CIRCA Restaurant & Lounge

★★★☆☆
  • 2001 Chestnut Street

    San Francisco, CA 94123

    Map & Directions
  • 415-351-0175

About CIRCA Restaurant & Lounge

Categories
  • Restaurants
  • Grill Restaurants
  • Traditional American Restaurants
Details
  • Brunch
Reservations
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Food

Food
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Wanted to check out the restaurant, until my friend was trying to make birthday reservations & mentioned how rude Circa was. Plus I read bad reviews about the restaurants hostess/ food service, pricey, not worth it menu choices, unfriendly atmosphere. Being a native San Franciscan that moved to the valley Six years ago, I love going back to my hometown to visit great restaurants & having great food. This definitly will not be one of my choices.

1
★☆☆☆☆

Wanted to check out the restaurant, until my friend was trying to make birthday reservations & mentioned how rude Circa was. Plus I read bad reviews about the restaurants hostess/ food service, pricey, not worth it menu choices, unfriendly atmosphere. Being a native San Franciscan that moved to the valley Six years ago, I love going back to my hometown to visit great restaurants & having great food. This definitly will not be one of my choices.

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this is the worst restaurant ever. from the hostess to the end of the night this place was the worst yet. the hostess sat us at a horrible table and didnt want to budge to sit us anywhere else that we would be more comfortable. she didnt know what customer service meant at all. she was horrible! then the waitress brought out our food and the chicken was raw had blood coming out of it !!! how gross is that. so our appetites were ruined and keep in mind this was valentines day. from the pictures my bf and i thought it seemed like a nice spot and he was excited about it, but we should have done more research because the location was ghetto and the inside of the restaurant was not vacuumed! first impressions do count! then at the end of the night the waitress had the nerve to ask us for more of a tip than she deserved! she should've been glad we gave her any tip since there was only 2 of us and the food was horrible! our moods were ruined and she had the nerve to ask for more of a tip! wow! dont go here please save ur money! we spend $100 or more on crap!

1
★☆☆☆☆

this is the worst restaurant ever. from the hostess to the end of the night this place was the worst yet. the hostess sat us at a horrible table and didnt want to budge to sit us anywhere else that we would be more comfortable. she didnt know what customer service meant at all. she was horrible! then the waitress brought out our food and the chicken was raw had blood coming out of it !!! how gross is that. so our appetites were ruined and keep in mind this was valentines day. from the pictures my bf and i thought it seemed like a nice spot and he was excited about it, but we should have done more research because the location was ghetto and the inside of the restaurant was not vacuumed! first impressions do count! then at the end of the night the waitress had the nerve to ask us for more of a tip than she deserved! she should've been glad we gave her any tip since there was only 2 of us and the food was horrible! our moods were ruined and she had the nerve to ask for more of a tip! wow! dont go here please save ur money! we spend $100 or more on crap!

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1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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My 3 friends and I went to Circa for brunch this morning. I made reservations for 4 people for 11:30 AM because I knew that there was going to be limited seating. We got to the restaurant at 11:35 and we had to wait for 15 minutes more until they finally sat us down. The party whose table we were supposed to sit at took a while, but I can see why... the staff here seemed overwhelmed, making the service very slow.

The crowd here is young and beautiful, and my friends made the comment that it seems like the main priority of people who come here is to hang out with friends, which adds to the laid back atmosphere (which is also contributed to by the slow service).

I ordered the vegetable club and it was a good sized portion of 8 triangle sized sandwiches filled with roasted pepper, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, and portobello mushroom. The sandwich is served on whole wheat bread and came with a delicious herb cream cheese spread. It also comes with your choice of fries or a salad; the side salad was a nice hefty portion. This was $10.

Two of my friends ordered the corn beef hash. It looked delicious! The corn beef and potatoes were also mixed with bell peppers. Two poached eggs came on top. I think this was $12. These portions were large.

My fourth friend ordered the breakfast sliders. They were two little egg and sausage sandwiches on what looked like potato buns. It came with two hash brown triangles and a spicy ketchup dip. It was $9 and I would have still been hungry if I were her :)!

3
★★★☆☆

My 3 friends and I went to Circa for brunch this morning. I made reservations for 4 people for 11:30 AM because I knew that there was going to be limited seating. We got to the restaurant at 11:35 and we had to wait for 15 minutes more until they finally sat us down. The party whose table we were supposed to sit at took a while, but I can see why... the staff here seemed overwhelmed, making the service very slow.

The crowd here is young and beautiful, and my friends made the comment that it seems like the main priority of people who come here is to hang out with friends, which adds to the laid back atmosphere (which is also contributed to by the slow service).

