Opaque - Dining In The Dark
Opaque - Dining In The Dark
  • Address:
    689 McAllister Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    Neighborhood:
    Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
  • Cuisine:
    American
    Price: $50 and over

Opaque - Dining In The Dark

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.darkdining.com/
  • Phone: 8007101270
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Wednesday - Saturday: 6:30pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Californian
  • Executive Chef: Michael Whang
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Private Room, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Opaque - dining in the dark offers it's unique concept to private groups. Dining in the dark is a culinary adventure which enhances your senses and explores a new sensitivity. All waiters are legally blind and guide guests through a one of a kind experience which is revealing and eye opening.
  • Private Party Contact: Ben Uphues 3108954217
  • Special Events: We offer the dining in the dark experience for group bookings on-site, or off site on any day per individual booking

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Gough Street
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Parking lot suggestions: The Performing Arts Garage on Grove between Franklin and Gough, or a Pay lot on the corner of Golden Gate and Franklin.
A word from Opaque - Dining In The Dark
Imagine that you are recognizing friends by their voice, sounds tell a story, aromas come alive and elegance is felt. In this era of information overload, visual stimulation has reached an all time pinnacle. But imagine, just for an hour or two that you cannot see, that you are abandoning vision in exchange for a new, more stimulating dining experience – this is “Dining in the Dark”. Opaque - Dining in the Dark – will seat you in a literally pitch-black dining room where you will be guided and served by blind or visually impaired individuals that have been specially trained to serve meals in the dark, casually and comfortably offering guidance and reassurance for sighted guests.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSpecial Occasion
Opaque - Dining In The Dark reviews from OpenTable diners
53 reviews since July 3, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4
    Service4.7
  • Ambiance4.6
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (40)romantic (24)good for groups (10)fit for foodies (10)hot spot (8)neighborhood gem (5)late-night find (3)kid-friendly (2)great for lunch (1)scenic view (1)great for outdoor dining (1)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Wonderful service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Rosie was great and it was a unique experience. Food was decent but could be better.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Only a so-so value
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Enjoying Opaque is an individual thing. I knew that I would be dining in darkness, but I was surprised that I felt somewhat claustrophobic in the absolutely lightless room. The food was very good, but the experience at Opaque taught me that food presentation makes a difference to me. It bothered me that I couldn't see what I was putting in my mouth. The service was stellar; no problems there. Finally, though I was fully informed of the dinner price before I descended into Opaque's somewhat musty cellar, when I was confronted with the bill at the end of the evening I realized that the Opaque experience was not a good value for me. At $99/person (on the weekend), I would expect a nearly perfect experience. It just wasn't.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Let Go & Enjoy
    BossLady
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Yes, it's messy. Yes, it's weird to be in total darkness. But that's the charm, the fun of it! Just let go of any preconceived notions and enjoy yourself. It is complete blackness. I am one of those people whose eyes adjust easily to the darkness, but I can tell you there was absolutely nothing I could see. Not even my hand in front of my face. The servers are blind or visually impaired. Our server, Courtney, was wonderful. She instructed/guided us kindly and patiently throughout our experience. Don't worry about if the food is fine-dining or not because, though it's certainly delicious, you are there for an experience. Open yourself up to something new and completely different and enjoy yourself.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • I had to do it once
    hand2mouth
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    Eat with your hands. Don't worry about looking stupid and enjoy your food and company. Loved the staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Unique Experience
    Ayche
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    Dining in the Dark is not for everyone but something to try if you are adventurous. Menu choices are limited but the servings are plentiful and tasty. Consider making one of your courses a 'mystery', where you eat what is presented without knowing what it is. I tried that with dessert and enjoyed the guessing game of which flavors of sorbet were presented. At the beginning of our meal, the service was wonderful. Mocha was helpful and attentive. My the end of the evening, we were left for long periods of time without anyone checking in... and, of course, we couldn't just get up and leave. Mocha explained that she was the only server that evening so we understood the scenario but it was still uncomfortable.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unique experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    First time at the Opaque and would recommend it for anyone wanting a different experience. Great staff
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Erin
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    What a great experience! This is not someting I would do all the time because 1) it would lose it's appeal and 2) it's very expensive. But I can honestly say I had a great time! Our server's name was Rosie and I cannot say enough good things about her. She was so kind, sincere and took great care of us. She never forgot about us and when speaking to other tables you could tell she really wanted everyone to have a great time.I'd go with a large group next time. I would recommend going at least once.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Worth doing
    LiketoeatVIP
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    This was definitely worth doing once. Experience cannot be replicated and is wonderful. Staff was super. Food not so much worth doing and wine list is terrible. Enjoyed it, glad we went, would recommend once. Only truly negative thing was large groups came in toward end of our dinner and from that point on, we couldn't hear ourselves.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • New and enjoyable experience
