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  • La Urbana

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La Urbana
La Urbana
  • Address:
    661 Divisadero Street
    San Francisco, CA 94117
    Neighborhood:
    North Panhandle / USF
  • Cuisine:
    Contemporary Mexican
    Price: $31 to $50

La Urbana Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.laurbanasf.com
  • Email: info@laurbanasf.com
  • Phone: (415) 440-4500
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Sun-Thu 5:30pm-11:00pm
    Fri-Sat 5:30 pm-12:00am
  • Cuisine: Contemporary Mexican, Mexican
  • Executive Chef: Benjamin Klein
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Grove
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from La Urbana
The symbol of the neighborhood Cantina is an integral part of Latin American culture. Cantinas have been cherished by local communities for generations, providing a neutral space where all people can enjoy outstanding food and signature cocktails with their families and friends.

At La Urbana, we hope to respectfully reinterpret this time-honored tradition by using sustainable ingredients in a contemporary way that represents our Latin roots and global culture while continuing to push the boundaries of modern Mexican food.

¡Salud!
Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
Diner Reviews
  • "I have now dined at La Urbana on four occasions. The first three the food was outstanding. On my Last visit it was sadly mediocre. My biggest disappointment was my entree of grilled fish with mole sauce. The fish was overdone and flavorless. I fear the restaurant might already be on a downward spiral and I'm not sure if I will dine there again."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "While this place serves up some good contemporary Mexican food and concocts some very delicious Mezcal cocktails, I would not recommend it to anyone. Mainly because it has the most inept, unfriendly and outright obnoxious serving staff, in particular the restaurant manager. He decided that answering a patron's questions about his bill was totally below him and invited me never to dine there again. His wish is granted."
    Dined on 2/6/2014
  • "I'm mexican and LOVE trying on mexican restaurants in the area. This one is well designed... loved the decor and table setting. The staff was super friendly and did everything they could to fit in our baby's stroller and made sure we were confortable. BUT the food was terrible! The menu is very interesting and almost exciting, but that is probably one of the reasons why I was so disappointed when I actually tasted our food. They only things that we really liked were our drinks! This place needs some serious improvement in the kitchen, and since that is the most important thing for me in a restaurant (right?) I cannot recommend it to anyone. A real shame..."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Chicken and octopus was very good, wife not happy with mole or sangria, not sweet"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "We had a wonderful experience at La Urbana! Decor was vibrant with many small & interesting touches. Staff was welcoming and knowledgeable. We had 2 delicious appetizers - Aguachile ceviche and pork in black bean broth with pea shoots and house made tortillas. We had two salads : one with scallops, with mango, jicama, chile and more. Another with wonderful grilled asparagus, arugula, nopales. We shared an entree of sea bass with crispy skin on cauliflower polenta with poblano cream. Each bites had surprises that were still harmonious. We had two amazing and visually beautiful desserts with delightful flavor and texture surprises. Tried a Mezcal flight with its special salts and orange but will stick to tequila. Memorable night!"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Extreme delays, entrees served at different times, completely inattentive wait staff. It's too bad. The food has great potential. But apparently there's no professional in charge of service operations."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "We loved it. My title says incredible cocktails because mezcal is brilliant for rethinking American cocktails like old fashioneds. The cuisine is fantastic. Delicious Mexican dishes."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "Cool and funky decor, service was great but overall the food was just ok. Some of the portions were very small, some were over salted and others were not as tasty as they sounded on the menu. They have their specialty dishes that keep people coming back but otherwise it was just ok."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "From the moment we walked into the restaurant we were greeted by friendly, smiling hostesses! We enjoyed hanging out in the bar area before being seated at our table. The cuisine was scrumptious - everything was absolutely good! However we felt the menu was a tad limited so we won't be making this a weekly destination maybe a monthly one!"
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "At our table, drink service was good, our waiter suggesting several of their specialty cocktails (which were all great). We ordered a table started of tortillas and avocado, and also ordered mains. The starter (5 tortillas in a stack with a half avocado sitting next to it) arrived promptly. As simple as it sounds, it was tasty. Then the wait began. Tacos and huevos took nearly 90 min. Tacos excellent; eggs underdone and gelatinous. Nobody sent anything back since we had waited an eternity to get them. The waiter managed the situation pretty well for most of the time, occasionally disappearing (maybe from embarrassment). I wouldn't go back unless I knew the issues in the kitchen had been fixed. That kind of wait for brunch is unacceptable."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "La Urbana brings a welcome polish and hipness to the NOPA Divisadero corridor. The bar scene is lively, hip and the mescal selection unrivaled. Even their ordinary house margarita profits tremendously from the substation of mescal for tequila...adding a warm and smoky sexiness to the drink. The food is geared to reflect the Mexico city-style modern interpretations of classic cuisine. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. The ceviche served with smoke in a mason jar...not special. The carnitas "huaraches" served on brioche crostini...weren't an improvement. But, the grilled octopus is a standout, and the simple grilled fish reliable. Shortribs were on the try and tough side."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "The ambience and design of this place are delightful. I had the chilaquiles with a farm egg which everyone (4 of us) tried and loved. At some point after we got our ceviche (also delicious), our waiter disappeared and our drinks sat empty for ages. My dinner was brought to another table so my food came way after my three dining mates. I would have forgiven the bad service (I understand that mix-ups happen, maybe they were short staffed that night...) had the waiter apologized, even better if he had taken the chilaquiles off of the tab. But no apology was made and we were charged in full. I'm willing to give La Urbana another chance as the food, drinks and scene were great, I just hope the bad service was an anomaly."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "Wanted to go on a date to impress. So chose la Urbana as I had seen it so often while driving by. From the moment we entered until we left, we felt taken care care of. The server was able to give is honest feedback on what might work and how to select our dinner from appetizer to dessert."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "This place is really a nice find. The food, especially the boneless spare ribs entree and carnitas appetizer were delicious. Our server was charming. The only drawbacks would be that the food was very slow in coming to the table and the tables are so deep that its hard to hear your dinner partners so far apart-given the background noise is quite high and the acoustics-Lots of hard surfaces, are challenging."
