The Alembic

4.5
56 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$31 to $50
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
American
Top Tags:
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine

Similar Restaurants

About

The Alembic is a hyper-seasonal kitchen and bar in the heart of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, offering an ingredient-driven menu composed of thoughtfully prepared dishes and creative cocktails served in a lively, yet welcoming, setting. Executive Chef Rachel Aronow and Head Barman Hector Valencia work as a synergistic team, committed to The Alembic’s philosophy of reducing waste by co-utilizing locally-sourced ingredients.


The food menu consists of innovative shareable plates as well as larger entrees, including both meat and vegetable-centric dishes. The Alembic’s cocktail menu is classified into two categories: “New School” – where every drink incorporates ingredients made in-house, and “The Canon” – featuring timeless drinks that fit the season. For more information visit www.alembicbar.com, call 415-666-0822 and like/follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


RESERVATIONS ARE FOR DINING ONLY.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
American
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
Hours of operation
Sunday: 2:00pm-12:00am (Kitchen Closed)
Monday: 4:00pm-12:00am (Kitchen Closed)
Tuesday-Wednesday: 4:00p-12:00am (Dinner 6-9:30)
Thursday: 4:00p-2:00am (Dinner 6-9:30)
Friday: 4:00pm-2:00am (Dinner 6-10:30)
Saturday: 2:00pm-2:00am (Dinner 6-10:30)
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(415) 666-0822
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress code
Business Casual
icon/ic_chefCreated with Sketch.
Executive chef
Rachel Aronow
icon/ic_locationCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
Neighborhood
icon/ic_cross_streetCreated with Sketch.
Cross street
Between Shrader and Cole
icon/ic_public_transitCreated with Sketch.
Public transit
7 Noriega
37 Corbett
43 Masonic
N-Judah
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Wine

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
8.1

The Alembic is a Haight bar institution serving outstanding food.

Ratings 8.0-8.5:The best way to think about restaurants in the low to mid 8′s is that these are the places you would absolutely go back to, anytime. These restaurants are ones that you want to bring a friend to, just so they can also experience the duck carnitas, or burger, or whatever dish the place is known for.
What 56 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.5based on all time ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.2
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
5.0Dined on February 15, 2018

Fantastic food and drinks. Great service! Will be back

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on January 30, 2018

Went to The Alembic for restaurant week, the experience was was awesome. The staff was very friendly and warm. The food and cocktails were excellent. I just wish the serving size was for the food was larger. Overall we had a great time and will definitely be back.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on January 27, 2018

The most memorable dishes were the leek ash papperdalle with lamb sugo, the jerk spiced duck hearts, and the rabbit roulade. It was a little tough wading through the crowd to gett to the hostess stand but after we day we didn't mind the crowd so much.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on January 26, 2018

Came for restaurant week with some friends and left a little bit disappointed. While our waitress was super nice, we were greeted by a hostess who seemed a bit lost. Had us wait while they printed menus even though we had reservations and were there on time. The portions were TINY. Of the 4 items on the menu (restaurant week), only one stood out (the pasta) - the others were not great.

The place is in a great neighborhood and has great ambiance but I would not have dinner here again - would go for drinks.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on January 26, 2018

The space is great. It has a nice vibe. Cocktails were amazing! And the food was delicious. We shared a bunch of small plates so that we could try everything. The staff were friendly and attentive.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on January 24, 2018

Alembic staff made every effort to make the site of our first date special! Highly recommend!

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on January 12, 2018

Hostess ignored for about 15 minutes, walking past us as if we weren’t there a few times, despite us being a large party with a reservation.

Menu has changed recently - fancier, more pretentious, less delicious.

Server and cocktails were awesome though.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on January 6, 2018

Fun place with great drinks. The food was average, but great presentation. The course staging was off as things were arriving at all different times.

I would definitely return but for drinks and happy hour only rather than a nice meal.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on December 30, 2017

Excellent food. Our server was amazing.
Noisy as hell though.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on December 30, 2017

The new chef is incredible. The beers on tap are some of the best IPAs around. And the bar is sufficiently stafffed, so getting those great cocktails doesn’t take long. All makes for a great night out.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on December 15, 2017

Long wait for cocktails - almost 20 minutes.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on December 15, 2017

It was Great!

