Hard Water is a magical place High ceiling, a large sea bell light, and open sea glass windows...One of BEST bars in town with true artful drinks made by masters,, Delicious fried chicken light and juicyIts location is on the water and so beautiful. THe wall of glass bottles of spirits up to the ceiling is alchemical... The only hard part is parking..and maybe more seating is needed. But this is a unique and amazing vessel.....
4/17/2013 4:00:00 PM
First of all there are virtually no tables. Second the cuisine is Southern. However, if you can see past those things it is a great dining experience. The food is not only great, it is authentic, spot on for flavor and style. The bar more than lives up to the name with great cocktails, an incredible selection of whisky of all types, and knowledgable, friendly and attentive mixologists.
This is the real deal, not to be missed!
4/25/2013 12:00:00 AM
this place was recommended by a friend in Australia. (where I travelled from). They seemed a bit dis-organised with bookings when we arrived but eventually got it sorted. Service was slow but very good. Food menu was great but wine list limited.
Seating was a bit strange, we were on the edget facing street with others diners in round bar set up in middle of room which looked like a much better option as we felt like we had our backs to everyone.
5/1/2013 4:00:00 PM
More Bar than Restaurant
We enjoyed Hard Water. The place is loud though and it's structured more for casual seating (only 2 four-top tables). You can sit at the U-shaped bar dominating the middle of the open floor plan, or cozy up to a shelf/table that runs around the perimeter of the room. The ambience is loft-meets-garage hip - concrete floor, high ceilings, muted color palette, open kitchen. Packs of twenty/thirty somethings were there, drinking more than eating. We sat at the bar - southern-focused food was good and service was excellent. Note - this is a whiskey bar, so they have a great selection of American options (and you can order flights). Make reservations if you go for dinner.
5/6/2013 4:00:00 PM
I can't wait to visit again! I had a great time tasting 5 different bourbon's and the food was delicious too!
5/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great food, great drinks, friendly fast service! Love this place!
5/9/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great cocktails! Funky food
Great cocktails! Funky food like fried alligator as well as superb oysters. There are few places that offer a flight of Pappy VanWinkle whiskey .
5/17/2013 4:00:00 PM
Hardwater - not hard at all!
Exceptional food and service. It is "Asian fusion meets NOLA". I would not normally order fried chicken but you seriously cannot miss it! Wow! Great cocktails, great food, great time!
One thing though - its an all bar-stool joint along counters. Not tables or regular height chairs. Tricky for us short girls but it is part of the "show"!
5/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great bourbon selection
Wow, normally unavailable bourbons available here. So glad to see them open for lunch now. Quieter and more relaxing than the crowded night time scene.
5/24/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great food, outstanding selection of bourbons. The fried chicken according to my husband was really good with excellent seasoning. I had shrimp (yummy) and the butter lettuce salad with the buttermilk dressing (which was AMAZING). Would definitely go back. Note - if you have 4 people, make sure you have a reservation - not much 4-top space.
5/24/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great food and drink, probably
Great food and drink, probably not great for a large group because the seating is like an oyster bar. If you love Bourbon you must go and if you don't love Bourbon they have a great wine list. The mixing of the drinks is a science to the bartenders, who were all very nice. The alligator and specialty oysters will make you mouth go wow! Start with boiled peanuts, I had never had and they are a treat. I did not try everything but will be back. I made a reservation as the place is hoppin' and you might have to wait without one.
6/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great urban bar locale
The cracklings were excellent, as were the cocktails.
6/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
A home run here. Great food, excellent cocktails, knowledgable servers who are cute to boot. Only downsides: hostess made us wait in the freezing wind even after the 5pm opening time, chatting with others inside for what seemed like ages, and the layout is out. But don't let that keep you away, a fantastic time.
6/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
Overall I had a great experience
Overall I had a great experience as I first time diner at Hard Water. Food and service were both very good/excellent. The room is awkward. Seats are uncomfortable. In all but a few seats you face away from the room and the servers.
6/13/2013 4:00:00 PM
Southern food. All American
Southern food. All American whiskey, rye and beer. Had the house baked oysters with bacon, cornmeal crusted alligator bites, fried chicken and butter lettuce salad. All delicious. The staff were lovely and friendly and helpful.
6/14/2013 12:00:00 AM
Fighting over the fried celery
I met up with friends for happy hour here, and we were all taken with our cocktails and the food. The food isn't healthy and much of it is fried, but it pairs well with cocktails. We were fighting over the fried celery and chicken. Will be sure to go back.
7/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
Such a fun time
My husband and I ate dinner and had drinks and hard water. My husband LOVED all of the bourbon choices. The atmosphere was great. It is on the small size, but it really works for them. Loved sitting at the bar talking to the bartenders! So much fun!
7/7/2013 4:00:00 PM
Southern Food on the Embarcadero
The seafood gumbo is probably the best in the city & closest to what my French Cajun grandmother made. I had the half bowl & it had 2 crab legs (shelled), and a couple of shrimp. There is no table service, only stools at the bar or a counter that runs along the wall. The stools were a bit uncomfortable with no backs. I hope this trend stops soon as us older folks need some support for our balance.
I also had the muffaletta which is an Italian sandwich & was almost as good as that I had in New Orleans 40 years ago. I have had it once before in San Francisco & this one is superior to that one.
The banana fried pie and sauce was too fluid & nearly got onto my cloths - so beware.
I will go back to try more. The menu is small.
7/16/2013 12:00:00 AM
Good Times at Hard Water
My first visit was a month ago for an after-work drink...just returned for a dinner date night and am happy to report that this little gem exceeded all expectations. The team - especially Joel - offered experience and approachable hospitality unlike what you'd often encounter in newly-opened city hot spots with a view. Topped by great food (#alligator!) and delicious drinks, there's really nothing but wonderful feedback to give. And seeing as it's close to the office, I look forward to returning to a new favorite 'local haunt'...
7/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
Hard Water-Hard Seats-Overall Great
Upon arrival a bit surprised to hear that 90% of the restaurant seating was "at the counter", sitting on hard wooden bar stools, no cushions, no back, hard round stools. Only about 3-4 real tables in the place, all seating is on hard stools at the counter. Making the best of things we ordered wine, the "America's Cup" and beer, plus pork belly and celery hearts. America's Cup whiskey and Blackberry drink was really good, I ordered a 2nd! Pork Belly was great, highly recommend. Celery hearts were good wouldn't go there next time. Fried chicken was wow although dipping sauce reminded me of Soy Vey from a supermarket. I'd probably go again for a drink but not dinner until they expand the menu and offer more chairs. Overall a great experience.
7/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
A M A Z I N G ! Fantastic place!
We went to Hard Water just for fun and that was what we had! The bartenders/waiters were great, knowledgable and super helpful in making our evening one of the best times I have had in years. I love that it is a small place and that everyone at the bar seemed to feel connected and very friendly!
I basically tried almost everything on the menu (not completely true - almost) but there was a guy there who WAS trying everything and it made the whole evening even more fun to watch him enjoy himself so much!!
I would go here again in a heartbeat!!
7/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
Hard Water was great, but with no acoustic sound absorption the space is super loud from the way to loud music to everyone over compensating by talking loudly. I'm sure it is better on a less crowded evening. Food was very tasty.
7/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Food was fantastic, with an unique wine list, mind-blowing whisk(e)y selection... but the restaurant layout is strange. It's mostly bar seating, so not great for groups. There were two spots for a group of 4 and some outside seating, so I'm really glad I made a reservation. We had a great time.
7/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
Delicious food in a small
Delicious food in a small space with an extraordinary sound level. If you like great, inventive, simple food, an enormous choice of whiskeys, dense crowds and ear-splitting noise, this is the place for you.
8/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
First time at Hard Water.
First time at Hard Water. I have to say, the seating leaves a little to be desired since all are stolls. The three of us sat against a sindow so really tough to enjoy like a dinner. I would recommend for a drink and appetizer or dessert, but not so much for a relaxing dinner. The food was very good - nice fried chicken and seafood gumbo (a bit spicy). The fried alligator appetizer was good, too, but pretty small. Drinks are great if you like bourbon. Wine selection just OK. The highlight was the fried berry pie we had for dessert. Yummy.
8/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
Lunch at Hard Water
The food here is delicious. Took some clients there and everyone loved their choices. Mostly bar seating, but the are a couple of tables that will seat 6 or so. I was surprised that it is not busier at lunch!
8/15/2013 12:00:00 AM
If you love bourbon....
Excelllent Bourbon selection paired with unintimidating service. Food options are interesting and very tasty. Would like to see a few more healthy (less fried) dishes. Ambiance and design aesthetic are great, but barstools are extremely uncomfortable.
8/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
We had a lovely lunch at Hardwater. The oysters were delish and everyone enjoyed their mains.
8/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
The cocktails rocked and the
The cocktails rocked and the food was great! We will be back.
8/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great food and amazing bourbon
Great food and amazing bourbon selection, but seating was uncomfortable and too cramped.
9/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
It's a bar, no it's a restaurant. It's an incredible whiskey bar that serves restaurant quality food. No typical bar fare here.
Do not come expecting a dining room. It is a bar...that takes reservations. They take their whiskey very seriously. It looked like about 300 different kinds. The food was fantastic. The service equally so.
9/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
One of the best meals my wife and I had in a recent visit to SF! The crispy pork belly & fried green tomatoes were great starters. Steak and flounder dishes were amazingly good - lots of different flavors. Would defintely return and recommend!
9/5/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great bourbon tasting
A must go for bourbon lovers, although can get very pricey. Go early for a more relaxed drinking experience. The pork belly cracklings are with bourbon.
9/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
More Drink Than Eat
Very cool space on the water. Service was less than attentive but friendly. Food was good, but this place really is a bar that serves high-end snacks/tapas. I'd call it a pub rather than a restaurant. Drinks were excellent!
9/15/2013 12:00:00 AM
Oysters, Soul Food and Bourbon...
who could ask for more. fresh oysters... seasoned pork cracklin's, fried chicken, cheese grits, spicy mac 'n cheese and gumbo to die for... what more can you ask for - oh yeah, a killer bourbon menu with hard to find items served in tasting flights - AWESOME! everything was really tasty and fresh.. it was awesome! Service was great - Dianelle was really attentive and helpful. When you are in the mood for good food and a good drink, this is the place to go!
9/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
Good food and drinks
Nice casual place with top-quality drinks and food to match. Food is on the heavier side, but you can always start with some oysters. Impressive whiskey selection.
9/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
I love this place. This was my third time visiting and it never disappoints. Top notch everything! Thank you. (Make a reservation!)
10/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
The seating was a surprise. We did not realize there was not a proper dining room. The food was very nice. Cocktails were de-lish. I'm not sure that I will be a regular but I would definitely recommend this restaurant to my friends. The fried chicken was perfect.
10/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
Whiskey, Bourbon, and Rye oh my
Great selection of all of the above and more. Will definitely be going back the next time i'm in town
11/13/2013 4:00:00 PM
Really a bar
This is really a whiskey bar with a few food items (good by the way) thrown in. An unbelievable selection of whiskies.
The only complaint would be that the stools (no chairs) should have a foot rest as they are very uncomfortable after the first 15 minutes.
11/16/2013 4:00:00 PM