In SF your restaurants fall essentially into 1 of 2 categories, $-$, moderate price and decent quality or $$-$$ and seriously hit or miss quality. AQ unfortunately is one of those in the $$ and low quality. The ingredients and technical proficiency are clearly there, but the heart is missing. There's no love or passion in these dishes. The dishes weren't cohesive particularly the 2 starter courses. The lamb was cooked well and the sturgeon was tasty but the cheese dessert course left a lot to be desired (a smidge of cheese and 3 paper thin slices of apple do not a course, make. The cocktails, when they remembered to make them, were good but not standouts. All in all sadly disappointing when there was tremendous potential. Maybe there will be more inspiration and soul in their next venture. But for minimum $250 with drinks, tip, tax and the 4 course meal, save your points for elsewhere.
The restaurant has a very modern, slightly upscale ambiance making it a good date spot. It only offers a tasting menu of six dishes, which you can choose to have four of or all of them, so it's on the pricier side. The dishes are small, but flavorful - a place for foodies, not for those who want a big meal. Depending on your appetite, you may want a second dinner.
The tasting menu we had was winter themed, so lots of root vegetables, like parsnips, potatoes, and beets. Each dish was beautifully presented. I especially enjoyed the sturgeon dish which included a unique red cabbage "glass" on top. The only disappointing dish was the one with a single slice of cheese, some homemade crackers, and a small seasoned beet. It tasted good, but seemed so sparse and unexciting compared to the previous dishes. Overall, I enjoyed having dinner here and was glad to try it before it closes.
Mark did it again!!! He is an amazing chef!!!! He is super talented and creative on all his cooking, the flavors, combination were outstanding!!! I felt in love with his food when he first open AQ, met him again at "Make a wish foundation" before he got married and been to his restaurant every time when we are in the city for show.
Unfortunately we left a $60 cash on the table and before my husband finish signing the credit card bill, our waiter had swept the $60 cash off the chef's counter, by the time my husband want to stop him, he already disappear!! So we decided not to leave any tips on the credit card.
Very sad to say good bye to A10, I will be waiting for Mark to open his own restaurant and will be there as his loyal customer again!!!!! ;-)
We love you Mark Liberman!!!!!!!!
Service was under-attentive unenthusiastic, and not particularly informative. New Years should be joyful,'especially over 10 courses!
Very disappointed with the service. None of the wait staff were happy. Waited 25 minutes for drinks, 30 for the first course. The waiter thought our dessert had been delivered and cleared but it had yet to arrive [we had been waiting at least 20 minutes for it]. Lousy experience. Fourth time at AQ but no more for us. Too many other good places to give them another chance after such a poor experience. Sorry but true.
Comfortable cozy restaurant close to the Theater. Food was eclectic on the experimental side. We felt that they were trying too hard to create an OMG menu such that it was a bit over the top. Price for the four course menu was $80 each so with wine, gratuity and charging $8.25 for mandatory health care fee you have a $200 + dinner for two. The issue with their seasonal menu is that there is no incentive to return until they switch it out again but I don't know if they mix it up more frequently to keep it fresh. Service was excellent and our Server was terrific. All and all a pleasant albeit spendy evening very convenient to the Theater.
We had the four course meal. The first three courses were stellar! Amazing and unexpected combinations of ingredients! The best of new American cuisine! Dessert was not impressive.
Excellent dining experience. Look forward to returning.
Overpriced for what you get (even with a Groupon). Service was just ok, but took forever to get seated in an empty restaurant. Decorations were nice, but I wouldn't go out of my way to eat here again.
The food was amazing and the ambiance was very festive. Unfortunately the service was sub-par-both slow and inattentive. In addition, we chose to do the premium wine pairing for $70 a person and the pours came to less than 2 glasses each, which was a complete ripoff. Unfortunately that level of service and attention to detail colored our experience negatively, and I would not go back again.
The absolute WORST service received . HORRIBLE horrible experience . Mediocre food . Some dishes better than others . Nothing special . Very unprofessional, inefficient , inattentive full of attitude waiter . Management was helpless . Everything about the dining experience was terrible . Empty restaurant . Lied over the phone that they were booked for the night when called and when making the reservation on open table there were plenty of open tables . I'd be surprise if they still in business the next year .
Service was horribly slow. Our waiter was awkward.
We were extremely bummed with our first experience at AQ. We have been wanting to try this place for years and finally had the opportunity. When we arrived, there were very little customers, but it was early. Our service initially started off good, but quickly went downhill. We believe there was a holiday party going on downstairs, however, there is NO excuse for the service we received. Our waiter was non existent, and as for the other staff, they were overall not bad. There were so many different wait staff that I got confused who to ask things for. We waited almost an hour just to try and get our bill and pay. We had to finally get up and find someone to tell them that we have been waiting about an hour just for the check. As for the food, there were a few good items, but the majority was very mediocre if that. Food was luke warm, food was under seasoned and our fish was over cooked and dry. We each did the 4 course menu and we were both equally underwhelmed. I was so upset with our entire experience that I wanted to complain to the manager, but at that point my partner and I were too mad. We just wanted to get out of there. What a waste of $216. Thoroughly disappointed!
