Le Central is a neighborhood bistro located in San Francisco's bustling Financial District. A favorite of locals and visitors since it opened over ... More
Le Central is a neighborhood bistro located in San Francisco's bustling Financial District. A favorite of locals and visitors since it opened over three decades ago in 1974, Le Central's iconic red tabac sign has become a familiar fixture of Bush Street. Housed in a brick building, the restaurant's warm interior offers guests an authentic brasserie atmosphere. Handwritten chalk Plat du Jour menus, cozy booth seating and fresh flowers greet customers on every visit. Le Central serves traditional French cuisine such as Steak Frites, Onion Soup Gratinee, Rack of Lamb Persille and our cassoulet which has been cooking for over 12,000 days. Le Central is owned by brothers Johnny and Paul Tanphanich who bring over four decades of French cooking to the restaurant.
I would love to say it was a pleasure, unfortunately my husband and I left before we tasted anything. We walked in with smiles on our faces after shopping all day, ready for a few drinks and some snacks. We were barely greeted at the door by a waiter (I think) who pointed to the back and told us to sit at the bar. We made our way to the back of the bar and there were no barstools, so (after standing around unattended for about 5 minutes) we asked a server if we could sit at one of the MANY free tables since there were no barstools. She basically said whatever and threw us into a corner table. While we were sitting at our table waiting (again) for someone to offer us a menu, a group of 4 came in who were immediately accommodated at the bar area. I then overheard the 2 servers arguing about who was going to wait our table, until we were finally approached by the server who apparently lost the coin-toss. She was extremely unpleasant, hostile even, and when I asked about the happy hour specials she said: I m sorry, those are only available at the bar. I think the biggest insult came when my husband and I said: thanks, I think we are going to leave, this has been a horrible experience, and our server said yes? ok, as if she was agreeing we should, instead of attempting to help us have a more pleasant experience. In any case, we are no stranger to the hospitality of big cities, and we actually live in Buenos Aires, which is renowned for its unfriendly service but I was still shocked by the treatment we got. It was entirely unacceptable treatment towards 2 people trying to enjoy a beverage at happy hour. I will never go here again, and I will actively deter anyone I know from visiting this establishment. As I said, I didn t taste the food, but the service was VERY French.
Le Central has the best roast chicken in the city. I alwasy order roast chicken whenever it's offered. Zuni Cafe's chicken was salty, and barely edible. A rip-off, really. Le Centrsl defines raost chicken. Fries are amazing. Service is New York City-quality. Go. You'll return.
The menu read very well as it included traditional, provincial french dishes. The food was pretty good though not the best french food in the city. This place is definitely overpriced for the meal and ambiance (as there isn't really any ambiance). It wasn't a terrible meal, but for the price, I certainly wouldn't go back. There are much better options for that price range.
Everything leading up to our 9th wedding anniversary dinner at Le Central pointed toward a lousy dining experience. The reviews were underwhelming. The location was definately touristy. The ambiance was a tad stodgy. We went anyway.
The wine list was actually pretty astute. We both got the Filet Mignon. It was supurb. Smothered in a creamy mushroom sauce and flanked by thin fries. The waiter and host were both lacking in personality. But the tastiness of the food more than made up for it.
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