    Francisco
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Great experience eating in the dark, little disappointed about the food, I was expecting more cuisine
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing
    PixieNtheDark
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    My boyfriend had wanted to go dine in the dark for as long as I've known him so when we made vacation plans for San Francisco of course it was on our to do list! I was very nervous and kind of scared when I got to the restaurant but after a while those feelings went away. Mocha was our server and she was funny, helpful, and made the evening so enjoyable. Good food. Great atmosphere. Wonderful experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing and unique experience
    KyraEVIP
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Very humbling to be served by some legally blind (and completely blind) staff! The food is very good and tasty. We loved it so much and recommended it to a friend, and they already made reservations the next day.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unique experience
    paty
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    We really enjoyed our time in Opaque. The experience is unique! I would recommend it to everyone at least once in a lifetime. Staff was very friendly and very professional. Food was no the best but, you can eat it. Overall experience is good!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Neat experience
    PoorexperienceVIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Expect to be in the pitch dark for 2 hours. If you can handle that then it is a fun experience
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This place is not for everyone
    Howardslovefood
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    I understood I would be eating in the dark but nothing prepared me for just how dark it would be. It was pitch black, like can't see your hand in front of your face and no, your eyes never adjust! I think the experience is best with just two people but I did "hear" bigger groups in the darkness so sounds like they can handle groups. Once you settle in and get comfortable with the experience is really was a lot of fun explaining what I was doing and what I was eating. Food is good, maybe not great but good. The price was worth the experience in my opinion. You will be there two hours so make sure you plan for that. We missed out on the movie after but it was ok, we could use a little light.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cocoa
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We had a lot of fun, the food was delicious and it was a unique experience. We will recommend it to others!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful8
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    WE did not know what to expect but received a great treat. WE are happy we did it for my husband, Scott's birthday celebration. WE will be talking about this place for a long time and may even come back for another special occasion, maybe bring another couple with us. The waitress, Jennifer, was a sweetheart and she sang the "Happy Birthday" song for Scott. She answered our questions and did not mind spending a little time chatting at our table. She brought us our food on time, we did not wait too long. We would also like to compliment the Chef. The food present, steak for Scott and fish for me, were excellent. And the desserts were divine. Thank you for a memorable evening. Scott and Portia Anderson. August 30, 2014.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great visit! Highly recommended!
    tomr
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    This is a must visit in SF! We ordered our entire meals by mystery and enjoyed our evening out. We will visit again. Highly recommended for those who enjoy new experiences. Ask for Rosey :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Loved it
    CatcherVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    We took our mom here as a surprise. She loved it. Exciting and different. A bit pricey but great for a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nothing but black
    Morgan
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Everyone was very friendly but whatever, the point is that you sit in complete, stark blackness and enjoy your delicious meal served to you by the very skilled vision impaired wait staff. You order before entering the black, and then are led into the darkness which was almost never interrupted. I wish it were a bit more quiet, because you become quickly aware of the conversations going on around you. All of them. The food was delicious. We're already trying to think when we might be able to go back again.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cool experience
    jrig27VIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    This was a surprising and awesome experience. Not something you get to do everyday. Food was good, but not amazing. The ambiance and unique opportunity to eat a meal in pitch black was cool.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great experience!
    marge
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Great experience, amazing what we take for granted! So funny seeing all the food on our faces! Thank you for a lovely night of food and laughter!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun fun fun!
    epernay
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Loved this resto so much we came back a second time. Scary and amazing are two words that come to mind. I highly recommend Opaque
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unique Experience
    Sonny
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Dining in total darkness was a new sensation made enjoyable by a wonderful server. I would highly recommend it!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful experience
    Gourmet
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    This place is fabulous. Great service and wonderful food in huge portions. My date is a gourmet cook and she raved about the ahi ahi tuna, the beef entree was cooked to perfection, mashed potatoes and green beans were delicious and the desert wonderful. I had the surprise entree, thought it was beef, it was pork medallions in a wine reduction sauce with cracked pepper, it was superb. Service staff very nice, had Jennifer she was great. Good place for a romantic date, something unique and different. The romance using other senses than sight. Very romantic to rely on touch open communication and private kissing and feeling.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Something fun and new to try!
