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“Scandinavian food”
Review of Plaj

Plaj
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Ranked #457 of 5,860 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Scandinavian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Hayes Valley
Cross street: Franklin Street
Reviewed June 28, 2013

In the Inn at the Opera, this Scandinavian restaurant is clearly a favorite for those attending the nearby opera, ballet and symphony. The menu offers many interesting small plate and full meal choices and the wine list is good. Service is friendly and attentive and the price won't break the bank.

Thank JandSNyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 26, 2013 via mobile

Brought the family to celebrate my sister's b-day, since she at one time was dying for some Scandinavian food. Couldn't find any other place that served authentic Scandinavian food, and thought I give it a try based on people's review.

Plaj was a little hard to find, but it sits in a small hotel right at the end of Fulton before Franklin. The restaurant is in the back in a cozy nook of the hotel. There's a full bar and the dining area is relaxing and modern. The menu was delivered on a clip board with drinks on the next page. The menu featured four categories: greens, seafood, meat, and dessert. The greens and seafood were described as "to be shared," and the rest would be entree sized.

The menu items seemed modern and elegant with delicious appetizers such as potato dumpling that was delicate, like eating clouds of umami, served with lardons and a sweet lingonberry sauce. A white asparagus salad with a perfectly cooked poached egg and hollandaise sauce that was velvety and made you want to sop up the runny yolk from every inch of the plate. We shared the charcuterie plate that featured pork belly, lamb belly (never had, but glad I did), smoked leg of lamb, and wild boar salami - the tiniest slices of meat packing so much flavor! The taste of herring definitely brought you to the ocean. The ginger smoked soy herring was definitely my favorite, and was served with shaved bonito flakes.

For entrees, we had the braised ox cheeks that was uber delicate and melt-in-your-mouth that was served with a roasted beet puree and lots of freshly grated horseradish that made the dish clean and have a nice finish. My wife had the Sturgeon (substituted for the halibut), which we've never eaten before - the fish is so moist and delicate, almost like sea bass, and surprisingly didn't have any muddy flavor, considering they usually swim in muddy waters (I speak from experience fishing on the Sac river with my dad fighting a sturgeon for hours on end). My mom had the lobster that was topped with a foam, which was also good.

This is my first time eating Scandinavian food, so I have nothing to compare it to. But, for a cuisine with a modern twist, I won't doubt you woud be amazed.

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Thank Tinyee H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2013

Unobtrusively tucked away in the Inn at the Opera hotel, Pläj proves that Scandinavian food can be delectable. Choose several small plates to share, or spring for the succulent venison or salmon, and you'll be glad you came. Tell your waiter if you have a curtain to make or if you want to linger. Expensive, but reasonable for the location.
Note to management: your servers need to taste all the offerings so they can make intelligent recommendations--ours meant well, but knew nothing about wine pairings or some of the dishes.

Thank kmuch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2013

I've been wanting to go to Plaj. I've been to Acme (also new Scandinavian) in NYC but am generally pretty ignorant of that cuisine. I was impressed. Our group of 5 ordered about 15 different things and there was not a mis-step in the bunch. The Sardines were a revelation and the tuna with plantain chips and chili oil was excellent. My favorite dish may have been the meatballs, which were loosely packed and flavorful. The service was also outstanding -- attentive without being invasive. They paced the dishes nicely. I wasn't blown away by the desserts and the wine markup is too high (but the selection is good).

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Thank James O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2013

Our party of five tried four different appetizers which we shared. double order of octopus was excellent with a wonderful tangy mustard sauce but equivalent to two bites for each order. Salmon Gravlox, same story, the remaining two appetizers, I can't even remember! I had the halibut which was fresh with an excellent sauce, albeit a tiny piece..My husband had the meatballs which was okay but nothing to write about. Overall, tasty food but don't go hungry as the only abundant portion was the swedish bread. I guess i understand now what they meant that their "plates are sized purposefully for you to enjoy several dishes". Order more than an appetizer and an entree! -:)
Personally I do miss the fireplace that is now hidden behind a huge mirror when it used to be Ovation Restaurant.

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Thank Molly C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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