I'm not in or from the Bay Area, but would like to treat, through gift certs, a couple friends of mine who DO live there to 2 dinners for doing me a big ol' favor.
What i'm looking for is 1) something on the nicer end (but not over-the-top fancy, i don't think my friends would be to psyched about some of the more intimidating restaurants that seem to exist in SF) and 2) something on the cheaper-but-oh-so-interesting end. (i guess the gift certificate option may limit some of the cheaper, but really cool, restaurants, but i'm willing to find a creative solution to that, so don't hold back)
Being that it is a gift for someone in the area, i don't want these to be places at which they would perhaps roll their eyes because perhaps they are standard restaurants that EVERYONE has already visited and are considered a little boring. It would be great if the pair of restaurants would compliment each other well. They don't have to be of any particular cuisine types, in fact, it would be more interesting if the two weren't similar.
Anyone have any suggestions as to their favorite pair of restaurants that would match these (hopefully not too vague) descriptions? and i'd also be curious as to why you think they pair well.