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About PLAJ

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.

333 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
European, Californian, Scandinavian

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.

Cross Street:
Franklin Street

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(415) 294-8925

Website:
http://www.plajrestaurant.com/

Parking Details:
Valet parking is provided for a fee through the Inn At The Opera, subject to available space.

Executive Chef:
Roberth Sundell

Additional:
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine

PLAJ Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.3

ambience

4.3

value

4.0

Noise

Moderate

92% would recommend it to a friend

Pre/post Theatre (61)
Creative Cuisine (60)
Fit for Foodies (59)
See All
Good for a Date (45)
Special Occasion (44)
Authentic (39)
Romantic (35)
Good for Anniversaries (33)
Cozy (31)
Handcrafted Cocktails (30)
Quiet Conversation (29)
Neighborhood Gem (24)
Seasonal (18)
Business Meals (14)
Healthy (14)
Worth the Drive (12)
Good for Birthdays (11)
Gluten Free Options (10)
Notable Wine List (10)
Comfort Food (9)
Local Ingredients (9)
Bar Seating (8)
Fun (8)
Casual (6)
Good for Groups (6)
Paleo Friendly (5)
Tasting Menu (5)
Disabled Access (4)
Great Beer (3)
Tapas (3)
Happy Hour (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Hot Spot (1)
Great for Lunch (1)
Organic (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
People Watching (1)
Vegan (1)
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1531 reviews
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 (San Francisco)·Dined 2 days ago

We enjoyed the food and service. Although we were a party of 12 we fphad to split the reservation into 3 tables of four.
All enjoyed the elk, chicken, cabbage, and crab.

We liked the venue and would easily come back for more.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Cozy
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food5
ambience3
service4
value4

 
·Dined 2 days ago

We have been to Plaj a few times, and we love the food and the location prior to Symphony.
This time it was noisy and it was difficult to have a conversation. We don't remember it being so noisy a year or two ago.

Tags: Healthy, Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 4 days ago

The food was very interesting and unusual. The atmosphere was spacious and quiet. A great place to talk with old friends. Our wait person was very friendly, helpful and fun. The rest of the staff was in short-cold-which is strange for a restaurant in the Hayes Valley area. Get there early if you need to park. The area fills up and then one has to park in front of the Civic Center.

Tags: Paleo Friendly, Healthy, Tasting Menu, Pre/post Theatre, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Disabled Access
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 4 days ago

Plaj is a lovely place for pre theatre/symphony dining. The food is very good with some interesting Scandinavian touches. The room is attractive and service is attentive. Plaj is right out the back door of the opera house so you won't be late for performances there or at the symphony.

Tags: Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 4, 2017

This was our second year coming for the Christmas dinner, and we had the best time! Cocktails at the bar with Simon were sublime, our waiters for dinner were fantastic, and the food was incredible!!! We had a great time enjoying the family style meal with friends, and are already looking forward to next year.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, Comfort Food, Special Occasion, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 4, 2017

Went for the Yuleboard dinner for the second year in a row. This year was excellent, even better than last year (I think they edited the selection down nicely, e.g. removing the soufflé from the final serving; that was a bit too much to take last year). Went with the wife and the two of us were almost able to finish the entire meal (did fast the day before in preparation ;) The pickled herring, salmon and Swedish meatballs where the best ever... The homemade sweets were all perfect.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Seasonal, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience4
service4
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 4, 2017

Interesting to go to once but I thought I'd try their special Winter/Holiday prix fix 'feast'.
The ham and the sparerib were awful. The potato dish was wonderful but I try not to eat potatoes. The elk turine was blah; I prefer the bottled Glogg from World Market to their house made concoction; I would have loved a lot more herring and maybe some beef tongue; the rice pudding was watery and bland.

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food2
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 3, 2017

Good every time, I really enjoy the food, the ambiance is great. The whole place is great and the only thing they should add is the music.

Tags: Paleo Friendly, Tasting Menu, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 3, 2017

Great restaurant! You can't go wrong. Everything we tried was delicious and distinctive. You won't find their dishes replicated at other restaurants. Very pleasantly-appointed dining room, service was a little slow but we arrived for a later dinner and were a relatively big group (6 people at 8:15pm). Definitely try this place once; you will return!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 3, 2017

Loved the food and beautiful setting. The place transported me back to my native Sweden. The name plaj says it all - playful take on Nordic classic dishes. We will return!

Tags: Fun, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 2, 2017

Excellent food. The staff very friendly and enquirer if there's was a certain show or function we were attending and re-assured us we would be out in time...we were!! Great staff as well! Cannot say enough about the food. Food servers explained every plate in detail and not one plate was a disappointment !!! The cocktail choice was magnificent, wine recommendations were right on!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Handcrafted Cocktails, Worth the Drive, Tasting Menu, Vibrant Bar Scene, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Healthy, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Edinburgh)·Dined on December 1, 2017

I have loved this place from the very first time when there was a large group of folks in Viking helmets eating at a center table. I almost always get the herring and the meatballs which are great comfort foods. Cocktails are always interesting.

