Prelude at the Opera House - Lower Level
We are located on the lower level of the War Memorial Opera House. Our menu is offered in buffet and à la carte format, keeping performance start time at the forefront for all visitors.
The buffet was the best all year. Fantastic variety and delicious choices. Loved the mussels and chicken especially.
The food was exceptional, service outstanding as always and perfect table location for privacy.
Great ambience. Very convenient for going to the ballet. I like the buffet because of all the choices and I like to go back for my favorites. And the price was very reasonable.
Very nice salads for dinner and excellent service
The service is the BEST. The food is good, but the portions are very stingy. If you are charging $20 for a salad, the least you could do is load it up! And to charge $3 for a small piece of bread, REALLY? I’d consider other neighborhood restaurants where you get a little more bang for your buck and won’t leave hungry.
Food was really good. Easy to get dinner and upstairs to the performance.
Buffet is really bad and expensive. Eggs Benedict muffins like bricks. Vegetables bland. Salad soggy!
Annoyed that we paid extra for bread.
Always great to have dinner at the Opera.
Yes I recommend to friends. However, the buffet is much too costly. The bar menu of food items is very limited. the only item that is at all filing is the usual garden salad plus fish or some meant item for $22 usually. The cost of the food is much more than it is worth . It is almost impossible to eat what can be considered anything more than an appetizer unless one has the much too expensive buffet. I do go more than once a year as it is traditional in my family. I am a ballet season subscriber. I would not recommend the food and cost of it unless it is for a lovely setting and good service.The previous supplier of food was much better. thank you.
Great place for single person to dine before Ballet.
Very good, consistent buffet dining.
Two exceptional waiters.
Prelude is convenient if you are going to the ballet and don't have time to go to someplace in the neighborhood. However, it is quite expensive for what you get.
I’ve been here many times. This evening , two children attended the ballet with me. The menus were not appropriate for them & the prices are quite high. The a la carte selections are slim The buffet, although generous, is very expensive. I chose a salad & an ice tea & it cost $36. I believe we will dine near/by , next time
Percy waited on our table with such a warm and welcoming attitude! Excellent service and the best ever at the Opera House. Food id much better also and buffet was fresh and flavorful. All in all a stellar experience for the four of us. Thank you Percy!
The buffet ran out of food
Having eaten at the opera house many times, this night was a huge disappointment. The catering company was not prepared which is not forgivable as reservations are required so the number of diners is known. Serving trays were empty and slowly but not adequately refilled. The roast at the carving station, usually large, was minuscule so people had to wait in long lines only to find the carving table empty and the carver continually waiting for more. As a result it took our table 45 minutes to finish up at the buffet tables. Dinner at the opera is not inexpensive and the caterers failed terribly. We will not return.
The food was good but there were many shortages of some dishes.
The food was tasty but keeping the entrees full was an issue. What happened to dessert? Seems like it used to be included.
Lovely all the way around
I have always enjoyed dining at the Opera House, which has always been with others. I decided "what the heck, I'll treat myself to a nice dinner before the ballet." I was seated at a wall in the hallway between the bar and dining room. I finally moved the table out a bit from the wall, which helped, but overall as a single diner, I will not return.
Compared with the previous operator, food not as good for the price.
I feel so much more relaxed dinning inside the Opera House!
I like the previous caterer much better. This new caterer leaves a lot to be desired.
Unfortunately, the server delayed in getting our bill to us and we barely made it into the ballet as they were dimming the lights. A man followed us all the way up to the main floor ringing his chime while looking perturbed at us but it wasn't our fault we were so late. Other ushers seemed upset we were late but it wasn't our fault. WE turned in our charge cards for billing in plenty of time but we only had 1 minute to run upstairs! Not a good experience!
Convenient, delicious food, good service
The food that should have been hot was cold, some of the heavier green salads seemed wilted, and the variety was mediocre, the bread was dry/onto being stale, the salad offerings were too similar, some of the ends of the Romaine leaves were brown. The beef was quite flavorful, but cold. The served seemed awfully bored. The service seemed inexperienced and hadn't yet gotten the rhythm of the momentum required.
This is the 2nd time we have found the operation not really professional and the mashed potatoes and hot food not even luke warm, but cold.
I will attempt the experience a third time, but I suspect you would have more business if you retrieved the last group serving at the cafe.
Great spot for dinner before a performance. Overpriced, but look at where you are - the convenience is worth the extra cost.
The night I was there, we had no waiter for the first 20-30 minutes. Inexcusable! Waiter finally showed up and apologized with a weak excuse about a meeting in the kitchen. Not likely at the peak dinner time.
Luckily, the bar is right there, so I got my own drinks, and the buffet does not require a waiter.
But the absence of help was a major flaw.
We enjoyed our meal very much. The crab tasted fresh-from-the-boat and the salad greens tasted fresh from the garden. Chicken was ordered for one of the salads but it was never delivered. We looked for our waiter several times but we never saw him until he brought the bill. Instead of apologizing he said we should have told him. We certainly would have told him if he had come back to our table like most waiters do. Regardless, we enjoyed our meal and would come back.
Our waiter did an excellent job with service, laughter, & care.
Chef Alphonse and our server Rusty went out if their way to make our dining experience very special.
Their attention and generosity more than made up for a miscommunication that had occurred on a recent previous dining experience we had.
Major kudos to both of them! Chef Alphonse’s Scallop Risotto is the best ! Rusty clearly is an experienced server and anticipated everything .
Sharyn Ramorino and Carolee Meyer
Perfect way to start an evening at the ballet. Rusty and Pepe are phenomenal!
We find Prelude to be not as good as the previous Patina caterer. We are especially upset about the fact that the roast is always practically raw. We also feel that the selection of other dishes are limited and repeated from one Saturday to the next. The price charged would warrant something better.
The menu is very limited, no soup or starters, no deserts.
The buffet is expensive, but has a nice choice of salads,
vegetables, and 3 entrees, one of which is a very, very rare
roast beef which I did not try. (too rare for me) The dining
room is lovely and the service was very good. The price of
the entree was $42 and if you wanted a salad to start or even
bread and butter, this would put you way over the $48 price
of the buffet. You are almost forced to take the buffet to
save money. It is very convenient for eating before the
Balllet and opera. More choices and a little more reasonable
prices would be great.
Took a friend to the ballet. Had dinner at the opera house. So grateful to be able to have a nice dinner before the performance.
The food was better this time than the last time we went to this restaurant this season. Last year the food was better at this restaurant.
The 'buffet' at the Opera House is an institution. It's been a part of the scene since I can remember.
This is part of the beauty of it. Whether you're a Baby Bommer, Gens Y and Z, or Millenial all need to enjoy this very San Francisco tradition. The food is very good, and you'll find some of the best service in town.
Our suppers were better this time than during our previous visit. The servings were more generous. We appreciated being given two fresh rolls
Excellent service but mediocre food
The ONLY reason we go to Prelude is because it is convenient for our tight weekday schedules. The neighborhood offers much better restaurants and a MUCH better value--and so we don't even consider Prelude on weekends when we have the luxury of more time. If you don't go the "smorgasbord route," the prices at Prelude are ridiculous for the portions you get. Those of us not wanting the type of major meal the smorgasbord offers are clearly punished. The price of a small butter lettuce salad with a 4-bite portion of chicken costs as much as the smorgasbord. Granted, it was tasty--but "minimalist" at best. And to pay extra for a dinner roll? Absurd.
An easy way to dine before the ballet.