Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle:

"Compiling the list is an ongoing project. I dine out every night — sometimes I'll have two or three dinners in an evening — checking out new restaurants and returning to those I've previously reviewed."
"It's a continual process to reinvigorate the guide and come up with the widest range of first-rate choices. Every restaurant represented here has been visited at least three times, and in most cases, more."
"Each year, I revisit every restaurant on the previous year's list, and also all the new places that deserve to be considered. This year, 20 restaurants were added, including Nido in Oakland, Coqueta in San Francisco, Sir & Star in Olema, and Iyasare in Berkeley."
"Each year, when I finally finish the list, I reawaken to the fact that dining in the Bay Area is so rich. It's inarguably one of the best places to eat in the United States, and maybe the world."
This tiny Mexican restaurant, fenced in by Interstate 880, a gasoline station and semi-industrial buildings, doesn't seem like a likely place for farm-to-table cooking, but Silvia McCollow and her husband, Cory, have made it a worthy destination. The interior makes the most of its working-class setting, with scarred concrete and plaster walls, rippled metal doors from industrial storage containers and benches that look like they're made from scrap lumber. Silvia, born in Mexico, was a schoolteacher and when her husband was transferred to the Bay Area with the Coast Guard, she decided to follow her dream. Cocktails are also special.