398 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410237.777009 -122.422873
Neighborhoods: Central North, Hayes Valley
Lively on the bar side, dressy and relaxed on the dining room side, Absinthe deals out the best version of French classics you've had. And their cocktail list is NOT to be missed. My favorite is the 21 Hayes, named after a bus line that runs just outside.
I prefer the bistro like bar at Absinthe over the more formal dining room. It's cozy and casual. The cocktails and food are always stellar and the bartenders and waitstaff friendly and approachable.
Gem of a restaurant – This is the first and only restaurant in SF where I wasn't asked if I had a reservation when there were clearly a lot of tables open. The hostess was so welcoming and the waitress was really wonderful. The food was absolutely wonderful. The prices match the quality of the food. We had such a wonderful experience, and my boyfriend raved that it was his new favorite restaurant in the city (and we eat out A LOT). The decor is warm and inviting. I really enjoyed my experience here and will be going back very soon.
go for the bar, leave for the food/service – I have to agree with most of the reviews on here. The food is mediocre. The oysters I had were very fresh, and very good, but the rest of the food was anything but spectacular, compared with many other of san francisco's restaurant offerings. (Try the Hayes Street Grill down the street) And the service was terrible. Maybe I want too much, but our waiter was hardly attentive, forgot to serve a dish and got a bit flustered (and didn't apologize) when we pointed it out.
I will go back to the bar. The long, dimly lit brassy bar with more choices of scotch, bourbon, vodka and traditional cocktails was phenomenal. And you have to love bartenders who are taking shots of bourbon behind the bar. Fantastic. Excellent service!
Terrible Customer Service – I went to Absinthe last night for a work dinner and had the worst service. The waitress didn't approach our table until 30 minutes after we sat down. She never explained the menu and took forever to bring us each entree. She never filled up our water glasses or offered to bring more drinks. The food is great, but the service made for a terrible dinner.
Decent food, horrible parking – Everyone seems to be raving about Absinthe and I think it's one of those places that people like to be "cool" so they say they like it. Not that the place is bad. Food is average, leaning more toward the good side. I ordered the halibut with clams - it was tasty but a bit too soupy. The soup base was green too which is a bit odd. Too green if you ask me - good thing it was dark! LOL Overall, the service was good, food was decent.
HAYES STREET HEAVEN! (even their ketsup is increadibly delicious!!) – Absinthe is such a classy restaurant, the ambiance is true to Parisian taste and culture.
The service was prompt and polite, not overly friendly, just right! We had the most delicious oyster shooters, the sauce was perfect and the oysters so fresh! I am not a french fry fanatic, but this restaurant has the PERFECT pommes frites, authentically wrapped in paper, and acompanied by the most increadible ketsup, aioli, dijon and vinegar dipping sauces! THE FRIES ARE A MUST! We also had a superb arrugula salad, and a rib eye steak with the most delicious sacue. The flavour combinations were perfectly balanced, the portions were PERFECT.
THE RISOTTO AUX CHANTERELLES IS OUT OF THIS WORLD!!! the best I have ever had!
The chocolate creme dessert is another dish that really was superb.
It is not very often that one goes to a restaurant and EVERYTHING that you order is cooked to such perfection! BEAUTIFUL DINNER, BEAUTIFUL PLACE!
Eh... – This is a nice place, but any place that still only has a grilled portobello sandwich as their sole veggie option is kind of lame. Too many places to try in Hayes - I'm unlikely to go back since there wasn't anything particularly compelling. Service was average, prices are above.
Nothing special about the food, bad service – Very overpriced and overhyped. Service was abrupt and cold. I ordered a vodka martini -- even called the name of the vodka -- and was brought a gin martini. Waiter argued for a moment before bringing me another drink.
Walk Down the Street to Something Better: Average Service, Boring Food, Highly Overpriced – We'd heard it was fabulous, and my boyfriend and I just moved to this neighborhood, so we decided to try out a local haunt. We waited for at least 8 minutes before someone walked up to the table -I should mention... It wasn't busy at all.
We had to order water, and got olives for appetizer, they were ok, but no bread do dip in the extra oil?! He got the Tuna and I got the Sole. The tuna was good grade, cooked rare, sliced for you (because the piece is so small they're ashamed to serve it whole?) mixed with veggies, ---so you have a hard time finding the tuna. The sole was pan fried, boring. I really could have made a better meal at home. The coctails were good, the wine suggested by the waiter was ok. The desserts --ramekins of cremes (brulee, chocolate, caramel)-- terrible, like churned heavy creme until it was almost butter. The sorbet was good. Really, really, not worth your time or money! Walk down the street to something better!
Fun, sexy ambience with great food and wine – Terrific for romantic dinners, first dates, or small groups who enjoy sampling different appetizers - the oysters and cheeses are outstanding. I made reservations for 8 for my husband's birthday, and the staff were very accommodating, allowing us to linger in the bar area enjoying wine & cheese for 30 minutes beyond our dinner reservation, before we finally moved to our table. The service was friendly & flexible. They also brought my husband a beautiful birthday dessert. Some of the food was outstanding (oysters, cheese, desserts, and fish) and some good but not great (the pork & lamb). The Coq au Vin is a savory, hearty dish for a winter evening, ample enough to share if you want to save room for dessert. Great wine selection including dessert wines & sherrys. oh, and yummy cocktails too!
Very good food and cool bar – So Absinthe gets my vote for having an all around excellent menu. Cheeses are great and excellent wine selection. The main entree selections are somewhat limited and I wish there was more choices. They got some really great drinks on their menu as well. I recommend trying the Brazil 66, its like a Mojito.
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