Though pioneering chef Shawn Monday has since left this basement location, it's still an exceptional spot for swanky, adventurous tapas-style dining. The basement location manages to be both hip and classic, with exposed brick and subdued lighting. The price is high, but the food and service match it.
around the corner from the craziness of w. 6th is this unassuming wine bar, which packs top-shelf eats -- and drinks -- into a space that's somehow both cozy and airy. by-the-glass options are organized into well-chosen flights, making it hard to stop with one. which is, of course, the point.
do not be misled into thinking this is just another beer joint. they have a great brew selection, to be sure, but it's the food that stands out as a consistently pleasant surprise. one warning, though: do not order a bloody mary unless you enjoy the feeling of having your face melted off.
Still the most consistently good Japanese experience in the city. Shuehei is far from flashy, but they deliver exceptional sushi (and other Japanese staples) in an understated space that would be right at home in San Francisco. The biggest drawback is the location: Yes, it really is in the basement of that office building.