Ayala

4.3
77 reviews
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$30 and under
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Californian
Ayala is a modern, convivial restaurant inspired by the seafood and fresh produce of Coastal California and beyond. Nestled in the corner of Hotel G amid San Francisco’s bustling Union Square neighborhood, Ayala showcases the cuisine of Executive Chef Melissa Perfit featuring a raw bar, a selection of lightly dressed seafood, as well as creative small plates and takes on classics served in a bright, airy setting. The cocktail and martini program, curated by Julian Cox, showcases ingredients from local farms paired with unique spirits, resulting in a collection of cocktails perfectly suited to the fare. Showcasing warm hospitality and a fun, welcoming environment, Ayala is an ideal space for cocktails, date nights and group gathering alike.
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What 77 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.0
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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K
Baltimore
6 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My family and I enjoyed the food here a lot. We got: cucumber salad (really tasty), red oak salad, pate, half chicken, salad with seafood (fresh and tasty), crispy fingerling potatoes (shocked how crispy, delicious and excellent they were), and the nori spaghetti (white miso and crab --- super cozy and homey dish). Highly recommend because the food and service was excellent. We were impressed!

AT
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

REALLY impressed with the food. Loved our experience and would definitely go back :)

OT
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

Menu a bit limited. Food was very good although one dish was too salty

s
Miami
38 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

One of the best restaurants in San Francisco. Wonderful, inventive, fresh seafood in a cool environment with great service. Everything, from the arctic char appetizer to the cherry chocolate almond tart desert, was excellent, but the nori spaghettini entre by itself is worth a trip to San Francisco: OMG! Nothing like it anywhere. Seaweed pasta with bonito flakes and Dungeness crab. Don't miss this.

LM
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was very friendly and attentive. Wine list was eclectic and interesting, which I appreciate. Food was great! Loved the nori pasta with crab. Stunner for sure.

OT
London
3 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 1

Just not great - servers seem to prefer other diners and didn’t give us the same level of care or service. For example, another table ordered the same soup and the elements of the dish were explained along with some pointers on how to extract the various shellfish. This service was not offered to us at all.
They didn’t even have enough soft drinks - we ordered two diet cokes and they only had one can left, nor did they have any coffee.
From our experience, the food was average if not overly citrusy, and the service was abysmal. We struggled to see how this restaurant has received such great reviews. A real disappointment.

GD
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

While the place seems elegant, it was fairly casual. Possibly, this is because of the San Francisco culture, but I felt underdressed until I saw all of the other people were at least equally so. The wait staff were all neat, but fairly casual, too.

The food was excellent in quality, both in display and flavor.

The service was better.

R
San Diego
11 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great sea food restaurant. Highly recommend.

l
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

We found the menu difficult to understand (too hip and trendy to figure out most dishes) and expensive ($12 for a side of potatoes, really?!). Service was spotty with drinks brought to wrong persons and multiple servers attending us. Not going to be returning anytime soon.

A
Kansas City
2 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Attentive informed service, very personable and professional. Great spot for a date or special occasion. Ridiculously good butter

r
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have a ton of food allergies and they were able to accommodate them graciously without making me feel like a burden. Such a great meal!

OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very fashionable and tasty meal.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So delicious!!!!!

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CT
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My friend and I went for an early dinner and enjoyed our Heirloom tomatoes and Pasta! Excellent service as well!
Thanks for a wonderful experience!

MM
Philadelphia
27 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Inventive, flavorful food attractively presented. We especially liked the nori spaghettini, which the server said was their most popular item (no surprise there). The service was cordially and attentive, without being overbearing. The 1960s pop background music seemed out of place and distracting.

d
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Exceptional food and excellent service all around very memorable and delicious evening. Highly recommend for dates or get-togethers where amazing food matters.

L
Las Vegas
17 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant. Fish was amazing as was everything on the menu. For San Fran the price was very reasonable. If in the area don’t miss Ayala
Dave our server was terrific

CW
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Our server was amazing! It was hard to pick a favorite dish, but if I went back I would get ALL the appetizers, small plates and the steak!

