2000 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410937.799335 -122.418967
I first visted zarzuela with some friends who are local to SF. I went up to visit and was treated to a great tapas experience. the sangria was so good and every plate we ordered was so full of flavor and adverturous.
I don't usually like the dark crowded tapas bars but this place had a lot of character. it could've easily been a cold, dark, restaurant but it was so bustling and full of people enjoying the food that it really turned the atmosphere into something cozy.
It was a memorable experience and the best tapas I've ever had.
Tapas You'll Never Forget. Having passed Zarzuela on the Hyde St. Cable Car for the past two years, it was finally time to heed the raves from locals on the Cable Car. We met our friends from Portola Valley to plan a trip to Italy. Arriving early in the dinner hour we had no trouble being seated. The service was very helpful since we had never eaten at a tapa resturant before. The selection was numerous and covering a range of tastes, so if octpus or snails are not for you, there are many other choices, including cold, hot and entree size options. We began with one cold and three hot selections and a bottle of excellent white wine. They were all excellent. We followed that with three other hot items and were equally pleased. Having more than enough to eat, we finished with wonderfully strong coffee, then crossed the street to have a small ice cream cone at the Original Swensen?s Ice Cream Parlor. A wonderful evening with good friends, plus the beginnings of a trip to Italy.
Superb food. I have gone to Zarzuela 3 times over a span of about 12 years since I only get to San Francisco occasionally. The food remains superb each time I go. I have eaten at quite a few Spanish restaurants in the US, and it is easily the best and most authentic aside from Cafe Iberico in Chicago. The grilled mushrooms with serrano ham and garlic were excellent, as was the jamon iberico with tomato bread. The wait can sometimes be a little bit irritating, as there is nowhere really to wait other than outside and the fact that they are closed on Sundays and Mondays leaves you to make careful planning if you are only in town for a couple of days.
Price does not match the quality/quantity. With my girlfriend we were looking for a romantic tapas place, the name sounded nice. Food was good, but not amazing at all + portions were small, too small for the price (about $8 for each tapas), the lamb dish, was $8 for 2 minuscule skewers. The atmosphere was OK, but not romantic, I think it's a good place for a group but not just a couple...
Cozy tapas !!!.
A fabulous tapas joint with a lot of 'panache?! The first impression was the cozy dining hall behind the big bay windows, with every inch packed. Parking was an issue, but we decided to park a little far and take a cab. There are no reservations taken for two, and when we reached, there was a wait in a tiny room where we entertained ourselves with ?sangrias?. The sangrias were not the best in town, but what followed was really fantastic. Breads and sauteed olives were provided as a welcome gesture, as we coursed our way through the interesting yet varied menu. We decided to go for the hot/cold tapas plates followed by small entrees. My favorites were eggplant wrapped around goat cheese (yummy) and the juicy chicken stripes dipped in cheese and breadcrumbs. Other tapas we tasted were calamaries, sauteed shrimps in garlic and olive. For entrees, grilled sea bass and chicken sauteed in sherry followed. In all, it was an awesome experience with great food; romantic ambience and a relaxed destination, which took us to a little dreamy, cozy villa in a make-believe Spanish countryside!!!
The staff/owner informed us about the chef?s expertise, who is originally from a town near Madrid and the food prepared was therefore very authentic and original to the Spanish platter. A great experience and will definitely go back again for the tasty small dishes!!!
Tapas, paella, and a picturesque Russian Hill locale are the hallmarks of this colorful Spanish restaurant..
The blazing-yellow awning at the corner of Hyde and Union makes a perfect entry to this rococo restaurant. The dining room is painted with bright yellows and reds, offset by naturally finished wood furniture. Spanish music bounces off the tiled floors and large windows catch the passing cable cars. Elaborately decorated plates and Spanish style paintings adorn the walls.
Good bread and a small dish of Spanish olives are brought to each table as diners arrive--a very nice touch. Tapas are generally excellent, in particular the spicy shrimp with aioli, and the mushrooms sauteed in garlic and white wine. Entrees are equally strong, highlighted by the paella Valenciana, which ranks among the best in San Francisco. Other classic Spanish plates include the eponymous zarzuela (a rich seafood stew), oxtail casserole and grilled lamb.
Tasty Tapas. Took a taxi, so parking was not an issue. We waited for an hour, first outside and then inside in the tiny waiting area. Fortunately, the wait allowed us to work up a huge appetite. Our waiter was delightful, I looked forward to his returning to our table. There were 2 of us, we ordered 6 items, which pleasantly were not all brought out at once but in a steady progression. The marinated,grilled peppers were wonderful and added great flavor to the other items. The empanda was crisp on the outside and delicious on the inside. The mussels were melt in your mouth delicious. The sauteed mushrooms were tasty on the crusty bread. My favorites were the potatos and the grilled eggplant with goat cheese.
Great Eats, Excellent Service. Love this place. Been there several times. The value for what you get and the quality can't be beat by any tapas place in the city. The service has been exceptional each time I have been there. I always reccomend this place to friends in search of a good Tapas restaurant.
Decent Spanish food, nothing to rave about. Went to check our Zarzuela after it was recommended by a ton of people and after reading Michael Bauer's praise of the restaurant's paella. Was expecting a great meal, which turned out to be decent, but nothing special. The paella was a bit too dry for my taste. Comparing it to my last experience at Alegria's, Alegria's comes out on top - no doubt.
Soulful Spanish Tapas. Exceptional dishes at affordable prices. Wait, this can't be in San Francisco, and just a few blocks from Lombard street, can it? This is Spanish comfort food at it's best. With attractive prices and rich, soulful preparations, I find myself jealous of those who live within walking distance. This is a truly great neighborhood restaurant. Although recent additions to the local Tapas scene surpass overall food quality, the friendly service and rustic dishes will bring me back.
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