4031 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9412137.775396 -122.502121
Neighborhoods: Northwest, Outer Richmond
An unexpected Egyptian escape in the Outer Richmond. – In Short
The whitewashed walls and taupe tiled floors of this exotic dining room are decorated in colorful hieroglyphs and golden scarabs and sphinxes. A sumptuous private balcony with plush seating hangs over the full bar. Three-, four- and five-course tasting menus of savory Egyptian fare include rich, imported delicacies (feta, olives, pastrami) and lots of tender, roasted lamb, beef and poultry, including game hen and quail. Marinated seasonal fish and a Middle Eastern vegetarian feast complete the menu.
Looks great, but the food is bad – We went to Al-Masri tonight, to see some music and bellydancing.
The place is beautifully decorated, but the service was not great and the food was no better than what you can buy at Safeway.
We had the baked chicken, the hummous and the grape leaves and olives.
The chicken appeared to be microwaved, had no particular flavor, and was completely limp. There was some red sauce sticking to it, but none of the flavor of the sauce had penetrated the chicken, and the sauce itself was bland.
The hummous was a tiny portion, which was fine because it tasted as if it came right out of a can. (Not a bargain at $7.00).
The grape leaves were entirely mediocre and the olives were fine, for canned olives.
By all means go to Al-Masri for drinks. But eat first, elsewhere.
What's all the hoopla? – Dined recently at Al-Masri and was very disappointed. The prix fix prices are a bit high but you don't have any alternative. I opted for the veggie option and choose okra as one course. Felt like canned tomato sauce was dumped over the okra with no other special flavors. The entree of musacha was the same - veggies drowning in canned tomato sauce. Was unlike any other version I've ever had and wasn't tasty. Our waitor tried to over-charge us for wine then brought a dessert to make up for it, but should have had the dessert anyway since I opted for the prix fix which included it. The owner will come to your table and brag about all of their reviews ad nauseum- which by this point, I couldn't understand how they've gotten even one.
User review by shariff – From the moment you walk into Al-Masri and everything reminds me of Egypt. The welcome hospitality of its friendly staff to the very last detail of its amazing décor. The belly dancers are awesome. The perfection in the choreography reminds me the greats such as Samia Gamal and Taheya Karioka. The amazing food with the perfected tastes and smells always takes me back to those cooked by my family back home in Cairo.
Al Masri is an asset to San Francisco and a brilliant ambassador to Egyptian food and culture.
Keep in mind this is a FULL NIGHT OUT – This is a great restaurant, but not if you have other plans for the evening. That was my first mistake when I first went there. Hatem almost seemed insulted that we didn't want to spend more than an hour and a half there. We didn't understand everything that was planned. Next time we went with a group and we got there at 7pm and left a midnight! The food is slow to come, but it's paced with the 2 belly dancing shows and time to talk with your friends. Try the bar's Arak if you've got the guts.
AMAZING!!! – AL-MASRI is the best new place in the city that I've been to in years. The food is absolutely amazing, only to be outdone by the fabulous ambiance. Belly dancing every night makes you feel like you're actually in Egypt and the family who runs the place makes you feel like you're at home. EVERYONE WHO LIVES IN SAN FRANCISCO MUST TRY THIS PLACE!!!!
What a great meal! – This resturant was a terrific find! It's somewhat off the beaten path, but the food is delicious, the service is impeccable, and the belly dancing is wonderful!
Underwhelming and overpriced – After dusting off an old $25 gift certificate to this place that I had purchased on Ebay for $1 last year (should have been my first warning) we set out last night to experience Al Masri. There were only 2 other customers there, so the service was excellent, but the food left so much to be desired. The spinach salad was so doused in lemon that you couldn't take a bite without making a horrible face. The hummus and falafel were okay, but the main courses again were either drenched in sauce (vegetarian eggplant dish) or tasted like old, cheap meat (steak with feta). Not impressed at all, and the price was really unreasonable considering the quality.
Dining at its best – Al-Masri brings dining back to what it used to be. The owner was very hospitable and kind. The minute we entered it felt like we were visiting a family friend's home. It was a very intimate setting with beautiful decor. i recommend this resaturant.
FABULOUS PLACE TO TAKE YOUR DATE – From the time we made a reservation to the time we left, the owner and his son were just great. We saw two shows of belly dancing. The owner send us free drinks. He has Ph.D (like me) and we had great chat and learnt a lot about his culture.
We used the entertainment coupon. I tiped them 100% of the bill. This would be my largest tip anywhere.
Just a small suggestion: quantity of food (meat) could be slighly increased.
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