PLAJ

4.6
1823 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$31 to $50
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
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
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
Scandinavian, European, Californian
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
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.
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(415) 294-8925
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress code
Casual Dress
icon/ic_chefCreated with Sketch.
Executive chef
Roberth Sundell
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_cross_streetCreated with Sketch.
Cross street
Franklin Street
icon/ic_parking_detailsCreated with Sketch.
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 1823 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
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
OT
Sacramento
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The four of us had a wonderful dinner. The food was extraordinary and delicious. The flavors were exciting and memorable. The food was beautifully presented on wonderfully designed dishes. Service was pleasant and attentive. The entire restaurant was bustling. We sat in the back room, and the only drawback was the large party of young millennials at the adjacent table which made our conversation a bit challenging to hear. This is one of my favorite restaurants.

Report
Helpful
O
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Absolutely lovely for dinner with two friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Food was comforting and delicious but still interesting, service personable and attentive, and we were able to talk for hours. I’d definitely return and try other things on the menu!

Report
Helpful
PS
Los Angeles
31 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The holiday dinner was excellent. Our only criticism is that we ate too much.

Report
Helpful
H
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Had a great Julbord experience. Food was delicious, with nice atmosphere and good service I had a great night.

Report
Helpful
MP
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Very interesting & delicious Vegan tasting menu! Worth trying

Report
Helpful
G
Central Coast
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food! Lovely service. Highly recommended!

Report
Helpful
s
San Francisco
64 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Plaj earns my 4 stars by taking culinary creativity, consistency & execution to a higher level. To clarify context, I have given 5 stars to onky 3 restaurants on Planet Earth. -- so Plaj is way up there. If you seek delicious dining in a calm, comfortable, and convenient-to-music-&-performance setting, Plaj is a pleasure.

Report
Helpful
a
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 1

The food is good but the noise level in the back room is awful when there is a party there; something, like insulating tiles, should be done about the noise there.

Report
Helpful
AM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 2

Food was good but going out for dinner should be an experience that is just not only about the food! The wait staff is unfortunately not very personal. Nobody came to introduce him/ herself as our waiter and didn’t really ask if they could get us something to drink etc. It made you feel that they didn’t care.
Also ate our dinner with our jackets on. Not cool!

Report
Helpful
TG
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pläj should have a Michelin star.

The food is wonderful. It is interesting as well as direct (the word "simple" would be confusing) with clear flavors mixing together. The annual Julbord Christmas dinner is our family tradition.
The staff is on it, all the time. As a first-class restaurant, the price is well worth it.

Report
Helpful
EW
Singapore
4 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was very helpful and attentive which is such a plus. Food was delicious and beautifully plated. Wonderful pre-theater venue.

Report
Helpful
HT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

I've been to Plaj several times and this time was disappointed in the food. I had the crab appetizer and the duck. The crab was delicious, but the potato chips were not crisp and there was a lot of butter in the dish.
Somehow the rest of the elements didn't do the crab justice and didn't tie in that well.
I had the duck for a main, and that was very disappointing. Although it was cooked rare, as I like it, it was tough and chewy, and had very little flavor. This dish, also, was quite disjointed.
I'll be back--it is a lovely and quiet restaurant, but I certainly hope that the next time the food is as good as it has been in the past.
The service was great!

Report
Helpful
M
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

This particular dinner was a late seating event because I made the reservation late and could only reserve a 7:45 pm table for one. Eating alone is not really fun but being a cozy restaurant it was okay and the help was attentive and the food good.

Report
Helpful
MK
San Francisco
75 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a thrill to come to one of my favorite restaurants and see a VEGAN tasting menu!!! Every course was well-portioned and perfectly done, so that I did not leave the table feeling stuffed! Perfect, perfect meal!!!

Report
Helpful
JW
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was out of this world good! The seating was a little cramped. I would definitely recommend this restaurant.

