PLAJ

4.6
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2059 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Scandinavian

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Pre/post Theatre
Introducing PLÄJ, a new innovative concept from Swedish born Owner/Chef Roberth Sundell where California fare and Scandinavian flavors become one. PLÄJ is a celebration of local and seasonal ingredients inspired by the rustic flavors and simple elegance of Scandinavian cusine. PLÄJ embodies the soul of Scandinavia,the place to share the experience of new flavors, great wine, Scandinavian beer, and cocktails.
What 2059 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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s
San Francisco
73 reviews
Dined 15 hours ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Raraka, Autumn Salad, Elk all very nice!

SK
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pre-opera, super convenient and an absolute treat. Unique, comforting, delicious. A wonderful place to take “Swedish food??!??” skeptics. A sure bet.

KF
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always wonderful. Inventive choices. My favorites continue. And so very comfortable!

AM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Incredible all around!

d
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Interesting menu including elk which I have never seen on a bay area menu before. The ambiance was very pleasant although the noise level was quite high. The service was good and the food arrived very quickly, even though it was a busy Friday night and the place was packed. I would recommend it and return as well.

SW
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pläj is, in a word, SUPERB. The food is unique, inspired, and exceptional across the menu. The decor is charming and the ambiance refined and pleasantly energetic, yet serene. Service is friendly, efficient, and skilled.

San Francisco has a lot of fine cuisine, but I grow increasingly frustrated with so many weird dishes and weird menus that don't work. SF's boundless supply of pretentious restaurants, thriving on deep-pocketed diners who worship whatever is trendy, encourages one to venerate such "gourmet" experiments, and to pay ludicrous prices for the privilege.

Pläj emerges above the growing absurdity of SF's dining scene as a shining beacon of bold and daring cuisine that is deeply satisfying on all levels. My new favorite restaurant in the city.

Recommended dishes: burrata with heirloom tomatoes and stone fruit with various exquisite garnishes (to die for) and the vegetarian "dumplings." I'm also told the scallops are life-changing.

BL
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 3

As a longtime patron we are always satisfied with the fiod and service but the new vegan menu is delicious!! Definitely a reason to return

L
San Francisco
40 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Some dishes were better than others, but overall a very interesting menu and fun to try some new Scandinavian flavors. Our favorite dish was the potato pancakes with smoked fish and caviar- very tasty! Swedish meatballs were good, but nothing too special. Nice spot for pre-theater dinner.

PC
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We are fairly regular patrons at Plaj. It's one of our standard pre-opera choices, and is just a short walk from the Symphony Garage elevator through a passageway.

You walk through the Inn at the Opera to reach the restaurant, which is paneled in dark wood, carpeted witah ceilings. As a result you can have a conversation with the others at your table even when it's fairly full.

The menu is fairly static, except for the day's specials. They have added a three-course vegan menu to better serve the changing needs of customers.

Beef cheeks are always a good choice. Their gravlax appetizer is very much worth trying. Desserts are few in number but generally worth the calories.

We've reviewed it in the past in more detail - but what we say again is if you are looking for good food, service and ambiance near the Opera and Symphony Play is worth trying.

LB
San Francisco
52 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a WONDERFUL meal here last night, post concert. So happy they serve until 11 & graciously waited on our birthday party bash until almost midnight. Really great food, service and hospitality in the Inn at the Opera (which looks like a very charming little hotel/pension). We had yummy burrata, bread w special spread, delish potato
pancakes, Swedish meatballs, chicken over grains, smoked king salmon-all excellent. The herb- infused (horseradish & lemon?!) aperitifs were much-enjoyed. Highly recommend as a unique and high-quality dining experience. Plus, we could hold a conversation without yelling across the table! Rare in SF these days!

K
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

The place is nice but the service and the kitchen were not synchronized at all. People who came after us got their food before us, the waiter kept on disappearing on us and losing sight of his tables.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best food ever, if you want to test out anything different than American food. This place surpassed expectations.
Great cocktails, appetizer and food.

R
San Francisco
155 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

We had a very pleasant meal. Some of the food was fantastic, while some was just good. I don't have a good reference point for what excellent Scandinavian food is so I have no comparison point. I had the beef cheek while my friend had the meatballs, and of the two I would say the meatballs were a much better value. The cardamon-fig aquavit was absolutely delicious. The service was competent and efficient, if not particularly warm. Our table was spacious and comfortable. Overall it was very good and I will look forward to returning.

N
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I do not like using Opentable because I do not want a stream of follow-up messages

p
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I really enjoyed the atmosphere in the beautiful restaurant PLAJ. The waiters were very attentive and fast and could recommend the dishes for a group. It was also a very nice restaurant for a business meeting as we had a table a little away from the rest of the visitors and there was no loud music playing.

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful night out with my mom, pre opera. Great staff and amazing food. Overall one of the best dining experiences in the city!

K
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

This was a good place to celebrate our anniversary. Thanks for the lovely evening.

d
San Francisco
78 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

The saddle of elk was prepared to perfection! Where else can you get venison in the middle of summer? I truly enjoyed my meal.

