My husband and I were lucky enough to enjoy wonderful vacations eating our way through SF in 2009 and 2010. We weren't able to make it back last year, but are looking forward to another trip out very soon. I'm hoping to enjoy a lot of novelty this trip. We've had some incredible food experiences on our last two trips, but most of them (other than maybe Commis and definitely Ler Ros) probably don't rate a return experience. I've been spending a lot of time trying to catch up on the boards, but I'm feeling overwhelmed by the options and hoping to get some help sifting through what's new and worthy.
We're looking for interesting, innovative and exciting food - mostly medium range type of places, with one blow out dinner. I'd also like to spend some time this trip exploring the range of Chinese food available in the Bay area, so any suggestions about how to hit some of the greatest hits would be most welcome.
As background, here's a mostly comprehensive list of where we've already been: Coi, Incanto, Commis, Slanted Door, Bar Tartine (old incarnation), Range, Ler Ros, a full exploration of the Ferry Building and a couple of tourist traps that some well meaning friends dragged us to.
Some places I'm thinking about: Benu (for the blow out dinner), Hakka Chinese, Mission Chinese Food, Commonwealth, and Plum. Thoughts on these?
All suggestions welcome! Thanks so much for your help.