San Francisco's hotbed of culinary talent

Campton Place likes to find new talent (just Google “Laurent Manrique,” “Bradley Ogden,” “Daniel Humm” or “Todd Humphries”). These rising-star chefs tend to move on quickly, but not much changes within the sedate dining room. Oversized banquettes and gleaming silver define Campton as upscale, with menu and service to match. Adroit waitstaff present dishes, from amuse bouche to petits fours, with a flourish. The food zooms in on high-end, locally sourced ingredients (even the foie gras is labeled “artisan”) with trendy touches like foams dabbed here and there. Semi-celeb pastry chef Boris Portnoy trained his team well before he departed. Desserts are surprising, well-balanced little gems: English cucumber soup with pistachio, mint and yogurt sorbet sounds bizarre but tastes divine. Hotel guests rave about breakfast (malted walnut waffles; tiger prawn frittata).