Foreign Cinema

4.6
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6729 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Californian
Foreign Cinema is a one of a kind, nationally acclaimed restaurant combining independent films with California-Mediterranean cooking. Enjoy an airy yet chic setting, complete with indoor dining room with a fireplace, outdoor courtyard, mezzanine, gallery curated by Modernism & full bar in the main dining room. There is also a great cocktail bar, Laszlo, as you enter from Mission Street.
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What 6729 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
4.6
food
4.3
service
4.7
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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TC
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall3food3service5ambience4

Disappointed that the food quality has deteriorated. Fish was overcooked, French fries was soggy and chicken was dry.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

amazingly attentive staff and delicious food

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall1food2service1ambience2

Rude and not very courteous management

MS
Miami
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall1food4service1ambience5

The manager was rude and discriminatory. We are foreigners and he claimed that we were being rude to the waitress. He decided to kick us out of the restaurant when we tried to order desert. I know this might sound like my version vs his; but he didn’t even talk to us. He just made his mind. I have never felt more discriminated in my life. Terrible experience.

IP
Perth / WA
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Chic and elegant venue. Busy but still has the relaxed and spacious fee. Food was presented well and tasted delicious!

SI
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Love the ambience and food was fantastic. Guest chef particularly great

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous dining experience...Amazing wine list....

JK
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had just an amazing meal. The food is so delicious. I even bought the new cookbook. Also, the sommelier was so helpful in deciding on a good red. We will be back soon!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My boyfriend and I were celebrating our 4 year anniversary and Foreign Cinema made it very special! I had let them know before hand through the notes section on OpenTable and when we got there we were surprised with menus that were specialized with a little note that said ‘Happy 4th Anniversary!’ The staff was super friendly and the food was delicious! When we got to dessert they gave each of us a little ‘Happy Anniversary’ card and it truly made our dinner very special. Thank you Foreign Cinema & staff!

ET
Edmonton
4 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Great atmosphere, good service, delicious food, very expensive, very small portions.

H
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall3food4service1ambience3

We enjoyed our food but were somewhat disappointed at the service. We ordered a bunch of appetizers to share and our waiter questioned me when I asked for some share plates. After our appetizers, the table was covered in crumbs and food scraps and the waiter starting putting out new cutlery without first cleaning off the table. We had to ask to have it cleaned off.

JT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best Tiramisu i've ever had! Will definitely come back again.

AM
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was our first time visiting Foreign Cinema and we absolutely loved it! The food was amazing, the pork chop and fried chicken...so good. Cannot wait to go again~

ED
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience4

This place has been a go-to when thinking about a great quality meal in the Mission. It’s been a few years since I’ve been, and I was disappointed to see that though the level of service can only be described as formal, we had several missed moments throughout the meal.

We asked for bread 3 times before giving up on the prospect entirely, and the seared tuna dish was ice cold at the table.

I wish I could say this place has aged gracefully, but I’d rather go to a handful of other restaurants instead of FC now.

LG
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Celebrating my son’s birthday

KG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

I made reservations for my significant others 40th birthday! We both had never been so it was the perfect opportunity. We arrived 20 mins before our reservation and were seated immediately! I requested to be seated outside where the movie was playing to get the full experience. It was a perfect night, a little wind, but the outside heat lamps helped keep us warm as well as our drinks! Once seated, we were brought waters and menus. We decided on our drinks, Call me by Your name and the whiskey of the week. Probably the only negative of the night was how long it took for our waiter to come back to take our order. Our Urban Picnic selection was the aromatic truffled brandade, very good super rich, they brought this out 2nd. We picked the Halibut ceviche in the premieres section of the menu, this was brought out 1st and was DELICIOUS! So good I could of had another serving! For our features (entrees) I picked the Four peppercorn duck breast and Akaushi steak for my BF. I really wanted to try the Madras curry sesame fried chicken, we will be back for that. For dessert, we shared the Valrhona chocolate pot de creme, they brought this out with a candle for babe to blow out for his birthday! All in all, a great meal, good value, we would definitely come back to try more dishes!

JM
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience4

I never give bad reviews but we were so disappointed with our entire experience. Our server was terrible and inattentive. Everything we ordered tasted like it had way too much cumin in it. It was just a bad choice for our one night in San Fran

J
Denver
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The baked cheese appetizer was INCREDIBLY delicious. The cheesy pasta was also delicious. I didn’t love the curried fried chicken, but my friend did. We ordered affogato (espresso over ice cream) but the espresso was way too bitter. I am an avid coffee and espresso drinker. I love a bitter cuppa. This espresso was extremely bitter, and it wasn’t pleasant.

Everything else about the experience was great. The ambiance, the service, the wine, etc. Such a cool place. However, I prefer it for brunch as opposed to dinner.

