Saison San Francisco: Saison is a new addition to the Michelin 3 star élite group of restaurants in SF. It’s run by Joshua Skenes who has worked with famous chefs like Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Chef Michael Mina.
Saison started as a pop up restaurant and eventually evolved to what it is today. It’s now holds the following significant accolades:
- Michelin 3 stars since 2015
- #37 on the San Pellegrino 2017 World’s Best Restaurants
- #27 on the San Pellegrino 2016 World’s Best Restaurants
- #56 on the San Pellegrino 2015 World’s Best Restaurants
Saison has a great ambiance with an open kitchen. There’s a bar area and the main dining room. They play 80/90s music. The playlist includes anything from Journey to Air Supply to Tears for Fear. It reminded me of my childhood when my parents used to listen to KOST 103.5 in Los Angeles. Saison San Francisco.
There are three tables along the kitchen where you get the experience of dining at a Chef’s counter. I was lucky enough to score reservations at one of those tables. It was well worth it and it makes for a different dining experience. To be honest, I would choose dining at the chef’s counter or in the kitchen over the main dining room any day of the week. Saison San Francisco.
Top service is expected from a restaurant with Saison’s accolades. The waiters/chefs were on top of their game and explained everything great. I had great conversations with the multiple waiters about different U.S. Michelin restaurants, food and experiences. They definitely knew their stuff and they weren’t stuffy or pretentious at all. Saison San Francisco.
The service level at highly rated restaurants are comparable. It becomes very similar and the defining difference is the food. They’re all good in their own way, but it’s pretty hard for me to get blown away from the food now. However, Saison definitely blew me away. Everything on the menu was spectacular. Saison San Francisco.
- Caviar & Pork Fat Bread – This was a bowl of caviar accompanied by a sweet bread brushed with pork fat. The caviar was cured with smoked salt. The bread was fresh and warm right out of the oven. The brush of pork fat was a nice touch. There wasn’t a certain way to eat it but I decided to make myself a caviar slider. Saison San Francisco.
- Uni with Liquid Sesame Bread – Uni on top of liquidized sesame bread. The dish melted in your mouth and as it dissolved you get a last crunch on your last bite from the sesame bread. The texture was pretty amazing and totally blew me away. The uni was well prepared but it wasn’t silky in texture as usual. Saison San Francisco.
- Cod Coconut Curry – Cod with coconut curry had a nice kick to it but the flavors of the dish was amazing. As you tipped the dish, you could see the coconut layer separate from the 2nd layer of the curry. It was a very interesting to the two separate from each other. The cod skin gave it a slight crunch but the meat melted away as you chew passed the skin. Saison San Francisco.
- Duck – This dish included a slice of Duck Breast and Foie Gras. The breast was perfectly cooked and had the right amount of moisture. It was juicy, succulent and slightly strong fatty flavor. The Foie Gras was wrapped in a lettuce leaf. The texture was nice and soft but it didn’t have a buttery feel to it like a grilled foie gras. Saison San Francisco.
- Duck Broth – This doesn’t sound like anything special but it was the best dish on the menu. The broth is cooked in grilled duck bones for 6-8 hours and the flavors from the broth was extremely umami. There was a right amount of fat and I have to say it was one of the best things I’ve eaten in my life. The fragrance of the broth was extremely comforting and memorable like when I used to come home from elementary and I smell my mom cooking pho as I walked up the driveway. Saison San Francisco.
Overall, I would have to say Saison would be in my top three Michelin 3 Star dining experience in the United States. The level of service is on par with the other 3 Michelin starred restaurants in the United States. The food was spectacular and the kitchen view puts it above the rest. However, the price will set patrons back since it’s one of the most expensive tasting menus in San Francisco. Saison San Francisco.
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- Service - 9/109/10
- Presentation - 8/108/10
- Flavors - 8.5/108.5/10
- Decor - 8/108/10
- Ambiance - 8/108/10
Saison is a fairly new addition to the Michelin 3 star elite group of restaurants. The top service is expected from a restaurant with Saison’s accolades and the wait staff didn’t come off as pretentious. I would have to say Saison would be in my top three Michelin 3 Star dining experience in the United States.