Gibson

4.4
222 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Gibson brings a new cocktail and dining experience to San Francisco. Located in the Hotel Bijou in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district—just a half-block from the Powell Street BART station—Gibson combines elegant and exceptional cocktails with a thoughtful menu subtly influenced by smoke, live fire. The casual yet refined bar and restaurant are designed to encourage sharing, community and conviviality.

No pretense, just a great time.
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Mon - Sat 5:30PM - 8:30PM

What 222 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
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Quiet
71% 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

Great food, great service!

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

Had a great tasting menu dinner. Beyond met expectations. Highly satisfied. Great portions.

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H
Sacramento
31 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

It is small plates, which you are encouraged to share. However, none of the dishes complement each other - the menu is disjointed and not cohesive. We had a light melon salad accompanied with a heavy bread and a rich, gooey melted cheese - the flavors and textures fought and the experience was very unpleasant. The manager/captain was uninterested in us or our existence (in a very empty dining room). They were out of three bottles of wine I attempted to order, then tried to up sale a wine 30% higher. The duck was so tough we had to ask for steak knives, and even those were so dull you could let a baby play with them. The chef brought out one of the dishes, and he was so proud of his creation. He may have some creativity and skill, but with the incoherent menu, the rudeness of some of the staff, and the unevenness of the quality of food, it is not a place I would recommend or ever go to again.

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CB
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A meticulously prepared meal! Every detail reflected the chef’s commitment to precision. Unique dishes one would never think to prepare at home. Seasonal foods, menus must change frequently. Beyond the inventive and high quality ingredients, service was extraordinary. We only had an hour to eat in order to get to theatre. Kitchen was beautifully managed and we were out exactly on time without feeling rushed. Chef even attended our table and recommended two exquisite wines which paired perfectly with our entreés. Dining room is Art Deco inspired but minimalist. Kitchen is open to dining area and spotless stainless steel; watching food prep was an added benefit to a table at the back of the room!

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M
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Great meal. Pace of service seemed a little slow but they were very intensive to making sure we had drinks etc. Food was great. Outside versus inside is night and day. We made the comment if this restaurant was located inside financial district would be full with a line everyday.

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NN
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

We tried this restaurant because it is near the Golden Gate Theatre and near parking. And we were pleasantly surprised. They really care about fresh ingredients, and making food flavorable. The servers were so kind and and helpful, and knew the menu well. Really the only downside was the Tenderloin neighborhood. I would not feel good going there as a single woman. But walking with others was fine. We'll go there again.

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f
Savannah
6 reviews
Dined on June 24, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

My wife daughter and I were visiting the city and decided to book this place. We booked on opentable. Showed up and the place was closed. The people at the hotel front desk said it’s closed for renovations. They were very indifferent and uninterested. There’s no signage or anything just the place was dark. We ended up walking g to find another steakhouse to eat. Never again!!! Why they never posted or notify that they’re closed

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A
Salt Lake City
68 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Gibson is a welcomed addition for pre- or post-theater dining. We loved the cocktails and the food. The service, however, didn't live up to our expectations. Our server was fairly clueless. We will absolutely give Gibson another try though in hopes that they'll continue developing their waitstaff.

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d
Salt Lake City
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 1

The ambiance is similar to a courtyard Marriott breakfast...the wait staff was courteous but really didn’t know how to serve a $95 tasting menu...the food was good just not phenomenal....I think the dessert was definitely the worst- tiny scoop of ice cream with a tiny cornbread that appears and tasted like they were bought at local Safeway, with strawberry...so disappointing. For $95 pp there are so many restaurants we could have, should have...

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CG
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

We had previously had dinner here and loved it! We came back for a second visit and were disappointed!
Food was still quite good, but not exceptional. Service was only just OK. Our food was served in an order that suited the restaurant and not how we ordered it. Our server was pleasant but was covering too many tables and was often absent. Wine selection was limited and the price of everything was excessive.
All in all, we will probably not return so readily.

