Nihon Whisky Lounge
Nihon Whisky Lounge

Nihon Whisky Lounge

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.dajanigroup.net/establishments/nihon-whisky-lounge/
  • Phone: 4155524400
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner:
    Tuesday-Thursday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm
    Friday and Saturday 5:30-12midnight
    Closed Sunday & Monday for private events
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Japanese
  • Executive Chef: Adachi Hiroyuki
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room
  • Private Party Facilities: We offer a private room that can accommodate up to 20 dinner guests in a formal setting and up to 30 guests in an informal cocktail style reception setting.
  • Private Party Contact: Romina 4155524400
  • Entertainment: DJ's play Friday & Saturday from 8pm-1am.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 14th Street
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Nihon Whisky Lounge
Nihon offers contemporary Japanese cuisine with a sophisticated twist on the traditional Japanese Izakaya (Japanese version of tapas). The cuisine also offers a wide array of fresh sashimi and sushi rolls. If you are a whisky lover, Nihon also offers the largest single malt selection found on the west coast with over 400 selections all available through bottle purchase. All bottles purchased can be stored in a private locker in the premises for future visits. Nihon is renowned for amazing house made creative whisky and champagne cocktails.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
Nihon Whisky Lounge reviews from OpenTable diners
42 reviews since May 24, 2014
Overall Rating3.7
  • Food4.1
    Service3.6
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
73% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
vibrant bar scene (25)fit for foodies (21)hot spot (18)special occasion (16)neighborhood gem (15)romantic (13)late-night find (11)good for groups (7)kid-friendly (2)notable wine list (1)great for brunch (1)Show More
  • Good food, slow service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Nihon Wiskey Lounge is the place to go if you want to try lots of different types of whiskeys. I personally do not drink whiskey, but the boyfriend does and he was impressed with the selection they had. The only thing about that is that he wished there were whiskey flight options so that he can try more. As for the food, it was good. It's an Asian fusion place, and the portions are kind of small, but I enjoyed the food. The only thing we didn't like was that service was super slow. Just our drinks themselves took around 15 minutes to come out. We ordered 4 or 5 dishes, and they each came out one at a time. We would be finished with a dish before the next came out. Seeing as how tiny the portions were, I don't think that is acceptable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love the atmosphere, service, food.
    felix
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We will return! Service was absolutely wonderful. Discrete, attentive, efficient, friendly. Love the beer choices. Impressive list of single malt wiskies.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lisa
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Great buzz , solid drinks, nice staff, cool atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Scotch anyone?
    Occasionaldiner
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Nehon has an extensive whiskey menu and knowledgeable waiters to assist in selections. The food was terrific, unique, well prepared and paired well with the whiskeys. "Tastes" are available at a reasonable rate, 3/4 oz selections of most Scotches, so one can taste several without breaking the bank or losing consciousness! Our party of 4 had a wonderful experience.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • glovesmVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Coming here for the first time, I was really impressed by the bar when I entered. We sat upstairs and enjoyed the torch my belly and chef's omakase menu of sashimi - salmon, octopus, escolar, albacore, maguro. Delicious! They made a perfect blood and sand. Slightly pricey overall, but great quality. I'll definitely come back here for a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Have deep pockets
    SFCA415
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    The food was quite good but quite overpriced for the amount we ate and what we paid and that's just the food alone!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not cheap, but
    EaterVIP
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Loved the crudos and of course the hibiki 17 year scotch. Lived the raw food -- hamachi jalapeño, salmon belly. Had the yam fries and fried octopus -- was ok, Not great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lackluster
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    No share plates, no forks, just chopsticks offered (I eat with my hands so it's fine!), and yucky cocktails were a huge disappointment. We are big whiskey lovers, and tried out two of their craft cocktails. I should have known better since this is one of those places where the cocktails are simply described as being made with "bourbon" or "whisky". Ordered Manhattan, got a gross Evan Williams on the rocks, and I think we also had something made with Jack! Gross. Why don't places like this make their cocktails with a good base spirit? I have no idea. I come from a big city and this kind of thing in SF is really disappointing, especially at a fancy "whisky lounge". Waitress didn't seem very knowledgeable or friendly. Food was great!
