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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
  • Email: info@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
  • "It is big enough to handle a large group and intimate enough for two... the food is brilliant! The ambiance is unique... spacious and comfortable.."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "Picked Foreign Cinema for our special occasion & so glad we did ~ It was an awesome dining experience. We chose Foreign Cinema because their menu is sourced seasonally with local & fresh ingredients. All of our dishes were delicious. The service was exceptional and the unique ambiance of Foreign Cinema with the projected movie made it magical."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "The restaurant and patio are beautiful. It has a youngish cool crowd. The food was just ok."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "The food and menu is wonderfully creative with there small and large dishes. Oysters are always wonderful."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "Very trendy and large. The walls are just poured raw concrete, lots of glass and some wood trim. Tables are weathered. Most interesting thing is the outside speakers which were old drive-in movie theatre speakers. There was a large back wall painted white that would show films at night (we left prior to it starting). Interesting concept. Our waitress was very attentive but didn't crack a smile. As for the food, we both thought it sounded better than what it was. The only exception was the garlic & fennel veloute'. This was so silky and perfectly seasoned. Delicious. But overall, the rest of the food was not flavorfu and the value was a bit much for what it was. Maybe those very descriptions oversold the menu?"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "This restaurant has it all. great food and fantastic ambiance. We highly recommend it for any occasion."
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "This is my favorite restaurant in San Francisco. It was the first place my boyfriend took me on a date and now we just went back to celebrate our 1 year anniversary. It was the first time I got to sit outside where the movie plays too! So fun. We ordered the friend chicken and the scallops plus a handful of appetizers. Everything is great, you can't go wrong with whatever you order. :)"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Best cheesecake ever! Fresh awesome seafood. Had scallops & tuna. Great ambience."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Very romantic ambience and setting, the outdoor a little more then the indoor. We loved our waitress! Amazing service, good food (some of the courses we liked better then others, but everything tastes good). There was a bit of everything on the menu. We did not try the picnic courses but we will come back for those (and for brunch!). The portions are not too big, a good size. Very good experience!"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "We sat the bar for a bit while we waited for our table. The bartender was really friendly and helpful - The Lady Grinning Soul was light and tastey. Not too boozey. For dinner, we ordered the pork chop and the kobe steak - both were delicious! The outdoor heaters worked well and made the outdoor experience very comfortable. The atmosphere was very lively and fun. I will definitely eat there again when I'm back in town!"
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "I've been coming here for years for brunch but decided to come for dinner recently. The food and service was even better. A lot more attentive and faster. Notorious for taking two hours to eat brunch, our small dinner plates kept coming one after another. We actually had to stall at the end to at least enjoy the rest of our wine. The interior reminds me of new york or just somewhere not in san francisco. Very nice."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "...than describe a few items on menu, provide recommendations, and split our check? Seemed as though any request was an imposition/annoyance. Disappointed in the service, but overall a fun concept for a restaurant and very good food."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "Easy, casual vibe for Sunday Brunch. Each dish at Foreign Cinema is a compilation of flavors and textures to delight the palate. Even the sticky bun and the "pop-tart" were magnificent. The pop-tart was flakey and crunchy at the same time, just like a good pie crust. The lavender goat cheese with walnuts melted in your mouth with subtle flavors, the crostini were crunchy with no hard edges, perfection. Fabulous Service. They seated us near the kitchen where there is a good vibe but noisy. I am hard of hearing. Before I had time to say anything, my server saw a note in my file and moved us to a quieter table. Professional service every time, quickly and politely. I can not wait to return and try everything else on the menu!"
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "First time at Foreign Cinema and was not disappointed. It was a Sunday night and the restaurant was packed. Food was very good and service was equally good. Only bummer is that I didn't realize the movies only play on the patio. Will recommend to friends."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "Had another great dinner at Foreign Cinema, celebrating a birthday. Love this spot for the vibe, always a great mix of other diners, and of course a movie playing on the wall in their outdoor patio area. The wine list is outstanding, I think I counted well over 10 pages from all regions. Service wasn't as great as it usually was on our last visit, but was still ok. The host that sat us was an adorable older gentleman, and had a few good jokes as he walked us to our seats. They have small plates and apps for a more casual evening too. Also, I think they've upgraded their coffee service, as the cup that I had after dinner was great!"
