Really capturing the essence of San Francisco in a restaurant design isn't easy, especially due to the logistical concerns inherent in trying to find a place to put all those shopping carts. For a new SOMA food-slinger steeped in SF essence, check out Trace, opening Labor Day inside the W.
Sadly not named after the 1970s Dutch progressive rock band, Trace is the W's new Third St-facing resto 'n bar, which got a multi-million dollar, surprisingly SF-appropriate makeover that steers clear of cable cars & Golden Gates, and instead turns the two-story space into a fog-filled miniature cityscape, surrounding block-shaped, building-esque, ground-floor furniture with a grey-to-white gradient color pattern that mimics the SF sky. Downstairs they'll have three-meal eats including breakfast-y poached eggs with salmon hash, and chocolate waffles (with cocoa nibs and coffee sabayon); a lunch W burger (with pea leaf, Fiscalini cheddar, and horseradish cream on an Acme roll), and a dinnertime Tasting of Pork, which includes roasted leg, rib chop, and crisp belly, with artisan polenta and grilled peppers, which, no matter how hard they're questioned, still refuse to get salty. Upstairs, they'll pour three beers on tap (Speakeasy's Big Daddy IPA, Boont's Amber, and Trumer) in a Puff Daddy-approved all-white interior, with eight more brews in bottles, and an octet of signature "potions", including the Tbd Facebook, which's made with whiskey, OJ, agave nectar, fresh blackberries, raspberries, and two parts Winklevoss.
Come the end of the month they'll get close to finishing a lobby-bar-to-Trace-stretching communal table that'll seat 60 and complete a hotel-wide renovation, though if they really want the design to reflect the true SF, they'll probably leave some crack(s).