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  • Foreign Cinema

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Foreign Cinema
Foreign Cinema

Foreign Cinema Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.foreigncinema.com
  • Phone: (415) 648-7600
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Monday thru Friday, seating from 6pm until 10pm. Saturday seating from 5:30pm until 11pm. Sunday seating from 5:30pm until 9pm. Weekend Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 11:00am until 2:30pm.
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Californian, Mediterranean
  • Executive Chef: Gayle Pirie & John Clark
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Smoking Area, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Entertainment: Movies; see restaurant website for schedule. While we try to honor all request, none are guaranteed.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 21st St.
  • Public Transit: MUNI: 14 Mission bus; BART: 16th & 24th/Mission station
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Valet is available, $10
A word from Foreign Cinema
Foreign Cinema is a 'one of a kind', nationally acclaimed restaurant combining foreign and independent films with Cal-Med cooking. Enjoy an industrial chic setting, complete with outdoor courtyard, mezzanine and full bar.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "Great food... Fresh and interesting taste combinations. Also very good sized portions for such quality food. Very friendly and knowledgeable waitress. Overall it was a wonderful dining experience. My wife and I had a fun night there."
    Dined on 7/28/2014
  • "Seriously loved everything. Don't leave without trying the sticky bun or chile verde. Nom nom nom!"
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "Thank you for an amazing experience. Food was incredible as was service. I believe our server's name was Robbie. He was so personable and accommodating. We had such a great evening. We dined with you the last time in San Francisco. We're from L.A. but will definitely be returning for dinner and brunch next time. Missed the fried chicken but all was delicious."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Truly truly a disappointment. I'd had Foreign Cinema recommended by colleagues who had been 6+ months ago, and they raved about it. I booked a table for four, to take out of town guests to a special dinner for their last night in SF. Starting with one of the house cocktails, which were uninspired and poorly executed, we ordered our appetizers and mains. The beef carpaccio was submerged in oil and was extremely poor value. Moroccan chicken was vastly over seasoned and dry (on both orders), and the scallop dish was an embarrassment for what it cost (5 scallops, no starch, no greens -- entirely unacceptable as a main). Service was lacklustre, with long periods of inattentiveness. Bill was not adjusted for any food concerns!"
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "This was a wonderful experience. I had the scallops and they were superb."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "Thanks Foreign Cinema for a great time! Loved the food and ambiance. If you are out of town you have to come here and try to sit outside where the movie is playing."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "Great ambience and space, however our waiter seemed very uninspired and didn't seem to care about us at all. Got our appetizers before our wine and had to cancel it ourselfs after we had eaten our appetizers. Left early without dessert and was rushed out by staff who seemed to want our table for other guests, this felt like a place that was really good ten years ago but has slipped, sorry"
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "From service, to food, to the wine list, Foreign Cinema delivered. Great complimentary flavors in the dishes, a knowledgeable but unpretentious server, and a cozy atmosphere is about all you can ask for from any dining experience."
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "Really amazing cocktails, incredible food & ambiance. Could not ask for a better place to take my parents while visiting. A little hard for my dad to hear indoors, but outdoors, the acoustics are better."
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "This is a place for foodies!! This becomes a challenge for us who love excellence in food and service. So, we found foodie food but that was simple enough! The soup was excellent and non dairy- foodie standard for sure!!! Then we had the Kobe cocoa rubbed steak and that was outstanding!!! We felt like we were foodies!! Dessert was wonderful. In summary.. Excellent food excellent service, vibrant and sometimes you wish when people are sitting so close to each other that they can lower their voices so only their table mates can hear. Highlight of SF!"
