Michael Mina, San Francisco

San Francisco's haven of seafood-focused fare
Michael Mina's eponymous San Francisco restaurant has delighted guests with memorable and luxurious dining experiences for several years. Although the main dining room is large, the atmosphere is intimate, and the impeccably groomed staff is inquisitive and informative. 

The seafood-heavy menu, which is overseen by executive chef Raj Dixit, features refined American classics like tuna tartar and lobster pot pie. The extensive 36-page wine list, hand-selected by the Mina Group's wine director Martin Sheehan Stross, has a wonderful collection of renowned French labels and cult Napa favorites.
Our Inspector's Highlights
  • During happy hour and on Friday and Saturday nights, the bar and lounge area is bustling and a great place to people watch. Michael Mina's happy hour takes place Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. The chef's classic tuna tartare is only $10 during happy hour.
  • The staff of the restaurant is friendly and well informed, but not overbearing or pretentious.
  • Michael Mina is a block away from the start of the famous California Street cable car line. From the restaurant's spacious windows, diners can watch the trolley cars cruise by.
Things to Know
  • During the week, the restaurant caters to local financial district workers by offering lunch, Monday through Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The lounge area also opens at 11:30, Monday through Friday. Dinner is served Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Lunch is not served on weekends, but the lounge area opens on Saturday and Sunday at 5 p.m.
  • Michael Mina is located at 252 California Street between Front and Battery in San Francisco's downtown financial district. The restaurant's close proximity to many of the city's most well known office buildings makes it an excellent destination for a business lunch or after work cocktail.
  • When it comes to clothing, San Francisco is a somewhat casual city, and accordingly, there is no formal dress code at the restaurant Michael Mina. However, if the staff's cleanly pressed and perfectly fitting suits are used as a guide, diners are recommended to dress stylishly and professionally. Think smart casual.
The Food
  • Adventurous diners can delight in two different tasting menus. The first is a three-course roster showcasing Mina’s signature trios, and the second is an even-more elaborate eight-course chef’s menu. Whichever tempts you, rest assured that it will be an intricate and out-of-this-world experience.
  • To sample how Mina made a name for himself, order the trios. Choose a seasonal option of sashimi, soft-shell crab or Morro Bay abalone as the first course. Each ingredient will be featured in three distinct and tasty ways, illustrating Mina’s dexterity in the kitchen.
  • To nibble on some of his classic dishes, like the caviar parfait with smoked salmon and potato cake, order the chef’s tasting. The bites are smaller — Monterey Bay squid, 28-day dry-aged beef and Spanish bluefin sashimi, to name a few — but more plentiful and jam-packed with luxurious elements like stinging nettle, foie gras and yuzu. 
The Look
  • With its sleek minimalist decor and cool gray, navy, and slate color palate, Michael Mina is a restaurant that exudes masculine elegance and understated simplicity.
  • Oversized floral displays heavy on greenery separate the large formal dining room from the bar and lounge area.
  • The scene is professional, relaxed and unfussy. On any given night, older more established clientele can be found mixing with stylish couples, visiting food lovers, well accessorized women and people celebrating something special like an anniversary or birthday. 
Getting There
252 California Street, San Francisco, California 94111
Michael Mina, San Francisco