Foreign Cinema

4.6
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6773 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 6773 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
4.4
service
4.7
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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P
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall1food5service1ambience4

We were seated and told the kitchen was closing. They brought all out at once and we felt rushed. Hard to spend 300$ on a meal when you barely browse the menu and eat everything fast.

l
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My fav place for 10’s of years. Our waiter was delightful. John, thank u for coming over to say hi. Merry Christmas to u and Gayle Lou Ann & Karen

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Loved it so much I came back with another bunch of friends two days later

TS
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great place to have a nice dinner! They gave me a personalized menu for my birthday, which was very cool. the staff was so friendly. and the good was good. will definitely come back again!

N
Seattle
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always in my top 3 favorite San Francisco restaurants. I prefer going for dinner over brunch because the ambiance is what makes it! Food never ceases to please.

H
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The hosts and servers were very friendly and helpful. We never felt neglected. The food was very good with the majority being hits and a one or two misses (duck was just ok, apple tart with sorbet was a strange pairing, probably would have been better with just vanilla ice cream). The overall bill was a bit higher priced but it’s SF, it’s the mission. The decor and ambience was great and really nice for dining. The whole place is lively and can be very loud but we were okay with that. I had dined here about 20 years ago and I am happy they have managed to evolve and stick around.

AH
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was exceptional - food, wine, service, and ambiance!

M
New York Area
185 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Just the perfect restaurant all diners are having fun and a delicious time

OT
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Wr were unaware that you cannot see the film from all of the tables, and so were disappointed to be seated inside with no view of the film . Otherwise the atmosphere was friendly and nice. Our waiter was very sweet but spoke so low, even after being told we couldn’t hear him, that it was an encumbrance. The alcohol service was a problem. It took forever for the order to be taken and another forever to get our first round. The carafe of their recommended wine took so long to arrive that we had almost finished our entrees before it was served. The food itself was wonderful!.

D
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience4

After trying for months to get a reservation here, we finally tried Foreign Cinema! The inside is well decorated with posters of movies from around the world. There are two dining areas (from what I saw) - one is where the movie is projected on the wall and another cozy area. We ordered Kobe steak, oyster soup, a pasta dish, and a cranberry dessert - they were all delicious. Service was quick. Really great date spot!

R
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Creative menu. The appetizers standout. Great for the table to share.
Quite loud. Our table of four were not able to have conversations including everyone.

KK
Portland
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food5service2ambience5

Loved the food and the atmosphere but what really disappointed with the service and reservation. The only reservation we could get was 2:30 PM. When we were sat at 2:30, we were told we needed to order our food immediately because the kitchen was closed. We felt very rushed, had to just pick a couple menu items (which were great) but didn't feel like we could order additional appetizers or take our time with eating. Would rather them not offer a 2:30 PM reservation time anymore, if that is when the kitchen closes.

AL
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall2food1service1ambience1

Food was meh. Service was meh...they shoved us in a small table in the back where there was no ambiance. Overpriced for what it was.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2019
Overall2food1service1ambience4

We went to Foreign Cinema for our 5th wedding anniversary. We had gone several years ago and really enjoyed the food and ambiance. The initial experience was great. The hostesses were welcoming, invited us to wait at the bar until our table was ready and then came and got us. Our server, however, wasn’t friendly. He didn’t say more than what we wanted to order, or ask us any additional questions. We asked for bread, and after 10 minutes, needed to ask a table busser to bring us the bread (which he did promptly). Our food, which he placed the order for at around 8:05pm, finally 8:55pm. Our server addressed the wait around 8:45pm, and said he thought he saw it coming up. Once we got the food, it was dry and not what we would be expecting for paying $30 per plate. Frankly, we were really disappointed by the whole experience and won’t likely be returning to here.

M
Nashville
14 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

The decor was too sterile. I like white, chic but after a cold, wet day, the room where we were seated was not welcoming. Overall excellent food and good service. Would definitely go again.

y
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Yummy! Super excellent food and service!

MS
Seattle
7 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food and wine we had during our dinner were great! It's a fairly popular place as well, so keep that in mind if noise level bothers you. The table set up is interesting. It was just my boyfriend and I, and we were seated at a table that was actually very close to another group. There was maybe 3-4 inches of space between our tables, and we could very easily hear each other's conversations. They seemed like a pleasant enough group, but it was kind of hard to not feel awkward being so physically close to another table.

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience2

Everything was okay but not really meeting my expectations. To begin with, they brought a dirty glass for water and the waiter wasn’t familiar with the menu which made the ordering part not really smooth... The main dishes were served about 1 hour later and the coffee came even later..

I’m not sure if they got too busy at 1:30pm but I’m unlikely to go there again tbh..

t
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Overall it was okay. The portions were pretty small for anything but the mains. Thought the waitress wasn’t that knowledgable on the menu/presentation. Also disappointed that you cant try a taste of the wine if you are about to get 2 glasses at $25 a piece.
The mains were really good once we got there - the service was pretty slow. I just cant call it awesome for how much we spent for just 2 people.

OT
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience5

My boyfriend and I were visiting San Francisco for the weekend and after a super long day of traveling this was the perfect and most romantic dinner spot. We definitely will be going back!!!

EL
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Dishes could have been more "wow" with a hint of acidity, by example. Could have been a little citrus zest over the risotto, or lemon juice over the salmon.

JM
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall3food1service1ambience4

The service was too long. We wait a lot of time for all meals, they told me I could eat my meals without gluten and I got sick :(

p
Portland
41 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Haven't been for a few years, but just as good as we remembered. Distinctive cocktails, a great selection of wines and the food! Wow. Each item was perfectly cooked, with interesting flavors and textures. Irresistible! Service was amazing as well.

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

So accommodating. Really loved the service

DB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience3

Service slow and inattentive. Items didn't come out together. Food presentation messy. Would not return.

CA
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I loved my food, thought the service was great and I could hear my friends when they talked. Who could ask for more?

AG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall4food3service3ambience5

nice and inspiring ambience, the lights and the different set was amasing

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great kids menu options!

S
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday celebration was wonderful at Foreign Cinema! Food was amazing, especially the duck. Service was friendly and professional. This was a first visit for our friends and they are planning to return for brunch!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My first time and it was amazing ! Reminded me of France ❤️

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Our waiter was super nice and the food was AMAZING

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food great. Staff very attentive. Managers remembered us and made it special.

TG
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Have not being here for a few years. All the ordered food was delicious. The granita with the candle for my wife’s birthday did not taste good. A bitter grapefruit taste. Can’t complain since it was complementary. Wished they would of asked whose birthday it was instead of just delivering the granitas onto the table. The desert of chocolate pot of crime and cheese plate came out very late. It took longer to deliver the desert than the main courses and those the desert didn’t need any cooking.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Ambiance and food was amazing, kind of small portions tho for the price. We had a tea for 2 but weren’t seated until about 2:20 then it took 45 mins for the food to come. The food and my company was so good though that it was worth the wait.

T
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall1food3service1ambience4

I took my boyfriend to Foreign Cinema for his birthday at his request. We had a reservation at 8pm but were not seated for another 30min. It then took the server and kitchen an additional OVER 2 hours to serve us our dinner. Our server gave us our snack and two appetizers all at the same time, then took at least 1 hour to give us our main course. I asked about our food with the server but it still took an unusually long time to get our food.
The server then forgot to give us a candle for the dessert we ordered despite the fact that it was marked on the reservation that it was a birthday dinner, and I reminded the server twice that we were celebrating a birthday. We watched several other tables celebrating birthdays get their birthday candles (yes, I realize it's just a candle but that's not the point). I tried for 15min trying to get the attention of ANYONE to get a candle and finally spoke with a runner who just said, "sorry" instead of notifying the server. I couldn't even get another person's attention to speak with a manager. We finally gave up and ate our dessert and paid. We left close to 11pm for our 8pm reservation, which is a ridiculously long time. As we left I stopped at the front desk and asked to speak with a manager who apologized and said he would at least comp our dessert, which he did NOT do. I've worked in the restaurant business and there were so many mistakes made throughout the entire night. We were extremely disappointed.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Overall experience was great. Ambiance was very enjoyable. Staff was on top of it. Food was on the most part good. I would recommend to friends this location for a date or a get together.

HG
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent quality food and right amount of food. Too much of anything is no good! :-)

MD
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Tremendous small plate experience very well managed by our server with great wine pairing!

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall1food4service1ambience4

Sadly, the service was terrible. It felt like we were second fiddle the entire time and we always had to proactively seek him out. Super disappointing, the terrible service outweighed the good food.

TC
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience4

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

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