432 Powell St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410237.788751 -122.408474
Daily 8-10:30am and 11:30am-midnight
Neighborhoods: Northeast, Downtown
Pastry chef Tim Nugent competed on season 1 of Top Chef: Just Desserts, and current exec chef Jen Biesty competed on Top Chef when she was at COCO500.
Nouveau-rustic cuisine in a grand Union Square setting. – Stone-tiled floors, soaring ceilings and abundant mahogany give this downtown bistro a grand, turn-of-the-century feel that the nouveau-rustic French-Italian menu compliments well. A well-dressed and mature mix of after-work crowd, theatergoers, and well-informed out-of-towners fill the comfy booths, which dampen the din of what would otherwise be an overly loud restaurant. The expansive menu, reconceptualized by local celeb-chef Jennifer Biesty in 2009, reflects the modern movement towards old-world technique: pastas and cheeses made fresh daily in the kitchen go with house-cured charcuterie, and locally sourced meat, seafood and produce.
Bad Service and Worse Food – I was a big fan of Scala's Bistro until about a year ago, when -- after dozens and dozens of business and leisure meals there -- I was issued the ultimate insult: bad service, bad food, and my complaint to the manager was absolutely ignored even though I had left my phone number and email address for a response (he seems to greatly favor and fawn over women under 30, so perhaps I didn't fit his demographic of whom to cater or listen to). I stayed away for about 11 months but ventured in last week after Christmas shopping, and was so disappointed that I will no longer waste another dime or minute there. The food was lackluster, the service desultory, and the bartender/server at the bar seemed bored and uninterested in service. Stay away -- there are many other places to be fed WELL on Union Square -- places that may actually CARE about your business.
Always at home – A favorite that we have frequented at least 10 times in the past three to four years- the service is great and the food wonderful. Reservations are a must ( they keep your prefernces on the coputer so no need to worry about whewree you wil sit) or the walk-in wait is forever! Try the calamarie-to die for! The wine list could be a bit more varied but then such is life. An excellent place to sit and relax while shopping at Union Square! Noisey due to high s ceilings but a great place to enjoy
Outstanding! Fantastic food and service. – I stopped into Scala's after a long, long day travelling and sightseeing - what a great place to finish the day. Hostess, servers, even busboys were so pleasant and warm, and excellent guides for both the food and wine menu. I loved the salmon with a crispy skin, served on garlic mashed potatoes. A real pleasure!
DO NOT give Credit Card Number- Terrible Customer Service – During OracleOpen World in November 2007 a handful of colleagues and I (from a very small company) made reservations at this "acclaimed" restaurant. Unfortunately, travel plans changed and we were unable to make our reservations. We were informed that a $25.00 fee would be charged, however we received a $200.00 charge and the Scala's management claimed it was a $25.00 fee per person. They did NOT inform me of this "policy" initially and management conveniently did not return my calls nor credit the money back.
With that said- DO NOT give them your credit card number- they don't care. I was incredibly disappointed and frustrated that money was more important to them than their reputation.
Perfect start to a great day – My sisters and I meet in "The City" every year for a full day of eating, Christmas shopping, eating and Christmas shopping - and every year we start this fabulous day at Scala's. Best coffee in the known world (and this coming from a faithful Starbucks fan), wonderful mimosas, excellent breakfasts; and all of this in a gorgeous, warm, elegant and rich setting that makes us feel both special and welcome. The service is invariably attentive, friendly and efficient - no snobby waiters here. Our annual "SF Spree" just wouldn't be the same if we didn't kick it off with a magnificent meal at our favorite bistro!
I'd go back again! – The ambience was fantastic and we were seated promptly. The service was friendly at the beginning but as more people came into the restaurant the server started getting a bit distracted. The food was excellent, especially the halibut. I would go back again!
Not Worth The Price – Nothing in this restaurant warranted the high prices on the menu. The food was very good but not quite worth the price. The insincere greeting at the front desk and the indifferent service also do not justify the high prices. The ambiance at Scala's is also very nice, but once again it is not worth the prices. And I am still trying to figure out why a bottle of wine costs twice as much at Scala's Bistro as it does at any other upscale restaurant. This restaurant also gets very loud so it is hard to have a conversation with the people at your table.
While nothing at Scala's Bistro was bad, it just was not worth the hefty price.
Tasty Pasta – It's been a while since I've been back here and was happy to see it was still a great place. We didn't have reservations but they accomodated us quickly at the bar. I ordered the Oxtail Agnolotti and it was fantastic! The sauce was great and it was very filling. My fiance had the halibut and it was good as well. However overall I think the pastas are a better for taste and value. Our waitress was nice and didn't try to oversell us food. Yes the restaurant is slightly pricey, but I still think it's nice place to end the evening after a long day out in the city.
Disappointed after a lot of Hype – My boyfriend and I were intially going to dine here for New Years, but decided against it since they weren't going to have any favors or do anything special for the evening. We ended up coming our last night of our vacation instead and were quite disappointed to end our great san fran dining experiences here. Service was very run-of-the-mill (i think i've had better service at Fridays) and the food was unimpressive. My steak was good, but nothing you wouldn't expect from this kind of restaurant. My boyfriends meat was VERY DRY. Oh yeah, and the bathrooms aren't even in the restaurant, but upstairs in the hotel. Expect to take about 15 min. to wait for the slow elevator, ride it up, use the restroom, wait for it again and take it back down. Kills the dining momentum. Perhaps it was a bad night because this place had come recommended by a family friend/gourmet chef. Very anticlimactic. Spend your money elsewhere. San Fran has many other great eateries NEARBY.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Scala's Bistro on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.