Two Michelin-starred, Californian-Mexican cuisine by talented chef Val Cantú.A chic restaurant in SoMa, Californios is where I send diners looking for a memorable, high-end dining experience in SF (it’s strangely not on everyone’s radar). It's all about the patio that makes you feel like you’re in the Condesa in Mexico City (chef-owner Val says it’s like Tulum meets Inverness). The tasting menu is an exploration of Californian and Mexican cuisines, with everything made in house. You’ll taste some of the best tortillas and masa here—just wait until you try their fish taco. The dish with grilled baby banana with savory caramel and cold-smoked caviar sounds so strange, but is deliciously unique. It’s a high-end tasting experience here but still playful, relaxed, and full of surprises (and a fun soundtrack). I love how much you eat with your hands at Californios—it gets you closer to your food, and keeps things from ever feeling stuffy. The beverage pairings from Charlotte Randolph are also very inventive and engaging.
Michelin starred creative Mexican cuisine in the hip Mission District