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“Must try when in San Fran”

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Opaque Dining in the Dark
Ranked #2,803 of 5,737 Restaurants in San Francisco
Price range: $75 - $150
Cuisines: Contemporary, International, Fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: Hayes Valley
Cross street: Gough Street
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Must try when in San Fran”
Reviewed June 17, 2014

I really didn't know what to expect prior to dining here, only knowing I'd be eating in the dark-The night before our reservation Nikki from Opaque called to confirm our reservation and told us she would be helping us when we arrived and she looked forward to seeing us-

Night of our reservation we arrived a couple minutes late so we missed the seating time so we waited next door at the restaurant and had a drink, only waited like 10 minutes-Nikki came over and explained how it would work, showed us the menu and told us to use the bathroom/wash hands prior-
We made it down the stairs (very narrow and only room for like 8 people max in that space) and we waited for our waitress Katie to take us to our table-

Katie appeared and instructed that I put my left hand on her left shoulder, and my boyfriend did the same-She was able to navigate us to our table without any issues and then helped us with our seats-Katie is blind and instructed that the waiters there were either blind or partially blind-
We were given water and there was bread on the table, which I didn't know was there until I felt it-

We both ordered the same thing:
-Steak, mashed potatoes, green beans
-Chocolate cake/brownie with ice cream and slice strawberries

Within minutes our salad was brought out by Katie, she place is in front us and asked if we were ok-We started eating it and I was impressed, very good-I only lost my fork once, but decided to position at like clock hands so I wouldn't lose it again, so I kept my fork at "3:00" and never had an issue after-

As soon as we said our salad was done the entree was right there, I could smell it so I knew it was us-We were given a knife to use and that was a challenge at first b/c you couldn't see how much you were cutting but you get the hang of it-So I decided to leave my knife at 7:00 in order not to lose it-It was easy eating the green beans and mashed potatoes and it was good-Now it wasn't a Mastro's filet or the best filet you'll even have but it's not Ponderosa either, so do not expect this-
After we said we were done with our dinner the dessert was brought right out, again by Katie-It was really good-

What I found interesting was that when it's dark you are eating what your stomach perceives as what you need-I got filled up and I honestly didn't eat all my food-Amazing how much your eyes tell you to eat when your stomach is like "woah, I'm done" ;)

After we were done with eating we were asked by Katie if we would like to wait a couple more minutes and relax or would we like to be brought back to seeing-We were done so we opted to leave-
Katie then took my hand and my boyfriend then took mine and we were led back to where we came from earlier and were brought to the staircase-It was around 8:30 so it was not bright out but our eyes adjusted quickly-

We paid at the top of the stairs and were able to see where we were sat at and what tables were around us-

I highly recommend trying it when in town-Remember this is not Ruth's Chris, Mastro's or any other famous steakhouse-It's for the experience-

Also, I am claustrophobic and I didn't have any issues-I think the music and the chatter from others kept me from not freaking out-I was sure I would freak out but I didn't, so that's good-

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Food
Thank WindyCityGatorGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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41 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Challenging, but in a good way”
Reviewed May 30, 2014

What an amazing experience. My nerves were on end, my sense of smell, taste and hearing heightened. It was a challenging experience but so very worth it. The food was also very good, no complaints at all. The whole experience gave me such a greater awareness of what it would be like to be blind, but also made me appreciate other senses so much more. Apart form a little sorbet dribble, I did quite well. I've even found myself closing my eyes to fast my food at each meal now - a real experience in "mindful" eating. But make sure you go with someone you are comfortable with, remember there are no visual cues for conversation.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank melinmexic0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico City, Mexico
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great experience”
Reviewed April 10, 2014 via mobile

Dining at Opaque was a great experience, our server Jeniffer was very nice and had the sweetest voice! The food, apart from the whole experience, tasted great, and after a while you really do get the sense of getting better at using your other senses!

Thank Juan Jose A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Wild experience”
Reviewed March 15, 2014

This is different. Service was a amazing, food tasted great, but sort of wondered what it looked like. The only thing I didn't like is that it smelled bad at the entrance to the restaurant before you get into the dark. Interesting and worth trying if you get the chance.

Visited March 2014
Thank machalter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Brilliant stimulation for the senses!”
Reviewed December 18, 2013

Concept is very beautiful. Our hostess was blind but she was brilliant in leading us through the courses and to our table. It is an experience well worth the money.

Complete darkness and dietary restrictions are accommodated. Fun experience to figure out how to place your drink and ensure you can find it when you need next.

Being in SF, the food wasn't something to write home about - simple good food.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank ConnoisseurSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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