Scala's Bistro

4.3
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5345 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian

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Pre/post Theatre
Casual
Since 1995, Scala's Bistro has garnered a reputation for classic, elegant dining. Warm, earth tones, original murals, beaded bistro lamps, and rich, mahogany booths evoke a dramatic Old World café. Fresh, innovative, Italian and Mediterranean-inspired dishes enhance the Scala’s menu while continuing to pay homage to the old Scala’s favorites.
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What 5345 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.2
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
75% of people would recommend it to a friend
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R
Salt Lake City
17 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service3ambience3

All in all it was good we had to wait a long time to get water refill and we could barely ear each other without shouting

JH
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall1food2service1ambience1

What a mistake!!!

We were set at a tiny table (5 people) , we could not hear each other due to the noise and the service was terrible

Stay away!!

LE
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

I ordered the crab pasta, after all it’s crab season. The pasta came it was swimming in a butter sauce and minced crab with other ingredients. For the price there should have been some large crabmeat on it. Very disappointing. My friend ordered a meat pasta that was overly salted. The Caesar was delicious! The waiter was completely inattentive. We ordered 2 glasses of wine and got one, we asked for parmesan cheese and waited and waited. I brought out of town guests there. I was so disappointed, i will never go back.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our waiter was amazing as was the food.

HZ
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful place! Amazing food. Our server Bruce was just the best! Can highly recommend it. We'll be back soon again.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Good service, great food. Beautiful ambiance. Right by Union Square. Great place for a special occasion.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall2food2service5ambience2

The Cobb salad was great, no complaints but there were some miscalculations about the rest of the order. We ordered 2 cheeseburgers cooked medium, but were delivered raw inside. They happily took it off our bill which was kind of them. The bathrooms were out of service due to a pipe leakage and therefore, you had to use the bathroom outside of the restaurant and farther away than what would be considered normal.

C
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Our server was great! Service was very slow- understandably because it was New Year’s Eve- we didn’t get our entrees until an hour after we sat down- the food was cold. It was delicious but would have enjoyed a warm meal

SM
Sacramento
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really nice dinner on New Years Eve! We had great service, every table was full. We never felt rushed and our food came in reasonable amount of time.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

1st anniversary dinner for girlfriend and boyfriend and we had a great time. They gave us dessert on the house and gave us a happy anniversary card on the table for us. The food was great and the service although it was full was still decent. Great experience overall

SM
San Francisco
40 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Scala's starts dinner service at 5:15pm, which is very handy if you're trying to squeeze dinner in before a show. I went with a party of 7 in-between the 2-5:00pm and 7:30-10pm Harry Potter shows. My family enjoyed their dishes. The Salmon was cooked perfectly, although it needed a little more accompaniment to make it an entree. My niece, who lives in Kansas, was so impressed she said "This is food like it's supposed to taste."

MD
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

This restaurant is in a great location, the atmosphere is great, the service is outstanding. The food is mediocre.

CM
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

We have always enjoyed Scala's. Their food never disappoints and the ambiance during the holidays is classy and festive. We would highly recommend them (even for children).

JA
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience2

Very poor service. We arrived for our reservation 15 min early, was seated in a booth right next to the kitchen about 7 min after arrival. Another couple was seated on the other side of us about 5 min later. A server asked if they had been helped and he offered to take their order while we were basically ignored. No one offered water or even acknowledged us. Not until a server came back from his break did we get service. I was able to see and hear the servers in the back questioning if our table was theirs or not. We finally got asked if we were ready to order after 20 min. The place was not busy as we arrived before lunch. We didn't get asked for coffee or water refills and had to take the bill to the server to pay. Warning: there is an additional mandatory 6% fee added to your bill to cover employee medical benefits.

S
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience2

Understandably it was late but that shouldn't affect your service. Biggest reason for poor review is the bill came with items we never ordered. Mentioned to server so they took them off and brought new correct bill. Next day, credit card company flagged double charges from restaurant. They ran both tickets. Seriously...thankfully credit card co. Backed out charges

SF
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

The menu was limited and did not have any dishes that interested me. In the past they had more items in the menu. Food was just ok for the value.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Excellent service. Food was great.

KA
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall3food5service1ambience4

I was really looking forward to an amazing dinner with my family as my children are away at college, and all of us were finally together. The dining room was not open yet when we arrived, so we sat at a table in the bar area. We were never acknowledged by the staff although other tables were served drinks and bread. We had to go up to the counter and order. Once the dining room was open, we were shown to an extremely small table where a chair was added at the end although we had a reservation. There were other open tables that would comfortable seat 5 adults. Our food was EXCELLENT. Unfortunately our service was not. The waiter was not sure about the food options and no specials were suggested. At the end, our bill had added plates that were never ordered. The waiter agreed and took our receipt. He then tossed it back to my husband without any type of an apology. The experience was very frustrating.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Lunch and shopping

MS
Dallas
43 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

The food was okay but it was expensive for lunch. We had to ask for bread - to me, that is a given when dining at an upscale San Francisco restaurant (after all, sourdough bread is one of the many things SF is known for). An 8 ounce bowl of soup was $11. Service was adequate, not great. I wouldn’t go back.

BJ
Western NC
3 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

My family and I had a really good experience with brunch at Scala's Bistro 2018 Christmas and thought that we would revisit it again this year.
On the morning of, I received a call telling me that my 10:30 reservation that I made on Open Table was not available because the kitchen would be closed from 10:30-11:30 and I was asked to come earlier between 10-10:15. When we arrived, it was not brunch (as advertised on Open Table) but breakfast menu only. Menu was limited and over priced (even for SF standards). We asked about brunch later that day and the waiter told us that Scala's Bistro doesn't offer brunch every year and that they were not offering brunch this year. Thus, with an unattractive breakfast menu, prices, & the facility not offering brunch as we had reserved for, we left and went to a great close by establishment instead.