    Special Features:
    late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Enjoyable
    Tiranna
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Great place to go for very interesting mixed drinks or, of course, whisky tasting. Some of the dishes we got were amazing, while others were a little disappointing in comparison. Overall, I'd recommend Nihon as a great place for higher-end dinner and drinks.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Awesome everything but way too loud
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    DJ was way too into himself. While I understand they're trying for a cool/hip bar scene, they should be aware of the volume level. It was painful, looking around I could tell others were pained. A lady spoke up, asked for it to be turned down, and as soon as she left the DJ turned it back up. Impossible to have a conversation at the bar tables (maybe easier at the bar, where you're shoulder to shoulder?). Otherwise I love this place, but never again on a Friday or Saturday.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fallen a long way
    carnivorousbastard
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    We hadn't been to Nihon Whisky Lounge in a couple years. The food was wonderful that last time. Things changed and very much for the worse. The people who worked there for years are gone. The blackened tuna arrived slightly desiccated and curled up, the wagyu steak was about three ounces and cost $26 with less flavor than previously, and the waiter reminded me of a Radio Shack counter person with no sensitivity to the progression or timing of courses. Some of the dishes were not bad but neither were they memorable enough to recall after a week. A disappointing dinner we won't try to repeat, we will not be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good good and cocktails
    dance4food
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    Great izakaya with lovely whisky collection and superb cocktails. Unfortunately, service is perfunctory, and the kitchen managed to forget 1 ingredient out of 4 listed for a dish. But if you're really focused on food and drink, this is fantastic. Just be prepared with some patience for errors.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wow
    GregVIP
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    Whiskey Meets Izakaya. Awesome! A fabulous whiskey / scotch selection to go with an amazing Izakaya style menu. Everything on the menu was amazing. This was my 2nd visit and I am already looking forward to my next visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Terrible service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Our guest never received his dinner. When asked to check on it, the waiter disappeared for awhile, but when he returned didn't offer any explanation. All of the rest of the food had been eaten and cleared away and his dinner still hadn't arrived. He told the waiter to cancel the order, and the waiter seemed surprised and instead of apologizing, just asked if we wanted to order dessert. No action was taken at all to make up for the error, no apology, not even an offer to comp part of our meal.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pull It Together
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    Nihon can't successfully run a restaurant and packed bar at the same time. For those dining... dishes arrive whenever and drinks are dropped on the way to your table due to the overcrowded bar scene. A mess.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Okay experience, excellent whiskey
    IEatNemo
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    The food, although a little bit pricey, was outstanding. The only complaint is that the service was mostly lacking with what I would expect eating at a fancy-ish place. It took 40 mins for two of our whiskeys (one neat and one on the rocks), the one of the rocks was watered down completely by the time my friend got her drink. Excuses were made but quite honestly this should of came out after 5-15 minutes. It's a toss up if I would dine here again but I might be open to it simply because I love whiskey and scotch. Hopefully I'll have a better experience if I decide to try Nihon again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • More bar than restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    Three distinct dining areas here: the downstairs bar area is very trendy and energetic, there is an upstairs extension of the bar that is a little more like a restaurant, and then a smaller back room that is kind of loungy. The food is very pricey ($15-$18 per sushi roll, other small japanese dishes were $10-$15), and there's no real entrees to speak of. But the food was quite tasty, the fish fresh. The real draw here is the cocktail menu and whiskey selection, although again, it is quite pricey. Service was extremely slow. I ordered a second drink (a bottle of beer at that) and it took about 15 mintues for them to bring it; i was pretty much done eating by then. Can't really recommend this other than for a quick drink or small bite.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 25 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 24, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.9
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service3.7
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 266 reviews are from the Nihon Whisky Lounge reviews archive.