S
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great for a birthday celebration.

g
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Fantastic! We loved every unusual and decadent bite - recommending to many friends....

OT
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We've been going to Plaj for several years and have enjoyed the restaurant immensely.
While prices are high we have come to understand that relates to the locale in the center of many arts in San Francisco with value mitigating the cost.
This last time was disappointing for the noise level which was so high as to preclude any semblance of dinner table conversation.
We will certainly return to the restaurant but be more discriminating in our seating locale.

SR
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Seated right away. As restaurant filled noise increased dramatically.

t
San Francisco
35 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Despite the high noise lever, I would come back for the food, and convenience. It is just across the street from the opera house.

C
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my favorite restaurant in San Francisco - the food is exceptional, the service is attentive and personal without being intrusive.

JC
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Interesting menus. Cocktails are creative, appetizers unique, and entrees were well prepared. Service staff very knowledgeable and efficient. A wonderful time.

J
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Leisure travel to San Francisco. Plaj is in our hotel. Delicious food,very Scandinavian with unusual flavors, delicious

PE
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Generally very good food. I was disappointed because, when making a reservation, they ask if there is an “occasion”, such as a birthday or anniversary. I checked off “birthday” and reminded the host when we arrived. I expect a restaurant of this caliber and price range to extend some small acknowledgement, especially if they ask you up front. We received exactly nothing; no acknowledgment from staff, no token trest for the birthday boy, nothing. By contrast Gary Danko goes out of its way to offer a “happy birthday” and gives the guest a muffin size cake with a little candle.
That small gesture just makes the guest feel a little special, which is appropriate for their birthday. I also thought the host at Plaj was a little too full of himself, and the cocktail was a weak pour for $13. But, again, the food is quite good.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We had a wonderful dinner to see off a colleague. Excellent service and the food was delightful

DP
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

PLAJ was the first Scandinavian food restaurant I have ever visited. The food is absolutely delicious and they have a really good collection of wines and cocktails as well. I would highly recommend anyone to check out this place. It gets really busy so its best to reserve before you go.
I think everything about the restaurant was perfect except for the service. My server was very rude - she neither helped us with any recommendations of food/drinks nor did she even give menus. On a table of 3 - they gave us 1 cocktail menu and 1 wine menu. Both are separate and you would not understand that you are missing one until both were in front of you. I asked for an extra menu and she gave me a look as if I had asked for a free meal. Even after this she only gave a cocktail menu and I had to ask again for a wine menu.

Highly recommend people to check out this place for their food/drink/ambience and just hope that management looks into this.

JP
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time I’ve seen fried lefse, like Nordic nacho chips! Everything was amazing.

v
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my fav San Fran restaurants!

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OT
Boise
4 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We returned to the Bay Area for business and had to get back to PLAJ. Amazing food creativity AND quality. Service is also outstanding. We celebrated 47 years of marriage with one of the most memorable dinners in our 50 years together. Thank you for your excellence on multiple levels.

EA
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Delicious food. Beautiful plating. Knowledgeable staff.

A
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We also now learned how to pronounce the Name - it's Play with phonetic Swedish spelling. We loved the restaurant and will definitely go again. I came for the herring and my dining companion was looking to try the oysters - we ate neither because there were other exciting items. We shared the potato pancakes with sour cream, brined anchovy and caviar, which came in the pan - delicious. We also had the Fava bean fritata - so good, we could have had another order. I had the Elk saddle that was cooked medium - to perfection and my dining companion loved the beet cheeks.
Great location and great food!

Y
San Francisco
187 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

Plaj's distinctiveness lies in its selection of Nordic cuisine--perhaps the only such in SF area. But the dishes themselves are not exceptional in any way. Herring is overly "fishy" --certainly not fresh. The smoked salmon main dish was not flavored well. Shrimp appetizer was muddled. The wine list is unschooled.
The service borders between indifferent and hostile.
And there are relatively few decent tables in terms of traffic, noise, lighting etc.

o
San Francisco
105 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Yet another wonderful dinner at PLÄJ, and this one was for my 72nd birthday. The drinks are fabulous, the food exceptional, and the PLÄJ folks are the best!

The salmon was one of the best salmon dinners I've ever eaten, not to be missed. All three of us had it and all were happy about it!

DG
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Found this Scandinavian restaurant while friends were visiting. The best Swedish meatballs and the best herring I've ever had. Great wine list albeit they are all European and was unfamiliar with most of them, but the waiter was very knowledgeable. I'm a picky eater and don't stray far from basic fare, so I was thrilled with this find.

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

Amazing food, love the vegan menu and I’m not vegetarian. Been there twice and the service was slow and inattentive both times. The waiters (all men) just seem kind of surly.

OT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We were all truly surprised and delighted by the many wonderful dishes we had, especially the Vegan tasting menu and the beef checks for the non Vegan person. We all of us would/will eat there again.

JK
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

We had a terrific meal, although I'd say the service (not following up, not bringing ordered beverages until we chased down waiter, not bringing ordered beverages until after meal had been completed) was less than optimum. The food was excellent -- great starters all around and a tremendous potato/caviar dish that I'd unequivocally recommend. The meatballs, however, did not have tremendous flavor.

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