PLAJ

4.6
1802 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Scandinavian
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.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Scandinavian, European, Californian
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Sun-Monday 5:00PM - 8:45PM
Tuesday-Thurs 5:00PM - 9:45PM
Fri-Sat 5:00PM - 10:30PM
Times are final seating time. Kitchen closes shortly after.
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Phone number
(415) 294-8925
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Roberth Sundell
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Cross street
Franklin Street
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Parking details
Valet parking is provided for a fee through the Inn At The Opera, subject to available space.
Additional
Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 1802 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
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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1
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SP
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband portions with each other & we both were happy with our choices.
The elk was medium rare, very juicy & flavorful. We started out with a platter of herring prepared in various ways, also very good.

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MH
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved that it included lefse even tho it was fried ! And the meatballs were terrific !! Nice to have a little Scandinavian tasting.. something different for SF..... I always like to dine here before a performance, Ballet, Symphony and Opera.... and I am Norwegian and that says a lot !!

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MW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Locally sourced ingredients, creatively prepared and attentively served, in a room where table conversation needn't be shouted to be heard.

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KR
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I didn’t think the wine selections were as good as they could be. No Pinots at all, even though in my view that’s the best wine Belden Barns makes. There were too many white wines for my taste, and the only red was a super-heavy Syrah, which didn’t balance it out. Also, a couple of dishes were disappointing. Overall, I wasn’t sure I got my money’s worth.

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H
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my second time coming to Plaj. My group really enjoyed sharing different items from across the menu. Always tasty!

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b
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Beautifully and creatively prepared takes on Swedish traditional cuisine, lovely atmosphere, especially in back room of restaurant and friendly and professional service. Great option for pre-symphony dinner or special occasion meal.

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MW
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dined at Plaj for a birthday dinner. It was perfectly cozy and elegant. The food was unique and flavorful and I would definitely return and recommend.

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A
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our party of four had a great time at Pläj! I will definitely be back for the meatballs again. Other dishes were superb as well, including desserts. Besides food I really liked the service - friendly but not over the board. We appreciated the fact that they gave us enough time between the courses to enjoy a conversation and didn’t rush us to get through the food and leave. Great ambience and great experience!

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K
New York Area
25 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Plaj is a refined, elegant, contemporary Swedish cuisine inspired gem right across from the War Memorial Opera House. The ambiance is cozy, with subdued lighting and well spaced tables which allow for quite conversations and savouring the exquisite flavours and tastes that come from the kitchen. On this visit, mussels were available as a starter and they were luscious - plump, juicy and in a cream sauce that was a perfect complement. The main of Duck Breast was savoury and succulent. The only downside here is that it is hard to get a booking between 5 and 7+ pm when there is an opera on or a concert in Symphony Hall. Definitely highly recommended.

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PP
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a gem and a great find. My husband has Swedish and Finnish ancestry, and others had told us about the Aquavit options. But the food was fantastic and innovative, good-sized healthy portions and wonderful seasonal fare. I was tempted to have the elk but will save that for when (if??) San Francisco gets rain. My husband is still raving about the herring appetizers, which I doubt I will ever be able to match at home.

We'll be back for another winter meal before year end. Great restaurant, and their quiet but attentive staff paid just the right amount of attention without being overbearing!

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OT
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came in late after the opera and they were graceful and accommodating despite our arrival shortly before the kitchen closed. We try to eat at Pläj at least once an opera season. It’s a jewel box of a restaurant with stellar food. Favorites are the herring, meatballs, the duck and the caraway scented bread.

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r
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

It's rare to find a 'Scandinavian' restaurant. It's a little out of the ordinary. The food, ambiance, and service are all fantastic. This restaurant is definitely on the expensive side, but worth a try on a special occasion. Also, restaurant is located very close to Davies Hall, the Opera, the SF Jazz center, etc.

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P
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had a delicious meal and look forward to coming back. Many interesting choices on the menu. The soup of the day and the gravlax were especially good, as was the vegetarian entree.

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MW
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We were celebrating a birthday, and the celebrant was concerned about being able to hav e quiet conversation during dinner; it did eventually work out that way, but only because the restaurant was not terribly busy. The food was very delicious, creatively designed and presented. The wine list was limited to nearly all domestic choices, and was lacking modestly priced options. While the food and service were very good, this meal was a splurge.

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EW
Singapore
3 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our first dining experience here. This restaurant is located in a hotel which is why I've never noticed this restaurant. It is located in the rear of the hotel. Very beautiful walk down the hall to get there.

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D
San Francisco
36 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

How refreshing to find an intimate, quiet restaurant where you can hear your friends and enjoy delicious eclectic food choices! Beef cheeks, elk, duck breast, Swedish meatballs and delicious appetizers were enjoyed by all. Lovely space, great items and very welcoming servers.

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M
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Very expensive, service ok. Very loud. The lobster was good

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g
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Food mediocre. Salmon for 4 of us not cooked, raw. Not edible. No service for 10 minutes. Had to find the bartender to order. Going to the Opera which we told the waiter when we arrived at 6 pm (Opera at 7:30) and they brought our food at 7:10. He said he could take it off our bill and give us No Food. What a nightmare.

