4031 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9412137.775396 -122.502121
Neighborhoods: Northwest, Outer Richmond
Take a trip to Egypt and leave your troubles behind – I recently had to go out to San Francisco on business. My Client owns many restaurants in California but asked me to meet him and his two Partners for dinner. We have known each other for years and had met while traveling in Europe. We both enjoy all types of different foods from around the world and he felt that the Al-Masri Egyptian Restaurant would be the perfect spot. For me going out to eat is an escape from the stress of having a business and a growing family. Our culture here in the United States has programmed us that we are supposed to eat fast and be out in an hour. That is to stressful and I do not like one course right after another. In the case of Al Masri you also have the entertainment to relax and enjoy. I have traveled around the world twice and traditional food that would be served in ones home is always my favorite. Al Masri delivered on all of my needs and more. We were seated and immediately I felt like I was in Egypt and all of the stress in my head was gone. We talked for a few minutes and our starters arrived. The Imported Egyptian beef pastrami was amazing. The Yogurt cheese and garlic served with sliced cucumber was a great combination that was refreshing but not overpowering. Our last item the Egyptian fried “felafel” that was such an unique item we all enjoyed. I ordered my favorite food, the Grilled rack of lamb with a butter-garlic sauce. The temperature was perfect. In the big box chain steak houses I have paid twice what Al Masri charged and did not have the distinct flavor profile and tenderness. Some people want the cookie cutter chain restaurant feel and frozen food experience. If your looking for an authentic Egyptian traditional look and feel without the cost of flying half way around the world you can find it at Al Masri. Great food, great value and a chance to leave the fast pace world we live in for a few hours. This is now a must have experience whenever I am in town.
BEST Egyptian Restaurant in the WORLD!! – You can't go wrong. But there have been some changes, lately...GREAT changes!!
The menu has changed, as the former cook is no longer there, and the food is more of the Egyptian style with more variety -- and much tastier! Additionally, the dancer has changed (finally! I was wondering when I was going to see someone new.) So, the variety is better and more delicious. :-)
Log onto their website wwwalmasrisfcacom and check out their new menu. The food is great; the dancing is great.
Bad, Overpriced Food. Good Bellydancings. – This place is overpriced for the food. The atmosphere is cool, and the belly dancers are truly amazing. But I paid $18 for a plate of fries with sauce. I ordered one of their vegetarian dishes, and I got glop served over fries. We went with a group of 6 people, and everyone complained. My husband ordered lamb, and got lamb shards with a dollop of rice - for $20 bones.
Considering it's way out in the richmond, the owners/chefs must be smoking something to consider charging diners such high prices. But maybe that's why the place was so dead on a Sat. night. Lame, lame. You'll have a better time at any of the other middle eastern/bellydancing dives in the city.
I love good ambiance, but even that couldn't reconcile the low quality food for me.
Great experience! – I can't tell you how much a fabulous time I had at Al Masri...it was such an amazing, delicious, and educational experience. After talking to Samar and Hatem during dinner, I had such a better appreciation for the experience and respect for the culture. It was nothing that I had expected...the hummus was the best I've ever had I'll tell you that...it's not thin or generic like the ones I've tried. The hummus I tried last night tasted so fresh and more fluffy? creamy? I'm not sure how to describe it. I had the filet mignon and my friend had the pacific sole. We loved it! You can tell (taste) that the meals were prepared with fine, quality ingredients. Samar and Hatem, who were very knowledgeable and proud of their culture, shared with us so much interesting information and history related to the food and the difference between their food and imitations of Egyptian food. The decor was beautiful which adds to the whole experience. This place is no joke so come here if you're open-minded and willing to experience something new and to be educated. Oh and if you order Arabic coffee, have Samar tell you your fortune!
Great deco and service ! – The Egyptian decorations are great, making you feel you are in Egypt ! The service was warm and attentive. Explanations are given on dish recommendations. I love the dessert selections. Later in the night, I found that the server was actually Samar herself, the renown belly-dancer. What a pleasant surprise ! Definitely I will love to be back to see the belly dancing.
We went in a group, and the owner refused to accommodate our Vegetarian Friends. A group menu is forced on you, and you are not allowed to order individually.
Our Vegetarian friends had to share meat dishes with us (they ate rice ONLY).
The portions were very small for the group, and we ended up going to another restaurant afterwards (we had more girls than guys, and the portions were still too little).
Not one person in our group, or anyone I talk too that has been to this place enjoyed their time at this place! (I refuse to call it restaurant, because it is just a place).
On top of that, the food was terrible (the meat was of poor quality), the selection of the group menue was horrific, to say the least (it was a selection of white plain rice!!!!!).
We had to pay $45/peron (food only, no desert & no alcohol); contrary to the advertised pricing!!!
Would you pay $45 for white plain rice???
not alot for your buck – If you are going just for the belly dancing, then it's ok. But otherwise the food isn't that great, nor was it worth it. At almost $40/ person, you would think you'd come out with a belly full of good food. That's not the case.
The worst experience ever!! – Despite the ambiance AL Mmasri restaurant enjoys and the appealing feeling of the Sahara nights,unfortunately neither the owner,the waitresses or the dancers overthere let you enjoy it at all.
We had a reservation for almost 15 people.We got there ... Read moreon time to be seated in a very long table.We were told that if the party is over 4 we have to order a family style kinda serving which means this long table is going to share one small plate of each serving.Some in our group didn't want to be served with the rest for the simple reason that they are vegiterian and they don't care for all the meat that is going to be served.The owner assured them that there is going to be enough vegy food.Once the food was served everything was in a very small portions that only 2 or 3 could try the same kind of a dish.It looked like a hors'devour more than a real dinning,what we thought we were going to have.The owner meanwhile introduced the best belly dancer in the bay area as he claimed and she started dancing while we were still trying to fight our hunger with the bits served on the table but also trying to enjoy the rest of our night socializing and talking amongst each other.Suddenly we see the dancer rushing out of the dancing stage crying.Our group, 75%of the restaurant customers that night,were wondering what happened.The owner with one of our friends rushed to check with the infamous dancer.Apparently she got offended because we were too busy to clap and cheer for her.And to our surprise the owner asked her if she wanted us to get kicked out .At that point we just decided to leave the place after we paid $45 each for something on the menue that was supposed to be less than $30 each.
This restaurant is run by a very unprofessional owner and immature dancers who's their job is to entertain and serve us as long as we are being respectful and paying the bill.The food wasn't good but even if it was I don't recommend the place at all
A Total International Experience – Everyone and anyone interested in a real dining experience should venture to Al-Masri. I read the article the SF Chronicle wrote about them & felt to try what they described as "An excursion to Egypt, if only for a night". I had the hummus, spinache salad & the stuffed Cornish game hen. My partner had the eggplant salad, filet mignon stuffed with feta cheese and this dessert called basbusa (sp?)....heavenly! Our server was attentive & very hospitable, & the dancing is nothing I have seen before. There are mixed reviews of this gem, but don't be fooled. I would recommend this place to check out.
Good food too slow. – If you live in the East Bay, don't bother. It's not worth the drive. I chose this place because of the ambiance and alleged belly dancer. Dinner took two hours, almost twenty minutes between meals and drinks. In all that time we never saw a belly dancer. Food was great, but too bored to care. The music was loud- at first fun, but quickly grating as our stomachs growled. Overpriced.
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