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PRICE RANGE
US$100 - US$150
CUISINES
French, Contemporary
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options
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meals, features
Reviews (389)
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Traveller rating
260
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24
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9
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Reviewed 19 September 2020

Very Nice Dinner in January For about 15 years, we were in San Francisco every month, or even more often, but the meetings, which brought us to the city, are being phased out. With that in mind, we began doing a “swan song,” of sorts,...going back to most of our favorite restaurants, and La Folie on Polk St is certainly one of those. In January, while attending a wine event, we booked an early table at La Folie. We arrived early, so had a few glasses of Champagne at their lounge/bar, next door, before they opened. We always seem to arrive early, so take advantage of the wine list next door. We were promptly seated, in the main dining room, about 3 tables from the front door. I think that we were at that same table, on our previous visit, though that was about 3 years earlier. Our service was very good, from the start, to finish. We opted for the Four Course Menu, along with the wine pairings. Both were good choices, though the wine pairings did not seem quite as strong, as we had experienced before - very good, but not great - though the wine service was, as per usual. The room is attractive, with a bit of casual elegance - not at all stuffy, but very refined. I love the Bernardaud chargers, and the table settings. The lighting is good, the table spacing very good, and even as the restaurant filled, the noise level was minimal. La Folie is just a restaurant, where people normally speak in hushed tones, or are so busy enjoying the food, that conversation is minimal. We started with an Amuse Bouche, and then the meal progressed to: Spanish Octopus w/ artichoke barigoule and black trumpet mushrooms - probably the best dish of the evening - just excellent! Roast Heirloom Beet Salad w/ Burrata and pumpkin seed granola - a very good dish, as well, and the beets were very flavorful Frog-leg and Snail Ragout w/ warm garlic purée, bone marrow and wild mushrooms, served in a marrow bone - this dish read better, than it was. It did not have the layers of flavor expected, and while good, was a mild disappointment Lobster & Mushroom Risotto w/ leeks and sauce Américaine - excellent and especially with the shaved black truffles (supplemental charge) Massachusetts Black Bass w. German butterball gnocchi, bacon, black and trumpet mushroom sauce - very good fish dish, with great textures and flavors Liberty Farm Duck Breast w/ green farro, and duck confit, baby turnips and candied kumquat - a good duck dish, but short of great. However, it was very attractive with the presentation Selection of Artisan Cheeses - we split this course, which was excellent, and then I tasted my wife’s dessert: “Caramel Apple” w/ walnut date cake, vanilla custard and cinnamon puff pastry - quite good, and I am not much of a dessert fan. There was a surprise at the end of the meal, with a “Happy Birthday” dessert. The only problem is that we were celebrating our anniversary, and not a birthday. Oddly, this was the second meal in February, where the same thing happed? Hey, it’s the thought, that counts. We had brought our glasses of Champagne from the Lounge, but then our pairing wines were Vignoble Gibault Touraine Sauvignon Blanc ICI/LA-BAS “Victoria” Elke Vineyard, Anderson Valley Chardonnay Domaine de Roger Gaillard Mâcon Villages ‘16 Luli Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir by Sara Floyd ‘18 Domaine Arnoux Pere et Fils Bourgogne (Pinot Noir) ‘17 Château La Croix Calendreau Bordeaux Supérieur ‘15 Domaine Cauhapé “Symphonie de Novembre” Jurançon ‘15 The wine service was very good, as was the stemware. The wines, however, were just not as exciting, as we have come to expect at La Folie. The food service was very good, as well, with excellent pacing, throughout the meal. Not sure when we will be back, but plan to work La Folie into a personal trip - but those will be fewer, and farther in between.More

Date of visit: January 2020
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Reviewed 8 January 2020

