555 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410237.781101 -122.419701
It has gone downhill . . . – I took my family here for Valentines Day 2009 - what a disappointment. I've grown up eating at Trader's and had a brief hiatus to nurture a new baby. The food was dry, not seasoned and not up to the high standards previously enjoyed. The service was shoddy - out waitress was rushed and never smiled. Someone who was clearing our table didn't know you don't lean heavily onto the customer to reach unused silverware you are clearing after the meal. The best employee was the gentleman keeping our water refilled. To add insult to injury the original bill charged us almost double the price on the menu for one entree and three dollars too much for another. No apologies, just "oh, yea, we'll fix it". So sorry I will have to cross Trader's off of our list of dining establishments in favor of goodies like Kincaids, Farrallon, even Cheesecake Factory. If you do go to Trader's make sure you carefully check your bill unless you don't mind paying twice as much as you should.
Avoid if possible, but hey, it's still food, right? – We should have gone to Chevys next door. The place was dead and the service was rather slow. I'm not writing home about the food either. Pretty dry stuff for a place known for exotic flavor. I have been to some other Trader Vic's and this is the only one I won't be going back to. If that's what you want at night, go for it. Not for me. It will be torn down soon enough with a condo in its place. And oh yes, homeless people sleep outside and "releasing" near the entrance. Bon apetit.
Dreadful on all counts – two wines from list were not available...by that time we were into the main course...gave us free martinis instead....calamari was dreadful chewy and undercut.....my duck was try and without interest....we wife's beef was dry and tasteless.....only reason to eat here is proximity to opera or symphony....this has always been a last resort is other places (Hayes St, Absinthe, City Cake, etc. are booked)...Food at the opera house and symphony is better....too bad
Worldly Experience For Everyone To Enjoy – This is a one of a kind spot. It's a piece of San Francisco history. I absolutely love the cocktail tables in the bar area, the island inspired decor, this is a tiki-lovers paradise. But beyond all of that, Trader Vic's is the place that (i at least heard) it was fifty years ago. It's a classic spot where people of all ages come to eat, drink and have a great time.
I'm only 23 but my friends and I absolutely love the scorpion bowls and find ourselves enjoying the pu-pu appetizers quite often in the bar (one of those drinks will knock you off your feet if you dont eat) . . .and at the same time, someone beside you could be your parents age and everyone gets along just great.
It's a perfect spot for a lively group function, definitely a great place for a birthday party . . . and the portions are enormous. They have an amazing bargain 3- course prix fixe menu (which i tend to go with on my just out of college salary) . . . but the items are diverse and great value for your dollar.
Oh and I almost forgot, $5 mai tais during certain hours . . . i never can remember which ones they are though . . .
Upscale Polynesian franchise with a colorful Bay Area past. – In Short
The late Victor "Vic" Bergeron's first San Francisco tiki outpost was a sensation as soon as it opened in the '50s, sought after by the jet set for its stylish-yet-campy tropical ambience. Now a worldwide franchise, the restaurant's outpost in its native city appeals to a broader market with famous island-style drinks, pan-Pacific cuisine and cabana-style decor.
Trader Vic's or Trader Joe's? – The legendary Trader Vic's has opened where brilliant Stars used to be. But over-the-top Polynesian decor doesn't work as well in the brightly lit room as it did in dingy Cosmo Place. I grew up in the old Trader Vic's and was hoping to find the excellent service and uncompromised quality that so many San Franciscans had grown to rely on. No and no. The hostess was cheerful and cordial and seated our party of 4 promptly in the empty dining room of clubby red leather chairs. But our waitress was surly throughout and seemed anxious to get rid of us despite there being, alas, only 3 occupied tables in the big room. I consoled myself by perusing the menu. It was lunch time, but sandwiches at Trader Vic's? And such an abbreviated menu to boot. Fortunately, Bongo Bongo soup was still available and it was the soup I used to order without fail. But not finding other old faves I had to settle for Curry Crab Salad--remembering the fresh crab I used to enjoy on crisp endives with a soy sauce based vinaigrette. When it came the soup was green and served in an oyster shell as in the old days but the flavor was more Bongone than Bongo. Didn't taste like fresh oyster puree. And the salad did not resemble its name. The ice cream scoop of fishy stuff was mostly cut up prawns. Where was the crab? In the old Trader Vic's a crab salad would have featured shelled whole crab leg parts--and only the biggest pieces. The price should have tipped me off--$17 doesn't buy much crab these days. But to call it Curry Crab Salad and fill it with shrimp seems dishonest. It's just not the way Vic Bergeron would have done it and it would have embarrassed the loyal, long-serving, professional staff on Cosmo Place. I wish Trader Vic's had not reopened to tarnish the reputation of its eponymous founder and predecessor restaurant.
Go for the drinks and not the food!!! – The food was horrible not only that but their prices are outrageous for what they put out. Ridiculous!! I was very dissapointed. Nice decor and set up good enough to get drunk at. But stay away from the food.
Overpriced - nice stuff on the walls though! – This place was basically an expensive TGI FRIDAYS. The quality of the food was very poor, my Calamari was soggy and greasy, the spring rolls fell apart, and I have cooked better Stir Fry at home.
The Waitress was unable, or unwilling to help when we asked for recommendations from the menu
Trader Vics is overpriced, and relies on its reputation to bring customers in. What a shame it does not deliver, it feels just like any other chain restaurant.
Give this place a miss.
Fantastic – I think Trader Vic's is one of the most beautiful restaurants in San Francisco. They also make the best MAI TAI using fresh lime juice. Pu Pu appetizers are fun. Everything from their famous oven is great, especially, Indonesian Lamb roast. But, you can have just a hot dog or hamburger when you feel like having something small at their very long bar.
We loved the new Trader Vic's – Trader Vic's is back in SF after a ten year absence. We took a large family group and the experience was fabulous. Try the cosmo tidbits and one of the exotic drinks to start. The main courses were uniformly superb. I particulary liked the mu shu duck. Welcome back Trader Vic's!
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