just some quick notes from a visitor from NYC
Chez Panisse - everything it's cracked up to be, lunch included fried oyster sandwich, chicken paillard, halibut carpaccio, superb, on a par with Le Bernardin - simpler preparation but superb ingredients
Tadich Grill - cioppino reminded me of eating bouillabaisse in Marseille, sturgeon fillet was also great, only thing not recommended was the very mediocre rice pudding dessert
Scharffenberger chocolate - fantastic
Scoma- ate here based on a recommendation from the merchant at North Berkeley wine imports. Usually wine vendors know their stuff - not this time. Scoma has a slop-the-hogs tourist atmosphere. Crab cakes were unpleasant and the french fries were cold. In fairness, my wife enjoyed her half-crab.
Tried 2 places near where I stayed in the Sunset
PJs Oyster Bed - very mediocre jambalaya, oysters ok, snapper was not fresh. Would not go back.
Kuu Sushi - uni was very fresh, salmon was not. My wife is Japanese and has a very discriminating palate - uni served too cold, sushi rice too warm. Smelt tempura too salty. She would not go back.