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PB
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is thoughtful, clean, and tasty. I ate only vegetarian options, but others at the table had meat and chicken and loved it.

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A
San Francisco
69 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Deliciously creative takes on Scandinavian cuisine. Great cocktails. Save room for dessert.

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MB
San Diego
18 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

My husband and I have dined many times at PLAJ and mostly enjoyed the experience. On the last two occasions our cocktails lacked the flavors(cloudberry, elderflower) intended to define the drinks. The poached king salmon was hard and brownish on its exterior, to about 1/3 inch of the interior, leaving me to wonder whether it had been quickly sauteed to warm it up or simply started and then left too long in boiling water. Small, skin-on boiled potatoes are featured in many dishes, and yes, this is typically Swedish, but it wouldn't hurt to add a French touch as in the sauces and broths, which are generally very good. The ""Princess Cake" is simply some layered cake with custard and jam in individual glasses, more like a trifle rather than the true cake. The drinks menu includes some nice aquavits and dessert wines, but when I requested an espresso I was told it was not possible. We did enjoy the "Julbord" last Christmas season, with its special offerings of housemade pates and cold seafood preparations.

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CF
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this restaurant and try to book it every time we stay at Inn at the Opera .... the food is always excellent. The flavors are unique and presentation is creative. I had been craving the Swedish meatballs all week and as always it did not disappoint. Every bite was a bit of heaven.. we shared the autumn salad which was fabulous and the dessert Northern Lights is the only way to end the evening.

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p
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Super yummy, creative food. Portion sizes were a little small.

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X
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Plaj is very close to the opera, ballet and Symphony Hall . The food quality is very good, with options for meat-lovers as well as vegetarians. The rye bread was awesome , and the server explains what's in your plate.
It is inside a hotel, which means it's not so easy to find the place.
I would definitely recommend this place to my friends , and would love to come back !

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OT
Berlin
2 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Wonderful!

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h
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 3

Food and atmosphere are okay, but attitude of some of the staff is definitely off. We were on time for a 5 pm reservation. We had to be somewhere at 6:35 and were asked what time we wanted to be finished with dinner. We said 6:20. At 6:20 our entree had not yet arrived. We called over waiter and told him. Shortly entree arrived. There was no explanation or apology. Assistant (?) manager came to table. No smile, no apology, bad attitude. First time ever that we did not leave 20% tip. Staff needs retraining.

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b
San Francisco
146 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful, cozy little dining room; creative cocktails and cuisine. Interesting and delicious. Wait staff is very used to getting folks to symphony, opera & jazz in time: they're experts at it. Absolutely delightful, every time we go.

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MS
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Interesting menu that you won’t find in most SF restaurants.

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AK
San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

The herring was divine. Don't miss that bite or two.

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c
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Wonderful, creative cuisine. Each dish is unique, with layers of flavors and highest quality ingredients. Absolutely delicious!

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o
San Francisco
99 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Same exact meal as last week's... YUMMY! You really should try PLÄJ if you haven't yet.

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YS
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 1ambience 3

What a disappointment plaj was this time. I haven’t been back here for almost two years and plaj used to be in my top five favorite restaurants in SF. What happened to all authentic dishes?? I was there with two ppl we ordered three different main dishes - duck, beef cheeks and halibut fish and as we all share a bit of our dish we had a chance to sample each entree and they ALL had a same flavor!!!! I remember my first time at plaj about five years ago and how impressed I was with their Scandinavian food. Unfortunately , today their food taste like mediocre American food with an option of really bad herring and Swedish meat balls

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CF
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Very classy setting with great cocktail selection. Food met all expectations.

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m
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent dinner! Wonderful, attentive service!

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o
San Francisco
100 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, our dinner at PLAJ was exceptional. The drinks are creative and tasty, and the food is too. Highly recommend!

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FL
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous restaurant for dinner before the opera. Service was truly outstanding and the food was unusual and very delicious. So glad we chose Plaj!

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OT
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Celebrating a friend’s Birthday - was a treat to share several starters and appetizers to taste a large variety of the dishes. Herring, gravalax and sunchokes were standouts!

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W
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Scandinavian cuisine: pickled herring, Swedish meatballs, elk, etc. That's the best reason for going there, apart from its proximity to the opera, theaters, The Nourse, SF Jazz, etc.

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CJ
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Table wasn’t ready when we arrived on time for our reservation. Host asked us to stand back in the chair less hallway to wait, in a brusque tone. My friend wanted therefore to get a drink at the bar while we waited but the host told us our table would be ready before we could order and discouraged us from sitting there. My friend really wanted a drink so she went to order anyways and host seemed annoyed and a bit snippy. We both felt pressured and a bit awkward/unwelcomed. We were seated and my friend brought her drink to the table. It wasn’t a big deal for her to do that and did not delay anything. I felt the host should have said of course you can get a drink but instead it felt a bit rude and controlling. He seemed very nervous about us being “in the way” or expediting us. Otherwise, all else was good and waitperson was fine. Food very good. Not enough fish options in the main dishes that night though.

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MS
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Really nice Swedish Food. We really enjoy this place!

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