is obviously not going to be exactly the same as anything in LA). Or maybe you guys can tell me what the tiers of the various restaurants are in SF in your own opinions?
Thank you for indulging me!
I hope this starts off a great discussion, and I look forward to hearing all of the information for planning a trip up there soon.
For reference, I used to eat in SF semi-commonly as a kid with my family but they weren't really into high-end stuff. At at Tommy's Joynt, and Bi-Rite Creamery a lot haha.
However, I did fall in love with Mandalay, and the ballads and curry noodles there. I haven't been back since becoming more of a "foodie" in LA though. How do you guys like that place?