I am originally from Chicago, but really haven't gotten out and about when home to visit as I have been playing with the nephews.
i cook in SF and love food...I have always wanted to try Topolabamba...but are there better places? I am sure, but Rick Bayless is a great chef/explorer. Went to Japonais last time I was in town. Would Carnivale be a better place or is it really sceney? Want great food, good atmosphere a plus, but not the most important part.