PLAJ
PLAJ
  • Address:
    333 Fulton Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    Neighborhood:
    Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
  • Cuisine:
    Scandinavian
    Price: $30 and under

PLAJ

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.plajrestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 4158638400x
  • Hours of Operation:


    Dinner: Sun-Monday 5:00PM - 8:15PM
    Tuesday-Thurs 5:00PM - 10:15PM
    Fri-Sat 5:00PM - 10:30PM
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: European, Californian, Scandinavian
  • Executive Chef: Roberth Sundell
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Please contact Andrea Sundell. Subject to availability.
  • Private Party Contact: Andrea Sundell 4152948925x

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Franklin Street
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Valet parking is provided for a fee through the Inn At The Opera, subject to available space.
A word from PLAJ
Introducing PLÄJ, a new innovative concept from Swedish born Owner/Chef Roberth Sundell where California fare and Scandinavian flavors become one. PLÄJ is a celebration of local and seasonal ingredients inspired by the rustic flavors and simple elegance of Scandinavian cusine. PLÄJ embodies the soul of Scandinavia,the place to share the experience of new flavors, great wine, Scandinavian beer, and cocktails.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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PLAJ reviews from OpenTable diners
225 reviews since June 3, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.5
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
89% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (155)special occasion (126)romantic (106)neighborhood gem (79)good for groups (12)notable wine list (10)vibrant bar scene (8)late-night find (8)hot spot (7)great for brunch (2)great for lunch (1)scenic view (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • pre-opera dinner
    lovebites
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    great location to grab an early dinner before catching a show. the staff is very mindful of getting you to your show on time. waitress made great recommendations.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Exotic
    Itisme
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    We went to Plaj before to opera. It was lovely. The food was very interesting with a long menu for unusual. They were very nice and attentive to our time needs. Pretty inside. S
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beautiful & Different
    DeeJay
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    It's always fun to go to a restaurant that serves food that is different from the norm. Some Scandinavian ingredients, like Cloudberries, I've never experienced before. Great flavors, a bit fussy, small portions. Close to SFs performing arts, it's well located for attendees. I'll tell you, though, it really puts a damper on the experience if your waitress argues with you over what you ordered. She didn't write anything down, had a bit of a superior attitude, and when we reminded her that we'd ordered two beet salads, not one, she got huffy and told us no we didn't -- and stuck to her guns. Can't remember what it's called, but there was a meringue, berry ice cream, and chocolate cake dessert which was great to look at and tasted even better.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • pre-Opera dining
    John
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    5:00 dinner to be able to languish over the experience; we departed at 7:20 to make a 7:30 curtain! Wow! We took forever deciding what to eat as the menu offered so many unique dishes and wonderful combinations. Fortunately we had two incredible cocktails to assist us. Our server was most helpful with explanations and suggestions. The sauces and flavor combinations were wonderful. We had 2 cocktails, 4 glasses of wine, 4 plates and 2 desserts for $100 a person. I thought it was an unbelievable bargain for the quality. I look forward to eating my way through that menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not a pleasant experience
    MenloMan
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    There is no way to understand what to order..small plate portions are too variable. The food is unremarkable, especially for the excessive cost. Service is lame and /or nonexistent. I cannot imagine why this place attracts customers.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding!
