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“Perfect Night” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Albona Ristorante Istriano

Albona Ristorante Istriano
545 Francisco St, San Francisco, CA 94133-1803 (North Beach)
415-441-1040
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Ranked #8 of 4,918 restaurants in San Francisco
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: European, Italian, Seafood, Central European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: North Beach
Cross street: Taylor & Mason Sts.
Transit: Last stop of the Powell-Mason Cable Car Line at Taylor and Francisco Sts. (1/2 a block away). No. 30 Bus stops at Columbus Ave. and Francisco St. (1 & 1/2 blocks).
Edmonton, AB, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Perfect Night”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

This restaurant came highly recommended to us and now we know why. We were lucky enough to get a reservation on our last evening in San Francisco and the meal made the night and the vacation end in a most memorable way. Thanks to Samuel Hernandz and his staff for making our meal a delightful experience.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
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305 reviews from our community

89% Recommend
    237
    38
    18
    9
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Newark, Ohio
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

We just recently visited the Istrian peninsula and we found Albona to be a wonderful recall of our visit. The food and atmosphere were wonderful. Sam is a very friendly owner/chef.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 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.
humphreys@ala.net
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“Our favorite place in San Francisco!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

You will feel like you are dining with family here if your family cooks over the top amazing food! The staff is warm and attentive and ready to give suggestions. We absolutely love, love, love this restaurant.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 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.
encinitas ca
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Thanks Sam, for a wonderful birthday dinner”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

We just had the most amazing evening at Ristorante Istriano. We chose to celebrate my birthday here last Friday evening, traveling from San Diego. We based our visit on TripAdvisor and Yelp reviews. What a wonderful experience from the moment we arrived. Eddie, our waiter, immediately served us 2 glasses of champagne with a Happy Birthday greeting. The restaurant is small, cozy and romantic and we had fabulous service the whole evening. Sam, the owner, came out to our table and offered to help us select a white wine, since they have some very unusual varieties that we are not familiar with. He opened one from Slovenia, my Grandfather's birthplace, for us to try, which we didn't care for...no problem, he opened another from Croatia that we really enjoyed. We started with a wonderful appetizer to share and they served incredible rolls that I swear were homemade. My husband had chicken in the yummiest sauce I've ever tasted. I ordered the fish of the day, a halibut that melted in your mouth. They offered us the dessert menu, but we declined. A few moments later they served us a complimentary gelato with a birthday candle. Throughout the evening, you could see Sam all over the dining room, greeting people, helping with food service, refilling wine glasses. We were so well taken care of without the service being obtrusive. Our only regret is that we didn't eat here the 1st night so we could have gone back a second time. They were very busy and all of the tables were full, so definitely make a reservation. We can't wait to go back to San Francisco so we can make another visit to this wonderful restaurant.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 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.
Sonoma, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Istrian delight”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

Having read reviews of this restaurant, my daughter and I wanted to try it to revive our memories of Croatia. We had one of the most delicious meals I've ever had, anywhere, served by perfect waiters. Everyone was solicitous of our satisfaction but not cloying. We were delighted that Sam Hernandez, the owner and chef, came to our table to talk about Croatia and his passion for the restaurant. The dinner was a perfect example of "Old San Francisco" starched white table linens, impeccable service and food to dream about. We put ourselves in Sam's hands and let him decide for us. Perfect gnocchi in a brown butter sirloin sauce were followed by arugula salad with granny smith apple, porcini ushrooms and dressed with a white truffle vinaigrette, topped with a slice pf prosut. The salad was a revelation. Then the mussels arrived. They were sweet and soft, and served with a marinara sauce that we could have eaten by itself. Then, Sam suggested a baked pasta rolled with ham and cheese, smothered by a Bechamel sauce and a little marinara and bread crumbs. It was just one perfect dish followed by another perfect dish. And we shared a taste of strawberry sorbet that Sam's wife, the restaurant's pastry chef had just finished making. Again, perfect.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 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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