Report
Helpful
2.0Dined on December 9, 2017

Great Venue. The lighting was on the dim side but very effective. Handcrafted Cocktails were amazing. You have to try the Egg Nog drink. Music selection was great and loud enough to get the point across. The menu was sophisticated and everything was appetizer sized which left space to try other dishes. Prices were above average. I ordered a pheasant dish that was sadly overcooked, dry and so salty it was inedible. Our waitress was either in some hypnotic trance, under the effects of a very very strong batch of cannabis or she just didn't give a heck. We were forgotten, abnegated, alienated. In other words it made the whole experience so disenchantment. I have gotten more waiter attention at a McDonalds. Oh wait there aren't any waiters at Mickey D's. My Pont is I would even given the food a 3 star rating if the service wasn't so poor. I went seeking Bohemian and I got gypsies! All that being said I would go again since it is a VERY unique setting and beecause it might have been the waitresses OFF NIGHT. Maybe next time I'll have more luck.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on December 2, 2017

Took my fiancé here for his birthday and it was a great time! The host wished my fiancé a happy birthday and provided birthday treats throughout the meal. The food was amazing. I loved the Tetris tots, ricotta and squash velout! However, I was not a fan of that pig in a blanket. Way too much fat. Drinks were also very well done!

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on November 18, 2017

Great cocktails, pretty good food. I find the dishes interesting, but honestly too complicated for the atmosphere of the restaurant.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on November 18, 2017

WOW - Michelin star food at local neighborhood prices! We were 4 foodies blown away by the food from the new chef at this well known Haight bar/restaurant. Hyper local, amazingly delicious combinations of great ingredients, textures, tastes. Honestly we were really super impressed. And the craft cocktails! This place is known as one of the originators of the current focus on cocktail arts and the drinks were absolutely wonderful (including a seasonal eggnog that we all highly recommend). I'll upload some photos because the presentation was also spectacular. I would recommend getting here before Bauer discovers it - right now relatively easy to get in. If you like creative, delicious food - highly recommended.

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on November 17, 2017

PROS: Wonderful atmosphere, and tables that aren't crammed together (which is hard to find in SF). Great service. High quality cocktails. Gluten-free options clearly marked on the menu. Overall a great vibe, and unique spot. CONS: The kitchen tries harder to be interesting and different than good. We felt like the menu was a bit pretentious, without fully pulling it off. Pretentious is fine if it works, but the flavors, while interesting, didn't taste great. All of the elements are there, and I think it could be great if they wanted to be, but they need to prioritize taste more. I really want to love this place, but it's just not quite there. Maven is a better bet in the area for food and drinks.

Report
Helpful
2.0Dined on November 3, 2017

Great food, but very expensive. The bartender was an unbelievable jerk.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on October 31, 2017

Excellent food and the best cocktails in San Francisco!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on October 28, 2017

Amazing food, incredible value for money in SF! Love to see the selection of ingredients from local farmers markets.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on October 13, 2017

wow, amazing vegan food. not sure when alembic turned up their game on veggies, but they knocked it out of the park. i don't eat meat, but they had some delicious looking dishes on the menu as well. great cocktails, get a booth. have the pot de creme.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on September 26, 2017

The pork tenderloin was very overcooked. :(

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on September 26, 2017

It's been a while since I had been there and A LOT has changed, I used to love this place. If you want to sit at the bar for a super hip bartender to make you a super hip drink, this is your place. If you are into knowing the restaurant made and smoke everything on the menu, this is your place but if you want a good meal, service and service you might want to go somewhere else. Everyone was nice, the host was nice, our server was nice but the service was lack the fundamentals of the dining experience. We waited to be sat and the place was empty. The wine we ordered (every time we ordered a glass) took forever. The table 2 tables down were so loud it was hard to have a conversation and when they left we saw it was the staff having some sort of meeting. The food was all made in house including the charcuterie, the problem was every piece of meat on the charcuterie plate tasted the same, you couldn't tell what was beef or pork, it just all tasted like over dried paper thin smoke. The Josie Baker bread (which is amazing) was burnt so bad on one side we ordered more and they took 10 minutes to bring one half of one slice, not 4 half slices like the order came with and the chef brought it out with a pair of tongs. The house pickled veggie plate was mushy and scattered. The bone marrow tasted like nothing which how do you do that to bone marrow... Broil with salt.
I live in SF, I've bartended in SF, I love the Height but will not be going back to the Alembic I used to love a few years back.
I usually write off one visit and go back for a second chance, sorry not this time.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on September 15, 2017

