For as good as the California Academy of Sciences is at exposing you to the wondrous complexity of undersea life, it certainly doesn't throw said creatures into the pan with butter, garlic, and sage. For an aquarium that does, hit Waterbar.
Decked out in brick, dark steel, and glass, with mind-numbing Bay views, the two-story WB serves up bounty harvested, caught, or duped-with- promises-of-its-own-cable- TV-show from oceans/rivers within 100 miles of the restaurant, plus exotic bounty from around the world.
The future entrées frolic in four tanks, juxtaposed against four illuminated, 1500-gallon pillars that house luckier, not-to-be-feasted-on creatures, from starfish to wolf eels -- which can reach up to 5ft long after adolescing from their awkward teen-wolf eel years.
Doomed aquatic friends turn up in dishes like Poached Petrale Sole w/ salt-roasted German butterballs, Pressed Lobster (cooked in its own juices), and the fish-&-chips-style Rock Cod "Colbert", which scored a ratings bonanza when it appeared on a plate with Blowfish "O'Reilly"
Waterbar'll also feature an impressive array of rawness, from Geoduck Ceviche, to Steelhead Tartare, to eight varieties of oysters -- or one for every frustratingly inanimate alligator into whose tank you've watched field-tripping adolescents hurl pennies.