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San Francisco Restaurants

Masa's

Updated 04/09/2013

Fodor's Review

Although the toque has been passed to several chefs since the tragic death of founding chef Masataka Kobayashi in 1984, this 25-year-old restaurant, with its chocolate-brown walls, white fabric ceiling, and vermilion-silk-shaded lanterns, remains a noted destination for fine dining in San Francisco. Chef Gregory Short, who worked alongside Thomas Keller at the famed French Laundry for seven years, has been at the helm since 2004. His tasting menus of five or nine courses,

including a vegetarian option, all showcase the bounty of the seasons, from winter root vegetables to summer peaches. The California-French cuisine also features Japanse flair (an homage to Masa), and all the dishes are laced with luxe ingredients, from Maine lobster to prime beef. In fall, when northern Italy's exquisite white truffles are in season, Short typically puts together a tasting menu that tucks them into every course, which will hopefully include a silky truffle custard whose perfume you can smell before it arrives at the table. The mignardise cart of candies, cookies, and chocolates is a famous component to the dining experience here. Wine drinkers are in excellent hands, with an award-winning list by sommelier Alan Murray that includes many small-production wines from around the globe. The elegant room has a formal atmosphere that is thankfully far from stuffy or suffocating, although a jacket is preferred for gentlemen.

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Restaurant Information

Address:

Hotel Vintage Court, 648 Bush St., San Francisco, California, 94108, USA

Map It

Phone:

415-989–7154

Restaurant Details:

  • Closed Sun. and Mon. No lunch
  • Reservations essential

Updated 04/09/2013

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Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating

By Trisha

  • Service

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May 9, 2005

A Special Occasion Treat

Food was beautifully served and waiter attentive.

By Richard

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Apr 17, 2005

Better than French Laundry

Excellent French food. The service and staff are outstanding. Great wine list

By Karen

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Oct 28, 2004

A fabulous evening

This was the best restaurant we have tried in San Francisco. We preferred it to Gary Danko, which we thought was overrated. We had the tasting menu which was exceptional - the wine pairings were very innovative and we were offered alternate food and wine choices when we discussed our interests with our server. The service was attentive, but not intrusive, and each course was presented perfectly. The tables were nicely spaced so that we could talk

without raising our voices. The decor was very tasteful and upscale. The petite lollipops at the end of the evening made it perfect.

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By Farah

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Jan 16, 2004

Masterful Masa's

This is a place for foodlovers to rejoice. The room is masterfully created to enliven the experience yet place all the emphasis on the cuisine. Broad and creative winelise with a few show stoppers to tempt you. A Sweetbread Ravioli to end all arguments.

By Shankar

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Apr 6, 2003

Great to Good

We had a truly memorable meal at Masa's in May 2002, but when we went there again in March 2003 we found it merely very good. It also seemed less expensive on the more recent visit, but we had not gone there looking for a bargain!

By b

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Feb 13, 2003

No Mas

What a disappointment! Masa's is resting on its laurels. An unctuous captain pushing the tasting menu; a poor wine steward who insisted on trying to pour out a $136 bottle of wine which we wanted chilled. Food was almost shockingly bad. Dungeness crab salad: crab shredded beyond recognition, tasting like canned, and formed into a cylinder for "the vertical effect." Duck breast with the look and taste of a microwave, again stacked high on a soggy

potato cake. Skate wings again stacked on top of a dumpling filled with beef short ribs? Served dry? The best food was the cheese course, and I'm not going back.

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By Daphne

  • Service

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Jan 2, 2003

Exceptional!!!

The nine-course tasting menu is expensive, but well worth the dent in your credit card for a special occasion and a life-changing gastronomic journey.

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