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "We celebrated my daughters 20th birthday with bunch here before Beach Blanket Babylon! Had a wonderful meal. A little loud - so not much chatting, but great space and really good meal. Would like to go back and try dinner"
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "Food was good with portions and price points about what you would expect for this type of place. The bus help was a bit rushed and the waited rather slow. We waited an exceptionally long time for our entree to come out - and I really mean long time something like an hour after we ordered it. The food was great though with small portions. I would recommend this place overall if nothing else for the ambience especially when seated outside."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "The outdoor undercover seating is so charming, there are little orange outdoor lights that give off a warm glow around a garden-like backyard and the noise level is not too high and not too quiet. It is the perfect place to sit for hours and enjoy good food and good company!"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "It takes a lot of planetary alignment to have an opportunity to enjoy fine food like this. For us, this experience was well beyond our greatest expectation. Everything was flawless, except the hair in our appetizer. Our server was gracious an returned with another, free of charge. He then insisted on buying us desert. From apps to main to desert the flavor and presentation was simply outstanding. We are not used to dining in rooms where everyone loves to hear themselves talk so much, however the decor was modern and comfortable. Overall the experience was everything we had hoped for and then some."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Unbelievably fantastic meal. The food was thoughtful and inventive without being glib or gimmicky. Attention to detail shows."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "I can't express how much I enjoy going to Foreign Cinema. It's one of my favorite places and the food never disappoints. Like no joke....NEVER! The service is great. They have a wonderful, courteous, and one of kind wait staff. Always willing to share their recommendations on the food and will make your night wonderful."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • " Great and creative menu. Food is delicious, wait staff has a bit of an attitude."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Cannot complain about the food or the atmosphere. cool outdoor seating, though the heaters were cranked a little high. But the inattentive service completely undercut what I had hoped would be a great date night. At the bar, Courtney was truly nice but slow, always head down reading the recipes, hard to get her attention. At our table I barely saw our server. It was 10-15 mins on average between visits . We sat down, took about 8 mins before he even said he'd be back. Maybe another 8-10 before he came back and got our drink order. And so the night progressed. All in all it took 1.5 hrs from the time we sat at our table to when we left. We had 1 drink and an entree. And we ate fast and ordered the check while we finished. Very disappointing."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "We visited Foreign Cinema to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday. While the ambiance was fantastic, and all of our dishes were very good, the meal was a disappointment because Foreign Cinema did not do anything I asked to make the meal special for his birthday. I repeatedly notified them it was his birthday (when I made the reservation, when I confirmed, and when we arrived), and asked for a special table and a desert with candles. Yet, we were seated in a cramped table with no privacy, and NOBODY acknowledged that it was his birthday. No candles, no nothing. I was especially irritated given that I had not purchased a separate cake or candles. So while the food and ambiance are lovely, I would not recommend for a special celebration."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "Live this place but the food has become too fussy. Goat cheese with pickles, for example. Food used to be clean and reliable. Now it's hard to understand what the chef was thinking... Or is even thinking."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "The ambiance is very beautiful , the server was very friendly and attentive, food is good and creative but not extraordinary and the portions are a tiny bit small . Despite that, would come back any time, but not when I'm really hungry."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "Great place if you want your girlfriend to really like you and take you seriously."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "We had a great dinner at Foreign Cinema. For appetizers we tried the roasted tomato soup and the Hawaiian tuna poke and both were excellent. For entrees we both tried the steak with grilled onions and corn on the cob. Loved the whole meal. Can't wait to go back."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "The food was good, but the portion sizes were small. Very nice wine list. The white and rose wine needed to be chilled, but they had not been before we ordered them. Very poor timing. We were almost done with the appetizers before we got the first glass of wine. The waiter kept the wine bottles far away from the table, so that we couldn't refill our glasses and he didn't check back very often. It was very noisy."
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "Food was outstanding. Nice ambiance and good service."
