About Monsieur Benjamin

451 Gough Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
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Monsieur Benjamin is a modern restaurant and bar in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley, inspired by the great Parisian bistro culture and traditions of French cooking.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
French

Hours of Operation:


Dinner: M-Su 5:00pm-12:00am

Brunch: Sa-Su 11:00am-2:30pm

Cross Street:
Gough and Ivy

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(415) 403-2233

Website:
http://www.monsieurbenjamin.com/

Parking Details:
We are located kitty-corner from the Performing Arts Garage located at 360 Grove Street.

Public Transit:
The closest Bart station is Civic Center. Bus Stops for the 5, 21, 47, and 49 are located nearby.

Executive Chef:
Jason Berthold

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access

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Private Dining

For groups of 13 or more, Monsieur Benjamin offers large party dining in the main dining room. Possibility of reserving the entire restaurant as well.

Monsieur Benjamin Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.4

ambience

4.2

value

3.8

noise

Moderate

90% would recommend it to a friend

Fit for Foodies (71)
Pre/post Theatre (70)
Good for a Date (60)
See All
Neighborhood Gem (54)
Open Kitchen (51)
Special Occasion (44)
Modern Decor (41)
Handcrafted Cocktails (41)
Hot Spot (39)
Late-night Find (31)
Good for Anniversaries (29)
Creative Cuisine (29)
Casual (28)
Authentic (27)
Bar Seating (27)
Good for Groups (27)
Romantic (26)
Great for Brunch (24)
Sunday Lunch (23)
Worth the Drive (23)
Notable Wine List (21)
Good for Birthdays (21)
Vibrant Bar Scene (21)
Fun (20)
Cozy (17)
Great for Lunch (16)
People Watching (16)
Comfort Food (12)
Quiet Conversation (10)
Business Meals (10)
Seasonal (9)
Quick Bite (8)
Healthy (8)
Local Ingredients (6)
Good Vegetarian Options (3)
Disabled Access (3)
Gluten Free Options (3)
Outstanding Value (2)
Happy Hour (2)
Organic (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Great Beer (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Spicy (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Family Style (0)
Dining Occasion:
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970 reviews
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 (San Francisco)·Dined 3 days ago

This wasn't my first time at Monsieur Benjamin, and usually it's great, but this time the service was not very good at all. I arrived at 6:00 with a friend, and another friend joined us about 5 minutes later. The waiter came over to ask us if we'd like to order a drink when we first sat down, and when we said we needed a minute, he disappeared and didn't come back for at least 10 minutes. He finally came back and brought our wine, and then disappeared again for a while. When he took our dinner order, two of us ordered the cassoulet. He never mentioned that this dish would take a while, assuming that if we were in a rush we would tell him. We waited and waited and finally at 7:00 we asked where our food was because we had to get to a show at 7:30. He didn't apologize, but said that it was our fault for not telling him that we had a timeline. Since we couldn't finish our food in the 10 minutes we had left to eat once it came, we asked for to go boxes. He mixed them up and I got home with the wrong box. Normally I love this place, but it seems that since they've decided to include the tip in the price of the menu, the wait people aren't trying very hard.

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food4
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 3 days ago

I ordered steak frites. When my entree came it looked like a hamburger. I asked the waiter if this was the steak. He got very embarrassed and apologetic. He took the plate away and said it would take seven minutes. Then the manager came over. Offered me a drink on the house. Then an appetizer on the house. The Sorano ham was wonderful. Then he brought fries for the table. When my steak finally got to me it was perfectly cooked and delicious. But I was too full to finish it. I took a doggie bag and had a great lunch the next day. We were only charged for the entee. Even the lattes were on the house. My dinner companion wanted to know how we could do it again.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 4 days ago

Food was fresh, well seasoned and good portioned.

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food5
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 5 days ago

This is my third visit. With the exception of the bread and the beverage program, I would say everything else - food, service, etc - is just OK. I do love that the restaurant offers a late night dinning option but I probably wouldn't go out of my way to come here again.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 5 days ago

Excellent food and service. Had a great time meeting up with an old friend.

Tags: Modern Decor, Cozy, Good for Groups, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience5
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 (New York Area)·Dined 6 days ago

Chicken Liver Terrine tasted scrumptious and Beef Short Rib was prepared extremely tender and succulent!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion
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food5
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service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 6 days ago

By far, the best bistro in the Bay Area. It would be a hit even in Paris.

