PLAJ

4.6
1747 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 1747 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
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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JB
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

The food was pretty great. However when we arrived most of the diners around us were freaking out at the wait staff. Service was bad

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OG
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 4

This was a disappointment. Our recollection from a previous visit was more positive. The service was very slow---it appears that they need to augment their waitstaff. I had the meatballs, which were inferior compared to what I remember from my last time there. My guest had the duck breast, which was very nicely done (medium rare) but was unpleasantly salty. The corn bisque is unique in my experience and extraordinarily tasty and tangy. Both food and wine are overpriced.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Family occasion

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JF
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Plaj exceeded our expectations. We started with a couple of creative cocktails and then had the herring three ways, roast potato pancakes and elk. Everything was wonderful and the service was also excellent. It's expensive, so may not be for everyone, but we'll go back for special occasions.

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JL
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The restaurant is right under the performance arts center parking garage and within a short walking distance to the opera house and Davies Symphony Hall. Location is great, and the food, is BETTER! Very thoughtful dishes, complex flavors but still remains a chic simplicity of its Scandinavian origin. The cocktails are great too, very enjoyable. The poached lobster was a surprise, the duckbrest is succulent and rich, and the elk is perfectly done with a rustic Scandinavian touch to it. Lovely place for pre show dinner, but honestly I would go there every day if I can since I heard they change the menu every month.

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h
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 1

I felt the service was fair to poor. Items were forgotten and price for the what we got was too high.
Overall, I do not think it was worth the almost $250 for 3 people.

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DS
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We had an enjoyable evening with dinner before the symphony at Plaj. Each of us had a different item on the menu and all the dishes were well received. Among the four of us we had a seared halibut, a vegetarian dish with potato, onion and sunchoke, and a seared duck breast, plus the traditional meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam. We thoroughly savored the shared appetizers of a green salad with thin slices of Asian apple-pear and candied walnuts and a prawn and toasted brioche small plate.
The restaurant very graciously held our reservation for almost 15 minutes since we were late due to heavy traffic.
Kudos to Plaj!

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MS
Pittsburgh
3 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We ate at Plaj before the Opera, and it was a really nice fine dining experience. The food was cooked to perfection, but also seasonal and comfortable.

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G
San Francisco
59 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I just got back from a trip to Scandinavia, and this food took me right back. The kohlrabi and beets were a standout, as was the halibut. Everything was very good. The princess cake was disappointing. The restaurant design was a little weird, dark (though enough light to read the menu) with some bad furniture choices. I will go back for the food.

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s
San Francisco
48 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

So nice to be able to carry on a conversation while dining...lovely ambience and the food is good too.

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SL
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Plaj is my first choice restaurant when I want to meet friends or family and actually be able to speak with them in a quiet intimate setting, like being at home but with much better food and drink than has graced my table (and no pesky dishes to clean). From the cocktails to the Swedish pancakes (when on the menu) to the superb pickled herring (which I could eat for dinner by itself) to the luscious Swedish meatballs (live nuggets of yumminess, not at all like the rocks Ikea has) and the wonderful small plates, Plaj is the best. Not the most expensive place in the Civic Center area nor the cheapest. Just delicious food well cooked and presented. Yummy

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Good food yet not exceptional. Service slow and seems to be bothered by ‘other’ things. Quite and comfortable. A bit pricey for the value you get, but a good option for the area (Opera / Hayes valley)

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D
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful, comfortable restaurant space. Perfect, friendly, knowledgable, professional service. An astonishingly creative menu. This is Scandinavian-inspired food taken to surprisingly high levels. The chef is brilliant. Excellent, very well curated, wine list. The house-made aquavit was a very nice treat as well. This is a sensational restaurant, perfect for a special occasion, especially before going to the opera.

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C
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went there for our 10th year anniversary. The food was delicious and the service was great.

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M
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Definitely an interesting menu! Tasty food and great drinks. A hidden gem. Something unusual. The ambiance is relaxed and classy. Great place for conversation

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B
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Love this place. Very busy before symphony and opera performances. Service is generally good, may vary by server. Good vegetarian options. Usually not full of hipsters - hope it stays that way.

