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Permanently Closed - First Crush Restaurant & Wine Bar

1719 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Notable Wine List (2289)
  • Fit for Foodies (1867)
  • Romantic (1367)

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This restaurant is permanently closed. Permanently Closed - First Crush promotes a “casual upscale” atmosphere for individuals, private events and large parties in the heart of San Francisco’s Union Square district, offering hand-crafted quality food using the freshest ingredients complemented with a massive all-California wine list - served affordably with professional service in an energetic, lively environment.

The restaurant has been awarded the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for 2001-2014.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Californian, American
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Hours of operation
Monday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
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Phone number
(415) 982-7874
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Dario Pantoja
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Cross street
Ellis St.
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Parking details
Closest Parking garages at the corner of Mason and O'Farrell or the Ellis and O'Farrell garage with valet service. Both a block away.

We are now partnered with LUXE Valet service. Download the LUXE app and enter code "FIRSTCRUSH" to receive your first valet service for free.
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Public transit
Muni, BART Powell St. station is 1/2 block away.
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Special events & promotions
SHN patrons - show your theater tickets for a free dessert with purchase of any entree.

Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 1719 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.8  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on November 24, 2016

It was a great Thanksgiving dinner! But alittle pricey.

OpenTable Diner (San Diego)
2.0  Dined on November 24, 2016

We reserved a table for Thanksgiving since we were visiting San Francisco over the holiday week. I specifically chose First Crush because they offered a holiday menu that had fish and vegetarian options for me and my husband, as well as traditional turkey for my daughter. My husband ordered the vegetarian casserole and it was FROZEN in the middle. He requested that it be returned and got the salmon instead. The rest of the food was mediocre at an inflated price (65/person). The restaurant tacked on a 20% gratuity. Our server was great and we would've given him 20%, but I found it irritating that this was added on for a table of 3 (as well as an additional service tax tacked onto the gratuity...maybe a SF thing? There were 3 different taxes on our bill.)

The music was loud and at one point the CD started skipping. I wish I had paid more attention to other reviews. This was not worth the almost 300 we paid. In hindsight, I wish we had gone to a local diner.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on November 22, 2016

I was disappointed that because it was the week of Thanksgiving, they didn't offer specials and they didn't carry any bread. It was strange.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on November 17, 2016

The Resturaunt was poorly staffed. Server and hostess not friendly. Food was so so. Would not go back. We went before the theatre.

vipGuest (Kansas City)
5.0  Dined on November 15, 2016

We were in the area for business and wanted a light meal with wine. We had walked by earlier in the day and decided this was appropriate and it certainly was. We shared the Brussel Sprouts and a cheese plate. Both were generous. The sprouts were nicely done - not overcooked despite advertised as blackened - cooked with bacon. The cheese selection was very good. Bread was ample, fresh (crisp crostini with cheese plate). Seating is 'intimate' with little space between tables. The tables on either side were occupied, each in deep conversation. We did not find it intrusive. The view is street level with the floor below street. Reasonable view of the passing cars and people. This isn't far from major hotels and worth trying.

vipTeresaM (New York Area)
4.0  Dined on November 9, 2016

Brussels were incredible! Wine options were ok but not exceptional for a wine restaurant.

OpenTable Diner (Denver)
1.0  Dined on November 5, 2016

Took forever to take our order, and we're not very helpful when asking about the menu. Servers did not seem like they wanted to be at work.

vipCholy (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on November 5, 2016

Get a new cook. Awful cioppino.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on October 29, 2016

Our experience was excellent the service was great the food was delicious and can't say enough about how we were treated. Would definitely recommend to others.

Kgolfer (New England)
5.0  Dined on October 25, 2016

The wine was amazing and paired so nicely to the fabulous variety of food served. We tried a variety of dishes - beet salad and chicken were nicely prepared, the flavors were amazing. We left feeling like we had found a gem in Union Square area. Enjoy!

vipOpenTable Diner (Denver)
2.0  Dined on October 24, 2016

Unfortunately the food took over an hour to arrive. There was 1 server and 1 support staff.
My sense is that they were unprepared for the number of tables. The waitstaff was friendly, but overwhelmed. Nice bread and dips, and it was great to have a bottle of water available on the table. With so options in San Francisco, I'd suggest trying another.

OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on October 22, 2016

This was a terrible experience. My plate was dirty, the service was terrible, and the food was just a huge salt dump.
I had out of town guests and I was embarrassed by this.

OpenTable Diner (Chicago)
5.0  Dined on October 21, 2016

This was a great place with good food and great wine.

OpenTable Diner (San Diego)
3.0  Dined on October 18, 2016

Cute place. Good food. However, we were tucked away in a corner and the waiter rarely came by. They forgot to put in our entrée orders and we waited for over an hour before they figured it out.

OpenTable Diner (Chicago)
3.0  Dined on October 15, 2016

Food here is very good but the service was very disappointing. The waiter brought out the side dish 30 minutes before the main dish, forgot that we were splitting the dishes and didn't even acknowledge the lack of attention. Usually they have a very good wine list but was different than what was on the website. They also ran out of the wine we were drinking.

IslandSophia (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on October 12, 2016

Restaurant was very close to my hotel on a recent business trip and menu said they had mussels which I dearly love. It was early and the restaurant was pleasant and quiet. The server was managing the entire restaurant and did an admirable job. The mussels were not good. They were very small, which is fine, but they were overcooked. Have to be very careful when the mussels are small not to oversteam them. The broth was very flavorful with saffron, wine, a little chili flakes and a light tomato base. Good for dipping but the bread was stale - it's what happens when you place average focaccia in a warm oven for too long. The beet salad was good but way too large. Only finished half of it. I did not like the wine. My fault since I am underwhelmed by California whites and pinks (this location specializes in California wines).
The ambiance was nice so I might try it again next time I'm in town, but I wouldn't go out of my way to return.

OpenTable Diner (Charleston)
1.0  Dined on October 8, 2016

We made areservation at 8:45 and were informed that the kitchen closes at 9. The food was bland and the service was poor at best. They gave us a cocktail list and when I ordered one, they told me they didn't have anything for cocktails. I will never return and will not recommend this resturant.

vipOverrated (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on October 8, 2016

There were four of us for dinner. We arrived at 6pm and mentioned that we had ticket to a show at 8pm. The first part of the meal/service was good - server was attentive, drinks and appetizers arrived in a reasonable time and the beet salad, pear salad and lobster mac and cheese were good. Then I suspect they got busy and the server wasn't as attentive -long delay between starters and entrees; two meals came out about 5 minutes or so before the other two; the entrees were not as good - chicken and risotto was not that flavorful and the veggies in the risotto not fully cooked; lamb pops not that good and tostada salad had an odd flavor.

I would go back for appetizers and drinks, but not a full meal.

viprhonda2too (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on October 7, 2016

I've dined here a few times, but it just wasn't the same this time and we won't be back. The food was bland and the wines by the glass/flight list seemed much shorter. We heard someone at the bar mention a change of ownership?

vipOpenTable Diner (Miami)
2.0  Dined on September 30, 2016

Decided to try it on Friday night.. The atmosphere was great, the servers tried their best but the food just wasn't up to par. We ordered lamb chops and a seafood dish. The lamb chops were either too fatty or burnt- the server brought us out more to try and compensate but they were just as fatty.. The seafood was Ok in a spicy broth but the calamari were very chewy - inedible. We left them on the plate. The server said that the dessert would be on the house due to our dissatisfaction- but we weren't hungry and just ordered a glass of Malbec which was listed on their dessert menu. It was too sweet. We were just disappointed overall but there was nothing the servers could do as the food was just bleh.. Maybe we ordered the wrong things.. Apparently the brussel sprouts at table next to us were a big hit- maybe the chef is better with non meats.. ? When the bill came they charged an extra 6% on top of tax and the server explained that it's for their health insurance since they have less employees than the company will sustain... We thought it was weird but mostly were just annoyed at this point about the whole experience. Wouldn't recommend.