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "La Urbana has unique flavors, great cocktails and is a great option if you need a change of pace from the typically NOPA routine perfect food."
    Dined on 2/24/2014
  • "Great meal at La Urbana in the early evening seating. We were entertaining an associate from the East Coast and had a 6pm reservation. The space is spare and modern, clearly a lot of thought and design went into it to make it so attractive. We enjoyed the special mescal cocktails, then went to the pulp and ceviche appetizers. All delicious. My companions had the crisp fish entrees and enjoyed them immensely. I went the vegan route with the potato, egg and squash entree. It was great, flavorful and filling. The wine list had an unusual spanish red Albarino that we had to try. Also great. Things got slow by the end of the meal, but only because the place was getting packed, but we were never rushed. We'll definitely be back to La Urbana."
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "Some old faves done in a new way. The mole was nice as was the cocktail list....knowledgable staff"
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "We recently returned from Oaxaca which is probably the culinary capital of Mexico, at least in our opinion. So we've longed for some great, innovative Mexican food and in La Urbana we found it. The drinks were great and the Mescal choices incredible. The appetizers were excellent: carnitas, a sort of quesadilla thing, and a fabulous octopus dish. The two mains--Chicken with Mole and Short ribs--were both excellent. Nice service. The usual very loud NOPA vibe."
    Dined on 2/10/2014
  • "I've been to La Urbana twice, and both times exceeded my expectations. The cocktails are amazing ($10-$12). The margaritas are made with mezcal instead of tequila. The violet margarita is silky and unexpected. The bartenders and servers are friendly and attentive. Standout dishes include the braised short ribs, quesadillas, and ensalada verde. Also, the roasted corn side is a must."
    Dined on 2/5/2014
  • "We had a wonderful evening with close to authentic Mexican food, especially the mole con pollo."
    Dined on 2/4/2014
  • "We had to wait close to 30 minutes for our drinks; the Margaritas were so-so, the Pino Noir quite good. After a bland amuse boche (bean puree on a Chinese soup spoon), we had to wait close to 45 minutes for our mains. The short ribs were excellent, the vegetable side good, if on the skimpy side, while the corn side appealed very much to my daughter; the pescado was leathery, a not very succulent fillet which perhaps suffered from being over-cooked."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "The mezcal choices are amazing and the smoky flavor comes through, including the La Urbana margarita! The food is creative, presented well and each dish offers its own wonderful flavor profile. This food is sophisticated! We loved the carnitas appetizer! And the pollo with mole sauce was terrific as was the carne asada. Be sure to order a side of the corn - it was so sweet and flavorful and rounded out the entrees. We also tried dessert - a luscious chocolate with some mezcal gelee that was a nice smoky counterpoint to the milk chocolate. Coffee was good too - served in a large french press. All in all a wonderful dinner."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Great food, really nice people, not pretentious. Enjoyable ambiance. Menu was smaller than expected, but that meant that everything on it was well thought out. The amuse bouche at the beginning of the meal was unexpected but FANTASTIC. The Passionfruit gelatina dessert, specifically, was wonderful."
    Dined on 1/27/2014
  • "I was excited for this place as I'd heard some really good stuff and everything I had was tasty, individually, but overall I didn't love it. Their cocktail list for the most part really didn't complement their food. With most of their food being Mexican-inspired, it was odd to find drinks with absinthe and Chambord in them, since those flavors don't mesh. I ordered the absinthe one and it was really refreshing, but it definitely did not go well with my order of Huevos con Chorizo (partially my fault for ordering the two together). Also, the drinks and the food took a very long time to come out and the restaurant was only maybe half full. The huevos con chorizo were excellent, however. But overall, it's not a place I'll be running back to."
    Dined on 1/26/2014
  • "We were excited to try this place out for brunch. My friend's dish was well portioned but I could have finished my plates in 5 bites. The service was extremely slow...made it somewhat a frustrating time."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "Fun and relaxed atmosphere, super good ETOH beverages, tacos between 4-6pm a great deal but otherwise menu is not inexpensive."