I ordered the vegetable club and it was a good sized portion of 8 triangle sized sandwiches filled with roasted pepper, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, and portobello mushroom. The sandwich is served on whole wheat bread and came with a delicious herb cream cheese spread. It also comes with your choice of fries or a salad; the side salad was a nice hefty portion. This was $10.

Two of my friends ordered the corn beef hash. It looked delicious! The corn beef and potatoes were also mixed with bell peppers. Two poached eggs came on top. I think this was $12. These portions were large.

My fourth friend ordered the breakfast sliders. They were two little egg and sausage sandwiches on what looked like potato buns. It came with two hash brown triangles and a spicy ketchup dip. It was $9 and I would have still been hungry if I were her :)!

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1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

.

Circa is one of the big reasons people make fun of the Marina. Every weekend night, you see a line outside of this place. On a typical night, you will find five guys from Pleasanton in striped shirts, three cougars, and one or two underage kids in line. If that doesn't put you off, inside you'll find overpriced drinks and the kind of people who always order mojitos. The staff is rude, but can you really blame them?
That said, Circa is a good option if you like drinking during the day. The brunch is delicious and reasonably priced. Most importantly, you can get bottomless mimosas in big decanters. If you live in the Marina, be prepared to see everyone you've seen at the bars the night before, several of your ex-boyfriends, and that annoying girl from your gym seated at the surrounding tables.

3
★★★☆☆

Circa is one of the big reasons people make fun of the Marina. Every weekend night, you see a line outside of this place. On a typical night, you will find five guys from Pleasanton in striped shirts, three cougars, and one or two underage kids in line. If that doesn't put you off, inside you'll find overpriced drinks and the kind of people who always order mojitos. The staff is rude, but can you really blame them?
That said, Circa is a good option if you like drinking during the day. The brunch is delicious and reasonably priced. Most importantly, you can get bottomless mimosas in big decanters. If you live in the Marina, be prepared to see everyone you've seen at the bars the night before, several of your ex-boyfriends, and that annoying girl from your gym seated at the surrounding tables.

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1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

.

i've only been here once and it was for a club type of party. i was really impressed with the venue. there ws lots of seating around and the bar in the middle. there was a little vip area upstairs with their own bar. it was carpeted which is really nice, but i can't imagine what the owner was thinking when he decided to use the place as a club.

5
★★★★★

i've only been here once and it was for a club type of party. i was really impressed with the venue. there ws lots of seating around and the bar in the middle. there was a little vip area upstairs with their own bar. it was carpeted which is really nice, but i can't imagine what the owner was thinking when he decided to use the place as a club.

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This is as much a reply about circa as it is to the review from other diners. I thought the restaurant performed up to their vision (what the owners were going for). It is a restaurant with a solid theme, and the food is up to par from what you would expect of the design, training of the staff, etc. Now, I am in the food industry, and not as a waiter or busser, but of a managerial position. Now, lets get down to what others voice their opinion about. If you have an appointment, you arrive on time. If you do not, you are either dealt with fairly, or passed on and allowed to make another appointment. A restaurant is a business, and seating plans going according to reservations times. Therefore, if you make a reservation for 7:15, the assumption is made based on the usual dining time of the table. SO, if your party finishes arriving almost an hour after the reservation, you screwed up the seating arrangement. I assume you work for a living, and if someone made an appointment for you at 4:15, and they showed up at 5, and you had an appointment at 5:30, would u make your 5:30 appointment wait? The restaurant is a business, and if they do not turn the table, they will not be in business for you to dine there again. Also, people, do not complain about a manager performing his duties properly. If the restaurant is not full, why would someone put 3 servers on the floor to cover what 1 server can cover? To drive up labor costs and ultimately sink the business? Probably a bad idea. I know a restaurant is there for the enjoyment of a guest, but bottom line, its a business, and contrary to what people believe, very very very few manage to be profitable due to the overwhelming amount of issues that go into running them. Say, for example, people not showing up prompty to their reservation, if at all. Now, about wine service. Lets get something very very straight. You do not taste a bottle of wine to make sure you like it. You taste, and be very aware of this, to make sure the wine is not corked or funked in a way it should not be. Your personal opinion of the wine has nothing to do with the tasting. Furthermore, if you ask for someones opion, and u disagree, then perhaps learn more about what you are doing and make educated choices for yourself. If you care to critize a restaurant, know what you are talking about. This is a tough business and a poor review does a lot of damage, even if its ridiculous.

