1601 Bar & Kitchen
Chef Brian Fernando refers to his interpretations of Sri Lankan cuisine as ‘Californian Sri Lankan,' as 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 at least 1,5 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, cauliflower, 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' menu. Parking is easy.
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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.
Amazing food and excellent service
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.
Fabulous food and service
Fantastic, elegant and inventive. Amazing flavors. We did the family style option and everything was spot on. Excellent wine list. Beautiful presentations and space. A new favorite - we will be back.
We had a great time. Service was on point and they never rushed us out. Our group was there for 3 hours. We enjoyed beer, a recommended bottle of wine, and their food. Had a very enjoyable night catching up with friends with friendly service.
I chose this experience as a special dinner for me and my teen son and before he leaves for school abroad. I am so glad we did because it was an experience that we will remember. The flavors were unique and the server was able to explain the preparation to us. The egg hoppers were fantastic as we expected since this is a specialty. My favorite side dish was the okra. I have had okra in both Texas and West Africa and this preparation was the best I have ever had. The salmon melted in our mouths. The daal was so rich with curry and yet enhanced with so many subtle tastes. When we returned home he told his brother all about the meal- so I know it will be a night he remembers in some small way. Thanks 1601 and Chef Fernando!
I saw this place on "Check Please! Bay Area" a while back and was curious to try it out. It exceeded expectations. I highly recommend.
Quiet place, just right for an informal dinner. Two very tasty - and slightly unusual - curries, with three inventive sides and a bottle of wine, were just right for the three of us.
Great food and excellent service. Would definitely recommend.
If food and service are always great here. This is one of our favorite restaurants in San Francisco. Whenever we have out-of-town guests, we always take them here.
- Uni ice cream with caviar
- Egg hopper
- Kale salad
- Maldive fish broth
- Chicken curry
- Lamb curry
The menu changes quite often and the wine list is great and very reasonably priced.
Chef Brian never disappoints! I strongly recommend this restaurant, which offers lovingly-prepared, exquisite Sri Lankan-Californian fare, delicious wines, attentive staff and a cozy, yet fancy, experience.
Very hospitable staff and great food and wine service. Wonderful contemporary Srilankan dinner. I would recommend the chef’s tasting menu. Truly a gem
Food was delicious and service was fantastic!! Lacked a little bit of vibe though as we were seated on a high table away from all the other seating.
This place is a wonderful treat. Sri Lankan California style.
App: MUST MUST have egg hoppers, Don't share! could have had even more. It's a perfect egg in a crisp wrap with delicious spices.... unlike anything else... wow.
Entres: There are grilled varieties on skewers and curry in bowls. We decided to go with the curries [ though the folks next to us seemed to loved the grilled..].
First, Dahl, just perfect over rice -
Second Lamb stew, couldn't be better.
Vegg: Fried asparagus.... wonderful.. if we had room we'd have also had potato.
We had it all with a crisp reisling..
Service was friendly and warm
We will definitely go again.
Excellent knowledgeable service. Interesting food; not same as southern Indian food as I expected. Subtle flavors. My only complaint is that the wine is overpriced: $18 per glass for Sancerre and $14/glass for dry riesling is ridiculous.
The food is amazing and the whole experience too, with such a great staff!!! Love it!!!!
Dinner with friends- wonderful food in a nice setting. Good wine list and great service. Everyone loved it.
This restaurant has everything going for it. The ambience, the service and the food are all outstanding. The menu is ever-changing, but if the banana cake is on the menu make sure to get it.
Great find..3 of us shared salad,potatoes,and 2 curries..great chocolate dessert..glad it was wa r.c m and quiet and very relaxed atmosphere..will go there again
This was a delicious intimate birthday meal with some close friends. Everything tasted amazing! We are already recommending to friends.
The food was amazing and the service, outstanding. However, the bar stool seats are NOT comfortable and the shared table is great if you are with a big crowd, but annoying if you have a small group and want to talk.
We got lucky by getting there very early, so when the noisy drunk people showed up we were about ready to go anyway.
