Little Gem

4.2
488 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 488 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.1
service
4.0
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Creative and super healthy menu. Nice service.

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

Just bad food!

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i
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
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
52 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
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 8, 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
18 reviews
Dined on February 8, 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
4 reviews
Dined on February 5, 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
4 reviews
Dined on February 2, 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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DC
Sacramento
5 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Good variety of menu choices. Great value in the Civic Center area.

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SS
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Not a little gem, a big gem. What a pleasure to have a completely GF menu to peruse and enjoy. Everything I've had is delicious, the prices are reasonable especially given the quality and location and the staff is pleasant and doesn't rush you. Perfect pre-concert, ballet, or whatever venue.

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KB
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always fresh and fun and always a treat to eat good food that is delicious to enjoy and your insides do as well :) Kim Barker

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 29, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice meal and service. Liked it so much and definitely worthy to go again

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TN
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Nicole's service offered us an exceptional experience – – enthusiasm about the food, detailed knowledge about the wine, and exuding warmth and kindness. I would return there, and especially to her table, over and over.

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SM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

The food was just solidly OK, but the price was reasonable.

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OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Promptly seated

Great service

Food packed with flavor!!

Short Rib Bowl was outstanding as was the lemon custard. Hard to believe it was dairy free

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CA
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 5ambience 4

I was sooooo excited about this place, so maybe my disappointment was more related to high expectations than actual poor quality. The mushrooms and beans dish had fabulous mushrooms but they and the beans were ruined by a sauce that reminded me of canned grocery store baked beans. The chocolate pudding had a fantastic taste but was too runny. The saving dish was the squash/cauliflower Alfredo - it was perfect comfort food. The service was nice, especially the young man with glasses who seemed genuinely concerned about whether the food met our desires (so nice that I didn’t have the heart to tell him I was disappointed). Good bathroom.

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J
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

"Little Gem" is really a "Big Gem" in a small atmosphere where food is served in a casual atmosphere with excellent service by those who know their ingredients and don't mind checking if you ask a question. The food is very tasty - gluten and dairy free - and I really never missed either of these ingredients. Perhaps the biggest treat was their rich coconut cream chocolate pudding with vanilla coconut cream on top. Who needs cow's milk? Their selections are modestly price (for SF) with full plates and small plates. You can even order a basic bowl and add what ever meat you prefer. We will be back.

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G
New Mexico
10 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

Meh. We found the food rather pedestrian and bland. Convenient for pre-show dinners near Civic Center, but that’s unlikely to be enough that we’ll return.

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m
Las Vegas
13 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

The food is always reliable. It is an easy place for a vegan or vegetarian to eat as well as for someone who wants fish, chicken, or meat. Service is always friendly and efficient. Wines by the glass are good. The value is there.

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SL
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Selected Little Gem for a business dinner and it was perfect. It felt modern and you instantly got a feeling that the food and wine would be of the highest quality. Our dishes were great (butter lettuce salad, fish taco, salmon salad) and filled with bright colors, flavor, and not too heavy. It felt very farm-to-table like and they had a nice Spanish red wine! The manager and servers were very helpful as I waited for my colleague and gave me extra samples of wine. When other dishes were being delivered to tables around us, we found ourselves saying "I need to get that one next time"! We will be coming back and I give this "Little Gem" 5 stars!!

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J
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Excellent location to have dinner before attending SF Davis Symphony Hall, War Memorial Opera House, or the Herbst Theater. The corner restaurant is across the street from the Performing Arts parking garage. Nice ambience, good menu with reasonable prices, good service, and the food was well prepared.

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W
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

The food is not good here. I’m writing as I am about to be sick. Service was terrible. Not once did they ask us how everything was as I am sure the knew it was not. Every dish on the menu could have been made better at anyone’s home.