4
★★★★☆

This is as much a reply about circa as it is to the review from other diners. I thought the restaurant performed up to their vision (what the owners were going for). It is a restaurant with a solid theme, and the food is up to par from what you would expect of the design, training of the staff, etc. Now, I am in the food industry, and not as a waiter or busser, but of a managerial position. Now, lets get down to what others voice their opinion about. If you have an appointment, you arrive on time. If you do not, you are either dealt with fairly, or passed on and allowed to make another appointment. A restaurant is a business, and seating plans going according to reservations times. Therefore, if you make a reservation for 7:15, the assumption is made based on the usual dining time of the table. SO, if your party finishes arriving almost an hour after the reservation, you screwed up the seating arrangement. I assume you work for a living, and if someone made an appointment for you at 4:15, and they showed up at 5, and you had an appointment at 5:30, would u make your 5:30 appointment wait? The restaurant is a business, and if they do not turn the table, they will not be in business for you to dine there again. Also, people, do not complain about a manager performing his duties properly. If the restaurant is not full, why would someone put 3 servers on the floor to cover what 1 server can cover? To drive up labor costs and ultimately sink the business? Probably a bad idea. I know a restaurant is there for the enjoyment of a guest, but bottom line, its a business, and contrary to what people believe, very very very few manage to be profitable due to the overwhelming amount of issues that go into running them. Say, for example, people not showing up prompty to their reservation, if at all. Now, about wine service. Lets get something very very straight. You do not taste a bottle of wine to make sure you like it. You taste, and be very aware of this, to make sure the wine is not corked or funked in a way it should not be. Your personal opinion of the wine has nothing to do with the tasting. Furthermore, if you ask for someones opion, and u disagree, then perhaps learn more about what you are doing and make educated choices for yourself. If you care to critize a restaurant, know what you are talking about. This is a tough business and a poor review does a lot of damage, even if its ridiculous.

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0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

.

I've only visited Circa once so far, but had a good experience. The service staff were, if anything, trying too hard. Every 5 minutes someone would stop by our table and ask if everything was OK. Yes, it was. The food was excellent. My one issue, but its a big one, is with seating arrangements. We had two other couples seated on either side of us when there was plenty of space elsewhere in a restaurant. I hate it when managers do that -- confine all the guests to one side of the restaurant, making it impossible to have a private conversation. My husband and I spent the last half hour engaged in other people's discussions. Not very intimate and very unnecesary. I am sure they do it for the convenience of the staff, not the patrons. If that happens again, I will not be back.

3
★★★☆☆

I've only visited Circa once so far, but had a good experience. The service staff were, if anything, trying too hard. Every 5 minutes someone would stop by our table and ask if everything was OK. Yes, it was. The food was excellent. My one issue, but its a big one, is with seating arrangements. We had two other couples seated on either side of us when there was plenty of space elsewhere in a restaurant. I hate it when managers do that -- confine all the guests to one side of the restaurant, making it impossible to have a private conversation. My husband and I spent the last half hour engaged in other people's discussions. Not very intimate and very unnecesary. I am sure they do it for the convenience of the staff, not the patrons. If that happens again, I will not be back.

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1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

.

My friend and I arrived at 5pm and had a drink at the bar so that we could be prompt for our 5:30pm reservations. This restaurant starts it's dinner service at 5:30pm, so there were not many people in the place when we asked to be seated. The male Maitre d' took my buddy and I over to a postage stamp sized table to seat us. I went for the nearby booth that was made up for four, explaining that I'm a big guy and would prefer not to sit at such a small table. The Maitre d's attitude made it clear that he was not pleased, and when I pointed out that the place had hardly any patrons, he snooted that "it fills up fast!" Obviously, if we had arrived at the busiest time of the dining hour we would have had to take whatever was available, but at this time of the evening it was unnecessary, especially as the place was still only halfway occupied by the time we were ready to leave. My dinner was tasty! I appreciate restaurants that give quality rather than quantity, but when they make it clear that their ability to fill tables is more important than your comfortable, leisurely dining then I will go elsewhere to find both. And in this town that's not hard to do at all!

2
★★☆☆☆

My friend and I arrived at 5pm and had a drink at the bar so that we could be prompt for our 5:30pm reservations. This restaurant starts it's dinner service at 5:30pm, so there were not many people in the place when we asked to be seated. The male Maitre d' took my buddy and I over to a postage stamp sized table to seat us. I went for the nearby booth that was made up for four, explaining that I'm a big guy and would prefer not to sit at such a small table. The Maitre d's attitude made it clear that he was not pleased, and when I pointed out that the place had hardly any patrons, he snooted that "it fills up fast!" Obviously, if we had arrived at the busiest time of the dining hour we would have had to take whatever was available, but at this time of the evening it was unnecessary, especially as the place was still only halfway occupied by the time we were ready to leave. My dinner was tasty! I appreciate restaurants that give quality rather than quantity, but when they make it clear that their ability to fill tables is more important than your comfortable, leisurely dining then I will go elsewhere to find both. And in this town that's not hard to do at all!

