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Absinthe Brasserie and Bar - SF
Extremely top-notch service. Cozy place. Great food.
There were 6 of us, and 2 came a little later, so they ordered drinks after us. The service could have been better with the last 2 drinks. Other than that, everything was very nice.
Great spot, right next to the Ballet. Highly recommended.
Alejandro served my table. He is very good. I love the food there. It brings me back to Sweden where my husband's mother came from. We spent almost every summer there.
Nice vibe here. Tucked away in a quiet hotel. Enticing Scandinavian menu, some of it quite delicious as well as unusual for these parts. Great wallpaper. We showed up quite early, like jerks, and they were nice about it. Our server, who was otherwise quite pleasant, unfortunately disappeared for long stretches. We all have our bad days, for sure. But at these price points it's a bummer to feel forgotten. Still, notable for being authentic and different than so many hip cookie cutter spots popping up everywhere else in SF.
Lovely place when you are going to Opera or Symphony performance. They have changed the format since we were there several years ago. The servings are smaller and the settings are sparse.
We've been Plaj diners ever since it opened, and even before that, when it operated under a different name. Generally, we rate it very highly. The "always" exception has to do with the amount of time it takes for a dessert to be served after it's been ordered.
However, this time, what was greatly dismaying was that it took 45 minutes after we ordered for the main courses to be delivered to us. That is unconscionable.
It looked as if the kitchen was bound to take care of all the first course orders, and then to begin on the main courses. We got there for a 5:15 reservation, just to give us enough time to dine at a leisurely pace, and still get to Davies in time for a 7:30 concert.
Happily, dessert was not only delivered just as we were about to cancel it, our server also comped us for dessert and coffee. That was very nice, and helped to ameliorate the event.
My first time at this small establishment. I think one of it's best features is it's location. You are within walking distance to SF's Opera, Ballet, Jazz and Theatre locations as well as Hayes Street night fare. Our waitress kindly asked us about any time constraints we had and she monitored the meal service accordingly.
The Scandinavian selections were well prepared and presented. It did get crowded and a bit noisy but overall it was a very good dining experience...glad it is there, I'll try it again.
I like Pläj because of the food that I ate when I was there
Great food and was my son’s birthday (going to piano concert after)...we both loved it and would definitely return!
All four of us had an excellent dinner. The Jerusalem artichoke soup was particularly good as were the duck breast and the mushroom risotto. We've enjoyed dinners at Plaj for a few years now and the food is better than ever.
We enjoyed some of the usual favorites (like gravlax) as well as dishes on the newer tasting menu (risotto and the carrot salad). Although the restaurant was crowded with diners going to nearby events, we were seated promptly and our food arrived relatively quickly.
Plaj is so good that I made reservations for my next five SFBallet-evenings!
Visit to celebrate personal milestones
Well, we've eaten at PLÄJ so many times coming up with new ways to say, "The entire experience is fantastic!" is taxing.
Our food was as always so interesting and tasty, the drinks excellent, the service as we like it.
Try PLÄJ, you will not regret it.
Very accommodating to theater goers but oh so expensive. We are just not sure it’s worth the price.
The restaurant itself is lovely and the food was delicious. Service was ok, it was hard to catch the attention of anyone. The servers didn't really scan the room when they were walking around so I found that kind of odd how long it took to get our check. The question would I recommend PLAJ to a friend is a tough one. I would definitely warn anyone about the noise level which was absolutely ridiculous. We sat in a corner and could not have any sort of conversation between the 2 of us because the diners at a larger shared table were so loud it was unbelievable. I've been in quieter sports bars. We gave up trying to talk to each other. As we ate in silence I tried to figure out what was wrong with the room. It just seemed like the other guests were screaming, oh because they were screaming. The large table was wide so they had to talk loudly to the person across the table. I think that large table should be narrower so people don't have to scream to talk to each other.
Excellent food but very noisy and our table was way too large for four people to be able to talk comfortably. It is a long table in the back they obviously use for groups but doesn’t work. Too wide. Be sure to ask not to sit there!
Once again, the ambiance and food were exceptional. The service is careful and caring. Just a lovely experience.
Best Scandinavian food in CA!
We three enjoyed it very much.
The duck was outstanding.
The beef cheek is very good, meat ball is so so, service is good.
We had a reservation for 5:30. Unfortunately, there was a bad accident on US Highway 101N and the CHP even stopped all lanes northbound. I called to inform the restaurant of the delay, but they were not very understanding; stating that they only hold reservations for 20 minutes. We had tickets to the SF Ballet and it was a Saturday night so the chances of finding an alternative to dine on short notice was unlikely. We arrived a bit after 6:00 but they had given our table away; even though 2 tables near the hostess entrance remained vacant until about 7:30. They did allow us to sit at the bar to dine. Service rating of 1 is for the management. The bartender was gracious.
