Ayala

4.3
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104 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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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 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 104 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
4.1
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Quiet
78% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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OT
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Decent food, not outstanding

CD
San Francisco
49 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Interesting menu, fresh seafood, delicious flavors, friendly service staff.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Interesting food and decor. Did not enjoy the wine recommendation to go with the seafood platter. Could do better on the wine list given that this is California.

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Good overall. Wish it has been a bit quieter as I have a bit of hearing difficulty. Food was delicious. I'd take the Bananas Foster ice cream in a different presentation any day of the week. The sandwich format doesn't do it justice.

EW
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

I went in a group of 6. All the dishes were exquisite. We had one person with food sensitivities, and they were most accommodating, adjusting the food as needed and guiding us through the menu. Awesome place if you like seafood, and the chicken was equally amazing. Excellent choice for a nice dinner.

w
London
34 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We both had the nori spaghetti and were left speechless! Amazing food and great cocktails.

H
Chicago
117 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Mediocre on all levels. Nothing bad, nothing to write home about. In a city like this, there are better options.

OT
New York Area
34 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Wonderful dinner, servers were great and we had a great bartender. Portions were on the small side so definitely order some appetizers and desserts

TL
Miami
3 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great food. Wine very expensive though.

OT
Montreal
4 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Great suggestions from the waiter and continuously checked on us. They also took our commentaries on food (chicken was over salted) and made ajustements. Dessert was phenomenal! You need to try all three especially the banana ice cream sandwich.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall1food1service4ambience3

Waited more then 15 min for seat. Menu was limited. Food was extremely disappointing given the reviews. The seafood platter was minuscule and barely fresh. The cioppino was one of the worst I ever had. The artichoke came dried with the inedible skin left on and almost no centre. The only redeeming part of dinner was the wine. Which thankfully was made by a talented winemaker and not their woeful kitchen. But they had to spoil even that by charging us more for the wine in the cheque then it was listed the menu. The sommelier deserved recognition and staff service was prompt. But the food... us$211 later before tip; left us hungry, annoyed and with an empty pocket.

KG
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

We sat in the lobby/bar area. Service was a problem because the bartender really couldn't see us but once she got us on the radar she was On It.

Plate licking cucumber salad and tomato/peach pasta sauce. Very nice grilled artichoke. Excellent vegetarian possibilities.

C
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience3

THIS IS A VERY LIMITED MENU. IF ONE DOES NOT EAT SHELLFISH, YOU ARE PRETTY MUCH RELEGATED TO ONE CHICKEN ENTREE OR ONE BEEF ENTREE. AN ATTRACTIVE SETTING BUT NOT WORTH THE MONEY.

R
Charleston
6 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Relatively new restaurant with limited items in the menu but food was delicious and the service was very attentive.

M
Toronto
7 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Food was good, service was good. But not blow your hair back.

MM
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food at Ayala in incredible—inventive, delicious, unexpected, creative! And the service is fantastic. I can't wait to go back and try other dishes (the snapper, crudo and dessert were outstanding). I also wouldn't hesitate to recommend this restaurant to locals and visitors alike!

P
Sacramento
17 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience3

After mulling over their limited wine selection, we settled on a syrah. Our server came with a bottle that had some discoloration on the foil. He indicated it was the only bottle they had, and he would make sure it's good. I was appalled as it should be my duty to taste and make sure it's a good bottle of wine. After taking the bottle away, he came back and said it was a good bottle. He proceeded to pour two glasses of wine. When we finished our dinner, we wanted to re-cork the bottle and take it with us but he said that there wasn't that much left in the bottle and took it away. I've never had sommelier service like that before. What he did with what was left in the bottle? I have no idea... drank it, I assume. LOL. There are so many good restaurants in SF that this one isn't worth another try.

K
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

The Arctic chard app was pretty bland unless you had some of the vinegar. The baked oysters were not worth it. They were good, don’t get me wrong but not worth $5 each. The peppers side was a great side dish though they came out before the entree. The mustard sauce worked great with the mild flavor of the peppers. The chef ended up sending out the English muffin and honey butter which was amazing. I haven’t had a fresh baked english muffin before so it was one of the highlights. We ended up with the wagyu beef flank and spaghettini which both were very very good. Honestly I would just do an entree and a maybe a side. I wouldn’t waste the money on the apps, they are very small and not worth the money.

KH
London
2 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Was excited to dine here with a friend from the uk but left a little underwhelmed.
The service was odd - quite slow and a bit dismissive. Food was good - oysters great and fish soup tasty.
Plenty of other options I’ve enjoyed more in sf so not sure I’d be rushing back again!

BA
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great service, the crab pasta is a must

WN
Orange County
7 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Anniversary dinner celebration started with fresh oysters and white wine that pared beautiful. Followed with heirloom tomato salad, grilled artichoke and crab pasta that was delicious and perfectly prepared. Our server made recommendations that hit the target we described and provided the right amount of attention. Our meal and wine made our evening memorable and we will be back.

B
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food great service. Happy customer.👌🏼I would definitely love to recommend it to anyone.

RA
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience3

The food is the reason to go here. Nori spaghettini with fresh Dungeness crab may be the best thing I've eaten all year. All the dishes are good; the house made honey butter with muffin, chicken pate and uni appetizers are all excellent. The atmosphere is casual, service was excellent. Appreciate the nice touch of giving us a number and leaving our bag of leftovers at the maitre de's station. Every restaurant should do this. Such a turn off when they drop your "to go" bag in the middle of your table while you're still finishing conversation and drinks.

ST
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great ambiance and the food was well prepared. Would recommend this to others.

PK
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

We were a group of four - had the English muffins (quite tasty), rhubarb tsukune (good but a little salty), baked oysters (good but overpriced at $5 a pop), Nori Spaghettini (this was superb), and the cioppino verde (quite forgettable). Portions tilted to the smaller end and it was an alright meal. I feel like you can get better in SF for this price point.

LI
Philadelphia
65 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience3

Plain atmosphere. Excellent service. Good food. Good cocktails.

NW
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was outstanding I loved the uni and spaghetti with dung ness crab. The waiter who gave us impeccable service recommended a Fennel martini which was outstanding.

K
Baltimore
6 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall5food5service4ambience5

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

OT
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience3

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

s
Miami
38 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall2food2service1ambience1

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
12 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great sea food restaurant. Highly recommend.

l
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience3

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
Overall4food4service5ambience4

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Very fashionable and tasty meal.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So delicious!!!!!

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