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Bong Su - 36 Reviews - 311 3rd St, San Francisco, CA - Restaurants Reviews - Phone (415) 536-5800

Bong Su

311 3rd St
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 536-5800
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Bong Su is a great date spot. We were there on a Sunday evening and enjoyed the atmosphere, decor and service. The 'Shaking Beef' dish was my favorite and was tender and well se...


I was there at the 2nd day of it's official opening and was very disappointed. I had specifically asked for veggi appetiser but turned out to be with shrimp. I discovered that aft...

Over-rated and Over-priced 2/9/2009

conehead Provided by Partner
The kamachi appetizer was tasteless. The salt and pepper calamari was awful and it was cuttlefish, not calamari; we had it removed from the bill. The shaking beef was $26 and marginal at best. The cost of the meal without tip or drinks was $67 for 2. For that kind of money I could have a great meal at Slanted Door or for half that amount, I could have a much better meal at 3 Seasons on Steiner. more

Good Food & Services 1/16/2009

delicious18 Provided by Partner
We went to eat at Bong Su last night. The ambiance was very nice; the waiters were very attentive. We were happy with the services and food. I liked the Bong Su Tastes and the Caramelized Black Cod that we ordered, and the other dishes such as the Shaking Beef and Ribs were not bad. However, I was kind of disappointed with their dessert selections. We ordered the 3 degree chocolate and the petitie fours, they both were not impressive. Overall, this is a very nice restaurant to go if you skip the dessert. Pros: Food & Services Cons: Pricey more

Worst service ever!..a total disaster 10/15/2007

gegori Provided by Partner
A group (7) of us decided to try Bongsu Saturday night in SF and while expectations of the service we would receive were low, due to our experiences at Tamarine, we in no manner set the bar low enough. We had OpenTable reservations for 8pm and started ordering at about 8:15pm once we were seated. I didn't time it because I didn't realize our meal of appetizers and main courses would take over 3 hours, but after we ordered, I am estimating our first appetizers did not arrive until around 9pm. Then we had about another 1/2 hour until our soup arrived (9:30). Then, our main courses probability arrived around 10:15 to 10:30. When it was time for dessert, I asked the manager (in a suit) that if we ordered dessert would we have it for breakfast. He said he would send someone right over to take our order. About 5 minutes later our server showed up and took our dessert order. At around 10:45pm when nothing had arrived, I told her to forget the desserts that were done. Oh..she told me she would not charge us for desserts! Throughout the night, it was obvious that there was a major breakdown in the service. The table next to us ripped into the manager for about 5 minutes regarding the poor service they had received. I am not a restaurateur, but Bongsu has a serious gap between Core vs Context. Why are the servers wasting time folding napkins when one leaves the table and replacing used beer glasses when empty serving plates sit on the table for 20 minutes and food is not arriving. Is 3 hours a reasonable time to be served only appetizers and main courses? By the end of the night, around 11+ pm, we were about the only table left and when we tried to get our coats from the coat check, nobody was to be found. That took about 5 to 10 minutes, eventually the bar tender helped out. Other items: -empty beer bottles and dishes left on the table -waiter/manager never apologized for poor service/issues. I think they had gone to bed by the time we left Pros: Zero.. Cons: Horrible services destroys whatever might be good about the food more

Great Food with Knowledgeable Friendly Service 9/22/2007

cgreenend Provided by Partner
Bong Su is a great date spot. We were there on a Sunday evening and enjoyed the atmosphere, decor and service. The 'Shaking Beef' dish was my favorite and was tender and well seasoned. The appetizers and "family style" service made for a great evening...highly recommended. Pros: Delicious food, Knowledgeable and helpful wait staff and great decor Cons: On the expensive side more

Bad Service 8/4/2007

qed_sf Provided by Partner
As we sat in the car waiting, the valet just stood at the passenger window of a limo chatting with the driver. So I dropped my passengers to have them secure our table, while I drove around looking for street parking. They reported to me later that they were not seated by the host since all members of our party (me) were not there. Strangely, the host didn't seem to care that the valet was chatting rather than trying to move cars at $10 a pop. When I arrived, it was another 10 minutes of waiting while they said they were preparing the table. Once at the table, it was another 10 minutes for someone to welcome us. The wait staff seemed nice enough and took our drink orders and brought us water. My glass had lipstick imprints from a prior user and some crusty bits welded to the exterior. Another 10 minutes of nice conversation and, hey, didn't we order drinks? Another 10 minutes and our waiter returned to apologized but she had spilled our drinks, but took our food order. An appetizer sampler plate for two sounded like a good start, but we were an odd numbered group could we get it to match? No problem--great! Another 10 minutes and our drinks arrived. For an $11 drink that tasted like it was premixed earlier in the day, a bit steep. Later the appetizers arrived, but short one serving. They rushed off with the impression they'd be right back. 5 minutes later, another 5 minutes, another 5 minutes. "Pardon, our appetizer arrived and disappeared. We're actually fine if it's a bit short." Another 5 minutes and...the appetizer? No, an amuse bouche that our neighbors (who arrived after us) received earlier. Ours came with an apology for the delayed appetizer. But starting into the first sip, our appetizers arrive. After that, I just stopped caring, desparate to get out. The only dissonance to this horrible experience was that the food wasn't bad--on par with Slanted Door. If you want equivalent food visit Pagolac on Larkin. Pros: Decent Food Cons: Really bad service. more

