Permanently Closed - Lion and Compass

4.1
584 reviews
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$31 to $50
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American

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed. For over a quarter of a century, the Lion & Compass has maintained a special status in the Silicon Valley. Opening in 1982, the Lion & Compass quickly established its reputation as the premiere business dining restaurant for the high-tec cognescenti. Combining sophisticated urban cuisine with a tropical English environment, a New York Times article from the 1980's noted, "the Lion & Compass is to the Silicon Valley what Sardi's was to the theater district."

From business dining and banquets, private corporate events, wedding receptions, to a fine dining experience for two, the Lion & Compass is a culinary oasis in the Silicon Valley.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
American
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Friday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Saturday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm
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Phone number
(408) 745-1260
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Miguel Areguin
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Private party facilities
The restaurant offers private rooms for 8, 28 or 45 guests. Please call for details.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Corner of Fair Oaks Avenue and Weddell Drive
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Parking details
Self-parking also available
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 584 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.1based on all time ratings
4.1
food
4.0
service
3.8
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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B
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place to eat, though I understand it will be closing soon.

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J
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was great as usual, however they are closing on Friday 12/22/17 after 35 years. Sure will miss this place and the staff. Good luck to all of you! Take care!!!

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MA
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I am sorry to see Lion and Compass closing. We were part of a group, everyone enjoyed their meal. The drinks were good. The wait staff was very attentive, knowledgeable and friendly, meeting our needs without being intrusive.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Food was great but service was slow. Our service forgot our appetizer order even though we asked for it twice...never got it.

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YE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 12, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The service was slow, but food was decent. There was too much sand in the clams! It was nice to eat there one last time before they close next week!

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JS
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Continues to be the best place for a business lunch in silocon valley!

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d
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Always good food and good service. Too bad it is closing.

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J
San Francisco
63 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

This is THE iconic Silicon Valley restaurant and I'm sorry to see it close. Try it before the end of the year!

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LL
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

This Silicon Valley icon will be closing their doors soon. So we wanted to try it. They have good food and great cocktails and a decent wine by the glass list. Our kale ravioli appetizer would have been much better with a drizzle of...something, as it was dry. My husbands steak was tender and cooked just as he ordered. My entree of seafood in a lightly spicy Thai lemongrass was very good. Our salads were large portions. No room for dessert. Service was very friendly though a bit slow given it was not crowded. So all in all a nice dinner but nothing really stands out.

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BF
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A Silicon Valley classic from the 80s with much history. The menu includes a variety of selections, all delicious. Excellent service too. Sad that it will be closing, but so glad we had one last wonderful experience there. Fun to reminisce of lunches with Andy Grove or Jerry Sanders, who had his special corner table.

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KM
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Always the best business lunch restaurant will miss when they close

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OT
Detroit
12 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Good service and ambiance as well as good food selection. Wine selections were well rounded and reasonable price for the area.
I would recommend for business dinners.

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OT
Boise
4 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service. My macadamia crusted sea bass was delicious and very fresh. All four of us enjoyed our meal. Very sad this restaurant is closing just before Christmas. I’ve been a customer for over 30 years and have always enjoyed dining here. Happy to see they are keeping up the quality and service until the end.

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D
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2017
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

This place has really gone down hill. I've been going here for over a decade. Both the quality of the food and the service has gone way-down. The tuna that my wife had was poor; quality was bad and it had no seasoning. I had a lunch that came with French fries. It took 10 minutes to get ketchup for the fries. In general, our waitress was AWOL. She came back to pick up her tip, otherwise, she was nowhere to be found. The other wait staff were much better, but overall, I probably won't be going back again, ever.

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DM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a business dinner for 12. We were treated very well. We were seated in the private room which is very cozy and has a den-like feel. The food and drinks were fantastic. Tonya sp? did a great job of getting our order right and keeping our drinks full. It is on our list to return.

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OT
New Mexico
3 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My favorite find of long recent. Excellent, diverse, creative, yet solid menu. There is certainly some beneath-the-surface history to the place. Think Narnia meets the masons, but whimsical. Loved it. Not cheap, but worth every penny.

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RL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very good place for a business lunch. Quiet, not crowded, nice and bright, good food.

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f
San Francisco
34 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exception food and service. I had the Chinese Chicken Salad. Wonderful and consistence. I have eaten there for 50 years one of my faviorates.

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OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2017
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

First time and there will not be a return. Super slow service (we were at nearly hour 2 before entrees showed up; when they did for our table of 12, 1 person did not get a plate-for another 10-15 minutes. Another steak was completely overcooked and had to be returned.

It was a business dinner - the noise was fine but 3 hours for mediocre food was well below expectations.