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "Juan our server as well as the serving staff made our meal a very memorable one. The food was amazing (pork chops, Duck breast, Avocado toast and sardines, and calamari). Foreign Cinema also made sure to help us celebrate our occasion by sending us a complimentary glass of muscato and nectarine granita too. Possibly one of the best meals I've had in San Francisco."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "We had a Sunday dinner of small plates. Oysters on the half shell, smoked salmon, calamari, poke, and finished with Creme Brûlée. The wine was great, the waiter and the atmosphere were perfect."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "We got off the underground train with our toddler in a hiking backpack and wondered what neighbourhood we had landed in. It was a little unnerving but we walked our six blocks and there it was. We opened the door and you find yourself in a oasis. The front staff we very nice checked our backpack for us. They had a highchair for out son but didn't give us a kids menu. None of the items seemed very kids friendly but we brought snacks. They had a nice outdoor space and the food was delicious. Staff we very nice and attentive. We would recommend this place to others. :)"
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "We love Foreign Cinema and thought we would give brunch a go this past Saturday. We loved it. As always the food is amazing!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "It was a gorgeous sunny day in the Mission when we brunched. The restaurant was full and vibrant. I always appreciate the variety of fun dishes. Creamy cod app and house-cured sardines were especially fabulous. In addition, the adorable Argentinian boy, brunching next to us with mom and grandma, made the whole afternoon priceless.The service was meh, I suppose our waitress was having a so-so day. All was good overall."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Foreign Cinema never disappoints (other than trying to get a reservation!). Everything was executed flawlessly. OK, the dessert wasn't as good as the rest of the meal, but still."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Almost had trouble finding it through all the construction on Mission, but as we walked through the old time theater doors was blown away by the beautiful ambience of the courtyard. Our waiter was attentive (even a little cocky, to his benefit), waters always filled, excellent food and wine recommendations. Unfortunately we had to leave before the movie started, but would love to return with a group on a special occasion!"
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "very poor service experience from start to finish. everyone had an attitude."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "I've been trying to go to foreign cinema for ages, but there's never been a reservation available ... until I went on a date on a Monday night and they had some free just a few days in advance. This place is amazing. The ambiance was incredible, I mean there's a movie playing while you eat, that's pretty awesome in and of itself. The food was nothing short of spectacular and the service was dedicated to making our night fantastic. It made the whole evening special and this is going to be the place we come to on our (future) anniversaries. I recommend it for anyone looking for a unique and exciting dining experience! You HAVE to sit on the patio to see the movie, so make sure you do!"
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "Our waiter Kieran was amazing and quick as well as subtle. The food was some of the best I've ever had. This was our (my boyfriend and I's) first time in San Francisco and we were looking for a romantic and special place to eat for one of our last meals in town. I'm so happy I chose this. The portions seem small but are quite filling and honestly appreciated because you are able to enjoy something else off the menu- a dessert or an appetizer perhaps."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "This is a great place, the food is great and the service, we planed to make reservations for or trip to sa francisco and this time we manage to get a table."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Service, food, and seating were all highly variable in quality. Some seats, especially around the entrance indoors are packed in far too close together. Also many tables are right by the kitchen/server staging area, but in a loud annoying high traffic way, but without the fun of seeing the food prep or anything cool. Basically all the indoor couples sized tables have one person (in all cases that night the male) facing the wall with no view, and the lady is able to see the floor and outdoors. The tables have legs that totally get in the way of comfort. Food was good on average. Some specialty drinks were great (black lodge) others were lacking. For how short the menu is honestly everything should be incredible but only about half of it is."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "First time here last Saturday, awesome service, excellent food! Our server Ginger was very attentive and well versed with the menu. Had mozzarella and sardines for the appetizers. They were both great but my favorite is the mozzarella. Lots of flavors, very savory for an appetizer! For entrees, I tried their famous poppy seed fried chicken, it was the bomb! Yummy! Well cooked, moist, NO blood! I hate fried chicken that still has blood in it! Interestingly, we were seated by the bigger room with high ceilings that has a big wall with projected movies. I don't know if this was because I ticked the box on the reservation that says it's my first time here. Otherwise, didn't mind a private dinner date! I will definitely come back here soon!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Enjoyed our dinner, great service and neat outdoor seating. Go after dark and request to sit outside on their patio, courtyard. After dark they play a movie on the courtyard wall. We missed this as our reso was too early. Great seafood and wine flights. I would have given half stars if it allowed me to do so here, so 4.5 food, 4.5 service, 5 ambiance, total 4.5."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "Its our SF visit must eat place!!!!! The food, ambiance, & service are all top notch, the menu changes daily and is always a pleasant surprise. The best description would be a FIVE STAR relaxed restaurant without the five star pricing or black tie hassle."
    Dined on 7/3/2014