  • yummy, pretty, sensual
    saxo
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    Date and I discovered Nihon on line, looking for a restaurant open late in the 'hood. We had a great time here. A sexy, stylish place that's also warm and comfortable, not too noisy upstairs -- easy to have a conversation. Imaginative, colorful food served on long skinny plates and in big martini glasses and the like, and plenty of "vegetable-forward" options. We liked the Avocado Fly and the Vegi Papa-San so much we ordered seconds. Friendly fast service. Four stars because we found it overpriced for a small-plate place -- you have to order a lot to fill up. Pre-tip amount came to $100 with no liquor or dessert. Still I'd come back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • has gone downhill fast
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 5/20/2014
    I used to enjoy Nihon but the last 2 visits have been disappointing. The food last time was pretty mediocre overall (except for the uni), but the "Taco salad" was just atrocious. It was bad enough that there was no eastern influence detectable in the dish. It truly tasted like they had brought it over from Taco Bell. Lame shredded iceberg lettuce shredded cheese. Very Very bland. Not worth the $. Oh well. at least the cocktails were still decent.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Overall great restaurant
    MrLocal
    Dined on 5/6/2014
    Great ambiance and amazing whiskey selection. The food, while a little overpriced, was very good and everyone had a great time.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent Dining
    Torontodiner
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    The restaurant is located in a bit of a "no mans land" but worth the effort to go there! From the minute you walk in the place has a look and a vibe that is fun and adult! The service was super excellent and she took the time to explain the restaurant's concept and how the menu worked. She was also very helpful in recommending what to order and how much. The food experience was terrific. Everything and I mean EVERYTHING was delicious! We will be back!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sushi + Whiskey = Amazing
    FoodieSnob
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    If you like sushi and whiskey, this is the perfect place for you. The sushi rolls and other Japanese food items are unique, and the whiskey selection is amazing. The service was friendly and helpful in our selection of whiskey.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great ambiance great rolls
    bweav
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    Sushi rolls were fantastic, everything else we ordered was good, not great. Drinks were probably overpriced but delicious. Pretty sure it was just luck of the draw but we ended up seated upstairs on couches rather than normal tables which was pretty cool. Definitely worth going w/ my groupon, may not be so thrilled if i was paying full price
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best Combo Evar.
    utingme
    Dined on 3/19/2014
    Sushi and scotch? Yes. Please. Pleeeeeeease! Sit upstairs if you need to have a conversation. With a big enough group, you can book the room upstairs, too. Brought two potential partners here to talk shop and shoot the sht. Fantastic quality food: Hamachi jalapeño, Unit spoons, karaage, and other fishes were fantastic. Watch your tab though, it can add up fast as the whiskey flows.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beware the $6 500ml Water Bottles
    PaulvdwVIP
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    This place is great in every other aspect. Good food, good service, nice ambience. However, my girlfriend and I were not impressed at being charged $6 a pop the 500ml (small) bottles of sparkling water that we ordered. The price may have been buried in the menu somewhere; but it was not immediately apparent. And it was not disclosed when our server nonchalantly offered us, "tap water or sparkling", like they were virtually the same thing. Pricing for everything else was fine for a restaurant at this level - The whisky cocktails at $13 a piece were tasty. And some of their cocktails are half price at happy hour if you order at the bar. :)
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Food, Quiet Dinner
    Onekitty7
    Dined on 3/6/2014
    I went here with my girlfriend for dinner on a Thursday evening. The dining room is situated on the second floor above the bar with a lovely view of the wall of whiskey below. The bar was crowded for happy hour, but the upstairs was quiet and we were the only ones dining for about half an hour. The food was delicious and well prepared. It was small plates, Japanese tapas style. The two of us shared 6 or 7 dishes and were satisfied. I particularly enjoyed the "torch my belly" and the grilled mackerel. My girlfriend loved the "uni on the spoon" and the "sesame salmon go" maki. I was very pleased with the whiskey that I sampled. I would definitely recommend this place for happy hour drinks. The whiskey cocktails looked intriguing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not as good as my first time...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    The waiter was rude, pushed a $200 sake on us... brought the wrong food and pretty much ignored a table of 6 the entire time. I recommended to my friends that we try it. Their reaction was... "What's so great about this place?" I was embarrassed. I would not go back
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wool over our eyes
    ACE1969
    Dined on 2/22/2014
    Went Sat. night, place had a cool vibe, but the mngr at reception didn't smile or make eye contact w. us. We went upstairs where a server explained the diffs. btwn some of the whiskies & we asked him to recco. one which he did. A Japanese whiskey served in a high ball with some sparkling water. it was flavourful. When we aked for the bill his recco costed $30 a drink! We were quite surprised (and willing to pay $18 avg for a drink) it was a cheesey move and he apologized and said he would speak to the lovely, smiling manager (NOT). she refused to do anything, in fact she spoke to the server at his station which was steps away and did not even come over to our table. she then grabbed her purse, put on her jacket and left for the night....
