Cafes >Grand Cafe
501 Geary St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410237.786893 -122.411669
Mon-Thu 7am-10:30am, 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm
Fri 7am-10:30am, 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11pm
Sat 8am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11pm; Sun 8am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm
Neighborhoods: Northeast, Tenderloin
A classic brasserie with California ingredient sourcing. Good spot for a biz lunch, after-work meeting, and dinner if you're catching a show.
This elegant dining room will transport you to Paris. It's romantic and frankly, grand.
All Form - No Substance – I just bought a building (for my office) in Union Square. Was looking for a daily go to white table cloth in the area. Grand Cafe I thought . . . wrong.
Decor - Beautiful
Service ? Unsophisticated waiter with heavy Hispanic accent trying to describe ?Brasserie classics.? Disaster. Ketchup came with my wife's burger, but not my fries. When I asked for ketchup, no response. Then I asked again and finally got some ketchup. Waiter did not once do the obligatory "howyadoing." My individual teapot had top turned up for 15 minutes - no refill. Took me another 10 minutes to flag someone else?s waiter down for hot water. My waiter gives me credit card slip to fill out, I sign. Takes me 10 more minutes of looking around the room like I'm an idiot for the waiter to finally see me so he can come get the signed credit card slip.
Final Straw - Coke was $3.50 ok I can live with that. Tea was $5.00! Don?t remember last time tea was more than Coke. Moreover, anyplace that charges $5.00 for tea better provide a hellava lot more than the Grand Cafe.
Management - If you're reading this. Visit was on 1/21/09 1145a-1245p. Either lower your prices or improve your service. Try you again in a year.
An authentic brasserie in a great setting. – I travel to SF often on business, and usually entertain clients at dinner. So I worry about my restaurant choices. I'd heard some interesting comments about good things happening at the Grand Cafe, and decided to try it. It was a wonderful experience! The room is beatifully designed and interestng, whith it's high ceilings, and open kitchen.The food was authentic French Brasserie. I found the servers attentive, but not overbearing, Our waiter explained intricacies of the preparation on request, and made some great suggestions. All in all, a great experience, and the food was the star!. I'd eaten at Les Halles, in Paris, and this was as authentic but far more sophisticated. The charcuterie, the puree of cod potatoes and garlic, and the skate wing stand out in my memory, but everything was done to perfection. A great evening!
Beautiful Parisian Brasserie – The Grand's dining room is so beautiful - it speaks to another age when a room could take your breath away.
The new Chef has given the food the attention & flavor to match. During a recent trip to Paris, we dined in all the famous brasseries, this one really takes the cake (or foie gras).
I love eating at this restaurant!
Classic French fare sparkles at this striking Theater District brasserie. – The Scene
Housed in the Hotel Monaco, the cafe attracts guests who mingle in a front bar filled with upbeat pop tunes. Further back, a sculpture of an acrobatic trio balanced atop one another sets the tone of a truly grand dining room. Pillars support 30-foot-high ceilings and sunken tables are surrounded by booths. Caricature-like sculptures, including one of a plump waiter adjacent to the open kitchen, add more playful touches to the majestic space.
The French onion soup may be the best you'll ever experience--if you enjoy brown-sugar-kissed broth and soaked rye bread that somehow maintains a crisp crust. Smooth and savory defines the spreadable "brandade de morue" (gratin of cod, potato, garlic puree). Entrees range from a relatively mundane tomato-fennel-broth bouillabaisse to transcendent Pacific halibut--each plump, pristine chunk falls off the fork and then dissolves.
Hits: Fun French tunes dancing in the background help to establish an upscale-yet-whimsical ambience.
Misses: Said tunes are not performed live from the dining room balcony.
my first visit two years ago. definitely not my last. – i visited grand cafe two years ago with a group of my friends; surprisingly the waiter that was catering to us was extremely RUDE, rushing us and expecting us all to order right when we sat down! the food tasted great but the service i can say striaghtout...sucked. my friend typed an email to the manager the week after and she replied back with apologies and compensation for the waiter's rude service. we went back to grand cafe a few weeks later and the managre provided us with the utmost respect + best service possible. our new waiter was extremely cordial, food was amazing, and i must say Grand Cafe hired a wonderful manager that knows how to treat a loyal customer. Try it out, i don't think you will regret it....the past few times i went the food was always delicious!
Five years on, very disappointed – We came here in 2002 and remembered an evening with great atmosphere and food. Unfortunately, on return this evening (five years later) it fell well short of our expectations.
The service was excellent but the fayre from the kitchen was consistently poor?
Main issue was with the main course ? We both had fish, I had Salmon and my partner had sea-bass?. both were absolutely swimming in butter which totally ruined it.
We both had Fois Gras as a starter which tasted OK but was piled-high (maybe we?re a bit European but that isn?t the done thing for a starter where we come from!) and the flavours were over-complicated.
And I haven?t even mentioned the bread which had us masticating for ages?.
Such a shame.
Just my opinion, horrible! – The only positive during this dining experience was our server, who did a great job. But what is good
service worth when the food is horrible! There was not one person out of a group of 10 who enjoyed the
meal. Simply a huge dissapointment and worst of all a huge bill. Dining establishments that charge prices
like these should serve much better food!
Underwhelming service in an otherwise lovely spot – The food is surprisingly good for such a big brasserie in such a touristy location (Union Square). The decor is striking, too. Unfortunately, the service is lamentably poor. Not bad. Just poor.
We recently had a late lunch on a Saturday afternoon in the dining room of The Grand Cafe. Our order ostensibly got lost in the computer lines between the waiter stand and the kitchen. Meanwhile, the managerette and 3 waiters were picking croutons out of the salad of some diva at table 14. Yet not even a scrap of bread was offered to us to quell our hunger. No investigation was made by the waiter as to why it was taking the ktichen 25 minutes to compose an order of eggs benedict and a burger; he offered a paltry "Your food should be right up" in lieu of anything resembling real effort.
When the managerette finally came by to apologize to us for the delay, she asked if she could get us anything, to which I replied, "Bread 20 minutes ago would have been nice." Then she rushed off to get a plate of crab cakes for the two divas at table 14. (To her credit, she did bring us some hard bread and eventually two comped glasses of wine, the tray quivering in her hand under the obvious strain of having to deliver a round of insufficient apologies.)
I don't expect anybody to kiss my butt when I go out to eat. But as a paying guest, I expect them to pay some attention to our table, our order, our enjoyment or, barring such an excessive degree of expectation, our minimal comfort. In a stylish setting like the Grand Cafe, you'd expect a degree of style in the service. I think that's the problem with this place. Despite the surroundings, the service was graceless.
We'll try it again. Once. But only once. Everybody has an off day, restaurants included; and maybe we got the one so-so waiter in the place. One bad visit can cast suspicion over an entire place forever, however. And in that industry -- in any industry -- that ain't good. So we'll see..
romantic setting – The room and the booths are very romantic.
We had an amazing tiger prawn appetizer. I
had the cassoulet, which I wasn't blown over by.
Romantic, elegant place with great food – This is a great spot for a fancy family dinner or a cozy and romantic date. The food is absolutely delicious and the desserts are perfection. Try the banana cream pie dessert or apple galette. I love this place!
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