Small restaurant, intimate setting and the San Francisco cable car rattles by the front door. You can't ask for much more to complete this as a true SF experience. NOT a touristy SF experience mind you, but an authentic neighborhood restaurant that offers a varied menu, reasonably priced options and a great wine list. Low lights, a hushed tone - you can actually carry on a conversation with others at your table - what a concept. Excellent service.
Making reservations is probably a good idea, and remember it's Russian Hill, so parking can/will be tough. Good reason to take the cable car!