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On 03/24/2007, I had a dinner reservation at Circa Restaurant at 7:15pm for a party of eight. Three people arrived around 7:15pm and two arrived at 7:30pm. At this time, we ordered four appetizers, two drinks and a bottle of red wine. We asked for recommendation on the wine and got recommended one of the waitress favorite. The seventh person arrived at 7:50pm. A few minutes later, the manager, Alex, came over and told us that because our party are late. He just want to let us know that we have 1 1/2 hours before the next party come at 9:30pm. The eighth party came after he told us that, but we had putted our order in. The two appetizers came and the tasting of the wine recommendated was not what we preferred. We asked for a fruity and dry red wine, but we were recommendated a sour one. We didn??t want the red wine and prefer a different one. The waitress replied, "ok". When we said the wine was too sour. She replied with ??I??ll be back? but did not come back or asked us would we like to try another. We were upset with what the Alex told us. We feel discriminated because we looked young, Asians and all females. The manager didn't let the other customers know what their time limit was. Anyways, you do not tell your customers that they have a time limit to dine. I'm obligated to stay as long as I want in a restaurant for the business hours. We asked for the check and told the manager we didn't not appreciate his service. He told us that many fine dining restaurant will not seat us. We are late and we should use the valet parking. He told us that we have to pay for the four appretizers since we ordered it and the kitchen made it. Also, he told us that we should ask for recommendation on the wine. Customers are not obligated to use the pay valet parking and wine are not a must to ask for recommendation. We can refuse the wine if we don??t like it. That's the reason why tasting of the wine to determine if you like it. Alex was pushing the blame on us. His service was extremely poor. We pay for the two appretizers only because the other two appretizers didn't come until after we asked for the check. We asked Alex that we want to speak to the owner and he didn't assist us on it. Later, we asked the busboy and he told us he didn't know who the owner is. We finally got help from the hostess. She told us the owner will be out in five minutes. We told the owner the incident and the owner replied, "sorry". He was not sincere about it and told us that if we didn??t got up from our table then we could continue our dining. That's ridicious, even if we got up from our table, we can still be seated back if he is sincere about it. The owner offered to buy us dinner next time and we turned it down. We left Circa Restaurant due to extremely poor service and felt that we were being discriminated. I strongly do not recommend anyone there. We ended up dining at Amici Restaurant with excellent service.

1
★☆☆☆☆

On 03/24/2007, I had a dinner reservation at Circa Restaurant at 7:15pm for a party of eight. Three people arrived around 7:15pm and two arrived at 7:30pm. At this time, we ordered four appetizers, two drinks and a bottle of red wine. We asked for recommendation on the wine and got recommended one of the waitress favorite. The seventh person arrived at 7:50pm. A few minutes later, the manager, Alex, came over and told us that because our party are late. He just want to let us know that we have 1 1/2 hours before the next party come at 9:30pm. The eighth party came after he told us that, but we had putted our order in. The two appetizers came and the tasting of the wine recommendated was not what we preferred. We asked for a fruity and dry red wine, but we were recommendated a sour one. We didn??t want the red wine and prefer a different one. The waitress replied, "ok". When we said the wine was too sour. She replied with ??I??ll be back? but did not come back or asked us would we like to try another. We were upset with what the Alex told us. We feel discriminated because we looked young, Asians and all females. The manager didn't let the other customers know what their time limit was. Anyways, you do not tell your customers that they have a time limit to dine. I'm obligated to stay as long as I want in a restaurant for the business hours. We asked for the check and told the manager we didn't not appreciate his service. He told us that many fine dining restaurant will not seat us. We are late and we should use the valet parking. He told us that we have to pay for the four appretizers since we ordered it and the kitchen made it. Also, he told us that we should ask for recommendation on the wine. Customers are not obligated to use the pay valet parking and wine are not a must to ask for recommendation. We can refuse the wine if we don??t like it. That's the reason why tasting of the wine to determine if you like it. Alex was pushing the blame on us. His service was extremely poor. We pay for the two appretizers only because the other two appretizers didn't come until after we asked for the check. We asked Alex that we want to speak to the owner and he didn't assist us on it. Later, we asked the busboy and he told us he didn't know who the owner is. We finally got help from the hostess. She told us the owner will be out in five minutes. We told the owner the incident and the owner replied, "sorry". He was not sincere about it and told us that if we didn??t got up from our table then we could continue our dining. That's ridicious, even if we got up from our table, we can still be seated back if he is sincere about it. The owner offered to buy us dinner next time and we turned it down. We left Circa Restaurant due to extremely poor service and felt that we were being discriminated. I strongly do not recommend anyone there. We ended up dining at Amici Restaurant with excellent service.