Tags: Cozy, Authentic, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 7 days ago

Monsieur Benjamin serves an outstanding brunch with unique dishes. Both of our choices were outstanding. I will definitely return.

Tags: Hot Spot
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food5
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service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 19, 2017

I thought the food is very good and love the ambiance (although it can get loud). Perfect for a date night or night out with friends. I thought the menu is fairly reasonably priced for SF (ie about $90 / person with tip and a glass of wine). Definitely recommend the steak tartare - the seafood sausage got mixed reviews though at our table. Interesting and unique menu for SF which I loved!

Tags: Fun
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 18, 2017

I have been there before, this time when I looked at the bill I noticed the 20% added on. When I asked the waiter, he said that they were a all inclusive restaurant. Tips where included. The last time I went there that information was not told to us. This time if we hadn't asked I'm not sure that information would be provided. It would be nice if that was somehow printed somewhere or if the staff would inform patrons when they sit down. Other then that the food was great.

Tags: Casual, Great for Brunch
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food4
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 18, 2017

The hostess Vee took great care of me as soon as I walked in the door. I was waiting for a friend and she was waiting for a window table to open up for me. She settled me at the bar and kept updating me as I waited.

The service and food were very good. It's a great dining spot for pre-ballet/opera crowds. I look forward to my next visit.

Tags: Good for a Date, Healthy
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food5
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 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 18, 2017

Good place for pre-ballet dining. It was quite noisy. Good service. Would like to see more options on the menu.

Tags: Casual, Open Kitchen
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food5
ambience3
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value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 17, 2017

Outstanding food all around. The service was a little spotty, not bad but not as fine as the food. It is also a little crowded and noisy. It is a good place before a performance for excellent food within walking distance to the symphony, opera, ballet and SF Jazz.

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food5
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on February 16, 2017

Superb in all respects.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Bar Seating, Healthy, Handcrafted Cocktails, Seasonal, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Comfort Food, Cozy
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food5
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value5

 
 (Pittsburgh)·Dined on February 15, 2017

Shrimp and croquettes had great sauces as sidekicks

Spaghetti was light and buttery

The pot de creme was a great end to our meal

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food4
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service4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 15, 2017

I was sadly disappointed by my experience here tonight. What used to be my favorite restaurant may now be a place I avoid. Sub-par service paired with mediocre food made for a less than pleasant Valentines Day. I really wish the night could have gone a different direction, but I now know I can take my business elsewhere for the price I have been paying here.

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food2
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service2
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 15, 2017

Excellent restaurant...

The food was great and the service was outstanding. Recommend the escargot and the endive salad.

Great location to eat prior to (or after) the symphony, opera, or SF Jazz.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food4
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service5
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vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on February 14, 2017

We've been here several times and loved it, so we were excited to take our friends. Sadly, the service was terrible and the good was sub standard. Too bad, it started very well. We'll probably never go there again, nor will we recommend it to any of our friends.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
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 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Excellent in every way - service, food and ambiance.

Tags: Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Consistent and always a pleasurable dining experience - this place is above average in all areas including freshness in food, flavor, artistic presentation, pleasant and on-the-ball wait staff and overall classy modern ambiance. When in doubt, you and your guests will not be disappointed. Its becoming my go to place to meet and dine with my classy and authentic friends.

Tags: Open Kitchen, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Great for Brunch, Modern Decor, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch, Worth the Drive
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food5
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 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 12, 2017

It was our 34th wedding anniversary so I took my wife there for a nice dinner. I arrived with a jacket and bow tie and felt a bit overdressed. My wife has Celiac so we were looking for Gluten Free options. Drinks were unique but not very tasty. I had the Dagger, and my wife the Ace (GF). We didn't like either - both were too strong. For appetizers we had the fish sausage (GF) - which was VERY GOOD!!! The Quail (GF) was also Awesome, the Short Ribs (NOT GF!) - a bit over-cooked and leathery. The waiters were very knowledgeable about the GF options and very friendly. I would not recommend this for a romantic evening - tables too close together and a bit loud. Open kitchen was nice. The place is a bit pricey - out the door, the dinner was around $225 including 2 drinks, an appetizer, 2 glasses of wine, 2 main courses, a bottle of Perrier, and 2 desserts, and the automatic 20% tip.

