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Edge cuisine in mid California?

Gabe Q

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Well this is my very first post here. I am soon to graduate from culinary school on the east coast and want to move and work out in California, around the Bay area/Napa Valley.

I am familiar with a few restaurants over there but I am interested in finding out about new restaurants that I could apply to. So anyone knows about good restaurants in the sort of style like Alinea/WD50 around that area????????


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Hi Gabe-

I think this part of the world is more known for the Chez Panisse style of organic/fresh/local/simple, and to me the best places aer in that vein. Even the top fine-dining restaurants (eg Michael Mina) are less edgy and avant-garde than the places you mention, even though they often serve creative and fabulous food. That might be why there have not been faster responses to your post.

But here are a few ideas:

Winterland in San Francisco. This place is one of SF's more avant-garde spots. The reviews on this site have been less than amazing, but I like the place a lot, especially sitting at the bar for dinner. (I am overdue to write something a bit more positive about the place to give aniother perspective.)

Here is a food blog that gives what I think is an accurate run-down of the experience...though my experience with service has been better than what they describe.

Here is a more positive review.

The chef, Vernon Morales, worked at El Bulli so you do see air and foam and bacon ice cream on the menu...and to me he usually does a good job of making those exotics tasty. They had fabulous desserts, but the pasty chef left recently so I can't comment on what they're up to now. Also the cocktails are terrific. (Disclaimer: the bartender is a friend of mine.)

Roxanne's was a very interesting raw food place up in Larkspur. The restaurant closed but I think they still have a to-go place. Roxanne Klien, the chef, collaborated w/ Charlie Trotter on this book. To me the food was innovative, but I ate there a few years ago.

The other places that come to mind are Frisson (SF), Coi (SF), Millenium (Vegetarian, SF) and Manresa (Los Gatos). But sinse I've not eaten at any of these spots I can't say how cutting edge they are.

Good luck! If I think of more I will post again.

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Manresa (Los Gatos).  But sinse I've not eaten at any of these spots I can't say how cutting edge they are.

I think pretty much anyone who has experienced Chef David Kinch's cuisine would have to agree that it is, indeed, very cutting edge!

excellent thread on all aspects of Manresa

thread on Chef David Kinch

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I went to Winterland the other night and I hear they are closing mid-July!

Very sad! I think it was not a good location, way too residential.

I don't know what's next for the staff; if I hear more I will post.

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I know nothing about the restaurant biz in that area. I do live in southern California and have 2 step-daughters in the San Francisco area and many friends up that way. You say you're from the east coast, but that's as much as saying you're from the west coast.

My advice before you start to seriously pursue a job in this area is to make sure you understand the cost of living out here. And I mean that seriously. Please check into it before you start looking for a job. Your salary requirements will depend/vary on the area you move to.

I hope that didn't come across as too negative--just want to make certain you're aware.

Best of luck to you in your career, whichever coast/state you find yourself. :smile:


Liberty, MO

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