Tags: People Watching, Fun, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Creative Cuisine, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 1, 2017

Delicious and innovative cuisine. Come with friends so you can share and try different things. Give yourself time for the meal, courses don't come out in quick succession.

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food4
ambience3
service2
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 30, 2017

I really love this place. The food is delicious; and gorgeous; and really interesting and different. The service is impeccable without being the least bit stuffy. The ambiance is excellent - grown- up, spacious, buzzy with conversation but not impossible to hear.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on November 30, 2017

Loved the herring starter and elk main course. Northern lights dessert is incredible.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 29, 2017

A refreshing change from the Cal-Ital or Asian menus that dominate SF. The food is excellent and there are so many dishes to try that you'll want to go back.

Tags: Romantic, Paleo Friendly, Authentic, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Lovely place. Attentive staff. Good food.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 25, 2017

We had one of the best meals I can remember. From the imaginative delicious cocktail to the last bite of dessert, Pläj surprises and satisfies. The experience here calls into question the whole concept of ratings and Michelin stars. Another restaurant meal would be different, but better? Not a chance.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Pre/post Theatre, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 22, 2017

The food is truly great. The menu is authentic new Scandinavian cuisine.

Tags: Romantic, Pre/post Theatre, Authentic, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

vip
 (New Orleans)·Dined on November 20, 2017

The cuisine is definitely modern Scandinavian (though some dishes are certainly updated traditional ones). The kohlrabi-beet salad with ricotta and truffles was very different and very good (more beets than kohlrabi, which was to my taste). And the saddle of elk (which was what I had come for) was outstanding. The choice of wine by the glass was limited, but very good--both went with the two courses. Service was friendly and attentive. The location is very convenient for the opera or symphony, and some patrons definitely knew this, but Pläj (the umlaut makes it "play", an intentional pun) is not easy to find in online restaurant searches. So I found it a happy discovery. You should still certainly make reservations.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 20, 2017

The food was quite interesting and tasty - two of us had the fresh baked bread, Dungeness crab appetizer (very nice combination of tastes and textures), diver scallops, Swedish meatballs and banana bread/gelato for dessert. Also a good cocktail (equinox) and Swedish dark bottled beer. The one real negative was being in the back room, with a large table for 12-14 - it was so noisy we could hardly talk; a lady nearby said she got a headache, it was so loud.

Tags: Great Beer, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience2
service3
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 18, 2017

Recommended by a friend, whose advice I will surely continue to take. Plaj was perfect for before symphony

Tags: Good for Groups, Business Meals, Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 17, 2017

Excellent unique cocktails. Presentation of meals was wonderful. Will go again!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Handcrafted Cocktails, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 15, 2017

Delicious meal, lovely atmosphere . Could not have been better!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Restaurant was noisy, even though we requested a quiet table. Service was sub-par. We requested water and ordered wine. Server forgot to bring both. After waiting for 10 minutes, we asked for our wine. Server said it was not ready yet. How hard is it to pour a glass of wine?

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food3
ambience2
service2
value2

 
 (Denver)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Plaj is located on the street level at the back of an Inn. The menu is more of a modern eclectic Swedish menu. At our meal we enjoyed scallops that were sliced half thickness and very yummy with cauliflower, greens, sunchoke artichoke pieces covered with a lemony sauce that was good and the consistency of a hollandaise. Also enjoyed slices of Elk cooked as medium rare, which they recommend that was very delicious. They get packed when they have Orchestra or Opera performances so keep that in mind when you book reservations. The decor is dark wood with whites and wall paper with flower patterns typical to Scandinavian design. The servers are prompt and friendly.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 11, 2017

We hadn't been to Plaj for several years and were pleased to discover that it's better than ever, both the food and the service. The meatballs and the elk were both hits for our table.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 11, 2017

I am a big fan of this restaurant. With Nordic and local cuisine, they do a very nice job of combining foods that are new to me with foods that are familiar. Also, they've got a very very interesting cocktail menu. The other night, I had the herring appetizer--and don't be afraid, the herring is a big surprise, followed by the pig's cheek with quince puree. Both dishes were very good. Also, I tried the Swedish Gold cocktail. I've never had anything quite like it, but will order it again!