Horrible experience! We had a table reservation for two and when we arrived, they stuck us at the bar with no excuse as to why. They just said, matter-of-factly, "This is all we have, sorry". We did not stay for dinner. Had one drink and left. Totally disgusted having to sit at the bar and watch the sous chef eating off a prepared plate. The restaurant was nearly empty when we left. We had tickets to the theater and were very much looking forward to dining at AQ. Never again!
Went with a friend and ate at the bar...incredible food, fun drinks and a great bar tender!!!
Great food, very comfortable atmosphere, beautiful presentations, friendly unpretentious staff, but way too long between courses for my tastes, about 20 minutes between courses, and with small exquisite bites to each course, the timing between courses really seemed to drag.
I have never spent so much for so little. I came for a 90 minute meal, but it took 2 1/2 hours. I didn't know I had to order four courses when I wasn't even that hungry. Service is adequate the drinks take a while
Among Sf's finest restaurants, AQ is one of my favorites. The California fare is fresh, innovative, superbly tasty, and beautifully presented. Yet I don't perceive the level of fuss that makes some other restaurants in AQ's class less comfortable to eat at.
AQ's vibe is more casual, as if to say, "Yeah, we go all out for you, but we want you to relax and have a great time as well as a great meal."
Delicious food, gorgeous space, and professional service! Lovely ambiance that looks elegant but feels cozy and not stuffy. Pumpkin and gnocchi- get it! Both fish dishes were tasty, as were the desserts.
The food was wonderful. We did the 4 course tasting menu. So we got to try 6 dishes. But at $300 with drinks, it was not a value at all. I don't think it was worth the money. I would expect to be blown away, but I can cook a better ribeye at home.
Great food , attentive service very recommended , creative food
Food as art! Not really what I'm normally after, but really satisfying!
Great ambiance, and style, and service.
I loved the upscale comfort of the place–the space didn't feel crowded at all and the noise level was a low hum. The lighting wasn't too dim, which would be great for both romantic and non-romantic get-togethers. The food overall was good. For the price, I was expecting to be more in awe, but definitely of quality. Nothing too extraordinary.
Unique food in an interesting space with solid service.
The menu was limited but the quality and creativity of each and every course was phenomenal -- and the service was polished, professional, and unobtrusive. The cocktails were delicious and paired very well with the food. We enjoyed everything about the experience and it created a wonderful memory!
The food was good but not exciting. The wines that were paired were interesting but i really expected more from a meal that with tip cost $400 for two people. There are better options out there if you want this type of experience.
The servers were brusk and inattentive and apathetic. We will not return.
Great place to grab a bite. Menu changes daily and seasonally.
Each course was delicious and the wine pairings were well selected. Our server was knowledgeable and attentive.
The chef is to be commended for his creations. They were all unique and we'll balanced in terms of plating, taste and texture.
Delicious, meticulously prepared food. Beautiful presentation. Expensive--but understandably so, as the food is very special. Go for a special occasion or on business!
Way over priced for a price fix offering and the type and quality of food / dessert selection was awful and the main course did not even have what would be expected as high quality proteins - it was probably one of the worst $200+ meals in quite awhile
Absolutely fantastic food. The had the 10 course tasting menu and there was not a single dish that I did not like. The salmon that melted in your mouth and the pork shoulder were highlights. The "Fun for Everyone" bourbon cocktail was a perfect light summer drink (tough to achieve with brown liquors). Get in before the summer menu ends!
Too expensive and fully one quarter of the dishes we had (four out of sixteen) were not eaten.
The flavors were too bizarre and just didn't work. Lots of sweet mixed with savory, with poor results, one example is roasted halibut with a cacao-nib sweet cookie - just weird! I also had heirloom tomatoes and ogo seaweed with a dashi broth and a small scoop of a sweet vanilla-tasting ice cream - again, just weird!
Love this restaurant! Highly recommend and would absolutely go back!
The food at AQ is truly noteworthy.
The service is good but not as good as the food. I found the servers dutiful, competent, and a little robotic. Zero warmth.
I really do not like being forced into a tasting menu. I'm perfectly fine with a limited menu if I can order a la cart. But pick 4 or pick 10 are your only options now at the table at AQ. That's a bummer. That will keep me from returning, just like it did at Quince.
In addition to great cocktails and wine choices, as a vegetarian I was totally impressed with the off-the-menu dishes by the chef. A+
Memorable. Wonderful food, perfectly prepared. As AQ continues to raise their bar I am surprised that they don't charge more for the experience. That typed, I hope they don't read Open Table reviews!
Great food, award & poor service once again! Couldn't find server ever, didn't bring things just asked for, different helpers/waiter every few minutes. Fix this please.