    Dined on 1/22/2014
  • "I have never written a poor of a review but I am astounded at what horrible service (and I KNOW the staff can be asked a lot of...) We were ignored and the waiter gave us attitude. He took our order right away (almost to hurry us) but it took over 45 minutes to get our semi warm meal :( The flavors showed promise but the portions were a tease and expensive for what we got. I am so sorry that the menu had so FEW options and no appetizers or at least a complementary bread or chips, etc. SF foodies beware. I saw some table getting VERY special attention because they knew the staff and this is so disappointing. I did have a reservation and my money and manners is just as sound as the next person."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "Service seemed really slow, especially considering it was a Sunday morning and didn't seem too busy. The food and cocktails were great though, and the interior is stunning. It would be great to have the brunch menu expanded a bit to include some items that could be shared as an app before the main course. Great place though and will definitely be back."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "Cocktails were interesting and delicious, ensalada verde was the most memorable thing I ate. I'd go back just to have 3 orders of it. Quesadilla appetizer was very bland and uninteresting, hanger steak entree was well cooked but under seasoned. Chocolate dessert was tasty and imaginative. Service was very nice and attentive, and the space is awesome. Could be a little pricey, reservation definitely recommended. This is a nice addition to the neighborhood."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Our first time there, service was great, food was fabulous! Desserts where our favorite! The passion fruit flan was Awsome!!!"
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "excellent and creative food. The timing needs improvement -- shouldn't have to wait 40 minutes for appetizers only to have one item never arrive and then have another unusual lag in time between appetizers and entree. The water waiters are very attentive to refill your glass every time you take a sip, but perhaps some of that labor and attentive could be redirected to the kitchen so we can eat within a reasonable time frame? Once you have a bottle of water at your table, you can refill your own glass after all, but it can't compensate for a lack of food. The place is still recommendable for its great food, and hopefully the spotty service was a fluke."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "Absolutely loved our experience at La Urbana last night. Have spent a good deal of time in Mexico sampling the different cuisines of the region. It's so fantastic to have a little of the country's true culinary delights this side of the border - something rare to find in SF (no slight to Nopalito, which we love but is the difference between Mexican comfort food and upscale cuisine). Can't wait to go back!"
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "The food was so overpriced, almost $30 for Carnitas? And it wasn't very good. My braised short ribs was so salty I couldn't even eat it. And I love salty food, so that's saying a lot. The service was OK, our server was great, but others in the support roles don't look or act like they want to be there."
    Dined on 1/3/2014
  • "I hope the service gets better because everything else was just fantastic."
    Dined on 1/2/2014
  • "Ceviche, perhaps our best dish ordered, arrived with 2 chips... yes 2... the tortillas that accompanied the mole were the size of silver dollar pancakes...in other words, the portion size is ridiculous, even more so when you consider the high prices. Everything we ordered exuded the same smokey mesquite-like aroma and taste, which became monotonous fast. Good luck finding the grilled octopus in and amongst the do-dads that attempt to make the dish appear more plentiful than it really is. Mezcal flights were a fun way to sample a variety."
    Dined on 1/7/2014
  • "La Urbana is a great addition to the Divisadero dining corridor. Located at Grove, it occupies a large but cozy warehouse space on the corner. Upon entering, I was struck by the Mexico City DF feel, colorful mosaic tiles and reclaimed wood throughout. The service is so sweet, everyone from the hosts, to the bartenders to the servers are so nice and helpful. The servers are knowledgeable about both food and drink. The La Urbana margarita is unlike any you've ever tasted. The mezcal instead of tequila gives it a smokey depth. For food, I recommend the roasted corn, beet salad, quesadilla tijuana, vegetarian friojoles, and the short ribs. We split the above items between two people and had no room for dessert!"
    Dined on 1/6/2014
  • "We are at La Urbana on January 4. The food was very tasty, well prepared and innovative. What really annoyed me was the service. The waiter was distracted. All of them went through the motions but no one was home. They were quick to remove dishes but never asked if we wanted anything else - drinks or more food. .There was also a long wait in between the appetizers and main course. Drinks were great, especially if you like Mezcal. I guess my main gripe is: if I am going to pay $25.00 for 2 tablespoons of mashed potatoes and 1 ounce of short rib, I also want service that isn't found in Denny's. Oh, and the check was delivered in SECONDS."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "For sophisticated foodies who have tried it all, this is an exciting turn on traditional Mexican w modern kitchen technology to create modern but authentic dining"
    Dined on 1/5/2014
  • "Outstanding meal, reasonable price, and trendy, but not too self-conscious, setting"
    Dined on 12/24/2013
  • "The wave of genuine Mexican restaurants continue. We love Padrecito in our area and La Urbana topped it. From the drinks (Floral Violet Margarita) to the food, everything was so tasty and imaginative. At some point we were enjoying our food so much we asked the waiter whether this is something like SF-Mex and he said that this is genuine Mexican food as you would have it in Mexico. They even import some of their salsas for Mexico. We are definitely going back! One surprise is there no chips and guacamole so don't be shocked. They said they wanted to break the stereotype in the US and they did."
    Dined on 12/30/2013