San Francisco, California
Farallon, chosen by the James Beard Foundation, as well as national publications such as Bon Appetit, as one of the best new restaurants in the country, is located in the heart of San Francisco?s Union Square area at 450 Post Street.
Built in 1925 for the Elk's Club, this building was featured in a ten-page article in the very first issue of Architectural Digest and designed by one of the most important architectural firms of the period, Meyer and Johnson. Turn-of-the-century designer Anthony Heinsberger is credited for the original interior work. Hired by Pat Kuleto and Working with a team of the finest artisans cundersea fantasy was created in the restaurant?s interior, retaining the classic integrity of the original structure while introducing whimsy and romance. The Jelly Bar invites guests into the restaurant with custom-made jellyfish sculpted lights suspended two stories overhead and its octopus stools next to the kelp columns lit from within. Following the path, suggestive of a sandy ocean floor, guests pass by a 'caviar' staircase sweeping up to the balcony and covered with 50,000 iridescent indigo-blue marbles. In what is called the Pool Room of the restaurant, Heinsberger painted an elaborate mosaic design of bathing beauties to grace the three arches of what was then the ceiling over the club?s swimming pool, still in use below the restaurant. Early design reviews describe the painted ceiling as exceeding true mosaic in both cost and effect. Time has lent a warmth to the original design which Kuleto restored and made the focus of the Pool Room, along with the giant custom-made sea urchin light fixtures.
Succeeding in his desire to make his guests feel comfortable and secure in the restaurant, it is designed with smaller areas and intimate spaces such as the nautilus room and the wine hold. In the nautilus room, an area between the bar and the Pool Room, are six booths surrounded by a spiraling shellfish pillar with a tile floor suggesting the cross-section of a nautilus. A 10-seat semi-private room off the Pool Room, the wine hold features a painting of the hold of a ship filled with wine bottles and glass windows looking into the dining room and the restaurant's wine cellar.