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1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

.

I have been there twice and enjoyed the meals I ordered. I had a hard time getting drinks from the bartender. Seemed like she only catered to people she knew. Won't be back. So many other places with outstanding service and great food.

3
★★★☆☆

I have been there twice and enjoyed the meals I ordered. I had a hard time getting drinks from the bartender. Seemed like she only catered to people she knew. Won't be back. So many other places with outstanding service and great food.

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0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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From S.F. Chronicle - "THE INSIDE SCOOP"

The corner of Chestnut and Fillmore -- the starting point for those walking the Marina drag -- is a prime San Francisco location.

At the end of June, the restaurant went through yet another incarnation. The name changed to Circa, and when the place reopens in September, the menu will be different as well.

Chef Erik Hopfinger will re-do the grill's pub grub menu into upscale comfort food, the style that made him a Chronicle Rising Star Chef in 2002 at Spoon, the forerunner of Tablespoon (2209 Polk St., near Vallejo).

"The Marina has matured over the past five years, and we want to create a sophisticated venue that better represents the taste of the neighborhood," says Suverkrubbe. "We want to get away from bar and grill, and really want to make the place more respected as a restaurant."

San Francisco's Michael Brennan, who designed Cortez and Boca, is doing the redesign. He says the word swank comes to mind, but the space still has to appeal to the Marina nightlife crowd and the Sunday brunchers (one and the same?). He plans to add a large-party booth in the center and cozy banquettes along the wall for a lounge effect. And, lest I forget, he'll put in columns, and have 10-foot crystal chandeliers dripping from the ceiling.

Hopfinger's menu will fit that lounge-y style, with modern classics served in shareable sizes. We're talking Dungeness crab tater tots, PB&J foie gras -- with house-made peanut butter sauce and blueberry demi-glace -- and a cupcake sampler dessert.

The 25-item menu will come in small plates priced between $4 and $10, or in larger family-style plates for $12 to $19. And, first-daters, the food is being designed so you don't make a dribbling mess.

The wine list is being crafted by Mark Bright, who also consults for Oola and Dosa. He's discontinuing the current all-American list and mixing it up with international wines, focusing on smaller producers. Plus, he's pushing for winemaker dinners and more Champagne by the glass.

5
★★★★★

From S.F. Chronicle - "THE INSIDE SCOOP"

The corner of Chestnut and Fillmore -- the starting point for those walking the Marina drag -- is a prime San Francisco location.

At the end of June, the restaurant went through yet another incarnation. The name changed to Circa, and when the place reopens in September, the menu will be different as well.

Chef Erik Hopfinger will re-do the grill's pub grub menu into upscale comfort food, the style that made him a Chronicle Rising Star Chef in 2002 at Spoon, the forerunner of Tablespoon (2209 Polk St., near Vallejo).

"The Marina has matured over the past five years, and we want to create a sophisticated venue that better represents the taste of the neighborhood," says Suverkrubbe. "We want to get away from bar and grill, and really want to make the place more respected as a restaurant."

San Francisco's Michael Brennan, who designed Cortez and Boca, is doing the redesign. He says the word swank comes to mind, but the space still has to appeal to the Marina nightlife crowd and the Sunday brunchers (one and the same?). He plans to add a large-party booth in the center and cozy banquettes along the wall for a lounge effect. And, lest I forget, he'll put in columns, and have 10-foot crystal chandeliers dripping from the ceiling.

Hopfinger's menu will fit that lounge-y style, with modern classics served in shareable sizes. We're talking Dungeness crab tater tots, PB&J foie gras -- with house-made peanut butter sauce and blueberry demi-glace -- and a cupcake sampler dessert.

The 25-item menu will come in small plates priced between $4 and $10, or in larger family-style plates for $12 to $19. And, first-daters, the food is being designed so you don't make a dribbling mess.

The wine list is being crafted by Mark Bright, who also consults for Oola and Dosa. He's discontinuing the current all-American list and mixing it up with international wines, focusing on smaller producers. Plus, he's pushing for winemaker dinners and more Champagne by the glass.

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