This was my second visit to La Folie (which, if I remember my college French means “The Madness”). It is even better on a second trip. I am the very last person that should order a five-course prix fixe French dinner. I am the world’s...most picky eater; I am a vegetarian that does not eat vegetables. My entire diet is potatoes, bread, cheese, chocolate, and pasta; and has been for more than four decades. I am a genuine challenge to even the very best chefs; yet I have an unexplainable penchant for high-end restaurants and celebrity chefs. Anthony Bourdain called me an “a**hole”. Wolfgang Puck made a GREAT meal for me and coined for my diet my now go-to term: carbo-tarian. Emeril Lagasse came to the table just to see if I was real or someone pranking him. Howard J. Ehrlich referred to me in one of his cookbooks as a “nutritional moron”. Mario Batali laughed at me and told me I needed to “get over it”. Jimmy Schmidt, a legitimate food scientist, said that I am “helpless”. With no “call ahead because a crazy is coming” I showed up for this second visit with a very classy business companion. After he made his selections for the five courses, I informed the waiter of my diet. Rather than pass out and throw me out the door, Chris told me that he would relay my eccentricity to the chef/owner —the renowned Roland Passot (@RPassot). After 31 years of owning and operating La Folie, Passot has probably seen everything. When my companion’s much-more traditional courses began arriving, my custom courses came along with them. Most decent restauranteurs will accommodate goofball diners; but in most cases it throws the kitchen into chaotic panic. Not so with Roland Passot. He rolled with it as if it were an everyday occurrence. To call the courses that Passot created for me “perfect” is a vast understatement. To call them “creative” does not touch on his brilliant ability to build world-class dishes suitable for “normal” people yet meeting my stringent requirements. To praise the presentation doesn’t do justice to the genius residing in his kitchen. In fact, to include his name with the above array of television-chefs is an unfair demeaning of Passot’s talent, detail, and mastery. This guy is un-f’ing-believable. Get the picture? This intimate little restaurant with a James-Beard-award-winning virtuoso chef is unmatched in my somewhat impressive portfolio of gourmet restaurant dining. After the meal, when Roland Passot himself came to our table, he was kind, humble, and absolutely topped off this incredible evening with a touch of the utmost class. Without trendy nouvelle cuisine, his elegant classique approach to each course is a true joy —and not just for lunatics like me, but for any discerning diner. The ambiance, the rich-wood and mirrored walls, the plush furnishings, the entire front-of-house staff… all make dining at La Folie and experience, not merely a meal. Add to that the incredible tastes and the diversity of range, and the visit can’t be matched. (My dinner companion concurs.) I SO highly recommend this amazing chef and his restaurant.More

Date of visit: December 2019
Helpful?4  
Reviewed 9 October 2019

The room is elegant, the service friendly and attentive but appropriately restrained and the chef came through to check on us. I didn't like the restrictive prix-fixe menus and found the food over-elaborated, a little quirky and skimpy. Had to eat bread to get enough....Maybe high-end French dining isn't my thing. I didn't enjoy Taillevent in Paris, either. Obviously, lots of people love this restaurant, so take my review as personal and with a grain of salt. Expensive.More

Date of visit: September 2019
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Reviewed 29 August 2019

My wife and I always try to visit one of our favorite restaurants whenever we're in the Golden Gate City. La Folie always delivers a decadent meal with superior service and attention to detail. Reservations, while not difficult to secure, are always recommended especially during...any large conference in the city. The contemporary French menu and wine list are superb. A big congrats to the La Folie leadership for continuing to deliver a top-drawer dining experience time and time again!More

Date of visit: February 2019
Helpful?2  
Reviewed 16 August 2019

Outstanding French food, with impeccable service as one would expect to accompany such cuisine. Presentations are beautiful. The menu is slightly challenging - first, it is prix fixe, so it is important to know going in. Second, there are two prix fixe options, the left...and right sides of the menu, and then third, one can request 3 courses instead of four. One can also mix and match items from the left and right sides, which is what everyone in our party of four did. So my advice is essentially, ignore the prix fixe, and just choose three (or four) items. Additionally, for first time diners, the cost will be surprising, as it is much more expensive than other restaurants in the Polk Street neighborhood. Finally, the wine list, primarily French Burgandy and Bordeaux, could definitely use some expanding. We ordered a Medoc, which was quite nice, but as I recall, the there were only a couple of dozen Bordeaux to choose from. So, for the confusing menu, cost, and wine list, the reason for 4 stars instead of 5.More

Date of visit: August 2019
Helpful?3  
Reviewed 13 July 2019

This small, cozy Michelin rated restaurant is a great place for a special dinner. The staff is on top of every element, the chef/owner prepares amazing dishes and the tasting menu is a great value. You can't go wrong at this restaurant.

