San Francisco Restaurant

Masa's glamorous redesign and new chef

For those who loved Masa's restaurant and watched it languishing after 18 dazzling years, the restaurant's glamorous redesign and the appointment of star chef Ron Siegel come as wonderful news. San Francisco interior designer Orlando Diaz-Azcuy has performed a sleight-of-hand with the 65-seat room, bestowing on it a fresh, modern look.

Diaz-Azcuy fashioned the luminous entry as a kind of stage, with a cinnabar-red armoire and wafting gauze draperies. There's delicious drama inside, with chocolate-colored walls, festive raspberry silk Chinese lanterns hung from the ceiling, creamy Frette linens, and coffee-colored mohair banquettes.

Siegel's French-Californian food is complex but far from precious. The extensive wine list offers many rare and nearly impossible to find vintages. Insiders have discovered that Masa's also serves the full menu at the small, chic bar. So opera and ballet lovers dash in as early as 5.30 p.m., sip a martini, dine on lamb noisettes, squab breast, or lobster, then dash off in time for the performance. $130. Hotel Vintage Court, 648 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA 94108; 415-989-7154.

Member of Fine Dining.