Sutro’s at the Cliff House
If the Cliff House, a romantic joy, were a cat, rather than merely one of any San Francisco restaurants, it would definitely be living its ninth life. Built on a rocky bluff in 1863, the first Cliff House was a playground for prominent San Francisco families, who would drive their carriages out to Ocean Beach for horse races. It has burned to the ground twice. The current structure, extensively modified, was built in 1909. Arrive before dusk, grab a seat at a crisply set table by one of the soaring floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Pacific, and watch the sun go down while you sip cocktails. Finally, a reason-other than the view and a chance to dip one’s toes in the water-for urban pleasure-seekers of all ages to make the journey to the western edge of the city. Situated on a rocky point at the north end of Ocean Beach, the sleek, contemporary Sutro Wing of the Cliff House has floor-to-ceiling windows facing the Pacific and the Marin coastline. A modernist setting and dazzling ocean views combine with fine Californian cuisine for big romance, big style. It’s all about the view, so go on a sunny day or at sunset (you can’t see much at night). Or skip the food and stop in the Zinc Bar for a drink.