Date of visit: July 2019
Helpful?2  
Reviewed 13 April 2019 via mobile

Originally my mother and I were going to have dinner at La Folie. She had seen some reviews that weren’t very positive so she was a little worried as this is not an inexpensive dinner. Well, my mother missed her flight and since the restaurant...was going to charge her since she missed the cancellation time frame my friend got the benefit of my mother’s misfortune. It was my mother’s misfortune. Some will call La Folie “Old School” and I would agree but in the best way. Yes, there were white tables clothes and attentive service and the Owner/Chef greeted us at the door and stopped by the table during the course of our meal. The food was wonderful and accessible. I ate everything except for an oyster amuse bouche. I did try the cucumber relish that was on top but I am just not a fan of oysters. I had the chef’s tasting menu and the wine pairing to match. There were a couple of wines I wasn’t particularly fond of but I did find a Gewurztraminer I really enjoyed.More

Date of visit: March 2019
Helpful?1  
Reviewed 13 February 2019 via mobile

Eight of us came on a rainy Tuesday evening and had no idea what we were in for. The wine list was intimidating - high end and broad. The menu was simple, made up of unusual (and even a bit unnerving) complex choices. Three hours...later we left shaking our heads in disbelief over what we experienced. Spectacular in every area. I went with Chef Roland Passot’s tasting meal and wine pairings. The other 7 chose from a handful of selections in each of four courses. I won. Chef built an amazing set of dishes so complex and flavorful that I was blown away with each one. I found myself taking smaller and smaller bites to try and decipher all that was going on in each dish. Let me just list the courses; Duck egg ravioli. I’m not an egg over anything guy, but wow. So delicate and incredibly flavorful I was instantly converted. Butter poached lobster with pumpkin bisque. The lobster was perfect and yet the bisque made it seem like it was playing only a small part in the dish. Eye of ribeye in a Madeira sauce. Just look at that picture! Perfection! L’Esorit de Fromage. Incredible bites of cheese... Caramelized pink lady apples, white chocolate namelaka and pumpkin seed brittle. I’ve never had anything like it... The presentations were so beautiful we hadn’t to ruin them with our forks. And our server was beyond excellent. A 20 year vet of the place she described each menu item like a favorite child. She alone made the experience 5 star. The Sommelier guided us through 4 bottles of excellent French reds, helping to complete the experience. Splurge. Just go and spoil yourself on an incredible dinner.More

Date of visit: February 2019
Helpful?1  
Reviewed 11 February 2019

After an hour and a half in the most horrific traffic jam I have ever experienced in San Francisco on Thursday, Feb 7th, my wife and I gave up and were ready for a drink and dinner when we remembered a good experience years ago...at La Folie on Polk Street. First there was a valet as we were in no mood to scrounge for parking in that area, then the smiling face of George doing double duty as the maitre'd and sommelier who took us to a romantic table overlooking the entire restaurant. Our waitperson, Mandy, had a big smile and knew the menu top to bottom. My wife is dairy and beef free, so they tailor made some dishes to fit her needs. Two menus- tasting at $175 and 4-course at $150. We did the four course and had the best meal we have experienced in San Francisco in 40 years. Chef Roland came out twice to chat and be sure our meal was perfect, George found us a magnificent half bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir- Domaine Drouhin 2016. Best Oregon Pinot I have ever tasted. The crab and avocado salad was beautifully and artfully presented, fresh and delicious. Our main course was a perfectly prepared rack of lamb exactly medium rare. With a baked Alaska for dessert, we were smiling all the way home. The entire waitstaff was so well trained that this meal never felt rushed or plodding. The bill reflected the level of service and the quality and exceptional preparation of each course. Bravo, La Folie!!! We have vowed to celebrate our special occasions right there. Ray and CarlaMore

Date of visit: February 2019
Helpful?1  
Reviewed 5 August 2018 via mobile

We have dined at La Folie in San Francisco on numerous occasions over the past 10 years. It has been without question the restaurant where we have celebrated anniversaries, birthdays and Holliday dinners. Chef Roland Passot has always intrigued us with great and innovative offerings....We dined there recently and felt no “wow”. The caviar offered was outstanding, my corn soup, and rack of lamb was outstanding, my wife’s black cod was outstanding, but the duck failed to impress. Deserts were not impressive . Service was even, however the sommelier was out of his depth. Overall our experience was good, but not the WOW we have experienced on prior visits.More

Date of visit: August 2018
Helpful?3  
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Response from THEGaryGreen | Reviewed this property |
I am a VERY picky eater (a vegetarian who hates vegetables). I found the restaurant to be extremely accommodating in building a meal for me. Because the chef is on site and the owner(and is in San Francisco), it is an... More
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Frequently Asked Questions about La Folie01

  • La Folie01 is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
    • Food: 4.5
    • Service: 4.5
    • Value: 4
    • Atmosphere: 4.5