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OT
2 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 4

Food was extremely salty

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Après un mauvais accueil et un temps assez long d’attente pour être servies, nous avons commandé deux plats, une salade et un petit plat de pâtes qui sont arrivés très rapidement. La salade bien garnie mais très salée. Les pâtes assez bonnes. L’ambiance très agréable.

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S
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

We thought the food was fine. My daughter's comment was that it was rich and I thought it was salty. It was convenient to Davies so worth a try, but I don't think either of us would necessarily go back.

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S
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very pleased by all elements. The four of us found your restaurant on the Open Table site. We needed a place close to the War Memorial Opera House to attend The Nutcracker that evening. We liked what was on the site about the menu and plan on returning. Keep up the great work.

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l
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great meal & a lovely evening.

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D
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

Based on initial review of the menu, the restaurant looked good and decor is charming. However, lead with the fact that it's a gluten free, dairy free restaurant.
Service and communication need improvement. We had a bit of a situation with an appetizer that arrived after our main courses arrived. We asked the server to remove it from the bill as our dinner came out quickly -- and then a manager came out to apologize and see if he could replace it with something else, to which we declined. Then our server came back and told us the appetizer was on its way - to which we reminded her we wanted to cancel as it did not come out soon enough. She quickly apologized, and not a moment later, the appetizer arrived. We sent it away, and had to again have a conversation about what had happened. (!?!?!)

Following a decent, but not particularly appetizing meal (the salad was fresh, but the pieces were so large you honestly needed a butcher knife to cut through them), the manager brought out a complimentary dessert for us --which we were later charged for. (?!?!)

Can't say I'd go back any time soon.... hopefully was a one off experience.

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H
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and a freak neighborhood GEM! Variety’s and good combinations very created and a delight to find together

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RK
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Salmon was deliciously prepared and perfect at Medium”. Portions on the smaller side... slightly more generous for the price would be nice! All the desserts were kind of Mousse or pudding-like; the almond “cake” was not flavorful - more of a gluten- free Cooke. Desserts could use some creativity- the best was the chocolate Valhrona. We had a delightful 5 pm seat before the thester. BEST CAPPOCCINO I’ve had in ages!

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OT
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely restaurant beautiful interior, friendly staff, lovely vegetation meal with generous portions.

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d
Central Coast
19 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Menu was very enticing and loved the atmosphere. Too bad the dishes we had were just OK and then we were abandoned by our server. We were planning to order dessert, but it was never offered and, after waiting so long, we decided to just give up.

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S
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I introduced my friend to your restaurant and she loved it. I knew she would because it’s so incredibly wonderful. We each had a Mushroom Tartine and shared the Butter Lettuce salad. Both were delicious.

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DI
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Totally delicious and original, plus healthy, so you feel great afterwards! And reasonably priced for the area. We had a butter lettuce salad and delicata squash baked with beans & root vegetables. So good.

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SR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

WE LOVED this place. The server was really friendly and we tried lots of different things. A big hit with us, and great before a show.

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D
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The food at Little Gem was very good. The only problem was; I ordered the Beef Short Rib and Kale Bowl and over half of the bowl was filled with cauliflower. I like cauliflower, but it would be nice to have more of the other ingredients. The Spiced Hummus with NON Bread was delicious.

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C
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We went here before a show at the Herbst theatre. The menu selection is not vast, but everything we got was quite tasty.

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OT
Hawaii
3 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Enjoyed the food generally, but the portions were way too big! For a restaurant that features choices (and near the civic center where so many of guests are headed to a performance) it was surprising to see such large servings. The appetizer was more than to be served as an entree, and my wife’s entree (braised mushrooms and beans) could easily have been enough for two, maybe three.

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B
San Francisco
72 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had dinner several times already at this great place before going to the symphony. Service is fast and friendly---these folks really understand about a "curtain Time"! I always enjoy coming for the excellent food and great service. Don't hesitate to give Little Gem a try!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

We were after a vegan restaurant. And Little Gem is.
Except for the hummus and pancakes, the food was disappointing.
We would not return.

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