PLAJ

4.6
2028 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 2028 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
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Boise
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
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 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Delicious food. Beautiful plating. Knowledgeable staff.

A
San Francisco
4 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
186 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.

SD
New England
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent suggestions made by our server. Great service.

SL
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

the food is superb, the service sublime and the drinks excellent. what else is there to say about this gem of a restaurant close to the civic center arts district and city hall? I love my dinners at plaj

AE
San Francisco
39 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love the food here and eat here every month or two but hadn’t been back this time for about 3 months. The food was even better! It is SO delicious and so creative. This time we ordered 5 of their small plates and we’re blown away by all of them, as well as the great Northern Lights desert.

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

We went prior to a concert and it was great

OT
Memphis
21 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and nice quiet ambience.

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TK
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite meals in recent memory! Food was excellent and the service at the bar from the Irish gentleman was beyond expectations. He was a delight and really made our experience even better. Highly recommended

OT
San Francisco
34 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were in PLAJ when it first opened. A short walk from the Orpheum. It capped a wonderful day in the city . Great presentation and wonderful taste sensations. Loved every bite.

s
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Interesting cuisine. Disappointed by the vegetarian fava beans dish. Dessert tasted like it was prepared a few days ago. My husband loved his meatballs dish.

K
New York Area
28 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A real gem! Perfect location for a special night out. Lovely creative blends of tastes, textures, and flavors of Sweden in cozy, elegangant space.

k
San Francisco
50 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Fresh ingredients and nicely presented with a combination of sweet and savory flavors. But some parts of the green salad were very salty - the salad was probably not adequately tossed to disperse the salt crystals - as was some parts of the main course. The service and ambience was excellent.

ND
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food. Gravelax. Vegetarian specials, truly inspired, unlike anything you have ever tried before. Great value for SF, really great for what they do. Consider paying the corkage if you are going to be ordering bottles.

A
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Love this place! Delicious food, beautiful presentation and plating, awesome cocktail menu with unusual ingredients like mustard and dill. All in all reminds me of a few great places in Copenhagen. Great cross between New Nordic and Californian!

OE
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

A very pleasant supper.

P
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a nice surprise. We had a variety of appetizers, all very good. Amazing meatballs, and a great salmon dish. Try it, you'll like it!

DW
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really enjoyable experience. All of the dishes were well executed with unique flavors.

AA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The service was exceptional. We got seated early and the waiter answered all of our nitty gritty questions about the food. The quantity of food was worth the money, however some dishes did not feel coherent although they had good individual components.

OT
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great! Get the herring!

MH
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our wedding anniversary at plaj was extraordinary. We are picky goodies that seldom get surprised. I am quite good in the kitchen and often leave nice restaurants with a feeling I could have done that myself. Plaj left me in awe. The dishes were creative and interesting. You got surprised by the presentation and the flavours were so complex you could not guess half the ingredients. These guys make swedish culinary tradition sparkle in new ways. My next time in SF will have a return to
Plaj on my list of things to do. Thanks again.

LT
1 review
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the meatballs! My brother in law, raised Swedish, thot they are most authentic! Surprisingly easy to eat the lobster, who knew? As a vegan, I really appreciate all the options. Would appreciate a vegan soup. We had fun!

OT
Greensboro
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 2

Really great menu with delicious, modern interpretations of classic Scandinavian food. 3 kinds of herring was a star. The downside was the noise level. Very loud! They need to install acoustic panels on the ceiling and around the restaurant.

JB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

It's cool that they're doing something that's not typical of all the other SF restaurants, and using hard-to-find ingredients typical of Scandinavian fare. But it is pretty expensive. Service can be a bit on the matronly/cold side. Still, I'd recommend it.

K
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious! Such a unique find.

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K
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Took my partner here for a date night and we were blown away. Lots of vegan options for us and the food was fresh, inventive, and completely different from anything we’ve had before (new to Scandinavian food!). The vegan tasting menu was under $50 for four courses which felt like a steal for the quality, and the cocktails were also outstanding. Highly recommend.

G
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Vegan tasting menu was sublime

BA
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service exemplary. We were dining pre-theater and the server timed three courses perfectly to get us out on time. Food and mixology we’re both wonderful. Especially the herring and smoked salmon. It’s the kind of food you crave later.

JH
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Order the cheese plate! Scandinavian food is worth trying for those not familiar with it.

f
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is not only the only Swedish restaurant in San Francisco, this is one of the best culinary experiences. The dishes are creative, captivating, visually stunning and thoroughly delicious!
The staff makes a point of reminding us, when the dishes are brought to the table, what it is we actually ordered, making the experience even more vibrant.
The wine list is a perfect match to the dishes without getting too esoteric. It's easy to navigate and the range of choices is very user friendly while venturing into smaller estates.
The decor and ambiance make it possible to carry a conversation (there were 6 of us) without having to strain our voice - a rarity in 90% of quality establishments.
Kudos. We'll be back, again.

j
Seattle
8 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very unique flavors. Would recommend Gravlax ap. We had beef cheeks and salmon and were quite pleased. Excellent service. One large party caused increased noise level , but suspect this would not be routine.

OT
San Francisco
43 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

This was our 5th time at Plaj and the best yet. We love its proximity to the Opera/Ballet/Symphony and the quiet, romantic ambiance. The food is eclectic, Scandinavian and delicious. The Gravlax is a winner and the best we have ever had. The Barley Porridge (risotto) was a real treat. Service is efficient albeit not overly friendly. The bar has a limited selection of liquors that is very Scandinavian centered. All in all a terrific show stop.

F
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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RB
San Francisco
121 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Not a pleasant experience. What previously was a warm and welcoming environment has turned into a cold and unpleasant experience. The food itself is pretty much the same as always, but the service was unfriendly and rude. What happened to the white linen table cloths which warmed up the room? The tables are now unpleasant looking bare wood. Some of the staff appear ruffled and unkept as they hurry through the room. One of our guests who is Swedish was aghast at the "Swedish Princess Cake" which was served in a glass jar with little if any resemblance to the real thing. I doubt if one can find any reason to return.

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