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JJ
Miami
4 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

My husband and I love the place and the food is outstanding and very creative with uncommon ingredients.. very recomended, we definitely will comeback

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JL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

We have to more than 30 minutes even we had opentable booking.

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s
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I took my wife here for our second anniversary and we both really enjoyed it. We had a good selection of starters—including an amazing herring plate—and we're already in love with the food before we started on our mains. She had the house-specialty Swedish Meatballs, and I had the Elk; both were beyond any expectations. Wonderful food; comfortable room; great service. We'll be back soon!

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s
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

Group of 6. We spent a lot of money there - ordered several bottles of wine and practically every dish on the menu. The food was outstanding, but we were hoping for better service. The waitstaff was a bit cold at first, though a server later in the evening was nicer and much more helpful.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Birthday date. Menu is interesting and creative. Food is absolutely excellent. We loved every dish so much We were willing to experiment with foods we had never tried before. Every plate is absolute perfection.

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OT
San Francisco
155 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is unique in its cuisine and fabulous in the delivery, service and ambiance. This was our third but definitely not last visit.

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DL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

PLAJ is an outstanding restaurant in all respects but one. It was so noisy on Thursday at a 6:00 pm dinner that it was hard to converse with my friend. Perhaps one should avoid times that precede surrounding theater events.

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OT
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and atmosphere

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KD
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 1ambience 2

Very authentic Swedish persuasion food prepared to perfection.
Cozy atmosphere, interesting interior design & easy to hear conversations.
Unfortunately, our waitstaff person put a huge damper on our dining experience...very abrupt, non-engaging, impatient...demonstrating an unpleasant & cynical attitude.
Our dining occasion was a 50th Wedding Anniversary & I was quickly becoming very embarrassed to have
brought my Swedish Family to dine here, due to the uncomfortable atmosphere being created by
the service of our waitstaff person.
Fortunately, other servers were much more professional and pleasant.

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B
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came because of the Swedish menu. Sooo de-li-cious! Have been here before and knew
we would have a wonderful dining experience.

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b
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We love the quiet elegant atmosphere of Plaj
and also the Scandinavian menu. The cocktails are outstanding.

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C
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Something different and worth trying. I can't say I have much knowledge or experience with Swedish food but the waiter was patient and took time to explain dishes. All the recommended dishes were beautiful and delicious.

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L
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Elegant, tasty, service is professional and well informed about what the kitchen has to offer. Love going and will be back soon!

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CT
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite restaurant in San Francisco. The food is so fresh and the flavors really complement the food. Chef is very creative, I've been here multiple times with different dishes on the menue and I've never been disappointed. Highly recommend.

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OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 3

Food/drinks were amazing, service was ok. Definitely will be back for the food.

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AM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had an amazing meal - the herring, summer salad and duck were so delicious. The setting was cozy and inviting.

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GC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Excellent Swedish food near Symphony and Opera for a quick and excellent meal. Service was very fast getting the meal in 10 minutes when we only had 30 minutes before the event.

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i
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

food is always excellent and the menu is extremely interesting

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E
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Dined here just after a three week vacation in Scandinavia. Pläj features a very authentic high end Scandinavian cuisine, with outstanding service in a nice setting.

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RM
Denver
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I've dined at Plaj several times and it has always triumphed. I've brought my boyfriend's family here before -- they're of Norwegian descent -- and everything was amazed at the authentic nature of the menu. This time I had brought an assortment of friends before the Symphony and we all had a lovely time. Our server was exquisite and so was the food.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great foid

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GW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food at Plaj is delicious, great seafood and wine selection. You feel like you are visiting Scandanvia and the interior is very warm and intimate. Recommend for a date. The gin cocktail is also delicious.

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m
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Been golng to Plaj for a couple years now. We love their take on Scandinavian food, and their cocktails are delicious! Very fresh ingredients and unique flavors.

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OT
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Lovely service, imaginative menu. We had a very nice experience. Service was attentive but not oppressive. We let them know we were attending the symphony and they made sure to get us out in time without seeming rushed.

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