Foreign Cinema

4.6
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6602 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 6602 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
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MY
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 4

My girlfriend and I went there on a Friday night. We made a reservation and we were seated immediately. Our server came and poured us water and asked if we were ready to order. He really didn't introduce himself or even made eye contact with me. I asked if it was possible to get one of the dishes (curried chicken) that is originally fried , grilled . He said it shouldn't be a problem . I was almost done with the plate , and when I got to the thigh part I saw that the bone was still bloody with a bit of the meat still red and raw. So when I brought it to the waiter's attention, he just took the plate and walked away. For the rest of the meal he would always ask my friend if everything was good, but he never made eye contact with me. At the end , the bill came and he discounted my friend's meal, which I was surprised about because I had the raw meat. Anywho, I ended up paying $30 for raw chicken and was very dissatisfied. I will definitely not be back.

AT
Austin
8 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

My husband and I were sat at our table and waited over 20 minutes to get our drink order placed. It was so loud it was difficult to converse. Food was fabulous as described but service was absolutely terrible. Waiter Never came back to check on us or ask if we needed anything. Got check from alternate server.

EB
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

A unique and quirky dining experience. I loved the atmosphere! Staff are super friendly and accommodating. Food is good too. Would 100% recommend

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great!!!! Loved the vibe. Perfect spot for a birthday.

s
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Fantastic birthday dinner! Killer wine list and whisky flight.

MM
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 2

Nice restaurant and the table staff are excellent. But I would say the food lets it down at best average and for average food it’s well over priced. I’ve eaten in some super restaurants and this is not one I would choose again. If you are going in the evening make sure you take a jacket it’s cold when the wind is blowing as you are sitting outside.

OT
Oklahoma City
3 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at Foreign Cinema! The wine list was overly impressive, and the culinary menu seemed selected for each day. The black & white movie playing on the far wall enhances the ambiance, with drive-in speakers beside each table. We’ll definitely be back when we’re in the city again!

EJ
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 3

Go for the food, return for the service. We were blown away by the amazing dishes, but the service was quite bad. So bad, I would not return or recommend this spot based on my experience last night. Our waiter rushed us to order, we realized we had a late reservation, but she was very insistent. We asked for a sommelier to help with wine selection and waited for some time. Our waitress was very impatient and insistent we order our food prior to our wine bottle selection. So our appetizers came out a good 10 minutes prior to our wine. This is not acceptable in my book. Additionally, after we ordered our wine, our waitress came by and asked for our IDs --this was fine as we were both in our 30s but very odd. More odd, when the sommelier came with the wine opened the bottle and then asked us if we had been ID'd? We had and she says, "ok I guess I can trust you?". Once again super weird. We are flattered that they didn't believe people in their 30s, dressed up for a nice dinner -- but really? As we are eating our dinner the waitress comes by and tries to clear our plate prior to us finishing. It was apparent we were her last table and she wanted to leave. With that said, the restaurant was still quite full, and we were not taking a longer than normal time. I've worked in restaurants and dinned all over the world and the service here made me extremely sad. The restaurant needs to work on properly training its wait staff.

NP
London
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 4

Ambience was nice but I wasn’t aware that there was a separate dining room which did not have a film screen in...which we were seated in. So i’d Advise requesting exactly where you want to sit. Service was grumpy, although I think we were just unlucky with that one. I’ve had much better food for the price. Overall I think there are better places to eat for the price tag.

KP
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a wonderful night celebrating a birthday.

M
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 5

Unfortunately the food was quite bland to me and my husband. Also, we had to literally stop our server in her path to see if she had our table and if we could order something. The ambiance was great as usual, but for the price of the dishes, it seemed vastly underwhelming. I have been for dinner before and had a much better time.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to Foreign Cinema for our anniversary based on a friend’s recommendation and the restaurant did not disappoint. The food was delicious and the outdoor patio provides a unique dining experience with the lights and foreign movie playing on the back wall. Our server brought us a surprise dessert with a candle at the end of our meal to celebrate.

CM
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great evening celebrating our third wedding anniversary! We would definitely eat there again :)

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

Only observation of a negative nature was the wild range of entree portions. Two of us were more than satiated, while two of us left hungry. The salmon in particular was notably disappointing: a small piece of fish with no accompaniments at all. Same experience with appetizers: billed as good for sharing, they were not. The heirloom tomato especially: four tiny wedges of tomato and a few string beans.

D
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Mostly a hit but sometimes also a miss. We all liked our food (Duck, Chicken) except the New York Steak was disappointing. Served swimming in 1/2 inch of juice and meat was mostly on impossible to chew.

o
San Francisco
176 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Foreign Cinema is always guaranteed pleasure. Our server, Alfredo, was everything a server should be - friendly, knowledgeable, conscientious and handsome.

VD
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great evening at Foreign Cinema! Great food, great ambiance with movie playing and all around great vibe!

DF
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service is excellent! A little expensive, but worth it.

