I've had a couple dinners at the Menlo Park branch in the last couple months and felt that the food is more stylized but not as intensely flavored and soulful as SF's. The restaurant is beautiful and more elegant but I'd fault the kitchen for not offering any bread with chili crab (gotta sop up the sauce!) and another time we had to send a dish back that was undersalted. No salt/pepper shakers are available for the tables.
Straits SF has been a favorite spot for business lunches. I like to sketch out ideas on the paper-covered tables. A recent lunch at the original in SF confirmed that the food is indeed more complex, more brightly flavored, more depth --- just better.
Anyone else find this?