1/15/2013 01:00:00 PM

10 Must-Try Tasting Menus in San Francisco

The inverted tomato tart at Coi
Despite the recent hand-wringing about “the tyranny of tasting menus,” in which sucker-punched guests are held captive for three to four hours and at the will of hyper-controlling toques, we have to admit that there's great appeal in leaving the dining decisions up to a madly talented chef and simply sitting back to enjoy. Of course, the best-known tasting menu in the land can be had at the French Laundry (that is, once you accomplish the Herculean task of actually nabbing a reservation), but there are plenty of equally dazzling chef-led dining experiences right here in San Francisco.

We’ve scoured the options for our favorite must-try tasting menus of the moment. It’s a mix of high and low, classics and newcomers, plus more than a few where a coat and tie are not only not required but might just make you feel downright out of place. Click through our slide show below, and then tell us in the comments where you like to go for your big night out. Does a tasting menu you've tried qualify as a "best meal ever"? Submit your favorite meal of all time in our contest for a chance to win $500.

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