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Nearby points of interest
About Nihon Whisky Lounge
Nihon offers contemporary Japanese cuisine with a sophisticated twist on the traditional Japanese Izakaya (Japanese version of tapas). The cuisine also offers a wide array of fresh sashimi and sushi rolls.
If you are a whisky lover, Nihon also offers the largest single malt selection found on the west coast with over 400 selections all available through bottle purchase. All bottles purchased can be stored in a private locker in the premises for future visits. Nihon is renowned for amazing house made creative whisky and champagne cocktails.
San Francisco, CA 94103
Japanese, Japanese Speciality
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday-Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm
Closed Sunday & Monday for private events
$50 and over
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
DJ's play Friday & Saturday from 8pm-1am.
Private Party Facilities:
We offer a private room that can accommodate up to 20 guests. The whole venue can be booked accommodating up to 100 guests.
Private Party Contact:
Angel: (415) 552-4400
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wine
Nihon Whisky Lounge Ratings and Reviews
With the right attitude and budget, you can really enjoy this special spot.
If you're going to come, be prepared to spend a dime and not worry about the price to get the best experience. My favorite whiskey - recommended by our very knowledgeable and super amazing server, was $110 for a pour; you can spend from $35 up to $1000 for one, or try a flight. We mostly followed our server/guide's recommendations, which was easy given his charisma, and a good choice, as everything we got was amazing - the red snapper sushi special was some of the best we've ever tasted. At $475 for 2 (4 whiskey pours, 2 sashimi, tempura, 2 small plates, and 1 roll), it would have been difficult to follow the on-point and personalized recommendations and be thrifty. So - for us- it was great as a special occasion (thanks ETH!). And on Thursday at 8 was decently quiet in the back room - ask if that's your preference; we had it all to ourselves for half the night.
[I will say - the Remi Martin promotional shot and photo handed out by two flappers and a pushy gentleman was a bit tacky, though well-timed at the end of our meal.]
The food and drinks were great. However, the service was not great. We ordered family-style food and a drink each. We had finished the food before our first round of drinks ever came around. I saw this same trend in Yelp reviews from other users. The service for drinks has to be sped up... otherwise people get antsy.
Nihon is one of the greatest whisky bars anywhere in the world. What I didn't expect - the food is fantastic! Japanese bar-food that was authentic and out-of-this-world good. The service is excellent, too, very knowledgeable and attentive. Not super-pricey but a bit spendy. Worth a splurge. Take friends, it's great for groups to share menu items and whisky tasters.
Service across the board was disappointing. The hostess was rude from the moment we walked in, and our waiter was both slow, inattentive, and snarky (i.e. when we each ordered 1-2 items he said "that's all you're getting? guess it's going to be a light night") as if we were a waste of a table. I couldn't believe how long it took to get the check etc. Good whiskey (mostly scotch) selection if that's your thing, so I'd go for a drink at the bar, but otherwise overrated.
I've had countless recommendations to go to the Nihon Whiskey Lounge and it was well worth it. One of if not the best whiskey selection in SF, amazing atmosphere, super friendly staff, and tasty (though small servings) food. And of course, the whiskey selections were top flight. I brought a group of my friends there and we've all decided to make it a regular destination.
They have a wide selection of whiskey and whiskey cocktails, and the food was delicious. However, the service was subpar compared to the other $$$ restaurants in the city. Our food order took over 50 minutes to arrive, even though it was a sushi roll. They probably forgot the order, but made no accommodations and weren't even apologetic.
Overall, it was a unique experience dining in a Japanese whiskey bar. But if you're in the $$$ price range, I expected a more attentive staff.
Really enjoyed dining at Nihon this visit and on previous occasions. I recommend getting a bottle of sake for the non-whisky drinkers to share or in addition to drinks from the bar. The baby mackerel was delicious and everything had excellent presentation. The sushi platter with 24 pieces was just the right amount of food for two in addition to the baby mackerel and the crudo special of the day. Our host was swift, our server was attentive and knowledgeable, and our dinner was delightful. We will definitely be back for another date night.
Well, I am going to be super clear. If you're looking for whisky, this is a great place. If you're looking for Japanese food, this is in the lower decile, and on top of it, it's expensive. You have so many great choices in SF, just stay away from Nihon if you're planning on getting good Japanese food.
Came here based on the recommendation of a friend who works in the whisky industry who told me this was the best spot to find a stellar whisky selection in San Francisco. He was right! The selection is AMAZING. Really top notch. The bar is beautiful, the service is impeccable, and the cocktails are pretty darn good as well (if straight scotch isn't your thing).
The only aspect of the meal that wasn't absolutely perfect was the food itself. Some of the dishes were great, including the Mars Attacks (deep fried octopus), shrimp and bacon skewers, and sashimi. The pork belly was tough ( literally couldn't swallow a piece without choking unless it was chewed intensely) and the grilled veggies were undercooked.
If you're looking for a place to drink some scotch, this is the place for you!
I waited well over an hour for my food. The others got their food in 15 and about 40 minutes. The first dish was cold and the second was overseasoned. My food was great, but I don't know if that was because I waited so long for it. There were barely any other people dining there. I loved the ambience, but I'm never paying that much to wait that long for low quality food. Not even an apology for the wait.
Atmosphere is the best part of Nihon. Great date spot if you like a more modern atmosphere w/ cool lighting and electro music background that's at a great background volume (ie. dont go here for a quiet candelit romance) and nice little bar area for happy hours. Food is decent, but definitely overpriced even by SF standards. In a vacuum, the sushi is good not great but in the context of SF, it is not the place to go for good sushi. The drinks list is decent, usually prepared pretty well but mostly on the smaller side, and even more overpriced than the food, even by SF standards. Great whiskey list, had some really great Japanese and traditional scotch when we were there, but again, its pretty pricey.
If you love rare Scotch whiskies, this place is a must-try. The prices are steep, even for the more common whiskies, so it's better for a special occasion. The maki we ate was delicious. There are better spots in the city for Japanese food, but for whisky selection, Nihon can't be beat.
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