This was our first time to PALJ and we were pleasantly surprised that the food was excellent. We loved everything ing we ordered including: Winter Salad, Beet Cured Gravlax, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Råraka & Caviar and the scallops. We will definitely come back again. It's very convenient to the War Memorial opera house and the Symphony.
Swedish meatballs better at IKEA fresh baked bread was like brown wonder bread
Great food and service in a gorgeous space.
Came to celebrate a Swedish friend’s birthday and it was outstanding. Awesome fusion of Scandinavia and California cuisine.
This was such a pleasant surprise! As a Native San Franciscan I normally try to avoid restaurants in hotels as I often find the food nothing special but the prices very high. This was the complete opposite at Plaj and I can't wait to go back! As a lover of seafood the Scandinavian menu was appealing to read but when we actually got to taste the dishes I was blown away. Bright clean flavors, super fresh ingredients, rainbows of color on every plate, and generous portions. My Mom and I shared 3 appetizers and 2 entrees so that we could try different things and boy, was that a lot of food! The cocktail menu was not just yummy but very original with combinations I've never had before. Plus being less than 2 blocks away from the Symphony, Ballet, or Opera...you should RUN not walk to this delightful hidden gem!
Food was delicious. It was too loud for good conversation.
Normally Plaj is our team's go-to for a visiting meal in SF but this time was a little disappointing in regards to service. On arrival for our reservation, we were not greeted at the host stand but looked up and down with disdain. No idea why, as we were all smiling and dressed to code. We had to wait for our table to be reset and were asked to "move out of the way" when none of us were in the way. Upon being seated a full 10 minutes later, were not served water or drinks for at least another 15 minutes and had to flag down our server on more than one occasion, who also couldn't remember to keep our waters anything but empty. It was bizarre service and we certainly aren't demanding. When our food came out and the server asked if we'd like descriptions of what we had ordered we said yes. He proceeded to simply repeat the title of the dish from the menu to half of the guests and not actually give any details. Plaj - what happened here?! Inevitably we'll be back since the food is lovely, but perhaps more training or guidance for the service staff is necessary.
Great experience. Our waiter was great. Food and drink were outstanding. Loved the Herring starter dish.
Stayed at the hotel and decided to dine at Plaj with my husband and 12 year old daughter. Ordered taste of herring. He tried to order the elk, but the menu had changed and so he had venison instead. She ordered the meatballs. We all enjoyed our meals. I was pleasantly surprised with the herring. The flavors were wonderful, fresh, and satisfying. PLAJ is worth a try! The only disappointment was that the Princess Cake was sold out by our 7:30 reservation. So if you are planning on just dessert come sooner. Nevertheless, by recommendation from our server, all 3 of us happily ended the night with the fantastic Northern Lights!
Robert’s food is exquisite. The best food in S.F
Each dish is prepared with details and amazing flavors.
The various aquavit drinks are very special as well
We will be back, for sure
Thank you MUCH
Saskia & James
My 4th time at PLAJ, every time has been excellent. If there's one wish I had for it, would be a dinner menu with a few more choices, but overall it's an outstanding experience.
The very best place for a delicious meal and relaxation close to the Ballet! Have eaten here many times, and everything from the home-made aquavit to the incredible meal & dessert has been consistently and simply excellent.
Got there early and had a cocktail - the "wine hubby's gin cocktail with mustard in it was great. Every dish was perfect. We got the cheese plate and the croquette appetizers. Then the scallops and Swedish meatballs for entrees. The tempo for delivery was well done -- not too rushed but not waiting either. Decor is causal, relaxing. We had a wonderful meal!
We love dining at Plaj for date night. We shared the bread, croquettes, cheese plate, taste of herring, scallops and brussel sprouts. We also had the house-made aquavit. I had the cucumber dill and my husband had the fig. This time we didn’t have room for dessert but I love the princess cake. The flavors of the house-made aquavit change each time we’re there and we always love to sip it while enjoying our meal. Service was fast and efficient, and we were able to enjoy each dish thoroughly. Dining here is an immersive experience of new flavors and textures, surprises and delicious filling food. It’s a treat each time.
Iur server was fantastic! She was from Serbia and very charming We enjoy coming to Plaj for great Swedish food.
I love this place before going to a performance. The food is incredible--all fresh, seasonal with a Swedish twist. I had Gralax & the Jerusalem artichoke soup. Fantastic! They are the nicest people ever. Professional but it feels like your family taking care of you. And it's like being at home because you can talk with others--it's not noisy at all.
PLAJ is rated 4.5 stars by 2173 OpenTable diners.