Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
Sourcing each item from the surrounding land, Saison highlights the abundant resources of the San Francisco Bay Area. Each morning a new menu is crafted based on the finest offerings from our network of small farms, ranches, and fisheries.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Hours of Operation:
Dinner Only Tuesday through Saturday: 5:30pm-9:30pm
Please note that reservations at 7:30pm are located at the bar, NOT in the dining room
Between 2nd and 3rd
$50 and over
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
We offer complimentary valet parking.
Chef / Owner: Joshua Skenes
Private Party Facilities:
Please contact the restaurant for Private Dining/Party Information.
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Saison Ratings and Reviews
I was very much disappointed with Saison. I was looking forward to a birthday dinner with my boyfriend and for the amount of money spent and the fact that this is a 3 star restaurant I was baffled by the ambiance and service. No dress code, so individuals came in wearing jeans while rock hits were jamming on the speakers. Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of these things but not for what I thought would be an intimate dinner to celebrate or what I expected as a two thousand dollar meal. To top it off, they did not remember my boyfriend's birthday. All in all, there are WAY better options in the city for a more reasonable price.
A number of courses requires you eat with your fingers - messy, can splatter onto yourself or your dinner date; not what I expect for a 3 star Michelin restaurant. Music was way too loud! Decor was mediocre. Food was Ok, nothing worth mentioning, not a good value at $400 a person - I'd price it at $195.
The food was good, and at times excellent, but for the price it was underwhelming. There were two standout dish (considering plating, taste and experience) and a few other dishes which felt like they weren't completely thought through.
For example, there was a course which was 1/2 a bbq quail which came on a white plate with no other items, sauces, flavors or textures. It was also served without utensils, had bbq sauce (messy) and had lots of little bones, so it wasn't easy to eat - or even compelling.
I will say I really enjoyed the atmosphere and service, though my dining partner didn't like it. She prefers French Laundry style service.
I'm glad I've checked it off the list but all things considered I'd recommend Benu or French Laundry for fine dining in San Francisco.
My wife and I went here while on vacation in San Francisco. We didn't love the experience and after waiting several days to think it over our minds didn't change.
As a Michelin 3* I feel like the bar was set pretty high and they didn't meet our expectations. The wait staff was very attentive and had a friendly demeanor throughout the evening, but didn't do a great job of explaining what we were eating on several of the dishes. Multiple times we had something sat in front of us with nothing said at all. The wines were also not described in any detail that couldn't be read on the label.
The food was probably the worst part of the meal. Everything was "cooked over the embers" as they liked to say, but the flavor from that method was almost overwhelming on several of the dishes and downright unpleasant on others. We had to eat multiple dishes with our fingers, which we both thought was odd. One, maybe two, would have been ok, but I believe there were 4 total. The half quail we had to eat off the bone with out hands was severely under cooked. So much so that I couldn't eat about 1/4 of it because it was almost raw.
The atmosphere was fun and mostly enjoyable. they played 80's music, there was a moderate noise level, but it certainly wasn't too loud, the decor and design inside was very pleasing and unique. Enough to enjoy but not over the top in any specific direction.
At the end of the night we got a copy of the menu. That might have been better served at the beginning so we knew what we were eating before we ate it. They also gave us a container of their smoked salt which our waiter explained is used to season literally everything. They may want to reconsider that because there wasn't much range in flavor.
Overall it wasn't a terrible experience, but when you're a Michelin 3* charging $300 a person and another $300 for a wine pairing and adding 20% gratuity on every check I think you should provide a flawless experience and ours was far from it.
I was amazed at the caliber of cooking present here. The attention to the finest detail, simplest preparation, highest quality and FRESHEST ingredients is analogous to Japan. Each dish is extremely thoughtful and while most everything is essentially pretty simple and far from decorated/ostenatious, it is all in the fine details and process where Saison shines. To add, all/most of the products are grown on Skenes Ranch and made in-house; the honey-butter, 3-month fermented hot sauce, preserved tomatoes. You're getting ultra quality ingredients cultivated by a chef whom like Japanese chefs, understand the importance of the highest quality ingredients and how its flavor changes over time.
In terms of cooking, I was aware of Josh's use of fire and roasting over the flames and was expecting a stronger note of charcoal/wood imparted on each dish, but they are incredibly conscious of this fact and use wood that imparts the most mild flavor to maintain the integrity of the dish while adding a slight kiss of smoke flavor. The rest of the dishes were also extremely well thought out, maintaining a balance of the 5 tastes. While some may be against the use of fruits for dessert, it's pretty traditional for Asian cuisine and I appreciated it since any cakes or parfaits would be indulgent. The ice cream and fruits were a phenomenal way to end the meal.
The herb tea at the beginning and smoked barley tea at the end were also incredible ways to both start and end a meal; whetting the appetite and aiding in digestion and counteracting the desserts. I would definitely buy the smoked barley tea (and hot sauce) if it were at all possible!
Service; impeccable. Warm, efficient, and jovial. Each dish was carefully explained and chefs were more than willing to answer questions. HUGE wine lists.
Overall, Saison is an experience that I will gladly return to (hopefully each season). To me the price is well justified for the quality of ingredients and thoughtfulness of preparation.
Be warned: there is no menu and you will not know until the end what you are being charged. It will require a second mortgage on your house to pay the bill. I have eaten at really high end places and never come close to the bill I was presented with. Tip is included but that is on top of $1,000 bill for 2. After taxes more than 1300. The food was good but not all that innovative. The service was impeccable but it should be. The ambience is ok. Difficult to find parking but they do have Valet parking. Didn't know that until I was parked
It was my first time visiting Saison, 14 course meal, man oh man, the food took us on an amazing journey. One comes after another, and each ties in with great harmony. There was an absolute climax with the meal and it was a gradual journey down as we were approaching dessert. It was magical. Truly magical.
Even allowing for the fact Saison is a 3 Michelin star restaurant and so comes with significant expectation, Saison was an amazing and memorable experience - amongst the very best dining experiences of my life. The food was incredibly creative and authentic, while at the same time unpretentious, while the flavours were totally unique and memorable. The service and general ambience was perfectly judged to compliment the meal in all respects. A near flawless experience in every sense.
Really appreciated the time the wait staff spent to explain all the dishes; we appreciated the dishes more knowing the origins and the intricacies of preparing the food. The antelope and biscuit was the standout dish, the caviar and the sea urchin were impeccable, the citrus ice cream was delightful. We had a memorable evening.
Fantastic food and great 80s music playing throughout the meal. We really enjoyed the audio experience with the food. If you are sensitive to music or don't like that genre of music I would be careful as it was louder than at most high end restaurants, but still low enough to have a conversation.
I'd heard such great things about Saison - how it was one of the best restaurants in the world, how the chef uses the wood-fired oven in unconventional ways, how you'd be served like 20 courses of the most unexpected yet delicious creations the Bay Area had to offer... that may have been the case at one time, but I didn't experience that in my meal.
Don't get me wrong, the service was impeccable, the ambiance was neat, and the food was quite good - but I've been lucky enough to travel (and eat!) all over, and I've had many meals with service, ambiance, and creativity/deliciousness equal or better to Saison - in San Francisco, even. At a fraction of the cost, as well - which is a bit of a sticking point, because for the price you expect an equivalent bang for your buck.
Did I just expect too much? Maybe. I just hope it's not chef Skenes resting on his laurels perhaps, or that he's too busy building up his farm/restaurant/whatever in Napa instead. With so much fantastic dining out there to be had, not sure I can in good conscious recommend Saison as-is. Ah well.
Please sign in to record your input. Thanks!
Report this review as inappropriate?
If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.