Vincent on Camelback
Chef Vincent Guerithault was trained in French haute cuisine, but since 1986 he’s been blending his classic experience with influences from Mexico and California, and serving it all up in a rustic, elegant setting of several small rooms with crisp white tablecloths and wood-beamed ceilings. This eatery sets itself apart with charming touches, including a complimentary slice of fruit tart at the end of the meal and a water cart holding an absurd assortment of bottled H2O. Start with the rich, spicy duck tamale with Anaheim chile and raisins and move on to sautéed veal sweetbreads with blue cornmeal in a red wine thyme sauce accompanied by a wild mushroom potato cup, or grilled wild boar loin in a habanero sauce with celery root purée. On Saturday mornings from fall through spring, all the best organic farmers and gourmands come together in the restaurant’s tiny parking lot for a terrific little farmers’ market.
Tip: Just behind the main restaurant, you’ll find Vincent’s Market Bistro (a well-kept secret). While the menu and location are more casual, the food is equally good—and you’ll still get that free dessert. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; no reservations necessary.