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1601 Bar & Kitchen
1601 Bar & Kitchen

1601 Bar & Kitchen Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.1601sf.com
  • Phone: (415) 552-1601
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday 6:00pm -10:00pm.
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Tapas / Small Plates, Wine Bar, Southeast Asian
  • Executive Chef: Brian Fernando
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Please contact us with catering inquiries, 415-552-1601
  • Special Events & Promotions: Birthdays, corporate events, corporate meetings, etc. Please contact us for details, 415-552-1601

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 12th Street
  • Public Transit: Muni: Metro-Van Ness & Market, Bus 47 & 49: Van Ness & Mission
    BART-Civic Center
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Easy street parking, no meters after 6pm. A garage available within a block, (closes at midnight)
A word from 1601 Bar & Kitchen
We are an upscale contemporary eatery serving Sri Lankan-inspired cuisine, using local and seasonal organic ingredients in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere.

Our bar offers premium wines, beers, and has an extended aromatized wines selection. We are honored to have been given a title of a unique addition to the “Key Newcomers” category in the 2014 Zagat San Francisco Bay Area Restaurant Survey and to be assigned a Bib Gourmand status by 2014 Michelin Guide, as well as named one of the 2013 San Francisco and Bay Area New & Notable Restaurants and Bars by Wine & Spirits Magazine.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerTapas / Small Plates
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Diner Reviews
  • "Went on a first date here and I couldn't have found a better spot. They gave us a secluded table, the service and food were outstanding and the menu is reasonably priced. I highly recommend this place :)"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "This very interesting, very solid Sri Lankan-cuisine restaurant has been a real find for me, and most recently, for my wife and me to celebrate her birthday. The food is unusual for us in the States – it's fair to say that some southern Indian cuisine can prepare you for a bit of it, but it stands on its own. The house does have specialties from Sri Lanka alone. The service is expert and professional, from the greeting, to the seating, serving (including wine advice and service), and busing – correct, attentive, and thoughtful. Attention from the management is frequent and always welcome. All in all (after three visits), I'm very much looking forward to visits four and five..."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "All dishes were subtly seasoned, making this a great dining experience.Highly recommended"
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "Small plate restaurant. The price is not exorbitant, however it is certainly pricey. Because of the small plates, it may be viewed as not a good value, however the food is tasty, well prepared, unusual (Sri Lankan influence) and the presentation on the plates is artistic and done with care. I would certainly go back and am interested in tasting many other items on the menu. The mulligatawny soup was fantastic. The egg crepe dish (I forget the name) was out of this world. Nothing we had was below par."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Expand your repertoire of dining experiences. Sri Lankan food is wonderful and 1601 Bar & Kitchen certainly does it justice. We enjoyed a delightfully tasty meal, artfully presented, and with excellent service. I'll be going back for sure. Make this your next gastronomic discovery. This restaurant deserves SF prominence. To make things even better, there was ample parking nearby."
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "I get that this is tapas, but the portion is oh so tiny for the price. I think tapas size should be charged accordingly. For example, sea bass at $23 and steak at $23 is just slightly less than the standard entrée prices, but the portion is 1/3 of the entry sizes. I think it should be slightly less. Fish and meatball were a bit dry. Service is lovely and the staff is wonderful, but the food is just ok. "
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "It looked a little shabby in the neighborhood. But we found parking right near the door. The food was a great surprise. Flavors were really complex while seemingly simple uncontrived but pretty presentations. We shared dishes halibut sashimi was my favorite Nexttime I would definitely have the tasing menu with wine pairings. A must try Find."
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "Wonderful team that delivers a well orchestrated dinner service. Clean and elegant contemporary design. Menu is good all around - recommend 2-3 plates per person. The egg dish is a staple of the menu and the mulligatawny soup is rich and flavorful. Definitely will be back again "
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "The food was amazing and the service was great. They have an amazing list of wines and the food menu is very unique. We sat in the higher tables, but the chairs weren't too uncomfortable. My friends and I ate to our stomach's fill and the food was delicious! That night, a certain percentage went towards the SF Aids foundation. It made me like the restaurant even more for them suporting organizations like that!"
    Dined on 4/22/2014
  • "Have eater at 1601 numerous times and always enjoy the food, the service, and the environment."
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "Great food. Highly recommend the octopus! The plates are small though, so order more if you're hungry. "
    Dined on 4/22/2014
  • "The chef has skillfully applied haute cuisine techniques to the South Asian flavorful ingredients into delectable delights!"
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "The food was excellent, both the tastes and the presentations . We shared many of the small plate items and loved them all. Loved th scallops, the rabbit, and the kale salad. We also shared the desserts, one of each. All were very good. We had an Argentine Malbec which complemented our varied dishes. Will definitely be back to try the tasting menu."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Had dinner with a friend on a Wednesday night. We were one of only two tables who were dining. Thus, the service was great and the noise level was virtually non-existent. I would like to return on a Friday or Saturday night to see how different the experience is when the restaurant is full. We had a few small plates to share - namely the the halibut ceviche, Norwegian cod, and okra dishes are not to be missed. Great texture, flavors, and presentation. Look forward to returning for another visit."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "Bottom Line: We will go again, and we will take friends The food was fresh, tasty and healthy. The raw Kale salad was so good that we ordered a second when the meat dishes arrived The service was excellent. Not just, "Is everything OK?" It was, "How do you like that beer?"