Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
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.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Scandinavian, European, Californian
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.
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Valet parking is provided for a fee through the Inn At The Opera, subject to available space.
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine
PLAJ Ratings and Reviews
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 :-)
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.
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.
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.
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.
We go to Plaj (pronounced "play") every couple of months. We've had so many exquisite dishes and only one real disappointment- the Swedish meatballs. Every other dish has been superb. Plaj really knows how to handle seafood. I'm dying to see duck on the menu again. Last Friday I ate one of the best desserts of my life there. It was called "banana cake" but the real star was the salty licorice ice cream. And Plaj's Swedish Gold cocktail is my favorite drink anywhere.
Great food and service, as always. This place never disappoints! The house-made aquavit with optional flavorings is highly recommended. Two of us each enjoyed an appetizer (herring and fish croquettes) and an entree (venison and beef cheeks), splitting a persimmon salad afterward. Almost too much to eat but we each managed a dessert (banana cake and princess cake). All delicious! Swedish food is a refreshing change from the abundance of California cuisine found everywhere.
What a pleasure to dine out at a restaurant which feels like a hidden gem for special occasion dining. Clientele appeared to be more mature and not the usual crowd one might see at say Valencia Street eateries. The menu was unique and the food was well presented. The service was friendly and professional. Elk tartare and the elk main course were standouts.
Plaj features Danish recipes and offers an excellent menu. The Diver Scallops with sunchoke, fennel, cauliflower, and seaweed butter were exceptional as was my Elderberry gimlet. The kohlrabi & beets with smoked ricotta, Sausalito watercress, burgundy truffle, and hazelnuts was pure pleasure. The service was attentive, asking if we had a timeline for the theater, concert, or ballet. We did, and were easily finished on time. I strongly recommend Plaj for a lovely evening with outstanding meal selections.
The food was great; a nice reminder of my time in Denmark several years ago. The staff was very accommodating - we were late arriving (SF traffic) but were seated quickly and still able to make a show at the Herbst Theater on time. I would definitely return at a time when we are not rushed and I can linger over my meal.
One of my go to places when I'm in the Civic Center area for concerts etc. The food and service are always excellent. I've been coming here for years and it is getting more and more expensive but I guess that's life. Had the saddle of elk and, of course, the Swedish meatballs.
Lack of service for full 10 minutes after being
Seated. 7pm so not many people yet. Once we finally got service, it was OK. Not a friendly bunch. Elk was so rare, it was hard to get down. If the Chef cooked it medium rare as advised it would have been tasty. BEAUTIFUL presentation. That was for sure. Gravlox, super thick, more like bacon. Meatballs and lingonberry good. Princess torte, when we asked about, the waitress shortly said it traditional dessert, non traditional presentation. Just ike that. It was ok, missing sponge, as chiffon is not a swedish cake. Overalk the experience and ambiance was fun.
This cuisine was a revelation as there are few northern European eateries around. The chef used herbs and grains in wonderful creative ways, from hearty bread to earthy vegetables seasoned with plants we rarely use in the U.S. Everything was fresh and flavorful. Would love to go back soon.
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