Eight Tables occupies the top floor of China Live, George Chen’s culinary center on the border of San Francisco’s Chinatown and North Beach neighborhoods. As the name suggests, seating is limited in this sumptuous space, where Chen offers Chinese “private chateau cuisine.” The tasting menu begins with the “Nine Essential Flavors of Chinese Cuisine,” a sort of table of contents for the gastronomical roller coaster ahead. Wine director Anthony Kim’s pairings prove as inventive as the food, running the gamut from Clarksburg pét-nat to Madeira. Of equal interest is the cocktail program, where beverage director Anthony Keels imparts a Chinese aesthetic to his masterful concoctions. Don’t miss the gin-based Lily Pond. Served in a porcelain cup, garnished with nasturtium flowers, it yields the same calming effect as tea.