Tags: Happy Hour, Gluten Free Options, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 9, 2017

Having lived in Stockholm, I was eager to try Plaj. I was not disappointed. Many of the chef's dishes are keenly evocative of the unique Scandinavian palate. The distinct flavors and artful presentations of smoked fish, sill, meatballs, pickled anchovies, fresh seafoods, caviar -- all were delectable. We enjoyed our dinner with a fine Italian vermentino. Service was efficient, helpful, accommodating, and unobtrusive. The room is small and intimate, but we had the misfortune of dining early on an evening when there was a quite large party present, so it was very noisy. I can't fault Plaj for that; noise is a curse endemic among Bay Area restaurants. To avoid that, I look forward to returning to Plaj to dine late -- a 9:00 or 9:30 pm reservation might be optimal -- and when there will be no large parties present.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 8, 2017

Another wonderful savory meal at one of my favorite eatery’s!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 3, 2017

We'd come here just for the herring. Fabulous. We brought an extra person and Plaj immediately took care of us. And so convenient to the Opera House.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 3, 2017

The quintessential restaurant that I think of first for dining out.

Tags: Cozy, Healthy, Romantic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 2, 2017

Delicious meal start to finish. Nice seasonal offerings with traditional Swedish dishes mixed with contemporary. Will return. Yum.

Tags: Casual, Business Meals, Healthy
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
·Dined on November 2, 2017

We came here on our first date and then again on the evening of our elopement. Pläj is a a special place for us. It is the perfect place to enjoy a meal and quiet conversation. The food is superb. The Elk stands out as our favorite, but the meatballs are a close second. The staff are helpful and attentive without being intrusive. We look forward to spending anniversaries and other special occasions here in the future.

Tags: Authentic, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 1, 2017

As usual, Plaj made for an absolutely splendid preface to a wonderful evening performance at Davies Symph. Hall. The food, from start to finish, was superb, and the portions were perfect: not too much, not too little. The ambiance of this lovely dining room is so restful and relaxing -- very quiet, no tables too close together. We were at Table 12, right in front of the fireplace, with plenty of privacy on either side.
'Tis always a special occasion for us when we go there. We highly recommend Plaj as being well worth a Play :-)

Tags: Worth the Drive, Pre/post Theatre, Disabled Access, Gluten Free Options, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 31, 2017

On my previous visit this restaurant was much better. This time- was big disappointment.
The only tasty dish was buttersquash soup. The scallops (very very small portion for $35) with cauliflower and dessert - princes cake was so-so. I probably will try one more time later.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
ambience2
service3
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 29, 2017

As locals and fine dining regulars, we were blown away this time with the food. Every single item was OUTSTANDING. This restaurant deserves a look at a Michelin star. I hesitate to offer this review, as I know next time it will be harder to get a table...but they deserve it. Of special note was the potato rosti with caviar (wow!), beet and kolrabi with smoked ricotta (so original and super delicious), always of course, the herring plate, cabbage rolls (yes! veggie and delectable!) and my guy loved the chicken...really! It's pricey by the time you finish, but in comparison to others of this caliber, it's very fair.

Tags: Healthy, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Romantic
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food5
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 28, 2017

I've eaten twice now at Plaj -- the first time I was underwhelmed, especially given how very pricey it is. I've eaten out a lot in the symphony/opera district, and it is a price level above most of the herd. But since I love all things Nordic, I decided to give it another try. This time the food was simply amazing -- particularly the 1st and 2nd course dishes. The entrees were very good but didn't quite elicit the ooh's and ah's that the first two courses did. Four of us shared a single 1st course appetizer, we each had a 2nd course dish and entree (portions are so small that you really have to do this to feel like you've had a meal), with a total of 4 cocktails and 3 glasses of wine at the table -- it was basically $100 a person. It still didn't feel like it was worth quite that much... but pretty close. I will go again, but only after my pocketbook stops stinging. it very convenient for pre-symphony and opera dining, which is what I used it for both times I've been there. I would single out the gravlox, the mussels, the elk tartar, and especially the roraka (potato pancakes) with caviar as among the finest dishes I've ever tasted. I wanted to go vegetarian with my entree, and they had a cabbage roll with lingonberries -- it was far too tangy to stand alone as an entree, I thought. Of the entrees, the pork cheeks got the highest reviews -- a truly wonderful dish. The elk entree was very good, but not amazing given its very high price.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 27, 2017

Secreted behind a hotel lobby, Plaj is one of SF’s best hidden jewels, probably because it doesn’t try to chase foodie trends or eater reviews.

The cocktails are among the best, better than most bars with mixologists. Try the Equinox for a hit of Scandinavian Summer berries, or the Swedish Garden for a bitter tinged taste of Fall.

The food is consistently good. The croquettes may be a little greasy for American palates, but it’s beautifully served. Try the pork cheeks or chicken for mains, or the Swedish meatballs for a classic comfort meal. Everything is cooked to be juicy and tender.

The ambiance is quaint and tastefully decorated with New Nordic furniture, and the seats are far apart, for privacy.

The service is brusque, even for SF, which is a contrast to the consistently gracious service you would get in Sweden, but they are never rude.

I always look forward to Plaj.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 26, 2017

My return trip to Plaj in October was every bit as good as my first trip in September. Everything takes very clean and clear. Both times I left feeling full in a really healthy not over-stuffed way.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Romantic, Bar Seating, Casual, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

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