Been loving the cocktails and beer selection here for years, finally came in for dinner. The pigs in a blanket and fried chicken were phenomenal. Very chill late Friday dinner (10pm) just before the kitchen closed, great service, and impressive cocktails per usual.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on September 15, 2017

Atmosphere is great as well as drinks and the food is very good -however the potatoe leek pancake was inedible not sure what they are going for but it was overly cooked on the outside with a raw rubber like gelotenous inside- very strange- we returned it as well as asked what it was about with no response just a we won't charge you...love having this restaurant in the Haight!

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on September 9, 2017

Who knew? The Alembic is a hip Haight Street "handcrafted cocktails bar" yet it is so much more. From the adventurous cocktail libations and bar food menu featuring roasted duck hearts on pineapple slices, to their 4-course prix fixe (and a la carte) dinner menu (a modest $54), everything is conceptually surprising, tasteful, and a real-characters' experience. I love the unpretentious ambience. Discover the full private-booths separate room for dinner ... wow. XOXO!

Report
Helpful
3.0Dined on September 8, 2017

Having been to Alembic about 4 times prior with generally positive experiences in the last year or so, we were a bit let down recently. To be sure there are highlights - the cocktails are well thought out, the menu is inventive, and the one particular gentleman who was running food out (as well as on past occasions) is an absolute gem. But it's the execution that seems to have slipped a bit. The front of house service felt fairly inattentive and disinterested while the food this time was generally under seasoned and a bit under temperature as if it had been resting too long before served. Would love to see Alembic return to previous form to justify what easily can be a $200 meal for 2.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on August 25, 2017

This was just lovely. Weird fusion Japanese-California-Bar menu that surprised and delighted at every turn.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on July 21, 2017

Best place in SF.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on July 11, 2017

Dinner menu and cocktails are outstanding! A hidden culinary gem in the heart of the Haight.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on June 24, 2017

Dine off the chef's menu, plus a couple of ala carte items. The wait staff did a fantastic job of timing out the arrival of the next dish such that we weren't rushed nor were we waiting endlessly for the next course. Really well done.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on June 9, 2017

We loved the food and our server was so cool!

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on June 3, 2017

The cocktails are elegantly executed. Our dinner was memorable.

Report
Helpful
1.0Dined on June 1, 2017

Meeting w/ colleagues & customer

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 12, 2017

Great times. Alembic rewards the adventurous eaters and drinkers

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 6, 2017

The food was very good and the staff was very nice and professional, great experience.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on May 5, 2017

What A Find.
Who knew that a taste purveyer of amazing hand-crafted cocktails on Haight Street in San Francisco could morph into a consistently "fit for foodies" pit stop for adventurous bar food bites and an amazing prix fixe dinner menu (only $48 for FOUR courses!)? This gastronomic adventure was eyebrow-raising ... worth the toothpicks and savoring memorably and during.

Geez, the price VALUE just kept rising, on and on, through each prix fixe course.

The low-profile frontage and hip-spare, narrow bar plays frontage to the unexpected drama of the fine cocktail and -- albeit limited, yet appropriately so -- bar bites and dinner food menus.

We shall be back.

Report
Helpful
4.0Dined on May 4, 2017

Very delicious, unusual food. Advice: bring your own wine and don't need a cup of coffee after the meal.

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 28, 2017

Amazing Chef's menu... specially the starters, delicious. We enjoyed our dinner so much.
We will be back, for sure

Report
Helpful
5.0Dined on April 28, 2017

The cocktails are known standard here. I have loved the food here for sometime. It is a unexpected great find for local California fair

Report
Helpful
1
2

Tweets by The Alembic