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "We enjoyed dinner at 1601 Bar & Kitchen on Thursday evening. Oh my. We chose three plates each and left comfortably fed. Chef Brian's creations were at once beautiful, incredibly flavorful, and perfectly cooked. Knowing scallops are often served rare, I asked for "medium-rare" and they were exactly that, with a yummy sear. Their house-smoked salmon is amazing. Tasting vegetables prepared with the respect they deserve is always a treat, and Brian's Mixed Brassicas, and his soon-to-be-famous Kale Salad were two of the most delicious dishes I've ever eaten. Service, led by the lovely Yuliya, was friendly, informative, and courteous. She and Brian absolutely deserve the great reviews they've been getting. Street parking is easy."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "Trying a new cuisine is what first drew me to 1601 Kitchen and after half a dozen visits, I am still intrigued and delighted by the flavors, smells and textures when I go in. The chef (who is almost always there himself) has designed a small plates menu with great local ingredients. This time, the hopper (Sri Lankan crepe with a summy side egg and spicy sambol) was so good, we each had to get our own. Also love the ceviche wtih compressed cucumber and the lamb and pork meatballs. It was very quiet (earlyish on a Tuesday night), but the place is usually full. Full or not, the service is terrifically welcoming, attentive and competent. They make you feel like it is their secret gem that they proudly share with you."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "The food was high quality and excellent and delicious, and presented quite artistically. But the tiny size of the servings, served on a giant plate with giant prices makes it a fad place that's fun to check out once, but you won't be going back again and again."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "The food was tasty but super small plates. Practically none existent food. Super expensive for what you get. I don't mind paying a lot for good food when it's worth it and this was not worth it. Super friendly staff though."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "The food was excellent; although the plates were small they were tasty. the prices were a bit high."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Came for Valentines Day dinner. Service was excellent, as was the ambience. Food was very good, and a few pieces were incredible, but the main course (a fish of some variety, can't recall what) was rather flavorless in comparison to the excellent hokkaido scallops and smoked salmon."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "I took my girlfriend here on a pre-symphony date. The food was good (not out-of-the-world fantastic, but good enough for a romantic date), the ambiance was good, and the place was quite enough for good conversation. The egg hopper was especially delicious. I recommend this spot for a private meal between 2 to 4 people. Not sure if it's fit for large groups."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "They have a really good chef here. He really can integrate textures and tastes to make some wonderful food."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "What a marvelous find. I was just looking for some place new for a Friday night dinner. Knowing nothing of Sri Lankan food, I thought, "Why not?". From the moment we walked through the door, the experience was superior. Remarkably friendly and attentive hostess and wait staff; exquisitely prepared food [we did all small plates]; very good wine and cocktail list; enticing interior design. I can imagine going here weekly and will be recommending it to everyone I've ever met in my life!"
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "This is a nice change from the ordinary... The food is just delicious, artfully presented, inspired by the flavors of Sri Lanka. The wait staff is kind and very accommodating... The atmosphere is fresh SOMA. A great combination for dinner. Enjoy!"
    Dined on 1/29/2014
  • "Being married to a sommelier means we often try the chef's pairing menu and that's what we had at 1601 Bar & Kitchen. The six courses were all terrific. I'm not a fan of brussel sprouts or cauliflower but I would order the pickled preparation in the second course with a beer pairing on my next visit too. Our favorites were the smoked salmon, the scallops and Mulligatawny soup, The salmon may be the best smoked salmon I have tried. A thick filet cut of salmon lightly smoked with burnt onion cream fraiche with Chateau L'Afrique Cotes de Provence Rose. The "Sri Lanken" influence was found in both the mulligatawny soup and a crispy curry okra with coconut and cashews. We will become regulars after thoroughly enjoying ourselves."
    Dined on 1/28/2014
  • "We have had Brian Fernando's cooking before, but only in a French setting. The addition of Sri Lankan influence has created an absolutely stunning menu. Location of the restaurant is a bit out of the way, but well worth the short trek! We hope they become wildly popular, it will be well deserved!!!"
    Dined on 1/22/2014
  • "We just got back from a trip to Sri Lanka and the food was more French inspired than Sri Lankan but the food was excellent. Their signature dish, the egg hopper was great as was the seafood. It was served tapas style and the wait between courses seemed long. Otherwise, the service was good."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "out of the 8 items we had (including dessert) 3 were excellent, 4 were o.k. and 1 disappointing. the smoked salmon, halibut cebiche and the meatballs were the stars. the spiced cake was too dry to be palatable. the cauliflower, okra, potaoes and the semi freddo were o.k. one thing that detracted from the dining experience was how cold the restaurant was. we were told that they were unable to raise the temperature and it would get warmer as the place filled up. we ended up having to keep our coats and gloves on for the entire meal."
    Dined on 12/4/2013
  • "I had wanted to try 1601 Bar & Kitchen for a while, and I was not disappointed. The service was outstanding -- everyone made us feel welcome, explained the menu, offered advice, and generally made the experience a great one. We tried a number of the dishes and all were quite good. My favorite was the scallops, which were seared perfectly. The smoked salmon was also quite good -- light and well smoked. Even the people at our table who don't typically like smoked salmon were happy with it. The meatballs were another standout, as were the fingerling potatoes. I can't wait to go back and try more dishes!"
    Dined on 11/23/2013
  • "Tapas style dining with a french sri lankan flavors. 2-3 items recommended per diner. The hopper was my favorite as was the Kale Salad. Desserts were okay. I would return and try more of the dishes and the hopper again. Pass on the desserts."
    Dined on 11/16/2013