    Food
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Every dish is a flavor treat. Plates are small so you can try several which we would recommend. There are many items on the menu that you would not be able to get anywhere else and each is perfectly put together.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Different cuisine
    Dior212
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    The food selection is very different from your average restaurant. Everything that we ordered was delicious. Highly recommend for the adventurous foodie.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • So sad -- won't be back
    Jeanne
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    This restaurant has such potential to be a favorite for civic center activities. Food is different and good. The wait staff is nice, though harried and not that competent. The management is poor. The restaurant is unreasonably noisy, and the manager refused to take steps to help dinners when there's serious problem -- disruptive diners. My husband was very sore yesterday and couldn't decide if it was from the gym or the chair at dinner -- it was so bad and crowded, he had to sit sideways. And, we did not have the worst chairs in the house -- the metal chairs at the big table.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Inspired Scandinavian Jewel
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    You might think that Scandinavian food is just all dried cod, meatballs and pancakes. But you'd be wrong. This inspired restaurant offers a wide range of smaller plates designed to be shared offering delicious variety of seafood, salads, meat dishes and fantastic cocktails. There are gluten-free and vegan offerings as well. We had the octopus salad with greens and a delicious yogurt-dill sauce, and a green salad with aged gouda shavings that tasted like caramel, granny smith apples and roasted nuts -- divine! Our main dishes were lobster in a creamy foam with avocado and yogurt cream that was so flavorful I almost wept. I'd say more but I'm almost out of space. Dessert was a soft and chewy chocolate cake with a vanilla cream sauce.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • elegant, interesting and fresh
    eduardo7
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    Elegant, interesting and fresh ingredients combined creatively -- not merely quirkily -- to produce vibrant flavors on pleasantly small portions.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Marion
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    As usual, dining at Plaj is enjoyable. I dined both Thursday night (did not have a reservation for that night but they worked me in) and Friday night prior to the opera. The waitress was very good and accommodating to our time needs.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our first time here
    Wes1
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    Friends, whose opinions we respect recommended, recommended it highly, and we concur. There are a number of unique dishes on the menu worth trying. We will certainly return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not my dad's meatballs
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/9/2014
    I'm a swede so I was looking forward to PLAJ. The menu was certainly creative, but not enough herring for my taste! The charcuterie plate was delicious, the bread, served in small paper bags was awesome, some of best rye bread ever, in Sweden our outside. The cardamom fig aquavit was sensational. The citrus spice had way too much cloves. The meatball dish was disappointing, however. The meatballs were on the dry side, as if they had been made a lot earlier and warmed up. Others at our table had salmon,crab and sausage. Our sausage eater is an expert on sausage and he was also a bit disappointed. It was dry. All in all, we enjoyed our meal, the service was perfect and the ambiance quiet, although very dark & hard to see menus.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • If you must try Scandinavian, go.
    GoodFoodAndOpenTableFan
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    We had heard much about PLAJ and were excited to finally go with our friends. The Aquavit drinks were fantastic. The taste of herring dish was a huge hit as was the salmon. The dish that was disappointing was the cheese plate. It was fine but was described as including Scandinavian cheese when in fact it did not (until I asked). The restaurant has a really nice look but was so loud that at times we were unable to hear our waitress. And, the room temperature was exceedingly warm - we felt we were cooked by the time we finished our meal. So, if you are dying for a taste of Scandinavian food, by all means go. Or, if you want a drink before or after a performance, go. If you want a special meal in an elegant surrounding, keep looking.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Norwegian-friendly food
    Clover88
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    I brought my Norwegian born husband as a birthday gift. He didn't like the menu's layout; he couldn't figure out what to order, even after he was given direction by the server. He was overwhelmed by the choices and didn't want to miss out on anything. I had to convince him to order a few things with the promise we'd return. We had the kumla (fantastic), herring (wonderful), and gravlax (nothing special). His entree was the pork belly on kohlrabi mash; he loved it and I thought the mash was the best I've had, in Norway or here. I had the half order of the meatballs and found them to be spiced for American tastes (more heavily than common in Norway). My husband can't wait to return. For me, it was fine food, but not my personal favorite.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Charming setting, delicious menu
    GeenDeeQue
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    There were four of us - I had been to Plaj before but it was the first time for the other three. We had several things to celebrate so it was a special occasion evening. The members of the wait staff were helpful, attentive but not interruptive. We were asked if we were going to an event (prime spot if your evening includes the Symphony, Opera, etc.) and when we said no, they were happy to bring us more coffee and let us finish in a relaxed manner. The food is wonderful and meant to be shared. We all agreed on the choices and with the advice of our server we had just the right amount of food. Since we each had our own place setting, it was easy to pass all the plates around. Utensils and plates were removed and replaced efficiently.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Seating
    HowB
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    We were a group of 6 people. They seated us at a table with stiff metal chairs. When we complained that ALL the other chairs in the dining room were upholstered, they brought us pillows to cushion our seats, but would/could not give us other chairs. Very poor for a restaurant of that caliber that accepted our reservation.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food and room, OK service
    Aredub
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    This was our second visit. Everything we ate and drank was outstanding, the presentations were lovely, and the room feels very luxe. The service was warm and friendly, but slow. I'd told our server that we had theater tickets, but even getting two courses in 90 minutes proved difficult. We'd hoped to have dessert, but there wasn't enough time left. Maybe it was the kitchen, or the big party that came in shortly after us. In any case, we'll definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A little bit of Sweden in SF
    BobL
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    Come for the herring and aquavit. But make sure to try some of the other delicious appetizers and main courses.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • PLAJ has great food
    Whyme
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    The food at PLAJ is excellent, and very different from the usual cuisine at restaurants in the Civic Center area. We really enjoyed PLAJ
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 125 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 3, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance4
    • Service4.1
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 583 reviews are from the PLAJ reviews archive.
