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Hot List 2008

Spruce, San Francisco, California

Address: 3640 Sacramento Street

Tel: 415-931-5100

It's tempting to dismiss Spruce as a case of all style and no substance. The slick Presidio Heights spot has the usual hip elements: funky space (1930s auto garage); edgy industrial decor (exposed steel trestles; textured sisal walls); and buzzword ingredients (burrata, foie gras). But this is San Francisco, and even designer denim–clad crowds aren't going to stand for limp lettuce. Chef Mark Sullivan, of Woodside's much-loved Village Pub, gets his produce from the restaurant's own farm, and the quality shows in the refreshingly simple shaved zucchini salad and the ravioli stuffed with sweet celeriac and mascarpone. Heirloom tomatoes are a seasonal treat, but the fat, juicy burger, served with top-notch fries, is delicious year-round. The wine list is -encyclopedia-sized, and there are expertly mixed cocktails. At the front, a small counter sells homemade charcuterie (try the decadent duck mousse), cheese, and prepared foods (entrées, $28–$38).

Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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