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“Nice Atmosphere”
Review of John's Grill

John's Grill
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Ranked #122 of 5,825 Restaurants in San Francisco
Price range: $30 - $40
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Union Square
Cross street: Powell Street
Description: John's Grill has been a San Francisco tradition since 1908. This historic restaurant is one of the city's oldest and most famous and is a favorite of celebrities who enjoy great steaks, expertly prepared fresh seafood with excellent service and a one of a kind atmosphere. John's Grill was a setting in author Dashiell Hammetts, The Maltese Falcon. The restaurant has earned many tributes: it has been chosen as one of the 10 best by Esquire and featured in Gourmet Magazine. Live jazz nightly in the upper level dining room. ZAGAT RATED: Food 26 / Decor 24 / Service 25 / Cost $44 "Step back in time" at this circa-1908 Downtown "landmark", where "solid steakhouse fare" and "strong drinks" draw "tourists and locals alike"; "one of the last old-style SF eateries", it's also renowned as a "Dashiell Hammett hangout" (and a setting in The Maltese Falcon.)"
Reviewed September 20, 2013

We decided to give John's a try as it was just down the street from our hotel and had been around for over a 100 years (they must be doing something right). We were seated upstairs, which had a more relaxed vibe than the busy downstairs. There was a live jazz player which added to the ambiance. This is a cool place steeped in history. There are pictures of various politicians and celebrities on the wall, which I was told all of whom have visited John's over the years. I had the seafood pasta. It was a generous portion and tasty, but didn't blow me away. The service was great.

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Thank SunLover82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,101 - 1,105 of 1,928 reviews

Reviewed September 16, 2013

Three of us visited expecting a wonderful night of steak and wine. We all ordered steak cooked 3 different way. It all came out the same. 2 of us ordered surf and turf and the steak was really tiny and the shrimp was over cooked. The only nice thing on the plate were the peas. The porterhouse was full of rough sinue, looked suspiciously like a T bone and to really make it worse the steak knife was so blunt it would not cut the steak. The only thing of any quality was the potato which was the biggest thing on the plate. We were so dissapointed.

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1  Thank NZSailfish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2013

We really wanted to like John's Grill...it has a real history in the City. However, the food and ambiance were substandard. The upstairs was so noisy that normal conversation was impossible; add to that the amplified guitar playing in the room (he was good, by the way) and everyone found themselves shouting to be heard. We both ordered steaks, ribeye and new york strip. I have had better steaks at Applebee's and Golden Corral. Seriously, the beef was Choice grade at best, not Prime, and had not been cooked properly. The server even mixed up the ribeye and strip. The baked potatoes were horrid...black on the outside and only a small edible portion in the center after digging through an inch of hard vulcanized flesh. Sorry, John's we'll try you again sometime.

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Thank ondbrink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2013

We made a reservation because we thought it would be fun and interesting to go to a place in San Francisco that had a Dashiell Hammett vibe. Not only was it a great looking place in the vein of an urban steak/fish house, the food was also very good. Above all else, however, was the service. We enjoy San Francisco, but this trip had some trying moments and we were running late. We called to let them know and when we arrived we were greeted warmly, settled into a table, and given a beer on the house - just to make our day a little less stressful!! The wait staff were also great and we left very contented and feeling very good about our trip and our decision to eat at John's.

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Thank Turnturnturn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2013

We stayed in the Hilton San Francisco Union Square and could see this restaurant from our balcony and decided to try it out for our anniversary dinner and we were glad we did. We sat upstairs and the place quickly filled up. The service was very efficient. We both had fish and it was delicious and we would definitely eat there again. We did not have a reservation but got there a little early and had no trouble getting seated but I could see where you might need one if you wanted to dine a little later.

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Thank Toots0509
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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