Nihon Whisky Lounge
1779 Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA 94103Neighborhood:
JapanesePrice: $30 and under
Nihon Whisky Lounge
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.dajanigroup.net/establishments/nihon-whisky-lounge/
- Phone: 4155524400
- Hours of Operation:
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.
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.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
Nihon Whisky Lounge - Best Restaurants in SOMA ›
Nihon Whisky Lounge reviews from OpenTable diners
37 reviews since May 25, 2014
- Ambiance3.9Noise LevelModerate
vibrant bar scene (23)fit for foodies (18)hot spot (17)neighborhood gem (15)special occasion (14)romantic (11)late-night find (11)good for groups (7)kid-friendly (2)notable wine list (1)great for brunch (1)Show More
- know what you orderOpenTable Diner Since 2004Dined on 9/20/2014We wanted a few whiskey's, but not the 40$ whiskey's we were upsold on. After being seated 20 minutes late the kitchen closed before any of our food came out, so we were not able to order any more food. The waited also forgot 1/3 of what we ordered and we were not able to reorder it as the kitchen was closed.Special Features:
- Good food, slow serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 9/16/2014Nihon 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Love the atmosphere, service, food.felixDined on 9/13/2014We will return! Service was absolutely wonderful. Discrete, attentive, efficient, friendly. Love the beer choices. Impressive list of single malt wiskies.Special Features:
- LisaDisappointedDined on 9/5/2014Great buzz , solid drinks, nice staff, cool atmosphere.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Scotch anyone?OccasionaldinerDined on 8/16/2014Nehon 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:
- glovesmVIPDined on 8/15/2014Coming 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:
- Have deep pocketsSFCA415Dined on 8/15/2014The food was quite good but quite overpriced for the amount we ate and what we paid and that's just the food alone!I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not cheap, butEaterVIPDined on 7/26/2014Loved 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- LacklusterOpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 7/25/2014No 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:
- EnjoyableTirannaDined on 6/20/2014Great 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:
- Awesome everything but way too loudOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 6/13/2014DJ 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.
- Fallen a long waycarnivorousbastardDined on 6/6/2014We 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.
- Good good and cocktailsdance4foodDined on 5/28/2014Great 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:
- WowGregVIPDined on 5/28/2014Whiskey 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 270 reviews are from the Nihon Whisky Lounge reviews archive.
- Terrible serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 5/24/2014Our 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.
- Pull It TogetherOpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 5/23/2014Nihon 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.
- Okay experience, excellent whiskeyIEatNemoDined on 5/23/2014The 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:
- More bar than restaurantOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 5/23/2014Three 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:
- yummy, pretty, sensualsaxoDined on 5/22/2014Date 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- has gone downhill fastOpenTable Diner Since 2005VIPDined on 5/20/2014I 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.
- Overall great restaurantMrLocalDined on 5/6/2014Great ambiance and amazing whiskey selection. The food, while a little overpriced, was very good and everyone had a great time.
- Excellent DiningTorontodinerDined on 5/3/2014The 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Sushi + Whiskey = AmazingFoodieSnobDined on 4/18/2014If 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:
- Great ambiance great rollsbweavDined on 3/28/2014Sushi 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
- Best Combo Evar.utingmeDined on 3/19/2014Sushi 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Beware the $6 500ml Water BottlesPaulvdwVIPDined on 3/14/2014This 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. :)
- Great Food, Quiet DinnerOnekitty7Dined on 3/6/2014I 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not as good as my first time...OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIPDined on 3/1/2014The 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
- Wool over our eyesACE1969Dined on 2/22/2014Went 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- interior designOpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 2/20/2014Interior design and cocktail menu add more to the experience and fill in for what the food lacks in consistency.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- I liked it a lot!SassySallyCADined on 2/13/2014Thoroughly 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Whisky, terrible foodOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 2/8/2014It'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:
- Buzzing bar with excellent foodLilikoiVIPDined on 2/1/2014Really 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:
- Best Whisky Tasting Experience!CathyOCDined on 1/31/2014Every 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Birthday DinnerOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 1/25/20147 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- whiskey bar with aian tapasRitzVIPDined on 12/7/2013First 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.
- NihonOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/27/2013The 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.
- Almost thereDragonVIPDined on 11/22/2013I 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:
- Scappa liciousScappaDined on 11/21/2013Perfect 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 rememberSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food and drink selection.regulardinerVIPDined on 11/8/2013Great 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: