1601 Bar & Kitchen

4.7
310 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$31 to $50
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Sri Lankan
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,' 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.

avatar copy

Private Dining

Book your next event with us

View details
What 310 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.7
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Quiet
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Filters
h
San Francisco
128 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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.

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Amazing food and excellent service

Report
Helpful
MF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

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.

Report
Helpful
OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food and service

Report
Helpful
m
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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.

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

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.

Report
Helpful
j
New England
6 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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!

Report
Helpful
G
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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.

Report
Helpful
j
San Francisco
45 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

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.

Report
Helpful
ML
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and excellent service. Would definitely recommend.

Report
Helpful
TC
San Francisco
108 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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.

We love:
- 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.

Report
Helpful
A
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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.

Report
Helpful
OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very hospitable staff and great food and wine service. Wonderful contemporary Srilankan dinner. I would recommend the chef’s tasting menu. Truly a gem

Report
Helpful
SJ
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

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.

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
59 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

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.

Report
Helpful
P
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

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.

Report
Helpful
AA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is amazing and the whole experience too, with such a great staff!!! Love it!!!!

Report
Helpful
SA
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner with friends- wonderful food in a nice setting. Good wine list and great service. Everyone loved it.

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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.

Report
Helpful
m
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

This was a delicious intimate birthday meal with some close friends. Everything tasted amazing! We are already recommending to friends.

Report
Helpful
L
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

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.

Report
Helpful
OT
New Orleans
13 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every plate of tapas or bowl of food was exquisite in a mixture of tastes and textures. Amazing.

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Date night with my wife who is a celiac!

Report
Helpful
AC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Tasting menu was excellent and good value for money. Not cheap, but definitely worth it!

Report
Helpful
AH
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every dish was better than the other. The portions to the way it was presented were exquisite. Its definitely pricey but worth it.

Report
Helpful
CM
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Interesting combinations of flavors and ingredients at the time but ultimately no dish on the Valentine's menu stood out as memorable.

Report
Helpful
I
San Francisco
113 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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.

Report
Helpful
h
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Food was creative considering the material they used.

Service was a little in short hand and a little of noisy.

Report
Helpful
BG
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

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.

Report
Helpful
OT
London
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

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

Report
Helpful
s
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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.

Report
Helpful
GP
New Orleans
10 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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!

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

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.

Report
Helpful
OT
Central Coast
12 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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.
-Ms Moss-

Report
Helpful
SM
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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.

Report
Helpful
SM
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

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.

Report
Helpful
RW
San Francisco
145 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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.

Report
Helpful
A
San Francisco
76 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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.

Report
Helpful
RB
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

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.

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
8

Tweets by 1601 Bar & Kitchen