L
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

Food was great service not so good we had to keep asking for a server to come back and take our order

OT
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The red snapper blew me away -- I didn't even know fish could taste like that!

J
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Had a great anniversary dinner here with my wife. The food and service was top notch, however the atmosphere would be better suited for a group as the space is open and not as "cozy" as you may want for a romantic dinner.
But all in all it was great and I would definitely recommend and go back.

w
New York Area
39 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

Very difficult menu ambiance is poor food is just ok

J
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

All of the food was fresh and delish!!

MN
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 1

It is a shame that the ambiance is so horrible. The food was spectacular but sitting under bright lights with pipes and stains overhead (and this wasn’t industrial chic pipes) ruined the experience. The space is reminiscent of an institutional cafeteria. The service was good and they did turn the lights down eventually which helped. The nori pasta is excellent as were the salads and the crudo. We didn’t stay for dessert,it was just too depressing. Sorry!

D
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

One word: Spaghettini.

Chef Perfit is a master! In a sea of Union Square restaurants, Ayala stands apart. They have redefined what one would expect from a “hotel restaurant.” Truly fantastic.

RG
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 1

This is one strange place. The menu was very confusing and we needed to ask extensive questions before we could understand it. The food at best was average and it was very over priced. We would never return.

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Amazing cucumber and avocado salad and crab pasta for entree. I would go back for this dinner anytime.. sooo good!! Short staffed so service was slow. Server was apologetic and very nice.

A
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

I usually love the biscuits, but they were soggy this time around : /

IR
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

I think the restaurant for value is overrated. The food came out slow. Ambience is ok..

OT
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

スタッフの方の対応が良かったです。シーフード料理全般は日本人の口に合います。

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BS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

Service was awful. We asked them to bring out food quickly for one of our guests as she was going out to the airport.

They agreed and then brought it out after our so she couldn’t even eat.

Manager was nice about comping the meal but the server was rude and abrasive. Food was also not that great.

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

Great food n drinks. Friendly staff

AM
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on June 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

The spaghettini with seafood was amazing. The cocktails were good, but nothing too impressive.

OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great cocktails and seafood

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

Food and service was excellent. We would definitely go back again.

Only reason I did not rate a 5 is because the menu on the website has been changed quite a bit and the items we wanted to order either were no longer on the menu (bone marrow, hanger steak) or had the price increased significantly (seafood platter from $38 to $54).

c
San Francisco
159 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We arrived before the restaurant actually opened but the hostess welcomed us in from the wind. She seated us in a nice corner. We enjoyed these very nicely prepared and presented dishes from the seafood oriented menu: plump baked oysters; cioppino verde in a green tomatillo broth filled with fresh shellfish main staged by a giant lobster claw; and the nori spaghettini with crab - my favorite dish of the night. Ended the meal with their ice cream sandwich flavored with cardamom which left a little grit in the ice cream, not necessarily bad but would rather have plain vanilla.
Our server was kind and attentive.

SQ
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Great seafood and nice service, though I found it over priced. I had the Shrimp Louie Salad, a glass of wine and some oysters and my order was over $100. It was delicious but that seems over the top.

QB
Los Angeles
112 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Limited menu. Best thing was the oysters. I would have also ordered lobster from the raw bar but they refused to serve it with drawn butter (I had it that way next night at Wayfarers Tavern), they had only a couple of Chardonnays & all were stainless style (again Wayfarers had s whole page of oaked to choose from) which is weird for a seafood centric place. We ended up ordering a Spanish ted as the suggested Pinot was sweet! The fingerling potatoes were delicious but definitely NOT fingerlings, just regular smashed potatoes. The recommended English muffins have no place on the menu except to fill u up & the honey butter didn’t taste of honey at all. Red snapper is served whole & deep fried, it was dry even w/the broth poured over. The crab & shrimp cob had no crab & was just clunky & difficult. Desert didn’t appeal at all so all in all not going to return-too many good places better than this n SF. Our waiter was very nice & attentive but management made it clear our wine taste was offensive to him, how rude!

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is fantastic. Best meal in San Francisco!

M
Bristol
12 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Food was good, service was good but overpriced for what it delivers

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