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AT
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Super disappointed. Food was very mediocre and overpriced for what it is. The dessert for example- olive cake ($11), literally tasted as if it was a day old from a train station (non-European ones) coffee shop. For $39 we got 3 diver scallops that was over cooked, if we weren't at a hurry to watch a show, I would have sent it back and asked to talked to the GM. Services was also very meh especially given how slow the restaurant was, it seems like only one server was working- he was the only who remember to give us water and bring us water when we asked for it. The forgot to give us spoons for dessert, we had to go get a spoon ourselves. We ordered 5 things and the billed came out to over $160 for 2 people. I think I could have cooked better myself. Can't recommend and would never return. The restaurant decor is super cute tho, what a shame.

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m
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We decided to dine at the bar and had the tasting menu. They were very flexible with modifying the menu for vegetarian diners and the service was wonderful.

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OT
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food - creative, quality ingredients, fresh approach. Lovely cocktails and desserts.

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OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great as was the service.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfection! A must when in SF.

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CA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

While the food was quite good, the service was surprisingly awful. We had a 8:00 pm reservation and arrived on time. The server led us to our table and left, without a word. We sat there for probably 15 minutes, without anyone asking us if we wanted a drink or anything. The server finally returned to ask us what we wanted to order, and we said we would like the tasting menu. He asked several times if we wanted the full tasting menu, and we said yes. Then finally before he left, he said, by the way the scallops on the tasting menu will be replaced by the salmon, we just sold out. After all the food was served, we waited for another 15 minutes or so before desserts arrived. And when we finally finished dinner at 10, our server was nowhere to be found, and I had to go to the bar and ask for the check. For a nice dinner, the service was well below par.

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SF
1 review
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great up-and-coming spot. Worth a visit, nice decor.

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L
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 2

While the wait staff was terrific, and the presentation beautiful - the prices were way out of whack for the tiny meals delivered. The food was good, but the choices very limited.

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s
San Francisco
51 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

I suggest taking a taxi, Lyft or Uber to the venue, as you will have to walk a gauntlet of street people who might scare some folks. The restaurant is inside the Hotel Bijou, and it is a gem. When we first arrived, it was freezing. We were first seated under an air conditioning vent, and then moved, but it was still cold. When he mentioned this to the waiter, I think he had the temperature turned up, because by meal's end, it was comfortable. The flavors of the food were wonderful. We shared the roasted asparagus, and they kindly split it for us in separate bowls. It was delicious. Their house made sour dough mini loaf, with house cured butter ($5) was excellent, if not up to the quality of Tartine's bread. My wife had the scallops which were beautifully cooked ($39). My King salmon ($35) was moist throughout with excellent flavor and texture. It was servedon top of a broth they called green curry. It tasted wonderful. The scallops and salmon were truly ala carte, and it was just not enough food for the money. We each had a glass of pinot noir, at $13 which was a generous pour, and not too fruity. My only complaint is that I came away hungyy, and the bill before tip was $140. The waiter was charming and the service was impeccable. The waiter said they change the menue often. IF THE ENTREES HAD MAYBE A VEGETABLE OR A SMALL SERVIING OF STARCH, I WOULD HAVE RATED THIS A TEN. It's worth a visit just for the wonderful flavors.

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CM
Portland
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had been wanting to go for some time and finally made it. It was well worth the wait. Gibson is an amazing collection of eclectic treats created by Chef Ian.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very friendly and welcoming. Very tasty food.

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MM
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Music selections made the atmosphere very cheap. They also need to change the interior to more contemporary especially because the surrounding sketchy neighborhood. They need "wow" effect once open the door.

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s
San Francisco
68 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I recommend the tasting menu. It had total of 16 different items including two sides for the entree. Food presentation was good overall. Each dish had layered of flavors and I enjoyed every bite. Service was great. We were served by different servers but they did not mishandle anything. I would go back.

