Maybe this will seem like a silly question, but I'll throw it out there and let people go after it.
Can people think of examples of restaurants which have gone "uphill"? They were mediocre or worse when they started out but something happened (new chef, changes along with a remodel, divine inspiration) that made them really improve. It seems to me we don't hear much about such cases, if there are any. We write about new restaurants and ones that have gone downhill, but not ones that improve. Maybe (horrors!) we don't get to these places because we've already written them off.
My own examples? It seemed to me that the food, service, and ambiance of Saul's deli in Berkeley all markedly improved after their expansion a few years ago. Huynh (Vietnamese) Restaurant on 15th St. in Downtown Oakland had a bad reputation, but has been terrific in its improved space.