On July 2 I asked for advice, and Chowhounders really came through! Many thanks. In the end, we never could get a reservation at Chez Panisse at a reasonable hour, nor at Rivoli, which DavidT recommended (and a friend at our conference preferred over CP). We went to Bay Wolf -- thanks to CL -- and enjoyed the best bouillabaise we've ever had. Except for the parking, a comfortable & enjoyable place. In addition, relatives took us to Lalime's, and we liked both food and atmosphere there, too. So it was a happy return for us to the place where we met, and the East Bay lived up to its reputation as a place where people care about food. And the conference was good too.