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Review of Foreign Cinema

Foreign Cinema
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Ranked #94 of 5,738 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $40
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Large groups, Bar scene, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Mission District
Cross street: 21st St.
Transit: MUNI: 14 Mission bus; BART: 16th & 24th/Mission station
Modesto, California
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2013

We celebrated our youngest daughters 21st birthday there in November. Even though it was cold and a combination of rain and mist we chose to sit outside. The food was outstanding, the service was unique and the atmosphere was wonderful. The wine selection is fabulous and when we could not decide from a choice of two, our wonderful witty server called our top choice "Slutty". Well we could not pass that up and ended enjoying 2 bottles! Be prepared to drop some money but we felt that the food and the service was money well spent. Oh and watching old movies on the wall reminded me of my teenage years at the local drive in movie theater. Make sure to make reservations as they book a couple of week out.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank fu3l3x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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765 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Foreign Cinema: worthy of a Golden Globe”
Reviewed January 31, 2013

Our party of four dined at Foreign Cinema on Tuesday. The restaurant was lively and the service and meals were excellent. We shared appetizers including brandade, crudites, and kale salad before our meals. I had the Moroccan mixed grill and others had fish. The cocktail and wine list was impressive with reasonable price range. This was an extraordinary experience.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Wayne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Alamos, New Mexico, United States
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A neat idea... but not worth it!”
Reviewed January 29, 2013

My husband and I visited San Francisco for our honeymoon and this place was suggested to us by friends of ours that are foodie world travelers, with a taste for great wine. So, of course, we followed their recommendation to check this place out. They must have had a better experience than we did, because let me say, it was the worst dinner we had the whole trip! Of course, we will never tell them that. I made a reservation a month ahead, just to make sure we would get one of the best tables. I informed the reservationist that it was our honeymoon and we would like a romantic, private table, wherever the best seats in the house would be. She suggested we sit out on the "covered & heated" patio so we could also enjoy the movie. Now, I had second thoughts about this because we were going in January, when the evenings can be quite cool, but she assured me it would be warm and cozy out there. We arrive and they take us to our "romantic" table... a teeny tiny 2-seater out on the patio, at the edge of the building, next to an alleyway, where there was a constant cold wind blowing through. There was at least a patio heater nearby, but it was still freezing cold because of the constant alley breeze and the cover to the patio was what seemed like 50 ft. above us. It didn't help hold the heat down near the patrons at all. So we moved, TWICE, which the waitress was less than thrilled about, to find a semi-warm table nearby. Even though the temperature at the new table was bearable (I still wore my coat through the entire dinner), we could not hear the movie in the slightest. Don't expect to actually watch the movie if you go here because the speakers were old drive-in speakers, very spread out and unless you're sitting right next to it, you won't hear it.

On to dinner... 15 minutes after being seated, we were finally approached by a completely uninterested waitress who could have cared less about us. We asked for recommendations, and she pretty much told us "whatever you like, everything is good." She took our order - wine, oysters, and dinner. Took 10 minutes just to get our appetizer and wine. Oysters were fresh and good (although VERY expensive compared to any other place in the city), wine was great. Dinner comes, BIG disappointment. I ordered the Salmon, which I figured no one can possibly screw up, but it had no flavor at all. I drenched it in lemon and finished it, but it was not enjoyable. My husband got the sesame fried chicken, which was actually pretty good, but everything else on his place was the same as my meal... bland, bland, bland.

Check comes, nearly $200 later, and neither of us are feeling quite satisfied. We left and headed over to Ghirardelli Square to end the night on a high note filling our bellies up with chocolate. Sadly, that was the best part of our meal.

We were genuinely excited about this place - loving the idea of the dinner and a movie ambiance - but it just didn't pan out. If the food and service was better, it would have been well worth spending almost $200 to just see a different part of the city. Sadly, the taste of the food, quality of service, and ambiance just wasn't worth the cost. We won't be going back here again.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Jessica P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great experience”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Our expectations were far surpassed at this restaurant. The service was attentive and friendly, and the food was amazing. Definitely a must-try for a foodie! We both had a wine flight to go with our dinner, and the server was very knowledgable about recommending something to complement our meal. We had a table inside by the window, and it looked like the garden patio would be an excellent spot in the summer, with the movies projected onto the large back wall (although there were ppl out there even in the winter; obviously heated).

On our way out, we passed what must have been the club part of the restaurant, with lively music and tons of people. Seems like it's the place to be...

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank reets54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Fun place”
Reviewed January 12, 2013

Honestly I don't remember the food as much as the venue. Good for date night. Our office had our Holiday Party there and it was epic.

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

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