In a city that's a veritable constellation of Michelin stars, Saison's two-month closure was the equivalent of Orion losing his belt buckle.
But now the two-Michelin-starred restaurant has reopened in SoMa.
The former industrial space (which survived the great Earthquake of 1906) has been transformed into a giant chef's counter, where you can watch your meal transform from raw ingredients to the series of 20 artful tasting plates which will eventually arrive at your walnut slab table.
You heard that right. This is a 20-course meal.
And, yes, that does sound like a heck of a lot to get through. But the plates are small and artful enough, and the atmosphere casual enough (the sound system is pumping classic rock at a respectful volume), that it feels more like a foodie fete than a culinary marathon.
And considering that, at $248 per person, it's the most expensive meal in town, it had better be three hours well-spent.
But considering that you'll spend three times as long raving about the experience, it's money well spent, too.
Price: 4 (out of 4)
Parking: Metered street.
Hottest seat in town: With just 18 seats, reservations are a must. Call weeks ahead of your target date.
Cocktail program: The new location carries a full liquor license and features 10 creative cocktails.
The cellar: Award-winning sommelier Mark Bright now has a 5,000 bottle wine cellar at his disposal.
Nearby: District; 25 Lusk; Marlowe