Michael Mina San Francisco

Last night, Sarah and I were went to dinner at Michael Mina with Allen Young and his wife. Allen is a long time reader and when he heard that I was coming to San Fran for Ad:Tech, he rung me up and offered the invite to what is arguably the best restaurant in all of San Francisco, if not the entire United States.

Michael Mini is one of the biggest names in the fine dining world. His flagship Michael Mina restaurant in the historic St. Francis hotel is the very definition of high end dining at its very best. The room is a huge space that features dramatic, soaring, 20-foot Ionic columns. Think grand hotel lobby and you’ll get the idea.

Michael Mina’s signature technique is preparing each dish three ways. One luxe ingredient is prepared three different ways and presented in concert on a specially designed plate. Presentation is right up there with Toronto’s Susur Lee. I would rank Michael Mina among the top five best restaurants I’ve ever dined at.

Dayboat Scallops – Spring Vegetables

  • English peas, Nantes carrots, onion soubise
  • Fingerling potato, young leeks, black truffle
  • Fava beans, applewood smoked bacon, pork jus

Hudson Valley Foie Gras – Hot to Cold

  • Huckleberry gastrique, Belgian endive – seared
  • Pickled strawberries, oat streusle – “Chuad Froid”
  • Poached rhubarb, pistachio crumble – terrine

Premium Beef Tasting

  • Grass-fed rib-eye, creamed spinach, sauce au poivre
  • American Kobe short rib, horseradish whipped potatoes, natural jus
  • Japanese Kobe sirloin, pickled mushrooms, bordelaise vinaigrette

This was a standout dish. The rib-eye was so tender, but then you bite into the American Kobe short rib and it was even more tender! Just when you thought it couldn’t get more tender than that, you bite into the real Japanese Kobe sirloin and oh man! It literally melts in your mouth.

Alaskan Halibut – Salted, Poached, Seared

  • Brandade, haricot vert nicoise olives
  • Noisette, spring garlic, Serrano ham
  • Seared, Razor clams, chowder sauce


  • White chocolate rose panna cotta, hibiscus, almond
  • S’more, saffron marshmallow, pistachio puree
  • Chocolate ice cream, lavender, shortbread

Artisan Cheeses

  • Haystack peak – blood orange, yellow beet
  • Malvarosa – dried fig, red onion marmalade
  • Pleasant Ridge Reserve – Kalamata olive, pomegranate

I wan to thank Allen for the inviting us to dinner with him and his lovely wife. We had a great time and I look forwarding to taking them out when they visit Vancouver.