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“Soup and salad before ballet” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

Absinthe Brasserie & Bar
398 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102-4421 (Hayes Valley)
415-551-1590
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Ranked #191 of 5,004 Restaurants in San Francisco
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: American, French, Contemporary, Californian, Brasserie
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Bar scene, Doing business, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Hayes Valley
Cross street: Gough
Alameda, CA
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Soup and salad before ballet”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

A little crowded and busy, and fairly noisy, but still a comfortable place to lunch with friends before a performance. The food is fine, but more important is the service and a lack of rushing. Very much enjoyed a reunion while eating a pleasant lunch.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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280 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    120
    129
    17
    10
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Southern California
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Charming brasserie”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

I found this place while hanging out in Hayes Valley with a friend. Although we only ordered snacks and coffee, the service was attentive and excellent. So was the food. The ambiance is very French, very sophisticated. We will be back.

Visited May 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Best burger. Ever.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

We ate in the bar after a Sunday symphony matinee, and though there was a bit of a wait, that burger certainly made it worthwhile. Ordered it with gorgonzola. A fabulous pairing. The burger was so good that a guy we had met at the bar, from abroad, peeked around the room divider as he was leaving and told us that it was his best burger ever, too. The pickles, which are apparently house-made, were noteworthy, and the fries retained their crispness to the end. By contrast, the Croque Monsieur was pedestrian, even a little too hammy. We started with an order of soft garlic pretzels, which were oily/tasty but lacked the advertised Vermont cheddar flavor. At $8 per order, wouldn't spring for them again. But that's coming from a New Yorker, from a place where garlic knot/soft pretzel permutations are plentiful. The bar atmosphere was bustling and pleasant, and service was efficient and friendly. Would definitely return.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Silicon Valley
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Eclectic menu, lots of house cocktails”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

We came on a last minute reservation with some friends who happen to be vegetarian. The bad news is that they only offer a single vegetarian entree, their Winter Vegetable Ragout. The good news is it is excellent. I ordered the Coq au vin; which was also very good. The menu has the offerings of a "new" French bistro, including fish, beef, duck and pork. Portions are relatively small, and everything is ala carte - so if you are looking for typical American portions; suggest you order appetizers and sides with your entree.

The back of their single page menu is their drink menu - which is extensive. Here is one example of one of their house drinks: GALAPAGOS - Campo de Encanto Pisco, kaffir lime leaf & pepper 11 syrup, lemon & grapefruit juices.

They have their own valet parking, which costs $12, and they can add to your dinner check - which is helpful for those of us who do not carry cash.

Table service was excellent; and we appreciated the hostess seated us immediately on arrival; even though we were 15 minutes early from our reservation time.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staten Island, New York
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Hayes Street local place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013 via mobile

Corner restaurant draws local crowd - fun place with attentive wait staff. Salads and lunch offerings are well worth the price.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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