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3 Great Restaurants for Conscious Carnivores

Eat like a local in San Francisco, the culinary capital of the U.S. West Coast! This city has spearheaded many innovative concepts in the food industry, like sustainability, seasonality, locally grown organic products, the use of a whole animal, and the emphasis on humanely raised meat. We know our food!

For glamor and elegance associated with the old San Francisco, reserve a table at the recently open 1881 Restaurant inside a gorgeous Victorian-era building, Mansion on Sutter. Have a romantic candlelit evening among antique furnishings, stained glass windows, oil paintings and bronze statuettes, and under crystal chandeliers. Delight in a private Rosenson Family wine collection (with a signature red poppy label) and California-French cuisine to match. 

Chef Jean Goulette’s rule #1 is “house-made, organic, locally sourced, humanely raised, sans hormones and antibiotics.” He puts on the table treats like pork and duck charcuterie, house-cured trout with Granny Smith apples, and roasted pheasant with black truffle puree and cognac jus.

Pastry chef Allison Gill excels at deserts like pistachio parfait with raspberry gelee, and a tasting of house-made sorbets with fennel and citrus.

From the bar, managed by Karina Kotovaya, expect wonders like cognac-based The 1881 with poppy seed bitters, or Bolts and Nuts King made of mezcal, Brussel sprouts shrub, buckwheat honey, gunpowder green tea tincture, and lime.

The 1881 Restaurant 1409 Sutter St., 415.213.2746, www.mansiononsutter.com

For some delicious surprises, resulting from Chef Matthew Dolan's endless culinary creativity, find your way to a hip and trendy Twenty Five Lusk named after its street address.

This is a modern, versatile, three-level restaurant in a reworked historical 1917 meat-smoking warehouse. It boasts an open air rooftop bar, a dining hall with exhibition kitchen, and a downstairs living room-style party space. Always welcoming and buzzing with youthful energy, Twenty Five Lusk has exposed brick and timber décor with steel accents and dark mirrors enlivened by studio lights overhead, and abundant white orchids in flower pots strategically placed throughout.

Come here for a business lunch, a private party, a family gathering, to spend time with a groups of friends, to treat your date, or if you’re simply up for great libations and outstandingly delicious food, beautifully plated, and served with a smile.  

One of the Chef Dolan’s recent surprise creations is goat ravioli, made with red Spanish goat meat, raised in Sonoma, fire roasted then braised overnight in a wood-fired oven on the rooftop, and served in goat broth with ginger and Napa Cabbage kimchi, arugula rub, fava leaves, and Pepato cheese from Bellwether Farms, located in Petaluma, California.  

Don’t miss a dinner menu staple, Sturgeon Schnitzel, lightly breaded and crisp-fried to finger-licking perfection. If a juicy piece of meat is what you crave, go for a Berkshire pork Grilled Sakura Pork Chop garnished with tomato and fennel ragout, marble potatoes and capers, and smothered with fresh mozzarella.

Be on a lookout for the restaurant’s upcoming “Game of Thrones” cosplay with a special medieval menu (think whole turkey legs), dragon mugs, and themed drinks. The medieval fandom celebrations start on April 15 and go on for six weeks.

Twenty Five Lusk 25 Lusk St., 415.495.5875, www.25lusk.com

Discover the latest addition to San-Francisco’s fine dining, Niku Steakhouse, a modern American steakhouse with a Japanese influence. The Butcher Shop by Niku Steakhouse next door supplements the restaurant kitchen with the freshest high-quality meats, imported from Japan as well as domestically raised on carefully curated farms, personally selected and visited by the master butcher and industry veteran, Guy Crims, a proponent of a comprehensive nose-to-tail program.

The Butcher Shop, San Francisco’s only certified Kobe beef retailer, secured the largest retail order of Japanese A5 Kobe and Wagyu beef in the Western hemisphere, so go ahead, indulge in a steak of your dreams!  

Behind the copper-clad door, inside the refined dining room, dark, and lit with a fired grill at the open kitchen, be seated at a table or at the grill counter, and try the very best in the realm of red meat. Be it tender beef from Imperial Wagyu in Nebraska, heritage Berkshire Kurobuta pork from Iowa, or USDA Choice Superior Farms lamb from California, you’re here for a decidedly delightful experience!

Indulge in melt-in-your-mouth kimchi beef tartare, garnished with pickles, puffed beef tendon, and some golden shavings of cured egg yolk. Share a gigantic Imperial Wagyu tomahawk steak with your dining companion – its preparation is a show, and the result is a highly satisfying meal. Don’t skip Pastry Chef Desiree Valencia’s fantastic sweets, like a meat-lover’s dessert Chocolate Miso made with Wagyu fat brownie and Wagyu caramel, or Celery Citrus – winter citrus crème fraiche pot de crème with celery sorbet and almond crumbs.

Niku Steakhouse 61 Division St., 415.829.7817, www.nikusteakhouse.com