Excellent choice for opera fansOur second visit to Pläj was as good as the first. First courses are big enough to share; my succulent venison was perfectly cooked. I do think $9 for bottled water is exorbitant, but other prices are reasonable for the Civic Center area. Valet parking is a welcome perk, as street parking is almost never available. Servers need to learn a bit more about the wine list.6/14/2013 12:00:00 AMMore than just meatballsWonderful evening. Staff exceedingly helpful, knowledgable, friendly and attentive without getting in the way of conversation or the dining experience.
Highly recommend Plaj. A great find.6/13/2013 12:00:00 AMFine pre-operatic dinner experienceWe all loved our food: the venison, the Swedish meatballs, the gnocchi, and the cheese plate appetizer Not only delicious but esthetically pleasing. The Icelandic beer rated particular applause. We also appreciated the wait-person's concern about meeting our time requirements without having to rush.6/12/2013 12:00:00 AMPlaj: A Find!This gem is very near the SF War Memorial Opera House. We've made four visits. The drinks are imaginative. The cuisine is outstanding: a foodie's delight!6/11/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat experience at PLAJ!We started with a salad, the herring sampler and the charcuterie platter. While the salad wasn't particularly memorable, the other dishes were outstanding. We were given slices of delicious rye bread, charmingly wrapped in brown paper. I had the venison with the cippolini onions and sun chokes. My friends had: venison sausage (a special), halibut, and Swedish meatballs. Everyone was very happy. We finished with the saffron doughnuts.The service was friendly, though a bit disjointed-- nothing alarming, but not as seamless as one would hope, considering the excellence of the food. The room is exceedingly comfortable and such a contrast to the noisy, hard-surface scene that we've become accustomed to in SF. We will go back to PLAJ--soon!6/9/2013 12:00:00 AMAmazing service, great food!The menu is outstanding, serving the best of Scandinavia. Waiters are very attentive and take good care of the customers. Only problem is the noise level - it was very loud and hard to have a conversation at the table.6/6/2013 12:00:00 AMPlaj was a lovely quiet restaurantPlaj was a lovely quiet restaurant with surprisingly good and creative Scandanavian food. Great before a performance. the staff really knows how to get you out on time without feeling rushed.6/5/2013 12:00:00 AMVery enjoyableI had family coming in from out of town, and was uncertain where to go. After looking for reviews, we settled on Plaj as an interesting option. The experience was wonderful.
The food presented a wonderful array of flavors that complimented each other well. We ordered several dishes to share and our server easily arranged them into two well balanced courses. One of our criteria is that we wanted to try something we wouldn't cook at home. The food at Plaj certainly qualified. While the flavors were unique and delightful, but nothing seemed forced or strange. Also, the servings were healthy portions for the cost. Lastly, we made several minor requests which our server handled gracefully and without fuss.5/30/2013 12:00:00 AMFun eveningWe were a large group of 10 celebrating a family event. Back room was all ours. Service was great. Enjoyed cocktails and shared small plates as well as large ones. Excellent meal! Desserts good not great.5/30/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat place for a date! GreatGreat place for a date! Great food ! Great service !5/25/2013 12:00:00 AMEach dish was presented wellEach dish was presented well and had great taste. Server was friendly and helpful, explaining terms, making suggestions and suggesting that we order less to begin with and then see how we feel - great idea. Ordered the octopus, gravlax, potato dumpling kumla, beet root salad and, to top it off, the saffron doughnuts. Each dish was unexpected in some manner that made it super special. We will definitely return.5/25/2013 12:00:00 AMUnusual menu and great serviceWe had 4 people and so we got to try lots of different items. Loved the asparagus and the tuna. We had the smoked salmon and also the lamb. Everything was delicious. We like beer and it was nice to see a fine dining menu with interesting beers included. We will go back, for sure.5/24/2013 12:00:00 AMA taste of ScandanaviaI loved the intimate venue. I selected many dishes to share and thoroughly enjoyed all. I would highly recommend the Ecopia salad, the coriander crusted tuna and the sashimi of white fish.5/23/2013 12:00:00 AMA Scandanavian GemGood food and service; reasonable prices, and great location.5/22/2013 12:00:00 AMReservation mix up by PlajI had reserved for 3 people but on arriving I was told they only