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 3

We booked for a birthday celebration. A three-top. We were unfortunately seated next to a two-top where one of the women was photographing every dish that came to the table with an off-camera very bright light. As if that wasn’t enough to ruin your meal, she kept invading our conversation. She revealed that she was the marketing consultant for the restaurant in SF and Petaluma, and a food blogger. This made it truly unconscionable that she was hauling out this obnoxious light all the time — once “helping” my friend take a picture of her food by shining her bright light at it, casting a shadow—I commented fairly quietly that it wasn’t the right color temperature (I’m a photographer—I make pictures in restaurants, but I prefer to replicate the mood of the room)...she heard me and MOCKED WHAT I SAID, parroting back, “Oh well what do I know, I’m just a food blogger, but if it’s not the right color temperature.” Yeah. I’m not kidding. It was literally the least pleasant dining experience I can remember. And this woman had told customers she represents the restaurant?!

The food was mostly good, but frankly, I can’t reconcile this experience with a desire to ever return.

I managed to shoot a picture of her one of the dozen times she hauled out her rig—hopefully I can attach it here.

Report
Helpful
E
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had the most wonderful recent visit to PLAJ. I have been quite a few times and each time I fall more and more in love with this Hayes Valley gem. This visit I went with a friend and we tried the brand NEW Vegan Tasting menu which was divine (I'm not even a vegan but was curious about it and loved it). The vegan menu was super creative with a beautiful presentation and a great mixture of flavors and unique dishes such as Faux Gras (which I think I may prefer to the real Foie Gras), grains, vegetables and more yumminess. Vegans are sure to love this as are meat eaters like me wanting something lighter yet full of flavor.

The service was great and our server was super attentive and also extremely knowledgeable about the new vegan menu and their current menu of food, wine & drinks. We started with delicious craft cocktails (which PLAJ does so so well), then had wine with our dinner.

If you're looking for a neighborhood gem in a super cozy, yet chic setting that's great for a date, dinner with friends or family, PLAJ is the spot for you. The husband and wife Owner & Chef are incredible as is their staff, their creative and delicious culinary, and cocktail menu and their great wine list!

Report
Helpful
JP
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It is always a treat to dine at Pläj. They are warm and welcoming, the food is remarkable, and it is usually not too noisy, so one can talk.

Report
Helpful
JG
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Interesting food and drinks. The Elk and the meatballs were great

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
72 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Plaj always pleases us immensely. Saturday 11/24 was no exception.
We love the chicken croquette appetizer, and always order that, although this time it was tough to pass up the duck and chicken live mousse.
One of our party had the beef cheeks main dish, another the Swedish meatballs, and a third the Muscovy duck breast. That last was a bit pricey - $38 - and we won't be ordering that again. And after ordering it done medium rare, it was rare, and not $38 worth of tasty.
The dessert, called apple pie, was spectacular! That alone was worth the price of the dinners. What a magnificent conconction, and served with buttermilk ice cream. What a treat! We recommended it to the folks at the next table, they got it, and similarly raved! Bravo, Plaj!

Report
Helpful
OC
San Francisco
79 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a lovely surprise! Thoughtful and delicious food, fun cocktails, great service. Tables are well spaced and you can have a conversation with friends without raising your voice. All the right elements for a perfect evening.

Report
Helpful
SP
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2018
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.

Report
Helpful
MH
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
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 !!

Report
Helpful
MW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
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.

Report
Helpful
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.

Report
Helpful
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!

Report
Helpful
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.

Report
Helpful
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.

Report
Helpful
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!

Report
Helpful
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.

Report
Helpful
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!

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
13 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.

Report
Helpful
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.

Report
Helpful
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.

Report
Helpful
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.

Report
Helpful
EW
Singapore
5 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.

Report
Helpful
D
San Francisco
38 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.

Report
Helpful
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

Report
Helpful
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.

Report
Helpful
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.

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
46

Tweets by PLAJ