Little Gem

4.4
520 reviews
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$30 and under
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Californian
Little Gem is a modern California eatery dedicated to the simple pleasures of a delicious meal. We focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients to make wholesome, flavorful dishes. Our produce is naturally raised, responsibly sourced and local whenever possible. An ideal spot for meeting friends, pre-theater dining, a quick bite or a leisurely meal, Little Gem is the face of new casual dining. Please note: Reservations are taken for dinner only.
What 520 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
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.1
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
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GS
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great healthy restaurant (gluten free, refined sugar free, I believe all organic) for a casual meal. The NON bread is AMAZING.

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GF
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

sweet place, good food, good karma, just overall great experience. Will be back

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MB
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

I hate to be that person writing a negative review, but I was really disappointed about this place. I see it in the press all the time and was excited to give it a try. While it has the trendy/hip vibe to it and the menu has serious potential, the food is bland/under-seasoned and the service is bad. It took quite some time to provide our table with water after sitting. We requested a shareable plate and that also took a while. Lastly we asked for hot sauce which our server didn't bring us until my friend was on her last few bites of her dish. Meh.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Food and Service was amazing! I wish it was a little more cozy but don’t let that keep you from the delicious food!

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

Pre-Ballet dinner which was fabulous! Food, price and service were excellent!

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

We weren’t super impressed. Service seemed odd. We had no less than 5 different individuals approach the table. It was not clear if we had a specific server. At one point an individual approached that I thought might be one of the chefs. He started to speak. I turned to him and smiled; however, people at our table we talking and he just walked away. Menu seemed limited.

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D
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was fabulous and the waiter answered all our questions about the preparation of the dishes we
ordered. We lingered and were not rushed.

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P
San Francisco
40 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

I would recommend Little Gem to people who have dietary restrictions. The two fish tacos were good, but I needed a little more. A salad or veggies would have been nice compliment. My dining partner had the beef bowl, which she enjoyed and looked very good. We shared the lemon dessert, which was wonderful. The basil tea was quite weak, which was a disappointment. The servicer was good. The charge for a bottle of wine, which was not ordered, was cheerfully removed, once pointed out.

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DC
1 review
Dined on March 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food, service and ambiance were perfect!
Linen napkins and more comfortable chairs or added seat pads would have made everything more perfect!

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y
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Nice drink selection, atmosphere; food ok, some dishes better than others. Salad and fish tacos were nice, but mushroom bean bowl, so-so -"lentils" sub/add-on was actually under-cooked split peas.

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Y
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful, healthy food that works with so many dietary restrictions! Please get the tartare -- that dish was the highlight and i wish we ordered 6 of them haha

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C
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Great fresh food an a lot of options to make changes to any dish on the menu. Service was terrific - our server was pleasant, knew all the ingredients and very amicable to let us swap rice for green or shrimp for pork. Clean bathrooms too.

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MJ
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Service was exceptional. The food was unique and delicious. The prices were fair and I would recommend this restaurant. I will be back.

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s
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Always reliable, always warm and friendly, always good food. So excited they're opening another on Union Street!

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D
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

The noise level was too high and the atmosphere was dark, cold, and hard chairs. The food was great!

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WH
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

It really is a little gem! Great menu. All we tried was very tasty. Service was excellent. All gluten and dairy free as well.

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m
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love Little Gem and the wait people as well. We are strictly gluten free and
it feels great to know we can have anything on the menu and it will be delicious.
We took our non gluten free friends and they loved it also.

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SF
San Francisco
65 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

We were a party of three: 1 vegetarian, 1 gluten-free, 1 omnivore. It's hard to find a restaurant with adequate choices for all of us, but this menu looked like it would. And it did. What came out of the kitchen, however, was disappointing. My bowl of rice, veggies and short rib could have come from any inexpensive Korean-inspired restaurant with the same impact: nicely cooked, oily, salty and very fresh ingredients. It's clear that Little Gem starts with excellent food, but the kitchen needs greater skill in turning those ingredients into an exceptional plate that would inspire me to return even on nights when I don't have tickets at Davies Symphony Hall.