had us down for two. They sat us down at a two table squeezing three onto a two-table size, eventually moving us to the back of the restaurant to a larger table, but not in the main dining area. Nevertheless, we did enjoy our dinner.5/22/2013 12:00:00 AMLooking forward to going backDelicious! The food is tasty and imaginative. We shared a number of smaller plates and then each got an entree. I got the full size swedish meatball dish which is large if you have already enjoyed a bunch of appetizers. I took it home and enjoyed a great lunch the next day. The herring dish three ways is out of this world5/20/2013 12:00:00 AMInteresting and varied menu;Interesting and varied menu; unusual, but good, matching of flavors; very attractive presentation; portion size good for light-to-moderate eaters or people who want to enjoy 3 courses and leave not feeling too full; genteel atmosphere; quick service and knowledgeable staff5/19/2013 12:00:00 AMI've been to PLAJ twice andI've been to PLAJ twice and it was excellent both times. The lobster appetizer and the venison really stood out5/19/2013 12:00:00 AMReal modern scandinavianWith fine attention for taste texture and a feast on your plate5/18/2013 12:00:00 AMUnique in San FranciscoScandinavian food is scarce and good Scandanavian food the rarest of all! This is nouvelle Scandanavian food-excellent. You will need your server for the translation because there are so many unusual items. The biggest problem for a diner is to know quantities. Some dishes are quite small, and some are large enough to share, but one doesn't know this until the dish is presented. It's not clear either from the menu or the price. The burrata salad was huge. At least for two people, but four could have shared. Other dishes were too small for two to split, although possible to taste. After I ordered four small plates, the server said it would be too much, but which one to cut? So I ate half my burrata dish and the quantity was perfect.5/18/2013 12:00:00 AMOne of the best!!!!Food always always superb with memorable unique flavors!5/18/2013 12:00:00 AMThe service is helpful andThe service is helpful and attentive, hitting the balance of always being available without being there too much.
The only fault I could find with the otherwise interesting and quite good food was the lamb neck, which was too salty for my taste.5/17/2013 12:00:00 AMOutstandingCreative food combos, fairly swank interior, easy mannered, attentive service. The food was delicious! A total hit all around.5/16/2013 12:00:00 AMSwedish Fine FoodWe thoroughly enjoyed our evening at Plaj. The place is beautiful, the service was good, and the food was delicious, refined, and interesting because of its Swedish inflections, making it something a bit different for the Bay Area. We liked ordering several small plates to share. This was my second time at Plaj, and both times I enjoyed it very much.5/13/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat VenisonLove the venison at this restaurant. Everyone in our party selected it and really enjoyed it. Plajer cocktail is unique and delicious. This was our second time here. The first time we were in room with bar and fireplace which was lovely and romantic. This time we were in corner in back room which felt more like a diner with outdoor chairs. The ambience in the back room does not come near the bar room so when making reservations, if your party is six or fewer, ask for room with bar and fireplace. Service was excellent.5/12/2013 12:00:00 AMPlajThis restaurant is a great option for pre-symphony or -theatre dinner. Food and service were excellent!5/10/2013 12:00:00 AMJust Like Mom's CookingBeing from Sweden and having a wife from there makes us somewhat experts at this type of cuisine.
Wonderful twist on traditional Swedish dishes, our New Special place, and the prices are very reasonable,
we are always surprised at the Tab... Cant Miss, Love it...5/10/2013 12:00:00 AMPlaj is simply outstandingPlaj is simply outstanding in all respects. The menu is swedish based and in a sense could make the venu a speciallity based occasion. However the comnbination of inspired cookery, and the very comfortable atmosphere along with great service and a short ,but first class wine list that compliments the food perfectly, will bring one back frequently.5/8/2013 12:00:00 AMGood but needs a little more...This was my first time at Plaj, going into it I had no expectations except but to enjoy some Swedish food. I found it to be confusing upon walking in since you walk through the lobby of a hotel which no one noticed us standing there and I had to ask where is the restaurant. Once in we were seated promptly and the server arrived promptly to get some drinks. They were all very nice and explained the menu well although we know Swedish so didn't need help with translations.
