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“OK, but once is enough” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Orson - CLOSED

Orson
508 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94107 (Mission)
(415) 777-1508
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Price range: $30 - $100
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Mission
Transit: Muni: 47, 9x, 16ax, 16bx, 12, 45, 76, 30, 91, 81x.
San Francisco, CA
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“OK, but once is enough”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2010

Apparently, we unknowingly picked the wrong day to entertain out-of-town friends at Orson, and this impacted our dining experience. There were a couple of private functions in the bar area and the upper level dining room was quite loud as a result. Upon arrival, we were offered a table in the adjacent room (I assume it is a private dining room) because the staff acknowledged that the restaurant was louder than usual. This alternate room was dimly lighted and lacked any "atmosphere" - we declined the offer and chose to eat in the regular dining room.

We concluded that, at least on this night, the facility was a "bar" with a restaurant attached as an afterthought. But we could envision the dining room being more appealing on a quieter night. Lesson learned - check in advance to see if there will be large groups in the bar.

The food was mostly good, but some portion sizes seemed small given the prices. The only "bad" item was the Oysters Rockefeller. These were shared among the four of us, and we unanimously hated them. Much too bitter. Our friends were visiting from New Orleans and have more than a passing familiarity with oysters; they were anxious to compare this local version with what they experience in New Orleans. Yikes!!

Main courses were tasty and nicely presented. Service was good. Desserts were overpriced at $10, and were good, but not as spectacular as we had hoped, given the reputation of the chef whose career has been built on desserts.

We left with a general feeling of disatisfaction; we had an "OK" experience (except for the oysters) but we would not return; there are just too many other choices in San Francisco.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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16 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    5
    5
    3
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Cool food at a resonable price. Short...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2010

Cool food at a resonable price. Short ribs, scalops & desserts outstanding

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minnesota
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Exciting, delicious food that kept us wanting more.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2009

We ate at Orson in June '09--Elizabeth was serendipitiously in the kitchen and, according to our interesting server, chose our prixe fixe menu herself. We left absolutely fulfilled--the meal left us excited and inquisitive--"How did she do that!?!" We were stuffed like a fat uncle on Thanksgiving, and we are still talking about the meal. We will definitely be back for another adventure.
TIP: Great happy hour 5-7pm nightly, $5/drink

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
221 reviews 221 reviews
215 restaurant reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“a bit to conceptual for...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2009

a bit to conceptual for me. deconstructed everything... the space is gorgeous though.

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A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
“Very creative menu but the drinks were bad.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2009

Very creative menu but the drinks were bad.

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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