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“Good!!”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of AQ

AQ
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Ranked #741 of 5,643 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighborhood: SoMa
Level Contributor
37 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Good!!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2013 via mobile

We had reservation at the chef counters it was really nice you really see the kitchen staff preparing your food whit a lot's off attention food was really good, service too maybe a it was missing a little description on the menu from the server but we manage to order all the good stuff cause we saw everything a the counter ! Nice wine list and good cocktail ! There is no ambiance really it's a little noisy probably cause the selling is super high and it was really hot inside overall it was good it's worth a try for sure!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Peter M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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134 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    65
    44
    13
    8
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
“Beautiful place but the food is not good enough. Bad value for money”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2013

We went to have dinner here on our California road trip for our 9 year anniversary. We were warmly welcomed by a hostess who was very nice, but she wanted to push too hard for us to order three things each (2 apetizers and one main dish). Instead we took the 7 course tasting menu with wine pairings. We paid a whopping $130 per person, and we left the restaurant feeling very disappointed. The food was very well presented, But the combinations of ingredients in each dish were unnessecarily complicated, and either too bland or too salty. They had put more thought in the creative concept and the looong and exaggarated explanations of the dished than in the food itself. They seemed to be in a big rush, as they brought us the one course right after the other. We felt bloated at the end of our meal.. We're from Belgium, and when we spend this kind of money in a restaurant at home, we get a Michelin star dinner for it.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kimdaenen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
35 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Great SF Restaurant”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2013

I recently visited AQ for my wife's birthday dinner. It was a fabulous meal with great service. We loved our experience. I even dropped off some special wine at the restaurant a couple hours before the meal for them to decant and they were very helpful.

The meal itself was innovative, with fresh ingredients and a beautiful presentation. You can tell the chef took great care in each dish, making them perfect.

One of the best tables at the restaurant is the booth. Ask for that if you have 4 or more people. And definitely try their signature cocktails. Interesting and delicious.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Frank_2011_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
348 reviews
213 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 286 helpful votes
“Great food, spring ambience in slightly gritty area”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 7, 2013

Highly thought of by a friend, we ventured to this restaurant. Being early, they recommended another bar around the corner as theirs was quite full.

DECOR: From the outside it looks like industrial sheik with exposed brick and steel. Inside this is paired with arches of twigs, pink flowers and small lights. The tall ceiling gives an impression of space with a curved bar as you enter. For people who eat in East London or the Meat Packing District of New York this would be a familiar look of taking and old derelict building and retaining it's function-led, industrial "charm".

FOOD: There's a tasting menu and a la carte. We opted for the latter as the tasting menu was salmon focused and - while I like salmon - I can only eat so much of it. All the courses are beautifully plated. MY STARTER: Lamb tartare with fava beans, avocado leaf, feta cheese and cress: this was very well balanced and the lamb tartare is in a rough chop giving a meaty fresh bit with each chew accompanied with salty and lifting feta cheese and earthy avocado leaf and fava bean. It was a very good tarter. There was this useless clear jelly like film on the top of the tartare which tasted of nothing - I'm not sure what it is for and frankly the dish can do without it. DAD'S STARTER: Bay Shrimp with green almond, spring garlic, sea urchin ice cream and mustard oil. This was more disappointing and - crudely - it is a deconstructed Shrimp/Prawn Cocktail. The prawns were lovely and sweet but it just was not a very strong starter especially vs the lamb tartare which was, in my view, a more accomplished bit of cooking. The sea urchin ice cream is a bit of a gimmick - admittedly I didn't know what sea urchin tastes like and I'm still none the wiser.
MAINS: I had the sirloin which came with black lentils, balsamic and grilled fresh porcini mushrooms. This was a very good main course with soft but delicious beef accompanied with earthy, bold lentils and tart but complimentary balsamic and the strong mushroom just rounded everything off nicely. This was easily better than the Soft Shell Crab main my dad had which was a little bland to be honest. You might say it was delicate but it was delicate to a point where there is not much to taste there. I suspect the kitchen did not want to overpower the subtle crab flavour (which is wise) but to be honest it may as well not have been on the menu at all.
DESSERT: We had the cheese plate and the rhubarb. The cheese was good which comes with honeycomb, toasts etc. If you are accustomed to European cheese you might find this a little mellow. Same for the rhubarb. I like my rhubarb really punchy with strong tart taste. Here this is less the case as it s balanced out with sugar. It was enjoyable but if you LOVE the distinctive taste of rhubarb, you may be let down. It is curious to add such a stand out ingredient and then sap it of its character. Nonetheless it was enjoyable with crunchy pistachios.

WINE: We drank a Californian Pinot Noir which was recommended to us and highly enjoyable.

SERVICE: Very attentive, always changing silverware, asking if we are OK, pouring wine, folding napkins etc. They were not harassing however and usually available if you needed to look up for them.

This is very much a special occasion place so dress to impress (we didn't unfortunately). It would be great for new jobs, dates etc. The trouble is that I'm not sure what else there really is to do in the area once you leave and want to continue the celebrations. The trick to AQ is to order well and in my opinion you can have a very different experience on the same table just by what you are ordering. If you like strong flavours then go strong, if you prefer mellow or subtle then I would look around.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank lcollens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Level Contributor
44 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Brunch”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 26, 2013

My husband and I had brunch on our way out of town. My meal was average. One of my pancakes was slightly burned. My husband's meal was very good--the eggs benedict with softshell crab.The service was very good. I also really liked the open kitchen and decor.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank CATMS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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