Seafood >John's Grill
63 Ellis St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410237.785543 -122.407116
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Northeast
John's Grill, a San Francisco tradition since 1908 is a must on a visit to San Francisco. This landmark was the setting for the Maltese Falcon novel whose author Dashiell Hammett was a regular and mentioned John's Grill in his novel.
It is a gathering spot for local and national celebrities where one enjoys excellent service and great seafood and steaks at honest prices in a traditional San Francisco atmosphere. Dark panel walls, antiques, white table linens, pictures of old San Francisco, photos of celebrities who frequent the restaurant are all a part of the excitement at this famous grill which was featured in Gourmet and chosen as one of the 10 best in S.F. by Esquire. Dress is casual. We have a full bar as well as an extensive wine list featuring wines from Napa Valley.
Ugh. – I was exciting about checking this place out because of the history. Very disappointed.
Took a group of friends here for a small birthday celebration. Servers were stuck up and rude, food was boring, plain and badly cooked. We had to return the steak because it was too well done. The seafood combinations looked like they were came out of a freezer.
Place looked great. 1940's detective story ambiance. I'd probably enjoy having a drink at the bar here at the end of a work day... but not expecting a nice dining experience.
Real tourist trap – Did anyone notice that most of the reviews for this restaurant were submitted by "Anonymous"? I never pay attention to the anonymous reviews and automatically attribute to the restaurant owners or employees or other "hired guns." Johns' Grill rests on its mention in The Maltese Falcon. People who like really good food do not go here. It's right near the Powell/Market cable car turnaround so it grabs all the tourists. Add bad service to food that is mediocre at best and you get the picture.
Great Time – The priveous reviewer must have gone to a different restaurant. We read a review of the restaurant in Maxim and loved it. The staff was young and the diners all in there 20's - 40's. The martini's were superb and our lamb chops were done perfectly as well as the seabass in a garlic wine sauce. The ambiance is so New York we will be back on our next visit.
Maybe good if you are 80 w/o taste buds – Of all the places we ate in San Fran on my last trip this was by far the most unimpressive. The food was overpriced and completely unimaginative. I think they got the fish from the market, cooked it with some butter and then serverd it. At about $22 per plate I expected something more. It has to be the worst bang for your buck in the entire Bay area.
I'm sure older people with boring tastes will think this place is fine. If you are young and like to try many different types of food, this is DEFINITELY NOT the place to go.
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