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G
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My friend and I are always on the lookout for interesting restaurants within walking distance of San Francisco’s theatre district. I came across Gibson on Google Maps quite by accident when I noted that an old standby of ours on Mason St, farmerbrown, had closed permanently.

The host told us that Gibson has been operating since late 2017, part of a beautiful renovation of the Hotel Bijou. We had a 5:30 PM reservation and allotted 2½ hours for dinner before our 8 PM showtime. That turned out to be a smart decision because we ordered the complete tasting menu ($95) and left at 7:52 PM with not a minute to spare. We understand that there is also a more limited chef’s menu ($55), which might work better for patrons with tight schedules. Service couldn’t have been better. There were no yawning gaps between courses but, with so many courses in the complete tasting menu, you need to allow enough time to savor every morsel.

The tasting menu was superb. We enjoyed multiple appetizer courses, each carefully explained by different Gibson staff members. After the appetizers, we enjoyed a lovely beet salad followed by two main courses, scallops and steak. These were accompanied by generous portions of vegetables, served separately. Unexpectedly, we had no less than three dessert courses, including a sorbet palate cleanser. While we didn’t order the wine pairing because of our time constraints, we each enjoyed an ample glass of the Banshee Pinot ($13) which went well with all the courses.

Special kudos to our waiter, Steven, a lovely man with a great sense of humor! And thanks to the chef for a job well done. He came to our table to introduce himself and we were delighted to compliment him on the cuisine. We hope that Gibson continues to have success because we plan to return there before our next theatre engagement, if not sooner.

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t
1 review
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Not for kids. Also very expensive. Food was great and our server was very helpful not just attentive but also very well versed on the drinks and food choices.

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D
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really beautiful and delicious food. Staff is very professional and the chef, at least for our group, was very thoughtful about accommodating food allergies and preferences. I love that you can have a conversation there - its not in the current very loud style of restaurants. You really feel like they want you there!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent cocktails

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JM
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ate early as we were going to the theater. The half duck and chop salad were excellent. The service was outstanding and our waiter was very knowledgeable. The neighborhood was rough depending on which streets you approach the building from.

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SA
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Gibson was a great find. Food was fantastic — duck was tasty and a generous portion for two people, drinks were great (one person loved the Bijou and the other Seasons Change) — and service was helpful and attentive. One tip: order everything at the beginning. They will space out your food and you'll avoid any awkward gap between courses!

Lastly, some reviewers have mentioned the neighborhood is sketchy; I wouldn't say it was, just maybe in the borderlands between busy streets and the start of sketchier areas. Overall, a gem with a more relaxed environment and cool, modern decor.

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FH
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The duck is exceptionally good

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EF
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Delicious food in a beautiful setting. Very creative and surprising offerings. The neighborhood is sketchy, but Gibson is a little jewel box, well worth a visit. Lovely for a date, an evening with friends or a celebration. So glad we went.

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S
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

I wanted to like Gibson...I really did. The space is pretty chic...nice little bar area, unique dining room and view kitchen...hip music...interesting drink and food menu...covered all the check marks. Our evening started on the wrong foot with our 5 minute wait at the host stand. After standing there for a bit, the bartender called out that someone would be right with us. We stood there in full of several employees chit chatting in the walkway before one of them came over to "greet" us. I say "greet", because there was no apology for having us stand there alone, nor a warm greeting...just a surly bearded man whose customers obviously caused a disruption.
Once sat, the server was warm, friendly, and well versed in the menu. There were quite a few things that we liked on the menu, and settled on the sourdough bread with duck liver mousse, smoked duck for 2, and cauliflower gratin. The bread was okay...nothing memorable...but the mousse is what was disappointing. It looked good, but tasted watered down and lacked any semblance of duck liver flavor you expect to get. The smoked duck was tasty flavor-wise, but the breast portion was on the dry side, and the leg/thigh was difficult to pry the meat off the bone...with a tough and chewy consistency. The Sichuan sauce and brussels sprouts kimchee were good accompaniments, but the potato pancake was on the dense side. The cauliflower was also flavorful, but very rich...with too much cheese and cream and not enough cauliflower. For cocktails, the house manhattan was pretty good...I didn't care for the vieux carre, but my girlfriend thought it was pretty good. The most disappointing though was the size of the cocktail...quite small particularly for the price.
Given the poor greeting, interesting but average food, small drinks, all with large pricing, we will not be eager to return

