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“Really fine food and great service”
Review of Isa

Isa
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Ranked #277 of 5,737 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Private Dining, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Marina District
Cross street: Chestnut
Description: HOURS: Tuesday - 5:30 - 9:30 pm Wednesday - 5:30 - 9:30 pm Thursday - 5:30 - 9:30 pm Friday - 5:30 - 10:00pm Saturday - 5:00 - 10:00 pm Sunday - 5:00 - 9:00 pm Rising Star Chef Nominee by the James Beard Foundation, Founder Chef Luke Sung, at Isa has received many accolades from five consecutive years on the Chronicle's Top 100 Bay Area Restaurant List to the Top 40 in Zagat. This is a restaurant not to be missed in San Francisco.
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Really fine food and great service”
Reviewed March 8, 2012

Went last minute to Isa, and discovered a real gem. The service was maybe the best I have ever had. The food was simply prepared and delicious. If I didn't hate going to the Marina, I would eat here all the time.

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank kwine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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226 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    133
    65
    20
    5
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Monterey, California
Level 6 Contributor
178 reviews
93 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
“Gourmet Tenting”
Reviewed February 3, 2012

I'm really glad I read the reviews before trying this place because I knew that the tent in the rear is the place to sit. It is relatively quiet, nicely lit and rather romantic. The food was outstanding as was the service. The Crab salad was loaded with crab, the scallops perfectly seared, the duck was exactly medium rare, and the creme brulee was as good as I've ever had. All of this for $125 for 3 including glasses of wine, pretty amazing. One additional note: My wife unknowingly dropped her new, expensive Iphone on the floor. When we realized it was missing the next morning, we dropped by the restaurant and one of the cleaning crew went upstairs and retrieved the phone from a safe where that had stored it after finding it. Kudos to this restaurant, which not only serves great food, but has a staff that is honest enough to return an expensive cell phone to its owner.

  • Visited January 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank avodoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Modern French Tapas in a Warm and Inviting Enviroment”
Reviewed January 13, 2012

Yummy food!! Husband and I came here with a friend of our's over the holidays and had a fantastic time. Our friend had recommended this place, so we were excited to try this little spot near the Marina.

Like previous reviewers have stated, the food are all small plates, so they are meant to be shared. With that being said, the three of us split the following:

- Dungeness Crab Salad
- Grilled Local Calamari
- Steamed P.E.I. Mussels
- Truffle Risotto
- Halibut with Artichokes, Tomato Confit, Olives, Basil and Zucchini
- Maple Leaf Farm Duck Breast

All were great, with the exception of the Truffle Risotto. IMO, it was oversalted, had too much cream and butter, and the texture was past the recommended soft chewiness.

The Duck Breast was tasty, and a little on the rare side. I had never eaten Duck Breast being slightly rare, but it was really yummy. The accompanied tossed salad provided the tartness to offset the smokey flavors in the duck. A total winner, I'd get this for myself next time.

The Halibut was well seasoned and cooked well, with not too much butter. I enjoyed the basil zucchini flavors with olives, total umami.

The rest were well done, and throughout the entire meal, we marveled over the freshness in ingredients with great technique. Often times, you go to a place that doesn't get both right. Isa does it right, and at the end of the night, we were very happy with our meal. Service was attentive without being stuffy, and the atmosphere of the restaurant is really warm and lovely. We didn't opt to sit outside on the patio, but I'm sure it is just as lovely.

Another side not of great service, Husband and I got there early and had to wait for our friend to arrive. The hostess was super sweet, and told us that we had nothing to worry about in losing our reservation. In fact, she let us pick our table, and she kept it open as many people starting flocking into the restaurant! It was a really sweet gesture, and we appreciated it much. As we waited, the bar staff offered us some drinks, but all I ended up getting was water. Next time, I will try their fresh-squeezed juices.

Anyway, it's a good thing that I don't live close by, otherwise, I'd be here every few weeks! Next time I'm in town, I will definitely be coming here again.

You should go....NOW!

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank tycl516
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Fabulous Food-Fun despite a bit Frenzied”
Reviewed January 2, 2012

We were looking for a great eating experience to celebrate New Year's Eve and our 20th anniversary. Isa fit the bill.

Because it was New Year's, the restaurant called to make sure we would be there and be on time. We were so nervous about being on time that we arrived early and sat at the bar.While trying to decide what to order our bar tender reminded us that part of our meal included a glass of champagne. Perfect. My husband and I had a delightful Kir Royale and our friends went with straight champagne. We had the option of getting seated earlier than our 9 o'clock reservation and we took it.

We ordered a bottle of Zinfandel that was sublime. Our waiter encouraged us to all order different thing on the pri fixe menu. And so we did. The soups and salad course had 4 choice, so we had one of each. Two extremely delicious salads and 2 wonderful soups. The starters, a salmon carpaccio, grilled shrimp, baked goat cheese and steamed mussel. ALL were delicious. My husband who doesn't like mussels thought these could change his mind.

But it was the main course choices that really wowed:8 choices but these are the 4 we chose: braised short ribs, duck, risotto with mushrooms and truffleoil and flat iron steak. UNBELIEVABLE! So good we were becoming giddy. Every single food item was perfectly cooked and the best example of how it should be done.

The desserts were fine. Creme Brulee was very good,,,it would have great if the desserts were at the same level of the main course. But here wasn't anything sublimely special-just solidly good.

The decor was fine, though not memorable but with food of such high quality it did not matter. The service was attentive. If I had one complaint/suggestion it would be that I wish they had slowed it down a bit. The food was coming out so fast it was hard to savor things which created a kind of frenzied atmosphere. I heard another table make the same comment so it wasn't just us. But it also, in a way, added to the fun-our "giddiness" prompted the waiter to remind us that AAA was providing free rides to people who were in need. We were not impairedwith a bottle of wine for 4 people- just very happy with a wonderful food experience with good friends.

As we headed out, the bartender seemed genuinely pleased that we had such a good time and our head waiter actually ran out onto the street after us to thank us for our generous (but not over the top) tip. He shook all our hands and wished us a happy new year. It was a great finish to 2011. If ever in San Francisco again, I would definitely go there.

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Savalumom9298
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Absolutely everything we had was AMAZING!”
Reviewed December 30, 2011

Oh, wow! Absolutely everything we had was AMAZING! I love that it's family style and the pace of the meal was perfect. You would just be finishing up one dish and another one would be set down on the table. So many delicious dishes to sample! And they have happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. so we saved some money on our champagne :)

Here's what we ordered and my ratings:
Dungeness Crab Salad - a great starter
Maine lobster broth - I'm not big on sea food but everyone at my table loved this.
Foie Gras - You MUST order this! It was totally delicious and a HUGE portion!
Scallops - delicious!
Truffle Risotto - definitely a must order as well
Rack of Lamb - was really good
Chocolate cake - to die for

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Love T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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