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • interior design
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 2/20/2014
    Interior design and cocktail menu add more to the experience and fill in for what the food lacks in consistency.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I liked it a lot!
    SassySallyCA
    Dined on 2/13/2014
    Thoroughly enjoyed the dining here. Great whiskey selection, sushi tasted fresh. Well priced, as for an establishment like this - it will be pricey. But it packs a punch, and would definitely go again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Whisky, terrible food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    It's not a good sign when edamame is the best tasting thing on your menu... Service was poor when two friends and I ate dinner there on a not very busy Saturday night. At least the whisky was delicious.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Buzzing bar with excellent food
    LilikoiVIP
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    Really great bar for drinks with friends. The menu was varied and the drinks were delicious. The wait for drinks at the bar seemed excessive, despite the fact it was a busy Friday night. Would go again and recommend to others.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, late-night find, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best Whisky Tasting Experience!
    CathyOC
    Dined on 1/31/2014
    Every visit here is an exciting experience. Reason for this is their extensive whisky menu. I recommend ordering a series of whisky tastings. It makes for a more interesting and dynamic tasting experience, and helps you pace your alcoholic intake. We do this and by the time we leave, we've tried at least 7 or 8 different whiskys -- most of which are difficult to come by at your regular bar. Aside from the whisky, the food was tasty and paired well with the whisky!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Birthday Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    7 friends and I shared a wonderful birthday dinner in the upstairs back room, which is cozy and beautifully lit by a wall of shoji screens. We felt like we had our own special space, and it turned out that our waitress was an old friend of someone in our group! The music from the live DJ downstairs (another acquaintance) was also just right to set the mood. The only downside was that we had to wait about 25 mins past our reservation time for our table to be ready.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • whiskey bar with aian tapas
    RitzVIP
    Dined on 12/7/2013
    First time at this place. Went with my son for his birthday. He had been before. The service was very good, the food was very good and fresh and the ambiance was nice. Overall a good experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nihon
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/27/2013
    The service and drink list was wonderful. However the food was much to be desired. It was not up to the quality I expected especially for the price.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Almost there
    DragonVIP
    Dined on 11/22/2013
    I went for the whiskey selection so my expectations ended there. I was not disappointed as they had premium whiskey from around the world. Service was friendly and mostly knowledgable. The sashimi was very good but I couldn't eat much else as I am allergic to gluten and they premaranade much of the rolls and batter them which not typical of a high end sushi bar. They weren't even sure if they had Tamari (GF soy sauce) The sausages were great as we're a few other items I could eat but for a sushi bar to not be able to accommodate for gluten allergies this day and age is out dated and odd. I will go back but for my sushi cravings stick with more accommodating choices.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Scappa licious
    Scappa
    Dined on 11/21/2013
    Perfect venue in every way for a belated birthday celebration ,menu was very appetising,the crab salad and the miso pork were amazing as the rest of the food ,the subdued lighting ,cosy atmosphere were letting conversations flow easily ...perfect setting and ambiance for savouring my newly found favourite whisky ...you might have guessed already ....it was the scappa ,my husband was adventurous enough to choose it for me amongst hundreds,the most impressive list I have seen so far .a night and venue to remember
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and drink selection.
    regulardinerVIP
    Dined on 11/8/2013
    Great food and drink selection. Seating upstairs can get uncomfortably hot due to lack of air conditioning. Other than that this place is great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • This place is awesome. The
    AmazingVIP
    Dined on 9/14/2013
    This place is awesome. The food was great, with a lot of variety. Great scotch list and amazing cocktails.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.