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "Went to Foreign Cinema for the first time on a date, it was fantastic. The ambiance, food and service were all great. It was a great night, and I'd definitely return again."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "This restaurant had fantastic food, and an amazing wine selection. Fantastic service, after we got a seat. We made reservations two weeks in advance, and had to wait an hour to get seats. They offered to have is wait in the bar, unfortunately many other people were in the same situation and the small bar area was completely packed so we opted to go next door to wait."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "Food was great….being seated upstairs was not so great….certainly no ambience."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "We had 6:30pm reservations and we were seated immediately on the lovely covered outdoor patio. Bar staff was knowledgeable and wine list was broad. We went with a Burgundy flight which was quite nice. Our favorite dish was the sesame fried chicken, which we split after sharing some appetizers. Overall, a really nice start to a getaway weekend."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "LOVED everything about this place. Justin was our server and a fantastic one at that. The food is delicious. The patio for movie watching is romantic and so unique. The food was also outstanding."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "Well, based on the time I took for make the reservation (difficult to find the time and day I wanted) and after all I heard about the place, I can say Foreign Cinema was a HUGE disappointment. The service (Dolli was our server) was terrible. She was rude, always seemed in a rush and when we asked for more time to order she didn't look very pleased. And the food? I like spicy food, but I like to KNOW the food I'm ordering is VERY SPICY. But they don't say a word about spicy in the menu. And the pasta I ordered was VERY VERY SPICY. Besides, the portions are TINY FOR THE PRICE. Overall, a expensive place with ordinary food and terrible service. Worth it only for the ambience and to get a drink."
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "Went out for a romantic 1st (sort of...) date on a Tuesday night. The restaurant was surprisingly busy for it being a Tuesday which, in my mind, was good news! When making the reservation I requested a table outside (where the films play) and, sure enough, we got one. The menu changes daily. Is focused. Streamlined. Easy to read through but hard to decide on (so many good options). Their wine menu is quite extensive (choosing our wine took the longest!). The food was very good and all the plates were the perfect sharing size. The staff was very friendly and attentive -- always kept water full, empty plates removed, etc. The only downside was the audio for the film was too quiet to hear a word! Atmosphere = gorgeous. Dim lit and romantic."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "I've wanted to go to this restaurant for years, we asked to be seated on the patio where old movies are being shown on the brick wall behind you. The white lights strung over the table were lovely and the heat lamps at every table made sure that we rarely felt a breeze. Our waiter was charming and knowledgeable. My husband ordered coffee and they made sure that his cup was warmed frequently throughout the meal, which I felt was the epitome of attention to detail. The wine choice our waiter made with my entrée was superb. Dessert was luscious. I was craving the pot de crème, but I had to keep sneaking bites of my husband's crème brulee. It was fantastic. We will absolutely not wait long to catch the next showing of Foreign Cinema."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "We love this restaurant. Overall the food and service are always excellent. We always order at least one serving of the chicken - very, very tasty."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "Phenomenal food, but the noise from the table very close to us and the entire restaurant sometimes made it hard to communicate with the waiter (i.e., he brought us another cocktail when we had said that we were okay.)"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "We were visiting and heard only good things from multiple sources. From an overworked waitress with too many tables, food delivered cold ( I observed the table next to me with the same dish steaming hot) and poorly timed. Wine flight white was not at the right temperature, wrong glasses and missing glasses and oxidized red ( even the waitress couldn't believe it). We dine out frequently and at different price points. This restaurant needs a manager coordinating the evening so that at this price the patrons are not disappointed. Just to contrast, the next evening we went to Ad Hoc in Yountville where everything meshed perfectly...again, in a restaurant town...no need to rest on one's laurels."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "I had organized a dinner for a friend who was coming in from out of town and her friends in sf. Almost everyone in the group was really late to dinner, but the hostess was super kind and allowed the small group of us dine first as the others trickled in. All the wait staff was kind and didn't give us any heat for being late. I really appreciated that and the great meal we had there."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "Not as good as the last time which was over 5 years ago. I hope it gets better."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "The kale salad was overdressed. The desserts (chocolate pot de creme & coconut creme brûlée) were fantastic. As far as I could tell, this place was full of people who don't live in San Francisco."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "consistent, flavorful,fresh,inventive...all that keep us coming back. thank you"