I would recommend calling the Bistro directly to make reservations and find out what they are offering, but be warned, the number is going to take you to the hotel who will then try and connect you to the Bistro. The Bistro does not regularly answer the phone so you may end up being rerouted back to the hotel clerk who will then take a message and ask the Bistro to call you. Wait until you have time, do not do it if you are in a rush. I did call this year before my reservation, but never got through. In 2018, it was the same, but they did call back.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Christmas Eve meal. Service check in and out was efficient and food service was quick. Ambience was nice and convenient location. For the price I felt the food taste was average, nothing other than the desert (Boston Pie) and ravioli stood out in taste and presentation. We had the salmon, roast chicken pizza, chicken burger and ravioli

DM
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My family and I love this place. Great food, great service, cozy atmosphere and inviting aromas. It is our go-to place when we visit San Francisco.

e
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall2food3service3ambience3

Disappointing. Our reservation was for 7pm. They had already ran out of a bunch of dishes, including hamburger for kids dishes.

MS
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience1

Horrible dining experience with our family. They accepted a 1:45 lunch reservation. Waiter did not come to our table for 20 minutes and then asked that we order immediately as they were closing the lunch menu at 2:00! Insane. Drinks did not arrive at our table for over 40 minutes. Restaurant was dirty and run down. Prices were insane especially for wine. Bottle of DuMol chard was $175. Seriously like eating at a Denny’s though Denny’s has better service. Total and complete disaster on every level.

s
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall3food2service1ambience4

I have been to Scalas for over 15 years and until this year I would have given a high rating to this restaurant. But this last experience was not good. Granted it was the Saturday before Christmas so the place was super busy. That's ok because it felt festive and I have gone on this date for many past Christmas seasons. This year something was definitely off. Main issues concerned service and food. We waited an excessively long time between ordering drinks and getting drinks; between ordering food and getting food. The restaurant was out of linguini noodles, yet one of their main dishes called for that style noodles. The chicken dish was poorly presented, and was served with cold toasted baguette sheered with pate that was cold. Our waiter was so overtaxed it took her forever to get to our table and when she did there was no acknowledgement that we had waited 20 minutes just to get the check. I only checked that I would recommend Scalas to a friend because of all the prior year's good food experience memories. I miss the old menu, especially the linguini and clams.

CO
San Francisco
34 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience1

Scala's used to be an elegant restaurant and SF icon. It's gone very downhill. While it was the last Saturday before Christmas, I'll give it some benefit of the lack of effort extended to us. Table of four, two bottles of wine totaling $300 to start should show the server we are a high end table among the screaming kids at the 6 p.m. dinner time. We ordered a lot of starters, and cocktails and wine, never checked on by our server, the entrees came before the table was cleared, and I had to ask them to not place them as there was no room. Sloppy and poorly maintained, this location is the reason people eat here, it's lost all of the finery it had even 5 years ago. So sad to see this happen - P.S. I should have gotten a clue in the bar when the $16 Old Fashion was sloppily thrown on a napkin with little care. It's clear to see the front of the house is in total chaos, and the food was mediocre at best.

G
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience4

Very limited menu before 5 pm

DF
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience3

Christmas shopping luncheon with the grand-daughter and her friend. Fairly busy and loud interior noise. Wife had Fusilli pasta dish which was good but basic. I had the Radiatore which was solid but not exciting; best with the Italian Primitivo we ordered. Burger and French toast/bacon filled out the meals. With wind cost $50 each which a bit steep for a lunch. Service slow when crowded.

AB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food2service5ambience5

Not on weekend not a fan of their weekend brunch menu

BI
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Love the restaurant, great food, good servers and great view from the window seats.

RH
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious and great service!

G
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of our very special places. We never spend a weekend (we live in Visalia, CA) in the City without having dinner at Scala’s. Thanks for a great evening. Gary and Cathy.

p
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It has been a family tradition for years to gather at Scala’s for special occasions and holidays. It is among our favorite eateries in the city.

f
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Scala's was a great place to celebrate my daughter's 16th birthday.The food -pastas, misto fritto appetizer, seafood risotto, and cocktails were superb. The waiter was kind and courteous. It was busy. So that was my reasoning for part of our appetizer order being forgotten and the lengthy time we waited to get our drinks.

AG
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Having returned from 7 weeks in Northwestern Spain, and eaten lots of fresh octopus, my wife and I were pleasantly surprised by the tenderness and flavorful garnish of SCALA'S grilled octopus appetizer. Apparently we were not the only ones who favor octopus; there many orders being served throughout the restaurant. This restaurant is on our list of "must come back, again."

R
San Francisco
72 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Always happy to eat here. Great and kind service. Go!

LA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Served rancid pine nuts on a salad. When we sent it back, the chef acknowledged they were off, according to the waiter, but made an excuse (they had been previously frozen). They took the item off the menu, but then served my pasta dish with a huge pile of pine nuts on it. The waiter laughed but did not offer to replace the dish so I had to pick the pine nuts off one by one.

MD
Central Coast
5 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience5

Highly disappointed with the quality of food. I've been coming here for years and could always count on Scala's for consistency. Today the caesar salad was mediocre and the mushroom soup bland. After many years of eating here when in SF, I seriously think I will not be returning.

OT
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service from Mary. Food was delicious.