Tags: Open Kitchen, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Gluten Free Options
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food4
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 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Everything about the experience at Monsieur Benjamin reminded me of the meals I've had in France. The food is really great (I had the braised short ribs and my wife had the quail) and it is apparent that a lot of thought and energy went into the food.

Usually I skip the desserts but this time I decided to dive into the Chestnut Pot-de-Creme which was awesomely creamy and delicious.

I'd recommend checking it out; it's a great date place.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 12, 2017

A nice French style bistro with good food and ambiance, plus a great location for pre-ballet or symphony fare. However the food is a bit pricier than it should be, and the restaurant automatically adds a twenty percent gratuity, which is inappropriate for a table of four. Don't know if they do the same for a smaller table as well.

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food4
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value3

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Amazing food. Appreciated that the service charge is included! I think that shows the place cares about its staff. And the staff was really amazing!

Tags: Open Kitchen, Handcrafted Cocktails, Family Style, Fun, Fit for Foodies, Modern Decor, Pre/post Theatre, Comfort Food, Special Occasion, Authentic
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food5
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vip
 (Central Coast)·Dined on February 11, 2017

Monsieur could never be called "romantic", it's too frenetic and the tables wayyy too close together for that label. But, it had very good food and excellent service.

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food4
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 11, 2017

Service and food are wonderful. We all enjoyed our meal a lot.

Tags: Happy Hour, Bar Seating, Pre/post Theatre
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food3
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 10, 2017

Our first experience at MB. Seated promptly at our rez time. Food was great. We tried the Arctic char and the cassoulet. Service was so fast that we felt they were rushing to see us leave. Not so bad.

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 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 10, 2017

Our expectations had been set by the fact that one must book a reservation several weeks ahead, or it is not possible to visit this restaurant. We were not disappointed! We had a wonderful time; the food, overall and including several hors d'oeuvres, was excellent with one exception -the chicken main course- which my friend described as "ordinary but good." The wait staff was fabulous - attentive and open to our quirks, bringing successive plates of bread when one diner expressed a desire for 'just bread.' Besides chicken the other main dishes we ate were Crepe au Sarrison, Arctic Char Amandine and the Steak Frites - the first two items were particularly praised as exceptional.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Gluten Free Options, Notable Wine List, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
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vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on February 8, 2017

We waited 25 minutes before anyone even offered us bread or brought us water. I could not find my waitress to ask for the check at the end and had to go up to the reception lady. It was absolutely the worst service I have ever experienced in a restaurant. Indeed, it is possible that our waitress went out to have her own dinner while we were there.

Tags: Quiet Conversation
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food4
ambience4
service1
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 8, 2017

Very accommodating, excellent experience

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food5
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 6, 2017

The perfect restaurant after an afternoon play. It is reminiscent of a Paris bistro, complete with amazing food. I started with a butter lettuce salad and my friend had an amazing mussels dish - Steamed Bouchot Mussels. The mussels sauce was perfect - light and delicious. Main courses did not disappoint: my Arctic Char Amandine was so good, it literally melted in my mouth. I did not want it to end! The Cassoulet Tarbais Bean Stew Duck Confit, Toulouse Sausage was as good as it sounds. My friend could not finish but took it home and said it was just as good the next day. We will be back!

Tags: Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 5, 2017

We went to Monsieur Benjamin for the first time to have lunch before an afternoon SF Symphony Concert. The ambience and decor was very good. The food was good but a bit heavy on the oil. I also found that the restaurant was somewhat overpriced.

Tags: Modern Decor, Great for Brunch
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food3
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value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 5, 2017

We ate here at the recommendation of long-time fans of this restaurant who live nearby. The restaurant lived up to the recommendations. The service was wonderful and the food was too. The chicken liver terrine appetizer, pototo croquettes, quail, steak frittes, and pot du creme and ice cream desserts were wonderful. It's expensive, but the dining atmosphere and the food were worth it. We'll go here again

Tags: Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
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value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 4, 2017

Generally high quality food showcased in a vibrant neighborhood setting. The food is mostly typical French fare, but with a slight california twist and very good. Good service with a smile. Not the cheapest, but would definitely recommend for a hearty but not overly heavy brunch. Nice atmosphere, very pleasing clean aesthetic in the restaurant design. One must make reservations especially on the weekend. Would come back again :)

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food4
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service4
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 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 4, 2017

We had to wait 20 min beyond our reservation. The portions were small and pricey and not much selection. Food was good though.

