Besharam

4.4
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95 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Indian

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Good Vegetarian Options
In July 2019, Chef Heena and Paresh re-launched Besharam, after taking on full-ownership of the restaurant. Chef Heena has reclaimed her restaurant with a stronger Besharam attitude, dishes, and cocktails to show the community her creativity and technical culinary expertise. Grounded in traditional Gujarati food, the dishes embody culture, hospitality, and bold flavors served family style, with a utensil optional approach.

We are a Chef-driven restaurant. This phrase is used often, so what do we mean when we use that here at Besharam? The food curated by Chef Heena is a reflection of her journey and struggles that brought her here. Rather than dilute our food for certain palates, each dish reflects a story, an experience, a place (or several.) It's her mother’s kitchen and Mumbai streets. It's California produce and the foods she invented for her children’s immigrant lives. As the Chef says “I’m not your mom, so don’t expect me to cook like her.”
What 95 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Quiet
76% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Here for my girlfriend’s birthday. The host was amazing and so was the food and service.

IO
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Sadly, as much as I believe in the story of this place -- and love Indian food and cocktails -- I just can't give Besharam top marks. The service was sweet and on-point, ambiance is nice, good vibes, that's all good. However, I'm ultimately there for the food, and it was a very uneven experience. My friend and I shared an app, two large plates, and a rice. The appetizer was dismal and nearly inedible: over-grilled squash and asparagus with WAY too much spice-- I can handle some spice, but stand-alone and without any other compliment to the flavor, it didn't work. (Side note: char can add flavor but is actually not good for you, so I don't love it that the veggies were covered in black char... this dish really should be entirely re-done/re-thought out.) The entrees were better: eggplant was basically Beghan Bartha, nice but not remarkable. The dill-ghee rice was tasty but greasy; a ding on value that rice is not part of eggplant serving, which would have gone better with perhaps a high-quality brown Basmati. The lamb chops were a stand out, and if the rest of the meal had been up to expectations, I'd find this place crave-worthy. We added a cilantro-mint chutney, pretty much the same "green chutney" you can get at every Indian restaurant, and while it was a perfect example of such, it shouldn't cost $3 ...another ding on the "value" side. Also had a couple cocktails, nicely made but I didn't find one I loved. I'm kind of a regular at Minnesota Street Project, so I might give Besharam another chance, at least for the lamb, but food needs improvement.

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

It was great food with good presentations and service

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Very positive, really excellent quality Indian cuisine!

ME
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a terrific neighborhood gem. We really enjoyed eating here -- lovely bar, great cocktails, beautiful table setups, great food, perfectly sized portions, it was all just a real treat. We'll be back for sure!

I
San Francisco
40 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Really good food!! Staff were like belt and attentive. It’s too bad this place is a bit off the beaten path. It would get a lot more business if it was more central in Dogpatch. We will be back!!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We will definitely go back. Yummy food, fun atmosphere and good service. All around very good experience!

AK
San Francisco
139 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Overall good, but not exceptional. Probably a better lunch place than dinner. Living in the East Bay, not likely going there anytime soon. Very friendly staff.

ST
San Francisco
163 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

Unique delish twists on Indian food - best route to go is family style. Those blue cheese cakes with fruit compote are to die for! Also the lamb!

RM
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely amazing experience and food was excellent..loved every dish we tried.

TJ
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The new menu at Besharam is absolutely fantastic. We ordered the daal which transported me back to my childhood in India. The cocktails were fantastic as well. We'd been to Besharam before and found the old menu to be predictable and over-priced. The refreshed menu has a fantastic mix of home + something new. I highly recommend trying it!

c
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing experience, great food. It’s also right by the Minnesota street art gallery with tons of great art to look at. Well worth it

BR
San Francisco
38 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food and fabulous place for lunch if you want a place quiet enough to actually talk with your guests.

MH
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best restaurants I've eaten at in a long time in Bay Area

JO
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Casual, delicious and the service was excellent.

While not a traditional Indian restaurant (you won't find the usual Naan and steamed rice on the side) the flavors were perfect, the waitstaff directed my (somewhat picky and vegetarian) kids to some excellent choices.

This place is my idea of a perfect restaurant: Great food, the perfect number of options across the meat-seafood-vegetarian spectrum and great, but casual, service.

LR
New York Area
37 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 2

Food was very good so it is a shame that the overall experience was so bad. There were 7 of us on a Tuesday night - the restaurant probably seats at most 40 people and i think there were a total of 15 people there that night (including us 7). Somehow, the service was awful.
- It took 20 minutes to get cocktails (for our 2nd round we learned to NOT get cocktails and, oddly, it took a while to get beer poured as well)
- dishes were smaller than we anticipated and came out so slowly that for 7 people the whole experience felt off - we didn't know how to order correctly and didn't get guidance
- the menus is varied and interesting - however, there are only 4 main entrees and the sauce is the same for 2 of them... they ran out of this sauce. almost shocking.
- only tiny amounts of rice and Roti were available - i think rice should be available in abundance.

Meanwhile, someone who was clearly the owner or manager was there the whole time and didn't come over and offer a friendly word or a complimentary tiny appetizer or glass of wine.
Disappointing.
Consider not going - if you go, don't show up with more than 4 people and don't show up very hungry or very thirsty.

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

Excellent food and very friendly staff. A hidden gem of a restaurant.

RS
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Great decor, plenty of parking. Alas, the food leaves a lot to be desired. I was really looking forward to it but was disappointed in both food and service.

DW
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

While the menu was interesting and the food had nice flavors, we waited way too long for the food after ordering. We also stood at the entrance for almost 10 minutes before anyone approached us and asked if we had a reservation. There was no evidence of a manager for the restaurant on site. Good food, poorly managed.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a lovely restaurant. We sampled several of the appetizers, and two of the curries. Everything was excellent, and the service and ambiance were perfect. Highly recommend.

CP
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The food was absolutely fantastic. The restaurant was a bit hectic but I think that was mostly due to the fact that people were there before a performance in the adjacent art space. It cleared out halfway through our meal and got more manageable. Service was just ok. There is a standalone bar and cocktail program for folks who just want to dip in for a drink.

S
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

They need a better music collection - portion sizes were mediocre, service was rushed - we were still eating and plates were taken away. Food was okay - can be better. Cheesecake was the best.

OT
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Food was inconsistent - some plates were incredible and some were very mediocre. Don’t miss the paneer makhani and the kachori!

JH
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great ambiance and even though this restaurant has a modern feel, the owners are so welcoming that it seems you are in their home. The vegetable samosas are among the most delicious I had in San Francisco.

SO
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food is unique, very fresh, and tasty. Do not like the fact that you have to reserve with a credit card and 48 notice to cancel, seems not appropriate for the location. Half the tables were empty when we were there, so don't feel they need to do that, think it deters people from making a reservation.

OT
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Deliciously different!

R
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is an amazing hidden gem! Went to an opening at the Minnesota Street Project and noticed that this restaurant was right next door​. Had low expectations but thought, at the very least, there are a lot of veggie options for my beloved.

We were charmed by Paresh at the door and he led us to the lone table for two at the back. Heena delivered a few of the dishes to our table herself and enchanted us with their origin stories. The Drunken Pani Puris were a delight, crunchy​ at first bite followed by a spicy explosion​. The Hella Desi Caesar was a pleasant, spicy​ surprise. The Fish Moilee was also exceptional. The Shreekhand Cheese Cake was spot on. And the Turmeric Lemonade washed it all wonderfully down.

We'll definitely be back and bring friends next time.

OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazingly delicious food and service

d
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our first visit to Besharam and we loved this place! The food was an inventive take on Indian flavors without straying too far from home style flavors. The cocktails were outstanding. It was a quiet and rainy night, so I’m guessing it gets a bit louder with a full house.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Fun, comfortable place. The lamb and cheesecake we're the standouts.

D
San Francisco
75 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We enjoyed the food. We tried a number of dished, all were good. The service was attentive and efficient. The owner's husband was friendly. It's a nice room and not too loud. We'll return. Our only complaint is the reservation policy. 48 hour notice or lose $20 per person. This seems a bit strict.

B
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best meals I've ever had. Both food and service were impeccable.

JS
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

The meal was good overall, and this place definitely has potential to be something very special, but based on this first experience I would not go back, for two reasons primarily: 1. The portions were too small for what we paid, and while the food was good, it was not good enough to justify the tiny portions. 2. The service was very slow, with one waiter for the entire restaurant. You’d think that after so many reviews have mentioned the slow service that they would do something to fix it, but they haven’t.

RB
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good experience overall. Ambiance is particularly pleasing.

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

Nice place, nice people and good food. My only issue is the requirement to give them your credit card for a $20 per person charge to hold your reservation, for a Sunday when the place was practically empty.

UK
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, California twist on classic Gujerati dishes. Wonderful service!

JY
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So glad this place is around! I've been there twice and each time was great. Food is delicious, flavorful, and full of spices. Cocktails are interesting and well balanced. Good wine list, too. Will definitely be back again.

K
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 3

"Besharam marketing" is what this place is all about. The food we were served did not look anything like the pictures on their website. The "thali" was served in a ceramic plate with food items piled on top of each other in an unappetizing arrangement. The portions were smaller and the flavors just did not live up to the hype. The mozzarella cheese kachoris were the only saving grace. Be warned.

S
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Portions are too small for party of 3 or more. With two people, you can get away with a "tasting menu" type of experience, but otherwise, the small plates are TOO small in portion to really experience if the food is tasty. I've tried it twice now, and the "thali's aren't very good, so maybe they will refresh the menu. Great one time experience, but you'll need to follow up with a second meal elsewhere.

SF
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Terrible experience. Food was not brought out at the same time, one person in our party waited 15 min to get his dish. And there was not one but four + hairs in my food, sent it back and none of us finished eating.

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