New York Times food critic Pete Wells, who describes his time at Saison as [o]ne of the most compelling" and "one of the most maddening" meals he's ever had, penned an interesting piece on San Francisco's most controversial (and possibly its best) restaurant.

Here are some choice excerpts:

"There is the price of being late: the meal will start without you, and, as the Web site puts it, 'any missed courses cannot be made up.' "

"the good has the upper hand."

"Part of the fun was not knowing where the next thrill would come from."


"I don’t believe anybody looked at me long enough to have picked me out of a police lineup; I know nobody asked if I was having a good time."

"the restaurant played Phil Collins."

"They would strut around the room, every few minutes bearing a plate to my table as if it had come straight from God’s workshop..."

"the staff [in the new SOMA location] was kinder and less cocky."

"a server who had evidently been reading over my shoulder said: 'I couldn’t help noticing that you wrote ‘Kruger.’ It’s actually ‘Krug.’ ”

"An undogmatic embrace of both new and old kitchen tricks."

"black cod in a yogurt"

"I do know that, for all of the extraordinary demands it makes on diners, Saison delivers a meal that is at least as extraordinary."

"'80s pop"