JS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Super special evening celebrating my husband's birthday Great food, service and ambiance!

BA
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

The meal was delicious, food was very creative and not something you’d normally come across. Only downside was the service was a bit slow.

LU
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was spectacular. Very unique and delicious. I was there with friends who had never been and they were very impressed with the entire experience. They were very accommodating.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall3food5service3ambience5

Slows waiter but not horrible

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Good food and great service.

KM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I always enjoy Foreign Cinema! Beautiful environment, great foods and great drinks!

N
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2019
Overall2food4service2ambience2

It’s important to note that the food is, honestly, good. That said, the overall experience warrants a 2 star review.

I have been twice now - the first time was poor enough for me to question returning, but it’s where I had my first date with my girlfriend, and so the sentimentality encouraged me to return.

While the food is good, the portions are very small. The service was, both times, truly terrible. It took us 30 minutes to get a glass of water. I requested they print special menus for us (a seemingly easy ask given they print new menus daily based on the movie they are screening). It was supposed to say “Happy Anniversary Name and Name.” They came out saying “Happy 1th Anniversary.” Yes, you read that right - 1th. The service was then rushed and though we waited 40 minutes to order our food and ordered three courses, we were basically pushed out the door in 1:20 total.

I will never return. Disappointing given how good the food is....

C
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall2food5service1ambience3

Came together for a friend's surprise birthday dinner. Told the waiter and in my reservation note that we'd like to have a birthday cake after dinner. The waiter that served us was rude and unhelpful the entire time. We tried to ask questions about the food and was given rude remarks from the very beginning. Made each interaction with the waiter really uncomfortable. Also, after we were finished with our entrees, the waiter gave us dessert menus where I had to order the birthday cake in front of the birthday person, thus ruining that part of the night as well. When the cake finally came out, they gave it to the wrong person. Really ruined the celebration aspect and a part of the night.

b
San Francisco
31 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always, creative fresh cuisine with exceptional service. Beautiful dining areas.
This is a very special experience. Don't miss the chicken hash and the citrus omelette at brunch.
The cocktails change with the seasons; they're always great.
Thank you to the FC team for another truly memorable dining experience!

WF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience4

I've dined at Foreign Cinema many times over the years and have always loved the place but my recent visit was disappointing. The appetiser of smoked salmon was good but came with a paltry amount of toast; our waiter happily brought more but perhaps it would have been better to serve it with more to begin with? I ordered a trofie pasta with nettles and squash which lacked flavour and didn't improve much with the addition of parmesan. My partner's fried chicken was excellent however. Overall the service was fine but not particularly friendly or welcoming. I came away feeling like I wouldn't be rushing back anytime soon. It just felt a bit like they weren't trying that hard anymore.

DS
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience5

The pros: excellent ambiance, pleasant service staff (particularly the bartenders), well-crafted cocktails, and a nice selection of wines.

The cons: The quality of the food was disappointing for the price point; flavors were not well developed, the sauces for both of our entrees were extremely watery, sides/veggies were plated in large/uneven chunks, seafood had a distinct taste of coolant, and the kitchen neglected to adjust one of our meals to accommodate a dietary restriction (celiac/gluten free).

Overall, our experience did not match our expectations given all of the hype!

C
San Francisco
31 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food. They are busy and the service felt a little rushed. Look forward to returning soon. Best pork chop ever and the fruit crumble was sensational.

RW
San Francisco
46 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food at a moderate price. Friendly and attentive service.

CP
Orange County
7 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the food and ambiance .

MB
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Still one of the best 'special occasion' restaurants in SF. Noisy, but great food, service and atmosphere.

D
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

AMAZING food! Great atmosphere. Great service.

Would definitely recommend!

G
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Small portions, poor presentation, flavors bland

KB
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome flavors and spot to meet up with an out of town friend.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Visiting from out of town and wanted to check this place out. Overall was fantastic. Food was a bit unexciting but perfectly cooked and enjoyable.

AN
Miami
4 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

It was a great venue for outdoor seating with lights. Their food is great to share and the cocktails are great. I would recommend for a date or a special occasion since the movie in the background and the overall venue is really special.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Dishes were good, but uninspired at this price point. Pan fried oyster dish Plating/presentation was also lacking spirit and creativity. Will go back, but I do expect more from Foreign Cinema.

LS
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall3food2service5ambience4

I ate here a decade ago and recall loving every dish. My husband & I had a rare date night and I thought- what a wonderful treat. I now regret that decision in a City with so many wonderful dining experiences. Service was outstanding. Food was lacking flavor and nothing on the menu really jumped out unfortunately. We started with the baked goat cheese. It was fine but nothing interesting. We both had steak - 2 different ways and both of us were left disappointed. I doubt we will go back.

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