In the basement of the Academy of Sciences, a lush, polished, fine-dining restaurant awaits..
The fine artistry of this restaurant--the space, the food, and the service--stuns, considering it's in the basement of a science museum. Towering above the space, the centerpiece and namesake, a glowing, living moss wall, is both ingenious and appropriate; simultaneously a backdrop and an exhibit you never get tired of looking at. The dining room is smartly arrayed, with very few if any bad seats in the house, and in all four directions lies something entertaining to look at: the open kitchen, the glass-walled private dining room, the bar, and the aforementioned moss wall. The short menu of S.L.O food-sustainable, local, organic-is simple, unfrivolous and deftly executed, and the kitchen knows how to make flavors sing (each bite of the risotto fills your mouth with a swooning truffle tastecloud; the ink in the squid casserole is a perfect foil for the Swiss chard, oven-dried tomatoes and jalapeno pesto). Service is unmistakably fine-dining status, with chef, server and sommelier working together in smooth concert, which along with the food and décor makes this museum-restaurant--like a pre-school music teacher who studied at Julliard--overqualified for its position, and delightfully so.