    TheHopelessRomantic
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    I went to Opaque on a Friday night. It was a surprise date and we had a blast. The staff was great, the food was wonderful, and the whole experience was unlike anything I've ever experienced. At first, it was a bit strange, but after a while, we were just able to sit back, relax, and lose track of time as we enjoyed our meal. It was a very memorable experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Dining in the dark is a unique experience that is both fun and VERY dark!! We were all amazed at how our eyes NEVER adjusted to the darkness but it made the evening all that more memorable!! We laughed, ate (some only with their hands) and drank (what others didn't spill from not being able to see). Recommend requesting the "surprise menu"; however, for groups of 3+ I would suggest 3 different options vs 2 the same...it didn't allow for much interest in sharing...
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Much better experience than food
    ISOfinefood
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    It was truly memorable to eat in the dark and to be served by a person that lives her life in darkness. The food was fine, but nothing special...and certainly not worth the price tag. My surprise meat entre was dessert dry. The kitchen seems to know that people are there for the experience and will not likely return. They really missed an opportunity to surprise the palate. I expected more for my $100 (per person...3 course dinner only). A clue to the food....Opaque shares a kitchen with Indigo, and Indigo was a ghost town on Saturday night. However, we are glad we went and enjoyed the experience. We just won't go back.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Exciting
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Having dinner without the use of sight is quite amazing. The aroma of the food, the feel of the food, and paying attention to hearing is a experience we should all have.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 25 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 3, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance4.5
    • Service4.7
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 638 reviews are from the Opaque - Dining In The Dark reviews archive.
  • An unusual experience
    JMinSFVIP
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    Our server was wonderful, we felt very well taken care of in the unusual venue. In the end, though, we paid a lot for that experience: the food was just a bit better than average and the price rivaled the best restaurants in the bay area. Eating-in-the-dark is an interesting experience, but ultimately it's a gimmick and in the end, the quality of a restaurant comes down to the quality of the food. Pretty good food, very high prices, excellent service and a meal in the pitch dark. If this sounds interesting to you, you won't be disappointed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awesome
    billthethrill
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    Definitely a must-do. Great food, professional and friendly servers who made our special occasion even more special, and a really unique experience. Worth the price!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Incredible!
    Frankey
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    We had an incredible time! Going in I was a bit nervous, but the staff makes you feel very comfortable, given that it is a new experience for many people. The staff was very friendly and the food was incredible! I have recommended this place to multiple people since our date there and will continue doing so! I think that everyone who can should visit this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A twist on dinner
    Niesh
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    Opaque was fun and exciting and was a great way to spice up your normal dinner and drinks. I recommend ordering the "mystery" menu, where you don't know what the food is you are eating, until it hits your mouth. Because it is so dark you really have to rely on your other sense making it great fun!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • So much fun!
    Food4LyFe
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    This was such a great experience... If you're adventurous, I recommend the mystery dishes! I didn't even bother with the silverware... I just used my hands. The hostess was very friendly and our waiter was awesome. I would definitely come back.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • GREAT EXPERIENCE.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Dining in the dark was great! Someone opened a door accidentally and some light came in--which ruined the mystery of knowing how the room was set up--but other than that it was a GREAT experience~
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overpriced Unique Dining
    jandv
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    Opaque fell far short of it's $300 price tag. The sweatshirt and flipflop-clad hostess greeted us with heavy smoke-filled breath in a confined corridor after texting a request for us to alter our reservation to better convenience the staff. The second hostess was very rude in front of two parties of guests. Our waitress was wonderful, with good directions, friendly conversation, and good timeliness. The food was lukewarm, perhaps understandably because it was pitch black and our fingers were often in the food. Tasty dishes, though a little over-flavored salad and soup. Salmon was dry. The staff served the wrong wine and didn't inform us of the difference, nor did they alter the bill to reflect the cheaper selection.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Interesting experience
    Manisha
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    The food and service is great; but i would recommend the restaurant more for the experience. We felt challenged when it came to getting food on our forks and had to rely on our hands to get the food into our mouths. It was a humbling yet fun experience... especially funny to see food all over us when we walked out :)
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fabulous!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    The food was scrumptious, our waitress, Jennifer, was superb.
    Special Features:
    romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very expensive
    deiviz87
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    The food was good, the ambience, and the service pretty fine, but definitely crazy expensive! It's not worth it to pay 100$ for the only menu that they have. They should have more options and cheaper prizes.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dark dining
    Curly1
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    Great experience with my girlfriend..definitely fun with someone your close with! Food was good, we went with the mystery dinner all the way around. Fun figuring out what your eating. Service was great!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Like a Rollercoaster
    curiouscat
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    I came here with my friend for the end of the term celebration and it was exciting. We compared it to a rollercoaster ride where it's exciting yet nerve racking at the same time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate