Foreign Cinema

4.6
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6758 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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Private Dining

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What 6758 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
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
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 5 days ago
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 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Yummy! Super excellent food and service!

MS
Seattle
7 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
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 7 days ago
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.

MH
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

We came for a birthday. On the reservation I requested “center table on patio” but were seated facing a wall. Promised by Lexi that the menu would have Ruben’s name but were given generic menus. I got up to mention it and were promptly given the correct menu. Apparently they had been made just not given. Movie was supposed to be The Outsiders (a favorite) but were informed by a gracious manager that they didn’t get the film so we got Mr. Moto instead. Our waitress was pleasant but......reserved is probably the best way to put it. Food was fine but not spectacular. The “birthday cake” dessert (which we paid for) was practically inedible ....so dry and flavorless. I’ve had buttercream cakes from Safeway that were more moist. We’ve been to your wonderful establishment twice before and it was perfection. We’ve dined at Californios, Sons and Daughters, Mourad, Michael Mina, Boulevard and many others. I would’ve put your establishment in the same company before Monday night. Our experience was OK but we’ve been made to feel a lot more special for considerably less on any ordinary night. I am holding you to a higher standard because you can achieve that level of service. I expected more than an average experience.

B
San Francisco
48 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

I absolutely love this restaurant. This time I thought my pasta dish was not up to the usual standards. It wasn't as flavorful as SO MANY of the dishes I have had in the many years I have been dining here.
However, my duck prosciutto was delicious as was my husband's tuna ceviche. He loved his sea food entree. The first cup of coffee was not warm enough and before we could say anything a new cup appeared! That's service! We will return, no doubt. The service and ambiance is so much fun.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

amazingly attentive staff and delicious food

S
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience1

My wife’s birthday.
Supporting staff were nice. The service was great.
Ambience was perfect. The colours and decoration was unique.

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience2

Rude and not very courteous management

MS
Miami
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2019
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 on November 15, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

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

SI
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2019
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.

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