Opaque - Dining In The Dark
689 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102Neighborhood:
Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
AmericanPrice: $50 and over
Opaque - Dining In The Dark
- Dining Style: Fine Dining
- Website: http://www.darkdining.com/
- Phone: (800) 710-1270
- 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
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.Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
Opaque - Dining In The Dark - Best Restaurants in Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness ›
Opaque - Dining In The Dark reviews from OpenTable diners
47 reviews since July 31, 2014
- Ambiance4.6Noise LevelModerate
special occasion (36)romantic (23)fit for foodies (11)good for groups (10)hot spot (6)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
- Bland food served in musty basementOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 11/26/2014This is a concept more than a dining experience - dining in the dark would be very interesting if the food were meant to be eaten with hands (riddle: how do you get quinoa on your fork when you cannot see your plate?). It would be even better if the place didn't smell musty like someone's basement. Best yet would be if the food were even close to San Francisco standards. Above average service is the only positive thing I can say about Opaque, our server really made us feel comfortable about being totally blind to our surroundings. Other than that, miserable cocktails, poor wine pairings and food akin to what was served in my college dorm (medium rare = overcooked) was what we got for our >$100/head dinner. Do not go here - instead, cook a great meal at home and blindfold yourself and your guests and you'll have a much better experience!
- New ExpieranceMynicknameisRobbyD1989000Dined on 11/14/2014Very different kind of restaurant with a hidden meaning. I enjoyed it very much. The food was amazing; great texture and wonderful taste. The setting is very classy despite dining in the dark. The restaurant operates with a high level of customer service. This is a great place if you want to get away from the fast paced technologically consumed world and develop your social skills while engaging in a warm conversation with a close friend or romantic partner. Great unique place. I would recommend this to anyone, a genuine culture shock.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Opaque is a different type of restaurantChipc3Dined on 11/14/2014People will complain about the food quality at Opaque is like watching a perfect game in baseball and complaining about a lack of offense. They just don't get it. Opaque is about so much more than food quality. You are eating in total darkness, being served by visually impaired or totally blind waiters is an experience you should not miss. You are thrown into the world of the blind and for everyone in our party (and this is definitely best experienced with a group) it was confusing, exhilarating and educational all at the same time. There is a limited menu to choose from the food quality is quite good including a delicious tuna tartare that I would recommend to anyone. The salmon was raved about and the beef tenderloin was so good my wife are it with her hands! Or possibly because she couldn't figure out how to cut her meat in complete darkness!!! My "mystery meat" (which I correctly identified in the dark) wasn't the best I've ever eaten but it was still quite good. Dessert was probably overlooked because we had the most trouble eating that in the complete darkness. Ice cream isn't exactly a firm item to lock onto when you can't see it but the cake was superb. I highly recommend this restaurant for many different reasons. Go for the experience, the awesome service then and be pleasantly surprised the food. If you go there wanting to be critical of the food you will find plenty to complain about but miss out on a wonderful evening's education and experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Blind SidedGailDined on 11/8/2014This dining experience is like nothing you have ever done before. Dining is in complete darkness, from the moment your (in our case blind) server leads you through the black-out curtains to your table until you re-emerge into the light. They have you wash your hands first as you will certainly need to guide your food onto your fork with your fingers. We found ourselves eating very messily but with relish (as no one could see us anyway). Our server Rosie was solicitous and soft-spoken, reassuring and omni-present. Her voice just seemed to materialize out of the dark. The food was wonderful and mysterious as we tried to guess at its contents, etc. It's really a wonderful experience. You should go!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful serviceTxbitflipperDined on 10/25/2014Rosie was great and it was a unique experience. Food was decent but could be better.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Only a so-so valueMustaphDined on 10/24/2014Enjoying 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:
- Let Go & EnjoyBossLadyDined on 10/22/2014Yes, 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:
- I had to do it oncehand2mouthDined on 10/15/2014Eat with your hands. Don't worry about looking stupid and enjoy your food and company. Loved the staff.Special Features:
- Unique ExperienceAycheDined on 10/15/2014Dining 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.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Bucket List MustbucketlistdinerDined on 10/8/2014This place has been on my bucket list for many years and it did not disappoint! The food was amazing, the service was awesome and I will definitely go back again!Special Features:
- Unique experienceOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 10/8/2014First time at the Opaque and would recommend it for anyone wanting a different experience. Great staffSpecial Features:
- ErinDined on 9/27/2014What 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:
- Worth doingLiketoeatVIPDined on 9/25/2014This 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:
- New and enjoyable experienceFranciscoDined on 9/19/2014Great experience eating in the dark, little disappointed about the food, I was expecting more cuisineSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- AmazingPixieNtheDarkDined on 9/17/2014My 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing and unique experienceKyraEVIPDined on 9/11/2014Very 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Unique experiencepatyDined on 9/10/2014We 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:
- Neat experiencePoorexperienceVIPDined on 9/6/2014Expect to be in the pitch dark for 2 hours. If you can handle that then it is a fun experienceSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- This place is not for everyoneHowardslovefoodDined on 8/30/2014I 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- CocoaDined on 8/30/2014We had a lot of fun, the food was delicious and it was a unique experience. We will recommend it to others!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful8Dined on 8/30/2014WE 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great visit! Highly recommended!tomrDined on 8/29/2014This 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:
- Loved itCatcherVIPDined on 8/29/2014We took our mom here as a surprise. She loved it. Exciting and different. A bit pricey but great for a special occasion.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nothing but blackMorganDined on 8/23/2014Everyone 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:
- Cool experiencejrig27VIPDined on 8/22/2014This 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- great experience!margeDined on 8/16/2014Great 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fun fun fun!epernayDined on 8/15/2014Loved this resto so much we came back a second time. Scary and amazing are two words that come to mind. I highly recommend OpaqueSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Unique ExperienceSonnyDined on 7/31/2014Dining in total darkness was a new sensation made enjoyable by a wonderful server. I would highly recommend it!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 643 reviews are from the Opaque - Dining In The Dark reviews archive.
- Wonderful experienceGourmetDined on 7/26/2014This 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Something fun and new to try!TheHopelessRomanticDined on 7/25/2014I 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:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 7/19/2014Dining 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:
- Much better experience than foodISOfinefoodDined on 7/12/2014It 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:
- ExcitingOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 7/11/2014Having 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- An unusual experienceJMinSFVIPDined on 6/19/2014Our 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.
- AwesomebillthethrillDined on 6/19/2014Definitely 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:
- Incredible!FrankeyDined on 6/14/2014We 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:
- A twist on dinnerNieshDined on 6/11/2014Opaque 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:
- So much fun!Food4LyFeDined on 6/7/2014This 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- GREAT EXPERIENCE.OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 6/7/2014Dining 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:
- Overpriced Unique DiningjandvDined on 6/6/2014Opaque 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: