Best Service in San Francisco

July 21, 2016
·
by Zagat Staff

When you're craving star treatment along with dinner, check out these restaurants, the top places for service in the city.

Gary Danko
American · Fisherman's Wharf · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.7 · Service 4.9

An "oasis of excellence" that "never loses its luster" , Gary Danko’s "stellar" Fisherman’s Wharf namesake manages to "mystically balance" "world-class" New American cuisine on a "brilliantly executed" prix fixe menu ( "don't skip the cheese cart" ) with a "superior wine list" and "synchronized service" , leading to a "warm, customer-centric" experience that manages to be "indulgent without a trace of pretension" ; it comes "at a price" , but for "a celebratory experience" in a "gorgeous" setting, you "get what you pay for."
Acquerello
Italian · Polk Gulch · $$$$
Food 4.9 · Decor 4.7 · Service 4.8

"The total package" for "a special night out" , this "world-class" Polk Gulch Italian combines chef Suzette Gresham’s "divinely inspired" , "decadent" prix fixe menus with a "top-notch wine list" , all presented by an "impeccable" staff displaying "unmatched professionalism" ; despite the "substantial checks" , it's an "excellent value" , with a "beautifully serene" , "intimate" setting "in what was once a chapel" adding to the "sophisticated treat."
Atelier Crenn
French · Cow Hollow · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.8

Dominique Crenn "stretches the boundaries" of French cooking at this Cow Hollow "treat" , where the "spectacular" tasting menu and "elegantly orchestrated" service are like "a piece of performance art" that makes foodies "swear they’ve died and gone to culinary heaven" ; with only a "low-key, natural" setting and a chef-penned poem to introduce the "enchanted evening" , it’s a "memorable" way "to be surprised at every course" – even at "once-in-a-lifetime" prices.
Benu
New American · SoMa · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.8

"You’ll be overwhelmed by the creativity and imagination" put into each "breathtaking" dish at this "stylish" SoMa "food temple" , a "Zen-like" venue where chef-owner Corey Lee’s New American tasting menus showcase an "incredible" "melding of Asian and Californian flavors" ; staffed by a "superb" team that ensures you "feel very much pampered" , it’s an "experience that won’t soon be forgotten" – and that includes the "super-expensive" cost.
La Folie
French · Russian Hill · $$$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.8

Each "work-of-art" course "feels like an event" at this "first-class" French "cornerstone" in Russian Hill, an "epicurean delight" where ever-present chef Roland Passot’s "magnifique" prix fixe dinners are "crafted to perfection" and accompanied by "fine wines" and "stellar" service in a setting of "intimate" "elegance" ; it's "pricey indeed but worth it" , and the adjoining lounge offers a "comfy" alternative for a less formal bite.
Kokkari Estiatorio
Greek · Downtown · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.7 · Service 4.7

A Downtown "star for many years" , this "sublime" Greek "continues to shine" with "lamb shanks from the gods" , "flawlessly" spit-roasted meats and other "fabulous" specialties served by an "exceptional" crew in an "inviting" , "rustic-chic" space favored by "fashionable" crowds; the "memorable experience" requires a "difficult rezzie" and deep pockets to meet the "high-class" cost, but it’s widely hailed as a "must-go" "for a good reason."
Kusakabe
Japanese · Downtown · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.7

Chef Mitsunori Kusakabe "takes you on a culinary adventure" with his "incredible kaiseki-style" dinners at this "intimate" Downtown Japanese, a destination for "premium sushi" featuring "beautiful cuts of fish" prepared with a "precision" that's "inspiring" to watch; rounded out with "caring service" and a "vast" sake list, the experience may put a "dent in your wallet" , but all agree it's "splurge-worthy."
Quince
French · Downtown · $$$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.8 · Service 4.7

"Hard to top" for "fancy dining" "at its best" , this "refined" Downtown Californian from "passionate" husband-and-wife team Michael and Lindsay Tusk "sparkles" thanks to his "superbly executed" cuisine showcasing Italian accents and a "fresh, local food ethos" , complemented by a "fabulous wine list" in "dreamy" surroundings run by a "stellar" staff; you’ll "shell out some big bucks" , but for a "special occasion" that’s "absolutely over the moon" , it’s "well worth it."
La Ciccia
Italian · Noe Valley · $$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.6

A "Sardinian wonder" , this Noe Valley "neighborhood treasure" is "well worth getting to" for its "incredible" , "honest" cooking (notably "sublime" seafood), matched with an "outstanding" wine list in a "pared-down" but "congenial" setting overseen by "charming" husband-and-wife owners; the "Downtown prices" are eased by the "reasonable" vinos, but the "tight quarters" "fill up quickly" so be sure to reserve.
Lazy Bear
New American · The Mission · $$$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.6

Fans roar with approval for this "revolutionary" Mission "experience" , a "can’t-miss" "dinner party with strangers" that "stuns" with "divine" American set menus matched with "world-class" drinks in a communal setting that boasts an open kitchen and "lots character" ; a "humorous and engaged staff" "takes the stuffiness out of fine dining" and helps you forget you’ll need "another student loan" to settle the tab; P.S. tickets for the two nightly seatings are sold a month in advance.
Alexander's Steakhouse
Steakhouse · China Basin · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.6

"How do you say 'wow' in Japanese?" wonder "discriminating" diners smitten by these "luxe" steakhouses with "creative Asian" touches, where beef that "melts in your mouth" and the signature hamachi shots ( "a must" ) are presented alongside "fantastic" wines and "rare" spirits; if you're not a "software mogul" , you're looking at a "splurge" , but "everything is top-drawer" , right down to the "spectacular service" and complimentary "cotton candy upon departure."
Boulevard Restaurant
Gastropub · Embarcadero · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.6

This "top-end" Embarcadero "landmark" showcasing the "culinary vision" of Nancy Oakes "continues to excel" thanks to the "robust flavors" of its "mindblowing" , "market-driven" American cuisine, paired with a "terrific wine list" and served with "the ultimate in professionalism" ; set amid "vibrant" belle epoque "elegance" with "spectacular" Bay Bridge views and a "delightfully fun" counter "to watch the chefs in action" , it’s "always busy" with admirers who find it "well worth the hefty price tag."
COI
American · North Beach · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.6

"Food is an art form" at this North Beach leader in Californian-French "culinary mastery" , where patrons savor "cutting-edge" , seafood-centric tasting menus ( "each plate is like a little masterpiece" ) while "being pampered" by "impeccable" servers in a "quiet, refined" setting; the "very high price point" is no surprise, but it’s "worth emptying your wallet" for such a "truly bucket-list type of place."
State Bird Provisions
American · Fillmore District/Western Addition · $$$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.6

Ever "a game-changer" , this "totally hip" Fillmore District American from husband-and-wife team Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski will "blow you away" with the "bold flavors" of its "spectacular" seasonal small plates served by "engaged" staffers from "roving carts" (think "dim sum for the foodiest" ); given a "cutting-edge" "vibe as exciting as the food" , reservations remain "ridiculously tough" , though walk-ins can "stand in line" before opening time "and hope."
Campton Place
Californian · Downtown · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.6

Diners come "dressed up and ready to part with big bucks" at this "first-class" Cal-Indian with "top" service in the Taj Campton Place off Union Square, where chef Srijith Gopinathan's "beautifully presented" "haute" tasting menus (plus "spot-on" wine pairings) create a "blissful" experience; if the "elegant" dining room seems a bit too "formal" , there's also a bistro menu at the adjacent bar.