There’s no question that the Fifth Floor (12 Fourth St., 415/348-1555, www.fifthfloorrestaurant.com, Mon.–Sat. 5:30–10 p.m., $30–40) is one of the top French restaurants in San Francisco. Which is saying something. The restaurant sits on the fifth floor of the Hotel Palomar. It’s got both a casual café and a full-scale formal dining room to serve as many diners as possible.
The cuisine exemplifies the best of southern France—the chef specializes in Gascon food and loves to create dishes that show off his early life and training. An ultra-expensive dinner up on the Fifth Floor is the perfect excuse to dress to the nines. Don’t worry, the dining room decor can take it.
For the lower end of the French cuisine spectrum, check out Crepes A Go Go (350 11th St, 415/503-1294, daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m., $3.50–6) in SoMa. Believe it or not, the tiny but clean premises, single guy working the crepes, and late-night hours (call to check what the real closing hours are) are all quite reminiscent of Paris. Crepes A Go Go can make you up some quick and hearty nighttime sustenance or perhaps a fruity dessert. The house special is the turkey, egg, and cheese—a great way to fuel a full night of drinking and clubbing.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition