1601 Bar & Kitchen

4.6
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346 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Sri Lankan

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About

1601 Bar & Kitchen is a small, independent, husband and wife owned and ran casual fine dining restaurant, operating since 2013. The atmosphere is intimate and comfortable for conversation, while the noise level is low.

Chef Brian Fernando refers to his interpretations of Sri Lankan cuisine as ‘Californian Sri Lankan.' We strive to get imaginative with Sri Lankan recipes and spices in Californian context. We work with environmentally-conscious purveyors.

Our cuisine is aromatic and vibrant, offering both mild and spicy items. We offer a very popular multi-course Chef’s tasting menu accompanied by optional beverage pairings that usually takes 1,5-2 hours for 2 guests. We also offer an à la carte menu of small and large dishes. The most ordered are the egg hopper, smoked salmon, okra, and the curries. Our menu always contains gluten free and vegetarian items. Children are welcome to order from our regular menu; we do not offer a kids's menu. Parking is easy.

What 346 people are sayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.7
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Quiet
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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j
vipjeffk
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very nice experience! ❤️

AM
vipAndrewM
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We very much enjoyed the unique dishes, the evening in general, and ambiance of the back room. The restaurant is small and so only the back room guards against to unpleasant rush of cold when the front door is open (I’m sure not a concern once winter is past). Our servers were very attentive and minded closely our need to make an 8pm symphony.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall1food3service2ambience4

Theee plus hours and $400+ for an average meal with below average service for two people. Had high hopes but was left with much wanting. They tried but missed the mark.

AA
AakashA
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience3

$310 for a pre fixe valentine's day meal, which was 3 course of microscopic small plates, 1 main course of plain rice and curry and yougrt and the worst chocolate dessert i ever had.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food2service5ambience5

Very pricey for the food

J
vipJooo
Dublin
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience2

Maybe it was because it was valentines night but the food was just ok and as nice as the servers were it was still a little disappointing not to have information on the food or offer of coffee before dessert was brought to us.

ZM
vipZenMaster
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

The food was "ok" and I found that it lacked sufficient flavour and spices, especially for the price charged. We were 8 of us and my view was pretty much shared by all. I would not recommend for the prices that they charge.

CS
CarlosS
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It's a fantastic quiet sit-down restaurant to catch up with friends, or just enjoy a comfortable evening with your date. The plates are moderate in size, and they accommodate the menu to different diets and gluten-free individuals.

AM
vipAlexandraM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely wonderful. Everything from the ambiance, to the staff, to the actual menu. We had a great time and will definitely be going back.

AK
vipAlexiaK
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing unique food! Awesome service, delicious wine and perfect location — parking was easy!

We were there for a business dinner and it was great to be able to hold a conversation with a super quiet noise level.

c
ciaobeth
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our first time at 1601 Bar & Kitchen, possibly our first Sri Lankin food. The ambiance was calm and modern. It was hard to choose among so many interesting menu items. Four of us shared six dishes. My favorites were fried okra with lime leaves, chicken curry, and crab pot pie.

TC
vipTeresaC
San Francisco
111 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always wonderful!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This restaurant is so amazing..... the food is truly memorable, the flavors & textures are so well balanced ... the service & atmosphere are perfect.... don’t walk run to this restaurant & you will go back again and again!

M
Mollucular
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We thoroughly enjoyed our meal. Very creative and innovative courses. Beautifully presented and the ingredients were elegantly paired to create a unique experience. My two dining partners are not fans of spicy food so I was pleasantly surprised that they were both very happy with the tasting menu except for one dish.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Hong Kong
3 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of the best Sri Lankan restaurants in the world. Refined and elegantly executed cuisine by Chef Brian Fernando, French classically trained with Sri Lankan roots.

MS
MichaelSR
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This restaurant somehow serves dishes of complexity and elegance that appear simple at first glance. The service makes you feel like someone special and respected. And the restaurant is quiet enough for a conversation. Give it a try.

RP
vipRPeats
San Francisco
108 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I’ve been here several times. Don’t be deterred by the location. The ambiance is lovely, services is warm, knowledgeable, and efficient. And the food is consistently delicious, interesting, and beautifully presented. On this occasion I brought an out of town friend who’s a serious foodie...like me. We both thoroughly enjoyed our evening.

B
vipBridget
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

so great and wonderful service :) amazing food and would definitely go back again

L
Lovelyluncher
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved the food— shared small dishes and all 3 curries.
The group enjoyed the ambience— very good for conversation. Also great service.
Unfortunately there was some problem with the heating that evening, and it was quite cold.

t
tejal
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had lovely time on our date night at 1601 Bar and Kitchen!
The food was delicious. The staffer's wine recommendations were spot on!
Would go there again!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Amazingly delicious food. A fun twist on Sri Lankan cuisine. I liked that you were able to sample a few items from the tasting menu when you ordered ala carte.

DL
DeniseL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious and beautiful dishes. Host and chef were very helpful, recommending just the right amount of food for our group and assisting us with wine pairing as well. Unique and wonderful cuisine served in an ambient setting that allows for conversation and an overall pleasant dining experience. Will gladly recommend and plan to return again soon.

SF
vipSFjazzgirl
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

1601 Bar and Kitchen just keeps getting better and better - I have brought family, friends, and business dinners and all of them were terrific! The dishes are delicious, fascinating, and go together in perfect harmony. I highly recommend this wonderful place. MJC

EG
vipEricG
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

This place is a hidden gem of spicy deliciousness in a very zen line dinning room. Highly recommend to anyone looking to have a memorable quiet dinning experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Love the creative, seasonal menu and wonderful knowledgeable service.

RH
RachelH
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Every dish was delicious and had that quality of flavors that are unexpected but just right in combination. From the early girl tomatoes to the lamb curry, which was almost a lamb stew, we enjoyed every bite. The service was friendly and impeccable. I think the owners were doing the serving.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

It’s been called the best restaurant in San Francisco that nobody knows about. It is.
New American/French styled food made with Sri Lankan flavors and ingredients (mixed with local produce).

Chef Brian’s food is based on what ingredients him and his wife can find locally and in season. They know where everything comes from in what they serve. They have relatively few dishes but each one was well crafted and thoughtfully made. I couldn’t recommend the food more, particularly for a date night or lovers of carefully made food.

The restaurant is kind of on a weird corner that gets less traffic, so it’s doesn’t look like it gets too busy most nights.

Strong recommend.

JM
vipJillM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

1601 Bar & Kitchen is a very special restaurant. The food is delicious, creative and exciting. There were four of us and we shared everything (egg hoppers, fried okra, chicken and lamb curries, spicy Early Girl tomatoes, and crispy potatoes, and three fabulous desserts). The wine list has been carefully chosen to match this food -- many interesting choices here. Service was excellent, with all our questions answered and recommendations cheerfully made. The location is out of the way, which may explain why this place isn't as busy as it deserves to be. We will happily return, especially with friends who are looking for an adventure.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Service was great, food was alright (I wouldn't come back for it).

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience3

Overpriced for quality

t
viptominsf
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Very much a hidden gem. From really good service that is super respectful and personal to really really good food that’s unique in this city full of trendy but disappointing places. The owners are doing the cooking and service. And it’s quiet inside so you can actually hear your companion speak.

S
vipStaciamagg
San Francisco
32 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was some of the best food I have had in a long time! There is also the option of a tasting menu which is diverse and delicious. Wines were amazing. Service was wonderful. I would run to this place if you have not been there yet.

NS
vipNidhiS
Phoenix
25 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was phenomenal! My husband is Sri Lankan so it was nice to get some flavors of home for him. We enjoyed ourselves! Great food and great ambiance

MM
vipMaryM
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a fantastic restaurant. The food is imaginative, the service is excellent and the atmosphere is very warm. The food is delicious and inspired.

KS
KinSF
1 review
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the food. We ordered pretty much everything on the menu. :) . The egg basket is a house specialty and just delicious. The curries were wonderful. And the desserts were to die for. The service was wonderful and the chef even came out to chat with us. Overall a lovely evening.

h
viphied
San Francisco
137 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had an excellent meal. We shared the okra, carrots and ground lamb with chickpeas. We will return for good food which are creatively presented.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Amazing food and excellent service

MF
vipMichelleF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Who would have thought that Sri Lankan food would turn out to be one of my favorite types of food?! Every bite was delicious, unexpected, and beautifully plated. Even foods I tend to not love- lamb, okra, eggplant- I was savoring every morsel. My mouth waters just thinking about it.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous food and service

m
vipmdt727
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall5food5