  • Simply amazing
    northbayfoodie
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    There are a few restaurants that will remain in my memory forever. This is one of them. My husband and I went there for our anniversary, and were a little worried when we realized it was part of (small) hotel. Once we got inside, we realized it had a quiet, relaxed atmosphere. We could actually hear ourselves talk. (What a concept!) We asked for recommendations from our waiter, who gave us excellent advice. He knew it was our anniversary (I'd included that in the reservation) and he was very attentive without being overly available. Two of the dishes we ordered -- the pickled herring and the venison -- were sublime. And the cost was very, very reasonable. I can't recommend this place highly enough.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not the best value or service
    EatSpeak
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    I was excited to done stt his tapas style Scandinavian themed restaurant. We enjoyed most of the items but the value to portion is not the best. The $28 lobster dish is all foam and half a claw. We did enjoy the gravlax, fritters, potato balls. Sadly we've had better Swedish meatballs. Wine selection isn't the best. does not represent the region at all and is very over priced. And the most annoying part of our meal is the server couldn't be bothered to pour our wine. If your going to charge fine dinning prices you should back it up with service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food good- need more help
    reddox
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    The hostess was ambivalent - should ask if patrons want anything while waiting- had reservation for over a month but acted like she could have cared less- been coming here since they opened but not so sure if I will return for awhile
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place for a special time.
    MoonMan
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    We had 2 vegetable, 3 seafood, & 1 meat dish. All were beautifully presented and explained by our expert waiter, James. I enjoyed a cocktail while my wife enjoyed the bubbly and the heavenly Sauterne. We will definitely be back and highly recommend Plaj.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • foodluv
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    I was very disappointed in the service. Our waiter was friendly and accommodating at first, but we kept having different people serve the food and two items were totally forgotten and no apologies given. Food is overpriced for the serving size which they encourage "sharing"; entrée of halibut was excellent. The ambiance is very nice; they need to train the staff to match the high prices. I would go for a drink and an hors'd or maybe a spot for after the symphony.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food and drinks
    Kuroneko
    Dined on 5/21/2014
    Loved everything we had here--especially the Swedish meatballs and the asparagus dish with hollandaise sauce! The Plajer cocktail was really excellent too. Our server was really attentive, and the overall dining experience was great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • surprised great food
    loveopentable
    Dined on 5/18/2014
    I celebrated my son's 16th. birthday, he is picky with the food and he let me choose his main course and he really enjoy it hr had an unforgettable time at this place.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    We have been to Plaj several times and really enjoy the food. Portion sizes have increased since our last visit, and we feel our waiter should have told us that we were over-ordering. On this visit, we were 3 and were seated at a table for 2. While the table was large enough, the middle seat was against a bar and there was NO place to put your feet or move your legs.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Exquisite Menu
    ninav364
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    Some people find Plaj's menu limited, but it's very interesting for me. I tried several dishes and liked them: beet root salad, ox cheek, Alaskan halibut and Roasted farmers sausage (made of venison). Bread is excellent, reminding me one of Russian's varieties. My favorite desert is rather substantial in size and very crunchy outside - Chocolate Kladdkaka. Yes, the service is a bit slow, especially if you are dining before a show, but in other cases it's perfectly paced in this velvety quiet dining room.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Scandinavian delight
    EastBayOldLady
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    We shared two small plates and then each of us had a main dish...different flavors than we are used to, and each was very good. It was such a relief to have a lovely meal with excellent service where we could talk quietly. We needed the relaxing evening and to have good food at the same time was wonderful. The place is relatively small so reservations are a must. The server was very good at explaining what each dish is.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great food and service but...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/15/2014
    everything was terrific. i asked for a special treat at the end of the meal for my fiancee's 30th, and they did not disappoint! my only "con" was the noise level. i was hoping for more low key customers, but oh well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • melsj
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    Kudos to Plaj for having a nice Gluten Free menu. I've eaten there before and after my Celiac diagnosis, and the food is wonderful!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    The meal was beyond expectations. Congratulations, and thank you.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful experience
    Abracadabra
    Dined on 5/6/2014
    We love this restaurant and eat here every chance we get. Lovely to have a taste of contemporary Scandanavia/California in SF. Always a cheerful, fun atmosphere but calm enough to leisurely enjoy your food and companions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic Scandinavian food
    Shermie
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Loved the food and the service. We made our reservations about a week ahead but we were sat at the entrance to the restaurant. Not the best spot. It was also very warm inside. Something needs to be done about the temperature. But again, the food was superb!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Over-priced, mediocre food
    CountryGrrrl
    Dined on 4/30/2014
    And inattentive service. We had a 6 p.m. reservation, with tickets for the ballet 1/2 block away at 7:30. We barely made it in time! There were evidently too few servers, as we sat and waited for 10 minutes before anyone approached our table. After giving our orders, another 10 minutes passed before our dinner wine was brought. Then another 20 minutes before the first of 2 courses arrived; only then, the bread came. Another long wait for our entrees. We gulped them down, then spent several more frustrating minutes trying to get the check and pay. We rushed into the Opera House just as the chimes were ringing to tell everyone to take their seats. Go here after a performance for good cocktails and a great bartender. Skip the food.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, Late-Night Find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fine Scandinavian Dining
    marty
    Dined on 4/29/2014
    We returned to Plaj wondering if we would like it as much a we did the first time. We certainly did! The fish (herring platter, gravlax) pleased us both, and the Swedish meatballs were as good as we remembered. We splurged and had a chocolate dessert. Not too sweet, not too rich, which, paired with the delicious coffee, ended the meal very well. Also, we hit no traffic getting to Plaj, so arrived 20 minutes early for our reservation. They sat us at the bar, gave one of us a complimentary drink, and seated us at our table early.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Restrained and reserved
    toedancer10
    Dined on 4/29/2014
    We arrived on time and were aware of all the rules of PLAJ that they would not seat us unless all the party were there and on time or they would charge our credit card. We were shown to a table with metal seats and low chairs although our party had back problems. We asked to be seated at any other table with cushioned chairs in the restaurant.They said they would "try to accommodate us". After a bit of time they did. No one else arrived to sit at the other objectionable table. The service was very slow and we had to remind they to serve our main courses. We had to rush to make our ballet although we arrived at 5:45. The food was attractive on the plates,tepid not hot, and not very savory. We had a variety of dishes and no time for dessert.
    Special Features:
    Romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Find
    zinglovers
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    The food was unique. We especially loved the herring dish prepared three different ways. We would recommend the venison dish and the Northern Lights dessert. The waiter gave great wine suggestions and excellent service.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Magnificent!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    It was everything we hoped it would be. We ordered a large number of dishes and enjoyed a leisurely. Lovely. Each plates display presentation and flavors were spectacular. One of my particular favorites with the herring. I also have the venison which was very, very nice. Would go back in a heartbeat anytime. Their sauces were excellent. The Hollandaise sauce on the Asparagus was the best I've ever had.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet