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The Se Hotel has been bought out of bankruptcy by SF-based Kimpton Hotels and renamed the Hotel Palomar. Kimpton immediately tied in with local arts and cultural organizations (ranging from SD Opera to House of Blues) to offer room packages with a cultural night out.

Most of Kimpton's properties are boutique hotels, often showcasing small restaurants with excellent cooking. For instance, it was at Hotel Bedford in midtown San Francisco that now-celeb chef Bradley Ogden made his name at the hotel restaurant, Campton Place.

The Se's Suite and Tender restaurant has been erased and replaced by Saltbox Dining and Drinking. I'm a bit sorry: S&T started out horribly, with a famed NY chef phoning it in and a menu drawn up by Microsoft Office, which made a brief splash thanks to the showy decor. Then, thud.

A few years later, the management was crooning "I'm sorry" and offering rather nice SD-style seasonal, locally sourced cooking. Too late. Bye-bye, Suite-y. I'm hoping, of course, that Kimpton Group will bring in some San Francisco sophistication to replace it.

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