Restaurant review: Gary Danko, San Francisco
Prandial Pleasure – Stinging repast.

When it comes to superfoods, Californians are precocious. While we were getting excited about dark green vegetables, those righteous west-coasters were already tiring of blueberries. It seems that the kitchen tables have turned, however, and the latest miracle anti-oxidant to have been "discovered" in the Sunshine State – the humble nettle – has long been incorporated in British cooking: think nettle tea, soup and (apparently) beer. But waiters at top San Francisco restaurant Gary Danko are finding it necessary to explain the provenance of their current "Nettle Tasting Menu" to their gourmet clientele.

Never having had more than an accidental brush with it myself, I was astonished at how boldly the pesky weed had been adapted by Danko into his sophisticated cuisine. For instance, while I'm sure that nettles and snails have met before, it was probably not in a delicate brioche entrée. In the next course a nettle-flecked dumpling accompanied a sliver of seared seabass with local ricotta. This led on to a perky Guinea hen breast, squatting on a creamy nettlacious risotto, and a crispy nettle crepinette.

After the cheese trolley - a sculptural showcase of California's growing artisanal cheese industry - we were presented with one of the most extraordinary desserts I have tasted: a yoghurt panna cotta with a nettle granite, passion fruit cream and lemon mint sherbet. Each mouthful was a cheeky conflict of textures which, despite the predominant creaminess, left me feeling as if I had eaten a water ice.
As I'm a Brit, I'm normally branded a culinary wimp. But it was my fellow diners - a bunch of suited Silicone Valleyites who had eschewed the nettlefest in favour of the à la carte - who were unquestionably the weeds of the day.

Gary Danko, 800 North Point St, San Francisco, 001 415 749 2060.