But the acoustics are terrible and if you don't want to shout all night, you might want to go somewhere else. Which is a shame, because the food was to die for, seriously.
Every plate of tapas or bowl of food was exquisite in a mixture of tastes and textures. Amazing.
Date night with my wife who is a celiac!
Tasting menu was excellent and good value for money. Not cheap, but definitely worth it!
Every dish was better than the other. The portions to the way it was presented were exquisite. Its definitely pricey but worth it.
Interesting combinations of flavors and ingredients at the time but ultimately no dish on the Valentine's menu stood out as memorable.
The ultimate foodie restaurant, tucked away in an unassuming neighborhood, 1601 is a culinary oasis. But when you open the door and step in you get to experience an amazing array of flavors in an elegant setting. 1601 is foodie heaven, every dish perfectly spiced, an elegantly plated so don’t wimp out, drop the $100 and do the multi course tasting menu and a 3 hour slow food experience. Whatever chef Brian Fernando serves you will be unique and you won’t taste it anywhere else, not at French Laundry, not at Crenn, not anywhere. One warning—don’t go here expecting to get Sri Lankan cuisine. It is a take, an interpretation, and in my mind shares more with California and French cuisine that anything you’ll get in Colombo.
Food was creative considering the material they used.
Service was a little in short hand and a little of noisy.
The house smoked salmon, the egg hopper, and the kale salad with black garlic were so delicious! We also really enjoyed the spicy lamb curry.
Excellent food and great service.
We had the chicken and egg curry and we both agreed it was one of, if not the best curry we’ve ever had! Ribs were great, as was the semifredo
Terrific flavors. We are South Indian and enjoyed the fusion cuisine. The pickles, egg hopper, duck curry and potatoes were my favorite. But the whole meal was delightful.
A most memorable dining experience and our favorite in the dining mecca that is San Francisco. We sampled every small plate on the menu and were delighted with every bite. The attentive service, savory/spicy flavor profile and calm atmosphere made for a terrific evening out. Highly recommend this very interesting dining experience!
I love the food here. It’s thoughtfully prepared and the flavors are unique. I am always amazed that more people don’t come here. Service is also outstanding.
Christmas Eve Early Dinner was very accommodating. Excellent food and service. Wonderful People, the Manager or Host & The Bar Tender or Assistant took amazing care of us... rock stars! Absolutely outstanding. Definitely Top Rated...Recommend.
1601 Bar & Kitchen is a terrific restaurant that combines delicious Sri Lankan food, with lovely ambiance, and fantastic service. The food features unique flavors and spices that are fun to taste. We had theater tickets, and out waiter was kind enough to remind us about the time so that we didn't miss our curtain (we were enjoying the meal so much we had lost track of time). Additionally, the price of our meal was incredibly reasonable for the quality of the food.
Food was fantastic. Service very friendly. Nice atmosphere and not too loud to carry on a conversation. We had the lobster bisque, which was rich, spicy, and flavorful. Yukon gold potatoes were sweet and crispy and the ground lamb curry with chickpeas and cumin yoghurt also had pomegranate, which added texture a flavor for a really special dish. Strongly recommend.
We weren’t up for the tasting menu and the small plates menu is a bit limited. We had the salmon, lobster bisque, ribs, kale salad and lamb curry, followed by persimmons for dessert. With the exception of the ribs, which were good, everything was fantastic and unusual. Really special food, excellent service and artwork I would happily hang in my house.
Our third time there, but it's always charming! Amazingly professional, top-notch presentation, the salmon terrine with roe, and the potatoes being notably outstanding. Fresh, perfectly cooked food every time. The quiet atmosphere lends to an elegant evening out; perfect for that special dinner out. Highly recommend.
It was our first experience eating Sri Lankan cuisine (or a contemporary version of it). We enjoyed the originality, freshness and unique combinations of flavors. The Chef came to our table a number of times, and explained the origin of each dish. The service was courteous and professional. Our sincere appreciation for a lovely evening.