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NS
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2017
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 1

I had not been to this restaurant before and reserved an evening for our CIO Staff of twelve. I was pretty disappointed at the run down décor right away. Shutters in the middle of the room and a picture frame over a mirrored wall were odd amongst other things - not the ambiance for "fine dining".
The appetizers (calamari and chili prawns) were fine. Our waiter, Michael, kindly separated a salad into two plates as two of us were going to share it. I ordered the Filet Mignon which came with mashed potatoes and asparagus. I asked for the Filet to be medium well and to exchange the asparagus for green beans. However, I was plated with asparagus, green beans and no mashed potatoes and my filet was very well done. As Michael did not come back to check on our meals, I went forward with eating my overcooked filet. Eventually we saw Michael again and I informed him of the mishaps of my meal. I would expect the waiter to catch this, especially for a "fine dining" restaurant.
18% tip was automatically included. I did tip an extra $20 to make it 20%. Maybe that was because Michael kept pouring the wine!
I don't see a reason why I would go back here.

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c
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My wife and I spent our wedding anniversary at the Lion & Compass, and we had a great anniversary there. The food was excellent and the service was excellent.

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YW
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Very good service. Big dining area, so it won't be too crowded. The food is a bit pricy according to the quality. It's tasty but nothing special. Good ambient.

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t
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Lion and Compass is a great place to have a casual business lunch or lunch with good friends. This place is a landmark in the valley. Food offering very good, very fresh and great service. Highly recommend Lion and Compass.

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SC
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Four of us had dinner on a Thursday night. The restaurant was not busy at all which is puzzling. I had two of the appetizer salads and they were wonderful. It was refreshing to be able to have a nice conversation and positive dining experience.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The food and service were very good, the restaurant was kind of empty and I remembered it being a jumping restaurant. It wasn't easy to find because the signage out front is older and the ivy is overgrown and hard to see the building.

Would definitely recommend though

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2017
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Restaurant was alright, but I was annoyed that their parking lot was far from full, yet I was basically forced to valet my car (something I never like doing).

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RD
Dallas
3 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2017
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Friendly staff and great customer service. I had the grilled scallop salad, which had great flavor.

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O
Adelaide / SA
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2017
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

Ironically, I was promoting this restaurant to an out of town consultant. I told the story and built enthusiasm. The staff were rude and dismissive. One of them even asked us to leave a room I was just showing to hype the restaurant before we sat for lunch. Even my guest said he never wants to return to that place.

Maybe the staff can take lessons in class, service and basic manners.

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B
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2017
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Have been to Lion and Compass many times and this is the first time it was below average. Signature Chinese chicken salad was disappointing- very watery peanut sauce, unappetizing chicken pieces that looked and tasted like they had just been defrosted, all presented very poorly. Dining room nearly empty which was surprising - maybe this valley institution has finally had its day.

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CJ
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2017
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 3

I think our server was Tania, she was excellent, very attentive without being interuptive. The lunch menu is always fresh and delicious. The Chinese chicken salad as usual was splendid.

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C
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food. Outstanding sea bass that was cooked to perfection. Good wine list and excellent service. Suggest a drink in the bar before dinner. Best to make a reservation.

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j
Orange County
13 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just wonderful!

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e
San Francisco
161 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent lunch and very nice service

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BB
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

This is a favorite restaurant of ours for over 25 years- always consistent simple delicious meals. The Brazilian Daiquiri is fantastic, as is everything and the desserts and yummy.

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FF
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic service, food and venue. Love the patio area for a business or casual lunch

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f
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 3, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

My managers name is spelled wrong it is Pantelis! I made the mistake during booking but was not offered a way to correct or change this, I tried to get this changed and was unable to do that by making the request on line. Would you please change the spelling to Pantelis.
Thank you

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LS
San Francisco
34 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The lion and compass used to be the only special restaurant in that part of the Silicon Valley. Everyone went to the lion and compass. Many deals were done over drinks. Now there are many options in the area. It is still a wonderful place for a quiet dinner or meeting with friends. You can hear each other talk over dinner. And the food has always been great. Although there are many places in the area now, the lion and compass holds many meal memories for people who have worked in this area all of their careers.

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J
San Francisco
63 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2017
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

I had lunch with a friend just before Christmas and was pleasantly surprised with both the food and service. This time the food was good but the service was terrible. We ate in the main dining area and there were only a third (maybe a bit less) of the tables occupied. There were plenty of waiters milling around but our waiter was only reluctantly available and the other waiters ignored my requests for assistance. I think they work by stations and if you're outside of their station, they don't view it as their responsibility.

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JR
Baltimore
12 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Food was excellent. Would recommend. The atmosphere was very nice.

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e
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Arranged a team dinner of 12. Staff was very friendly and focused their attention throughout our meal time. Our team was seated in a semi-private area which made it a bit more relaxed and noise level kept to a minimum. The seabass was cooked perfect and the added nut crunch gave it a nice mix on the palate. We shared a couple appetizers; the brandy chili prawns and porcini mushroom ravioli - both were great. This is a definite go-to place and highly recommend.

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