M
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Both the food and ambiance at Foreign Cinema were both great. The cocktails were surprisingly strong

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 3

Really bad service! Very rude waiters! Food looks so cheap!

OT
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was farm to table fresh and esthetically beautiful. The Bib Lettuce salad was delicate and the Marin wild salmon was amazing!

j
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The ambience was wonderful as it is special to dine al fresco without the wind! The food was superb and because we over ordered, we were able to savor our dishes the next day with just as much gusto! The wait staff and front house were also great!

M
New York Area
174 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just the best SF experience on every level . We applaud the chefs for putting the madras fried chicken back on the menu . This must be ordered ! The oysters and raw fish items are superb the smoked salmon starter is fab .. the drinks are perfect and the staff is award wining

YC
Portland
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 5

Food is always excellent as well as their beautiful outdoor patio. However, our service was slow and not very responsive. It took over 10 minutes for our server to come bring us menus after we were seated. Then did not come back for another 10 minutes to check to see if were interested in drinks or ready to order appetizers. This is not typical of this wonderful restaurant but sad how bad service can impact a meal.

MH
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Vegetarian dish was simple and very tasty. Server informed me that chef could make up other dishes if I don't find something on menu. NY steak was well worth the money. Dessert was unbelievable...not too sweet...not too rich. Servers were available but not intrusive.

AB
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sensational from start to finish. Expertly plated, powerful flavors, and excellent service. Love the natural wine selection keeping it funky!

EL
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience for a Birthday dinner.
Good food with nice flavors and perfectly cooked.
We loved the setting and service was excellent.

NZ
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My go to spot for out of towners. It's a beautiful space with an interesting and delicious menu.

OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I celebrated our anniversary and absolutely loved the whole evening. The ambience is wonderful, service is outstanding and we loved our dishes - halibut and duck. Then our waiter surprised us with happy anniversary touches during our desert. Highly recommend!!

F
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Only problem is we had to have them change our table, it was in a area where sun was on two of us and it was too hot to sit comfortably

JG
New England
2 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Brunch is fantastic. Croque madame is the best I’ve ever had. Was there for a birthday, and without even commenting a complimentary dessert was brought. Class act

j
New England
3 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

That was a really nice time! Much much better than the earlier one. Thanks!

OT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

Beautiful space, poor waitstaff, unsurprising food, overpriced.

OH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 5

Cool ambiance, terrible service, food was just okay and was super overpriced.

BC
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great spot for brunch! Took a friend that was visiting from the East Coast and she loved it - it was a sunny day so the outdoor space was really, really nice. Everything was great! We were seated right away, service was incredible, and the food was really really good. I also opted for a mimosa with grapefruit juice which I truly enjoyed.

KC
Tampa
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great food but extremely small portions for the price.

KJ
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 2

Kind of a disappointing end to my SF trip. I’m a cook and I love to go to cool restaurants and I don’t mind spending money for the experience. However, The service was really poor. After being seated by hostess, I sat for 15mins before anyone acknowledged me. I had to ask for something to be put under the table leg because it was rocking so bad. I finally got my order taken from my extremely awkward server (kept asking “did you want something” instead of normal server speak, and kind of seemed like he had gotten fired in the morning and just didn’t Care anymore). Got oysters and sparkling wine. Good wine but $15 a glass and every single oyster had shell in it so it was a bit unpleasant to eat, also was missing some of the classic garnishes (tobacco, horseradish..) which I thought was weird. Then I ordered scallop (ok tasting but, $20 for two scallops and some corn porridge) and salmon as a main (decent but nothing special $34). Then I noticed that my water glass was smeared with something from the dishwasher on one side. And I was never told that the movies are only on the terrace and only after dark (read it in a review afterwards). Their whole shtick is the movie thing and I didn't even get to watch one. Overall a pretty poor experience, I almost asked for a manager because it put me off so much. Either step up your game to match your outrageous prices or lower them and be the casual restaurant you are. There are plenty of amazing restaurants in SF. I recommend you go somewhere else.

a
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 3ambience 5

The food wasn't good at all. Tried a bunch of food which turned out to be average at best. Super overpriced for the quality of food. I left disappointed and hungry. The ambiance was amazing, however.

JG
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 3

I had to track down the server—even though he was next to our table with other guests. He did come over after I got up to get him—it had been 20 minutes...

I worked in fine dining and our waiter needs a refresher in steps of service. We still tipped him 20% —reluctantly but please address this.

b
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

overpriced but that won't stop the new city dwellers and it didn't. Busy, lively, with hit or miss menu: La Frita is a delightful appetizer of fried vegies with squash blossoms filled deliciously. Scallop entreé is overspiced for the subtle delicacy of scallops but the salmon was excellent. Apple tarte dessert was more tarte than apple and only average. Given the scale quality control may be a bit beyond the restaurant's capacity. Not quite fine dining in overall quality but they want to charge as if it is.

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