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Fog City
Dig in to the wood-oven chicken dish. Image courtesy of Kristen Loken.

Fog City Diner was an institution--particularly in the ’80s. Under the direction of chef Cindy Pawlcyn, it was a culinary wonder, not to mention the star of a certain Visa commercial. But like so many other popular things from that era (hello, permed hair), it needed a makeover.

And boy, did it ever get one. The new Fog City (diner no more) is in the same prime location on the Embarcadero. And the warm, inviting atmosphere definitely remains. But pretty much everything else has changed for the better. Here’s the rundown:

The food
Then After Pawlcyn’s reign, when she pioneered the upscale diner trend, the classic American fare went downhill.
Now The eatery serves seasonal takes on traditional dishes, like deviled eggs topped with quinoa and bacon. Many of the meals revolve around the new wood oven (try the mesquite lamb skewers).

The drinks
Then A so-so wine list
Now Along with a selection of classic cocktails, there are 16 (mainly local) wines on tap, including an elegant Bordeaux blend.

The space
Then The bay views could be seen only from the dining room.
Now The dividing wall is gone, so the space feels exponentially more airy and everyone gets a view. An open kitchen and onyx-hued bar run down the middle.

The bill
Then No American Express!
Now AmEx is accepted.

1300 Battery St.; 415-982-2000 or

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