J Lounge at Jardiniere
The more casual portion of chef Traci des Jardins’ eponymous Hayes Valley restaurant is situated to the left as soon as guests walk through the front door. The room features brick walls, a full bar, wood floors, and cushioned, low-slung seating. The menu changes with the seasons, just like in the Jardinière dining room, but these plates are designed to share, including duck meatballs with Mission figs and lucques olives; lardo-slathered crostini with shallot conserva; and a Wagyu beef burger with bacon, Fontina cheese, and oh-so-California avocado.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.