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Permanently Closed - Butterfly, The Embarcadero

1978 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Scenic View (2914)
  • Fit for Foodies (2386)
  • Special Occasion (1779)

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This restaurant is permanently closed. Butterfly offers the perfect mix of food, atmosphere, an amazing California Wine List and great decor. Chef Robert Lam was named as a previous "Top 6 Rising Star Chef" by The Chronicle, Lam continues to impress by bringing his innovative California-Asian cuisine to the waterfront location on the Embarcadero. " Narsai David of KCBS said," Butterfly is a happening place". Best seafood soup, I have ever had!" A few suggestions Clams and Mussels, Salmon and Strawberry Rolls, Kalua Pig in Butter Lettuce Cups, Crispy Fried Whole Fish, and Banana Bread Pudding for dessert.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Pan-Asian, Vietnamese, Asian
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Hours of operation
Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00 pm
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 3:00 pm
Dinner: Wednesday-Saturday: 4:00 pm
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Phone number
(415) 864-8999
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Robert Lam
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Private party facilities
For parties larger than 40 guests, please contact the Special Event Coordinator for details.
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Private party contact
Helen Chandra: (415) 864-8999
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Cross street
Bay Street at The Embarcadero
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Parking details
Parking lot across the street. Metered street parking on the Embarcadero.
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Public transit
Take the bart or muni to Market Street. Catch the F-line street train towards Fisherman’s Wharf. It stops in front of our restaurant at Pier 33.
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Live Jazz on Thursday for dinner service.
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Special events & promotions
From wedding festivities to convention parties, our waterfront location is the perfect backdrop for your next event. Please contact us for more information.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 1978 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.0  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on August 16, 2012

nice place
think the food is a little overly compleicated
loved the duck with butter lettuce
the sauce oont he salmon was a litle too soupy
nice cocktails

Jesse (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on August 15, 2012

Soft shell crab appetizers were fantastic. Great service . Appetizer menu and drink of the day at $5.00 make this a San Francisco steal! Will go back.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on August 14, 2012

Service was poor. Took way too long to get our meal and it was over half the crowd wasn't the problem. I also thought it was overpriced for what you got. Lot better restaurants in San Francisco.

Dennis (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on August 11, 2012

very good food, love the Crab Stuffed Chicken Breast & the Tuna

vipAnnie (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on August 10, 2012

Fabulous spot... spectacular food... wonderful service... the only problem is the noise level. they need to do something about that like putting in carpet....

OpenTable Diner (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined on August 9, 2012

My wife and I consider ourselves "foodies" and we have dined aroung the world. We have probably dined at every notable restaurant in San Francisco. Never have we come away from a restaurant as totally satisfied as we were at Butterfly. The food and the selection was outstanding; cooked to perfection with great service.

vipOpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on August 9, 2012

food was delicious. atmosphere was really fun and unique with varied decorations including a separation of metal bamboo between the kitchen and the dining area. almost from any spot in the restaurant there is a view of the water. the chef went around to every table greeting the guests. all the waiters were really friendly and checked on us just the right amount. had a great night out and dinner there. will definitely return.

vipDonM8618 (Oklahoma City)
1.0  Dined on August 9, 2012

AWFUL EXPERIENCE AT BUTTERFLY! We would NOT recommend this restaurant to ANY of our family and friends based on our unpleasant and unsatisfactory experience! Recap: Made our dinner reservation 2 weeks in advance & asked for a table w/ view if possible. That night our table was located behind a supporting pillar, along with the poor quality of food, service and visit by the Chef/Owner made dining experience a nightmare! Noisy!

Quickly asked hostess & were denied to be moved to 1 of 2 available better tables. Ordered & ate some food was told Chef could visit. Said no, we didn't want to disturb him. Paid our bill. Chef came to table. We said not happy. Chef was physical & cursed us. Threw my jacket/cell into busy street. We called SFPD.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on August 8, 2012

All the courses were of a high standard (both mine and my dining colleagues), but for me the "Peking" duck entree was the stand out meal of my short trip to the US.

It's an intelligent French take on this Asian classic. The duck meat was cooked and seared to perfection, the hoisin cream sauce was not as heavy as a regular hoisin and just the right balance of salt and sweet, replacing the regular pancakes with flavorsome crepes was, arguably, an improvement on the original, and the cherry compote just added something undefineably good. It's not Peking duck as we know it; it's a great dish in its own right that successfully captures the essence of the original.

Full marks.

OpenTable Diner (Toronto)
3.0  Dined on August 8, 2012

The staff was friendly and nice. We ordered the soft shell crab chef special. This was very tasty. For our entrees, we ordered the steak and the tuna. The steak was luke warm and the shanghai style nian gao was overly chewy to the point of it being hard. However, the tuna was great and I especially loved the shrimp stuffed mushrooms.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on August 5, 2012

I saw a review of this restaurant on San Francisco's public station restaurant review show, Check Please. about two weeks ago. The place was everything that the show indicated it would be. We went for Sunday brunch. However the very wonderful manager advised us that their strength was their dinner menu from Tuesday through Saturday. Downside was that on the Embarcadero, you will have a heavy tourist population

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on August 3, 2012

Took my girlfriend there for her birthday last week. Pretty delicious asian fusion type food. We had the smoked pork filled lettuce cups, spring rolls, and crab-stuffed chicken breast. Other than the chicken/crab being just mildly overcooked, everything was amazing. Would definitely go back.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on August 3, 2012

The chef is creative in his offerings and the presentation is just as wonderful as the flavors in his dishes--from subtle to spicy. We relied on our waiter for suggestions for appetizers and entrees, and were thoroughly satisfied and pleased with his recommendations and outstanding service. The locale is a busy area which makes it great to stroll around before or after a lovely meal.

vipSF2103 (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on August 3, 2012

Very nice view, good food and service. The chef was very friendly

MrsAye (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on August 3, 2012

Bread pudding and Chocolate torte are THE BEST! The softshell crab sandwich special was SO GOOD!

Cliff (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on August 2, 2012

If you've never been to Butterfly, you are missing out! The food is excellent and well-presented. The calamari was light and delicious. The whole fried fish specialty is EXTREMELY tasty. Coupled with great service and a hip scene...a very fulfilling evening.

luv2eat (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on August 2, 2012

The food was very good and we'll go back for it again. However, the view was kind of ugly.

vipOpenTable Diner (Central Coast)
3.0  Dined on August 1, 2012

No question the view is fantastic, and there are a few tables outside sitting right on a private dock area, looking over the sea, the birds and some boats going by. However, we were disappointed by the menu overall. There were very poor selections for vegetarian diners. Between us we had a salad, which was good, but not great. We had some garlic noodles, which also were pretty good, but not outstanding. We had a pulled pork dish (for the meat eaters), which was apparently very good, and had a great sauce. The oyster shooters were fun, but small. We all had drinks which were very, very good. I would go back for the view, maybe for drinks, but nothing wowed me on the food menu.

BobbyQ (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on July 31, 2012

Bartender was the first to greet us which was odd but cool. The friendly host came second. Server was friendly but seemed new and needs practice (nothing wrong with that). Food was good and came out in a timely matter (I ordered the duo of chowder...probably the only thing I shouldn't have ordered). Didn't understand why some tables had paper over the table clothe and some didn't. Prices are a little steep but it is an Embarcadero restaurant. I'll come back to impress a girl with money I don't have =/

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on July 28, 2012

best meal we have had in years, great job :)