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L
San Francisco
32 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

My husband and I dined at Gibson prior to a show at the Golden Gate Theater, so high marks for being convenient to that venue. The service was great with a well informed and efficient staff taking care of our needs. The food offering were quite delicious. We started with the finger food offering of small bites and both really enjoyed the three bites we each received. I had the bavette steak and my husband had the trout, also both well prepared and delicious.

For dessert my husband had a flourless cake which he loved.

Overall the food presentation and flavors were really great. My one criticism of Gibson is that for the cost of the meal the dining room just doesn't feel "special" enough to be serving this kind of upscale food.

We took advantage of receiving 1,000 Open Table points for dining at Gibson, so that helped to soften the blow of the menu pricing. We'd return if Gibson was the only option convenient to the theater venue and we took advantage of the 1,000 point incentive.

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ND
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Second visit and I’m so glad we returned. Excellent service. Very inventive menus - both food and cocktails. Fun design. Can’t wait to go back!

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P
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous creative food.

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KD
Austin
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

I made this reservation for my Birthday, which we told the server when we was seated. I was extremely excited to try this restaurant out and was willing to drive 1.5 hrs into the city and pay for $30 parking. Even though it was 7:30 pm on a Saturday and the restaurant was half filled, they seated us in the very back next to the restrooms. I thought that since I have let them know that this is my birthday and how excited I was to try out the food that I would at least get a bit of extra attention. Unfortunately that didn't matter. The party of 6 seated next two us had two servers waiting on them along with the manager. Apparently they may have paid for the tasting menu. Our server just dropped off the food and left. Didn't explain what it was that was set in front of us. Didn't give us silverware until I asked. We were waiting around between course with no real good reason. This restaurant was supposed to have great cocktails - but for $15 a piece I am not sure if they even put alcohol in any of them. The food was so disappointing. Tiny portion, not well seasoned, and was very disjointed. The steak that was $35 was chewy beyond belief. The $55 duck was not seasoned and the condiments that accompany it did not make any sense whatsoever. The kimchi was sour, and the sauce for the duck was way too sweet, and the brussel sprouts didn't add anything to the dish. That duck dish made no sense. The $35 seafood starter was tiny portion that was advertised as to feed two persons, but in reality it only feed one. And none of it was seasoned properly. I was so disappointed that I had our remaining dishes boxed up and paid $300 so I can just leave. We ended up going to a second restaurant that night. One of the worst restaurant I have gone to in many year! Pretentious in every way! This experience has ruined my birthday. I gave the leftover duck and steak to my dogs.

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N
San Francisco
53 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Terrific food and excellent service from Bernard.
Will be back.

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SM
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Good varied small dishes served in almost rapid succession, then an appreciable lull, which caused us to rush the server at the end. Very attentive service, though. Ambiance and noise level were hurt by a neighboring 12-person dinner party who were loudly enjoying their pre-dinner cocktails and then dinner itself. Otherwise, it would have been perfect.

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CH
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

pretty space, food decent but not worth the high price, nothing special. way to loud

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GC
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

We had the duck mousse to start.. The mousse itself was nice but there were pickles and eggs mixed in which took from the flavour. We then have duck for 2 and and a bottle of pinot. The duck was very nicely cooked.

The restaurant is more of a hotel bar extension. The chairs are cheap, open back wooden ones. I prefer a more comfortable, luxurious environment when I'm out for a nice meal. There were only 3 other tables there. Nice place trying to become nicer I think would be a good summary

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