In all I would give the food 4/5 stars as our desert was a bit hard to dig into. The food was pleasantly presented and proper portions unlike many American plates. The decor was a bit dark, and not at all felt like any place in Scandinavia. In all a good experience.4/27/2013 12:00:00 AMPlaj is PerfectionWe had a completely memorable dinner...will certainly go again to Plaj. The cocktails were unique and the service was perfect from beginning to end. And the food...the halibut was perfectly prepared and the gravlox is one of my favorite dishes. Every was art on a plate with flavors to match. If you love Scandinavian food do not pass this up.4/27/2013 12:00:00 AMJust a very enjoyable evening.Just a very enjoyable evening. Staff from bartender to server personable and friendly . Food cry good.4/27/2013 12:00:00 AMnice cozy spot in hayes valleyGreat spot, in a hidden gem of a spot near the action without being too much in the thick of it. Food was fabulous- loved it. Will definitely come back again!4/24/2013 12:00:00 AMMy new favorite restaurant!My new favorite restaurant! We visited as a group of 4 before an event at SFJazz, so we dined early. Every single dish we had was delicious and interesting. The 4 of us shared each dish and each one of us had a different favorite (read: everything is tasty!). The bar makes outstanding cocktails. I am especially fond of the different flavors of aquavit. This is also a fun place for just a cocktail before or after the ballet, symphony, opera, or SFJazz.4/21/2013 12:00:00 AMWe often stay at Inn at theWe often stay at Inn at the Opera but it was our first time at Plaj. We will definitely go again.4/20/2013 12:00:00 AMA Scandanavian restaurantA Scandanavian restaurant is unusual, and the food at PLAJ was in fact unusual. It was also varied and delicious. It worked very well for dinner before the ballet. We will be back!4/16/2013 12:00:00 AMRefreshing menu compared toRefreshing menu compared to many look-alikes today. Herring and venison were delicious.
Lovely setting, and very quiet.4/14/2013 12:00:00 AMA very good unique restaurantA very good unique restaurant with a Scandinavian flair. Very interesting food. Extremely convenient to various performances venues in the area. We have now been there three times and no disappointments.4/11/2013 12:00:00 AMExcellent food. The owner/headExcellent food. The owner/head chef came out to talk to our table. Very reasonable, yet tasty wine list. Unique cocktail menu. I tasted 3 and all were superb. Cannot say enough good things about this restaurant!4/9/2013 12:00:00 AMOne of the best meal experiencesOne of the best meal experiences I have ever had. Ideal menu: Start off with the potato dumplings, move onto the pork belly, and finish off with the chocolate cake.4/8/2013 12:00:00 AMIt's great to have a fineIt's great to have a fine Scandinavian restaurant in SF. A wonderful change of pace from the usual Italian and French styles. Very friendly and knowledgeable wait staff.4/4/2013 12:00:00 AMExcellent restaurant and diningExcellent restaurant and dining experience. Had been recommended to us and we were not disappointed. Excellent personal service and very interesting menu. Well done!3/29/2013 12:00:00 AMPlan a trip to PlajEverything was delicious. The lobster entree with caviar, horseradish, avocado and chili tasted fresh and full of flavor, the Swedish meatballs were in combination with pureed potatoes, lingonberries and pickled cucumber. All those flavors bring out the best in each other and each bite is a treat. The salads were the same and beautifully presented.
We had heard that this was worth a trip but who would think a Swedish menu would pack so much punch. We will return.3/28/2013 12:00:00 AMThank you Pläj for a lovely evening* Loved the Scandinavian cocktails
* Delicious food presented very elegantly
* Great service
* Very nice ambiance
* All for a reasonable cost
* Will go back soon3/28/2013 12:00:00 AMWonderful dinner, eclecticWonderful dinner, eclectic Scandanavian menu, creative and thoughtful options, delicious offerings, fun ambiance3/26/2013 12:00:00 AMThis is the best restaurantThis is the best restaurant we've dined at in San Francisco. The meal was excellent, the service superb, and ambience was very cozy and warm. The menu has a wide variety of Scandinavian cuisine, which we intend to explore more thoroughly on furutre visits. An additional bonus is that the venue is located only a couple of blocks from Davies Symphony Hall, SFJAZZ, and the Opera House. No wonder Plaj has a long waiting list!3/23/2013 12:00:00 AMMy partner and I live in theMy partner and I live in the neighborhood and didn't realized this place existed if it wasn't for Open Table. My partner had the smoked salmon and I had the meatballs. Both were amazing. Lot's of good flavors and textures. The cocktail with the thyme was tasty and refreshing. The staff were very friendly and attentive. Definitely worth a return visit.3/23/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat food and ambiance.Great food and ambiance. Rather quiet - which satisfied us just fine. We came for the food and aquavit - not looking for a "Happening Place".3/21/2013 12:00:00 AMthis hidden gem was the onlythis hidden gem was the only scandinavian specialized restaurant in SF and my boyfriend and I loved it!!! the cocktails were especially good and the creme brulee was delectable3/20/2013 12:00:00 AMFantastic food and atmosphere.Fantastic food and atmosphere. Very cordial staff. Loved our food, libations and surroundings!!! A hidden gem.3/16/2013 12:00:00 AMintriguing flavors and saucesintriguing flavors and sauces - which all invite dipping with the rustic rye bread. a wonderful first impression. we'll go back to taste more.3/15/2013 12:00:00 AM