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "We requested an outdoor table to see the movie (foreign cinema) and that it was one of our party's birthday. We were sat inside without any acknowledgment of our request. When asked about sitting outside were told it was first come and would be a 40 minute wait. Very poor communication to not let us know that our request could not be honored before we arrived. This was the main point of going to this restaurant. Wondered if they got the request but brought out with a birthday dessert so they did get the requests. Inside decor was unremarkable and like any other loud restaurant. Food was equally unremarkable. It was OK but nothing special and definitely not worth going out of your way to eat here. Overall a very disappointing experience."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "The Kobe beef, caramelized onions, potatoes, asparagus and arugula are each a delight on their own, and also a complement to each other. It's the kind of food you want to eat slowly. Simply exquisite!!!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "while many excellent restaurants have opened in the Mission neighborhood, almost none are actually on Mission Street; Foreign Cinema was one of the first to redefine the culinary scene of the Mission from beans, rice and tacos to fine food. It has not lost its edge and, if anything, has gotten better over time. The quality and freshness of the ingredients and the preparation can not be overstated. An outstanding dining experience (and that's not even considering the free movie!)"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "This was my first time at Foreign Cinema, and I went with high expectations based on reviews. I felt the food was good, but one dish was a miss... the Sesame Fried Chicken. It felt like an attempt to represent half of the worlds cuisine in a single dish... Sesame batter with a touch of curry, mexican greens with a salsa flair and avocado sauce, and fried chicken. It felt to busy and a little sloppy. The rest of the meal was nice, but the waitress seemed annoyed we didn't order any alcohol."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "I liked Foreign Cinema. I thought I would love it but I was a bit underwhelmed. Don't get me wrong, it's a cool spot but it didn't really have that "wow" factor for me. All of our food was very good. I hate to say it but I was not a huge fan of the fried chicken. Everyone raves about it but I was not a fan of the curry undertone. The curry wasn't overwhelming but it was enough to turn me off. The chicken was otherwise cooked perfectly and very tender on the inside. We also had the scallops, carpaccio and fried oysters which were each very good. Now that I've been there, I don't think I'd go back for dinner but I might try their brunch sometime."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "My daughter picked this for her 18th birthday dinner. The waitress was very nice and helpful. The food was way over-priced. The movie that was playing was weird and had lots of blood and disturbing scenes to watch while eating. It took forever to get our food and we had to wait 20 minutes or so for a table even though we had reservations. I usually don't mind waiting, but the bar area was full so there was no place to go while we waited. They suggested the bar next door but it was loud and smokey in there and I had a 13 yr old daughter with me. The neighborhood was sketchy and in the hallway and outside, it reeked with Marijuana."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "So I took my foodie friends from Houston to try my favorite dish- the Fried Chicken. My friend said it was too salty and sent it back (mine was fine) I was really impressed with the service. No questions, apologized, and did not charge for plate. Friend ordered the scallops and loved them."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "It took way too long to get our food. Was there for about 2 hours and not because we wanted to be. Oysters were awesome and very cool that they play movies but you can only view the movie if your sitting in the outside area, kind of a bummer. Our main courses were decent but not good enough to justify the lengthy wait or the price, yikes. Guess we payed for the ambience and decor?"
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "This place is reliably awesome. Really a pleasure. The outdoor dining area (which is the place to be) has so much charm and isn't cold late in the evening. The movie playing adds personality to the experience and the background noise added energy to the space without making it difficult to hear a date. Trendy, great fancy drinks, and a consistently amazing food menu. This is one of my favorite restaurants in the city."
    Dined on 11/2/2013
  • "Our family ate at Foreign Cinema on the last night of our vacation in San Francisco. It was just perfect. We ordered two appetizers to share, the grilled calamari and clams and they were both sublime. We eat out a lot, both in our home city of Dallas and on vacations (most recently in NYC) and this meal was one of the best of our lives. All four of our entrees were cooked perfectly and beyond delicious.. Chicken, Pork Chop, Steak and Duck. The atmosphere and service was over the top perfect. We sat in the large courtyard in front of the movie projection. Zagats rated this restaurant very high. We sometimes disagree with them, but for this restaurant they were dead on."
    Dined on 3/10/2014