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food4
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 4, 2017

Stylish, noisey-not the place for intimate conversation.

Great brunch menu! Loved the red wine poached eggs over duck hash, yum! Service is very attentive, efficient.

Tags: Hot Spot, Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre, Open Kitchen, Great for Brunch
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food4
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service4
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 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 4, 2017

Decent restaurant, nice modern interior. Food was nicely prepared and plated. Wine by the glass and cocktails seemed to be smaller pours than we are accustomed to. For appetizers we had the croquets which were good (small portion) and the beef en gelee was tasty. Arctic char Ammandine with sunchoke purree was an excellent nice sized portion. Overall good service, perhaps slightly rushed.

Tags: Open Kitchen
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food3
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service4
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 4, 2017

Excellent option for date- night or pre- or post-opera.

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food5
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service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 4, 2017

A wonder dining experience. Our waiter who was French was terrific.

Tags: Spicy, Great for Lunch, Vibrant Bar Scene, Late-night Find, Good Vegetarian Options, Fun, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 3, 2017

This is a convenient spot for ballet or symphony goers but they certainly take advantage of their location. First of all, there isn't much for vegetarians. This year they added vegetable boullion to their menu but it was $15 for a VERY small portion. It was tasty but really, $15 for soup??? Their steak dish is $45. I just think they charge more than the quality and quantity of their food reflects. Their marzipan/cherry ice cream was delicious. It's a fun spot but you have to have a small appetite and big wallet

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food3
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value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 2, 2017

The 20% gratuity that is added to the check produces a "we'll get to you when we get to you" attitude. I have eaten here many times and is my only real criticism. Other than the tables being so close together. Nervous that I am going to backhand some passing waiter squeezing by

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Casual, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 1, 2017

This was for a birthday dinner with 5. The waiter told me the arctic char was from the Artic-NO- and asked three times for reminder as to my starter. The cassoulet was tasty but filled with too many beans. Loved the apple endive salad and steak tartare. The croquettes were blah but the dipping sauce wonderful. EXPENSIVE gateaux. Found the sweetbreads ok only. Short ribs were most yummy but the mashed potatoes on side so cold. REALLY. We paid top dollar for wines. In essence, too many ok's only and expensive for what it was. Plenty of better places around.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Casual
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food3
ambience4
service2
value1

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 1, 2017

Came here for my boyfriend's birthday. We got seated at a 2 person small table but it was literally 5 inches next to another couple so we could literally hear everything they were talking about. If you're looking for an intimate setting, you may want to decide to choose somewhere else. Great food options but at 7:00pm they already ran out of their quail and artic char which we were both looking forward to trying. I went ahead and chose the steak and did not disappoint! This is a great place to try and to enjoy good food.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience2
service3
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 1, 2017

Amazing, consistently good food. Attentive and helpful wait staff.

Tags: Good for Groups, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 30, 2017

We greatly appreciated our waiter and enjoyed trying different/unusual items. And what an excellent wine list! We will definitely return .

Tags: Modern Decor
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 30, 2017

salad excellent

cassoulet was "pork and beans" -way too many beans

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food2
ambience4
service2
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 30, 2017

Everything was good as expected.

Unfortunately, they automatically add 20% tip onto our bill of dinner for two. Just wondering if this is the going rate for tips now?

Tags: Modern Decor
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food4
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 30, 2017

Superb fish (Arctic char). Delicious sweetbreadsappetizer. Good service.

Tags: Modern Decor
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 29, 2017

Dinner was excellent with oysters, chicken liver terrine, pasta à la monégasque and signature quail à la chasseur, followed by gâteau marjolaine and marzipan with cherry ice cream. The meal was very nice rendition of the concept, and we had a wonderful time.

Tags: Good for a Date, Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Late-night Find
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food4
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 28, 2017

Food was BAD. Play French is NOT French

1 person found this review helpful.
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