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“Always Amazing!”
Review of House of Prime Rib

House of Prime Rib
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Ranked #28 of 5,861 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: American, Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Nob Hill
Cross street: Washington St.
Reviewed November 13, 2013

I was lucky enough celebrate my 53rd birthday at The House of Prime Rib, another in the continuing series of birthdays held there! What an amazing dinner. The prime rib was cooked to perfection, the salad and creamed spinach were exemplary, and the Yorkshire pudding was to die for. The House of Prime Rib was, is, and continues to be my favorite restaurant. It also helped to change my girlfriend’s view on San Francisco. It was a truly wonderful experience.

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1  Thank ilophoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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714 - 718 of 1,470 reviews

Reviewed November 10, 2013

Arrived and our table wasn't ready so had a drink in the Lounge by the (artificial) log fire.

Once seated, service was slick and efficient. Meat succulent, creamed spinach, mash and Yorkshire all nice but too much for my appetite, particularly after green salad.

Took quite a while for a taxi to be provided. Must say that a number of cabs with their light on ignored the guy outside.

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Thank MikeLeicester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2013

We've eaten here around three times in the past year because we really like prime rib, and this restaurant is the most dependable restaurant in the Bay Area for the quality of its prime rib, and preparing it to the specified degree (we like it rare). The prime rib is above average for restaurants that consistently serve prime rib, but the overall experience of dining here can be disappointing because of the crowds and the noise.

The prime rib, the creamed spinach (they will sauté the spinach instead if you request), the baked potato (skip the bacon bits - they are manufactured), & the Yorkshire pudding are all of high quality. The spinning salad is satisfactory

We've had good success in being seated reasonably (5 minutes or so) close to the time of our reservation, but we've noticed on each occasion a large number of people waiting for their table, with the result that the entrance area, and the area around the bar and down the hallway, is crowded and noisy.

The dining rooms are also crowded and noisy (see below for more background), although one can speak at close to normal tones if you are seated in one of the booths around the sides of the rooms.

The dress of the patrons is eccentric to say the least. At the table next to us one adult male was wearing underwear, a white t-shirt. Contrary to what one might expect, most people are very casually dressed.

The wait staff is pleasant and efficient, if not very pro-active. It’s a very repetitive, fast paced job for them in this high volume restaurant, so I imagine the customers are pretty much a blur. They do well under the circumstances

The owner, Joe Betz, goes from table to table asking how everyone likes the food, which is a nice touch, except that he doesn’t go beyond asking that question. We said fine, and he scurried away before we could talk about the wine (see below). But I give him credit – he’s been there every time we’ve been in this restaurant and he must be approaching 90. Very few other restaurant owners pay this kind of attention.

As you might guess from the foregoing, this is not a restaurant for a special occasion for couples.

Some tips:

Use the valet: If you're driving, use the restaurant valet, $9.00, not including tip - parking in this neighborhood is notoriously difficult.

Reservations are essential, and you should secure them as soon as you think you will be dining here. This restaurant is extremely popular, and the tables are turned over three times (or possibly more) each night. We were there on a Tuesday night for a 7:30 reservation and most of the tables around us had three seatings. Great for the restaurant, but it contributes to the hustle and bustle around you.

Get a booth. There are five separate dining rooms here, with the most pleasant (in our experience) being the one facing you as you enter. There is another behind this room (or perhaps an extension of the main room), and three on the left, behind the bar. The first one on the left is not very pleasant, and is used mostly for groups. The second one on the left is the one where we declined the table we were shown to - it's a smallish room, crowded and very noisy. The third is where we've eaten twice, both times in a booth. The booths are around the sides of the room and it's practically essential to eat in one of them to lessen the noise and to have the best experience in this restaurant. Many large groups, predominantly male, eat here (there was a group of 40 on the last night we were here, and several other groups of 10 or more in these rooms).

Bring your own wine. We had planned to do this, but changed our mind. Mistake. We told the waitress that we wouldn’t be drinking the whole bottle so she didn’t decant it and left the cork. After discussing it, we ordered a bottle of the 2010 Edna Valley Pinot Noir (we like the Edna Valley whites, but had not tried any of their reds) but the waitress brought a 2011. We didn’t say anything. Not a very good wine, but it was our fault for ordering a red with which we were not familiar and for not insisting on the vintage we ordered, so we didn’t say anything. She noticed that we weren’t taking it with us when we left, but didn’t make any inquiries. Corkage is $25 for one bottle.

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Thank BerkeleyJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2013 via mobile

I ate here during a trip although without a reservation you eat in the bar unless you get there at opening. The prime rib and sides were delicious and they had salmon for my wife who said it was great. It's not a very masculine drink but their lemon drop is the best I have ever had.

Thank jtd23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2013

The restaurant lives up to its reputation as a provider of excellent prime rib and all the fixin's, from salad and sourdough bread to side dishes. Our waiter was excellent, and managed to satisfy several tables while maintaining charm and patience. The table side preparation
of the food was entertaining, and the maitre d' Gus, who is a fixture in the place for over 60 years was ever- present.

Personally, we hate to eat in restaurants where conversation cannot be achieved without yelling due to the noise level, regardless of the quality of the food and service. Our daughter and her husband ate at this place several weeks prior to our visit, and commented on the same distracting and unnecessary volume in the place. Diners beware!

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

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