453 Bush St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410837.790529 -122.405063
Closed Sunday 11:30 am to 10:30 pm Monday to Saturday
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Northeast
Parking can be a (rhymes with "WITCH"), but don't let that deter you from this downtown mainstay. The food what this place is all about!
We had a party of 8, got a nice table (if memory serves), and in rolled some of the best French food this side of Market Street.
I suppose they really cater towards the downtown exec on power lunch, the company pays the tab bit; so I think it's a bit overpriced for those who have to pay out of their own pocket -- hence the rating.
Even the soups can't save the meal – We were expecting wonderful food based on past reviews but were disappointed. Not sure what Willie Brown likes about this place except iperhaps t was/is a popular place for old politicos. The Lobster Bisque and French Onion soups were the only good part of the entire meal excepting the glass of Gloria Ferrer champagne. The roast chicken was bland and so dry that I needed gulps of champagne or water to wash it down. The pomme frittes were good, but the fries at Town Hall are 10 times better. The lamb was good but not enough to warrant a trip back. At $50/person for basically a glass of liquor, soup and entree, you can do better elsewhere. We sat across from the bar and had to ask our waiter twice for glasses of tap water. Time to move on and try another place.
Wholly Unsatisfying Experience – Our recent visit was truly a bad dining experience. I think that the quality has plummetted, I believe it is under 'new ownership,' its not the original team. We were a group of 4 sitting in the back room. On the banquette at a table next to us was a man and woman 'couple' who were amorous in an appallingly inappropriate plublic manner. Our group is in our 40's and no prudes, but it was an uncomfortable experience, one that we felt discomfort not only for ourselves but for those around us also who clearly had an issue with this inappropriate behavior in a public setting. It was also a disappointment that management didn't address this situation and seemed to ignore the comfort of their guests. I would never bring my parents to this place after witnessing that. On top of that, our server, and thus service, was poor: slow, forgetful, and usually absent. The food was forgettable, I had casoulet, which was just mediocre, lacking in flavor, I have had much much better elsewhere (eg., Jeanty at Jacks). I would be disinclined to suggest Le Central to my parents - or my friends - in the future- but i would suggest they go to any of the better french restaraunts in town, Jeanty's, Cafe Claude, Fringale, etc..
worth it – a fantastic french bistro. i had steak tartare for the first time, and it was great. my husband had the lamb, which was also wonderful. and, i met willie brown! it is always greatto have a high budge meal where the waiters are not snobby.
Roast Chicken and Frites! Oh My! – I frequent this restaurant at least once a month. Their Roast Chicken and Frites is the most decadent dinner one can have. The chicken skin is crispy, the meat flavorful and juicy and the fries ... oh the fries ... they are the best in the city. Light in flavor and texture; crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside. You must try one of their salads -- the Celery Root Remoulade, the Belgian Endive with blue cheese and their Tomatoe, Anchovy and Olive salads are decadent yet fresh! This place is warm and relaxed with a great ambience. Definitely a jewel for the city!
Traditional French cuisine and Herb Caen's blessing have made this downtown bistro a longtime favorite. – In Short
One of the late Herb Caen's favorite haunts, this classic French bistro is divided into two small dining rooms, featuring exposed-brick walls, padded booths and a dark-wood bar with brass finishings. The menu offers steak tartare, bubbling onion soup and steak frites. The signature main dish is cassoulet, a crock of white beans studded with pork sausage, duck confit and more.
Classic French – This restaurant reminded me so much of being in Paris. The steak tartare is excellent! Service is nice and relaxed, and they have great wines by the glass and half bottles too.
Absolutely fantastic! – The steak tartare was second to none, and the sea bass was flawless -- flaky and delicious. Even the dessert we chose -- raspberries in English cream -- was excellent. I hvae paid twice as much at more "ritzy" French restaurants and have not received as good food. Highly recommended and many different things to try on the menu even for those nota ccustomed to traditional French food.
True French Bistro... – I am a French native and enjoy this bistro which stays true to its gallic counterparts. The atmosphere is relaxed and warm and the food is good. I especially recommend the cassoulet (best I've had in SF) and the moules-frites.
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