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RR
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We've been to Little Gem before and love it. The service team is always friendly, well informed about the food, and responsive. We asked a few questions about menu items, for instance, and our server went into detail about each dish. I had the short ribs this time and it was outstanding. Like most dishes, the veggies can outshine the proteins. My wife had the tartare and really enjoyed it. Again, the veggies stood up well. Our friend had the tomato soup which had a aromatic spice she didn't really like, but the tomatoes were chunky and fresh. For dessert, we shared the almond cake and found it a little dry. We would have given 5 stars except for the dessert.

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NN
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

Started well with two servers, one seemingly training the other. As it got crowded somehow the servers disappeared. Food was edible but not great.

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LH
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect for pre-symphony nibbles. Service was prompt and professional. Using each item as a small plate, we had fun sharing a delightfully varied menu.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday Dinner and it’s OMG AMAZING! We are blessed we found Lil Gem through our awesome friend MATT and DARCY!!!!!

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N
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved the location and the food and the service. The food was a little expensive but it was such a pleasant experience We plan to return.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Attentive wait staff and delicious clean food in a warm inviting atmosphere.

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s
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 2

I enjoyed the food, great healthy options. However the service was very slow, we were charged for a bottle of wine we never received, and our glasses of wine showed up just as we were finishing our dinner. I've dined here before and never experienced such poor service. Maybe it was just an off night? Either way, sadly I'll never go back.

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B
San Francisco
75 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is fast becoming a favorite place to dine. We have been there six or seven times and with each return the experience is even better. The food is really good and beautifully prepared and presented. The service is always friendly and excellent.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Tasty food - everything we had was flavorful, even delicate. First table was by the bathroom - even though I reserved 2 weeks prior. Had to ask for a set up.

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JJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The service is consistently friendly and efficient, the food is good and the location superb especially if one is attending anything at the Herbst, Opera House, Davies or SFJazz.

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MB
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Finally a restaurant where everything is safe for me to eat (food allergies) and everything is delicious! I will be coming back again soon! Everything we tried was wonderful and I look forward to trying more dishes next time.

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LA
San Francisco
58 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The food and the service were good. One thing that stood out for us was the fact that they manage to produce very "clean" dishes without sacrificing the flavor. The food wasn't doused in dressings and sauces. They use them as they should be used - to enhance the flavor of the main ingredient and not to "kill" it. There were options for everybody including vegetarians and vegans. The portions were generous as well.

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KD
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Tasty, healthy food and friendly staff makes for a winning combination. It is moderately priced and in a great location near the ballet, opera and symphony. A great spot for a pre-performance dinner.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Creative and super healthy menu. Nice service.

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SF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Particularly as a celiac, I expected to love this place, but it wasn't that great. Our first small plate, delicata squash with white beans, smelled like dog food and had little flavor. The Catalan salad had lots of interesting fresh ingredients that were overwhelmed by the approx. 1/8 C of sliced red onions permeating the dish. My friend said her short ribs on rice tasted like generic Chinese food. Maybe we ordered the wrong things though when we asked the waiter for help, he just read from the menu. It took several attempts to flag him down for a second glass of wine, the dessert menu, and the bill. Excellent selection of white wines, however, and they comped us the blah squash, which was nice, but we won't be back.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 3ambience 4

Just bad food!

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i
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our server was extremely knowledgeable and helpful making sure I could stick to the diet my doctor prescribed - which is not easy!

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RB
San Francisco
55 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

This was our second time at Little Gem -- the first was early on before they were in Open Table -- it had improved a fair amount: the service was now attentive and professionaly competent. The food was not glorious but value for money; the noise was tolerable -- we will give a third chance

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M
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I like what they are doing. Offering only healthy food in a nice informal space and supporting local sources. But this visit the food was only OK, and the portions are still quite small. Service as always was very nice. Great people.

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T
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Needs work, but great location. Noise level not terrible but could be decreased for little ceiling insulating tweaks

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l
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

It was a good place for a quick bite before a talk. It felt pricey for what it was, the service was mediocre, and there were small ants all over the tables and climbing into our wine.

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FA
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

One of my favorite places. Last time though, we asked server what was the name of the plates since we liked them so much. She said “I don’t know”. Would have been nice if she went to the kitchen to find out. Later we asked her to please see if she can find out. She said “sure” , then never came back with answer, just th check. She completely blew us off. Would have been nice if she said she tried but couldn’t find out. Unacceptable to just ignore a request. Other than this small issue, great value and food. Keep up th good work.

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