Glad to learn about this Vietnamese Pan-Asian fusion rest... 8/3/2007

Glad to learn about this Vietnamese Pan-Asian fusion restaurant and Bong Su does not disappoint me at all!... more

Glad to learn about this Vietnamese Pan-Asian fusion rest... 8/3/2007

minilover Provided by Partner
Glad to learn about this Vietnamese Pan-Asian fusion restaurant and Bong Su does not disappoint me at all! For those curious eaters, each dish mark... more

Terrific 6/29/2007

apuljos Provided by Partner
Went to Bong Su on Friday night and really, really enjoyed it. My party of four included a business client who travels in southeast asia. His opinion of the restaurant was very enlightening. First and foremost, we both agreed that Bong Su took a very unique stylish atmosphere and actually delivered with a terrific meal. The style, from the restrooms to the illuminated bar, to the very attractive hostess in very unique outfits made quite the impression. Unlike many stylish restaurants, this place delivered on the food as well. If your food knowledge of vietnamese cuisine is limited to pho, noodles and grilled meat you will be blown away that vietnamese food can be brought to such a high level of production. The fried whole fish was something that you would be hard pressed to find in almost any other restaurant in the City. The da nang beef roll, with silky rice noodle covering grilled beef was superb. The prawns covered in a crispy rice were something I had never seen before and finally my favorite, a pork dish with fried shallot served with steamed rice topped with a quail egg were to die for. My dining companion concurred that in all of his travels in asia, the highest end restaurants of Bangkok and Saigon don't even deliver something as good. All dishes were paired with wine as we requested and the server and wine director made terrific selections. I highly recommend this restaurant. more

Average at best...not worth the $$$. 6/13/2007

loubrenda Provided by Partner
This space was formerly Max's Diner and has been beautifully transformed into a gorgeous, chic atmosphere that just exudes peacefulness. Kudos to the interior decorator! Unfortunately, ambiance is all it has going for it! I've been here twice and the first time was in the first weeks that it had opened. In my last visit, it's obvious that the excitement of a new restaurant has worn off. There were only a few tables occupied on a friday night, and the bar was completely empty with the exception of the wait service passing through. My only explanation is that the food is average at best and the prices are very high. There are so many other "hot spots" in the area that Bong Su has not been able to compete. I had the opportunity to meet the owner who seemed very impersonable. Not what I expected for a restaurant owner. The host seemed "out of sorts", and our waiter not very warm. The ambiance of the candles and earthy golden silk fabric did not match the indifferent attitude of the staff or owner. Yes, indifferent. Btw, beware of the votive candles sitting behind the corner booth of the bar area! Anyone with long hair who may be inclined to tilt their head back may just find their hair singed if not on fire! if you're looking for a nice place to get together for after work cocktails and you kinda want the place to yourselves, the bar is good for that. Have a few signature cocktails (their pretty good), and order some appetizers, but don't expect the place to be "the place to be". I hope they turn things around, but judging from the other reviews before me, I'm not the only one who will never go back! Pros: Ambiance has the feel of a day spa...very soothing Cons: pricey, food not memorable or unique more

Classy vietnamese 3/21/2007

I first read about Bong Su in one of those airplane magazines. It sounded good, and since i was in the area... more

Classy vietnamese 3/21/2007

shaomai Provided by Partner
I first read about Bong Su in one of those airplane magazines. It sounded good, and since i was in the area for work, i decided it might be a good ... more

Yummy food with date ambiance 3/9/2007

f8d Provided by Partner
Duck mustard wraps - yummy. Crab & garlic noodles - bland - glass noodles with not much flavor. Shaking beef - tasty, tender & wonderful! Cod - frsh & delicious. Cailan (chinese broccoli) - average, same everywhere. Banana & chocolate samosa - disappointing - no banana in fried samosa filled with chocolate. Ambiance - cozy & romantic. Can have quiet conversation. Pros: food, ambiance, not noisy Cons: dessert, a bit pricey more

Good place, kinda pricey 2/6/2007

xander1 Provided by Partner
My heading best describes this place. I'm use to mom's cooking and some of the dishes are reminiscent of those dishes (beef rolls and carmalized cod). This place cannot be compared to Slanted Door in that Slanted Door is quasi-Vietnamese. I would compare it to Tao (in the Mission) instead. The food, again, is comparable, but Tao is priced better. My main comment is the staff. The hostesses were quite rude and our waiting was very condescending. He was attempting to school me on my own culture. Anyways, good place for a mild celebration with friends...I guess. Pros: some good dishes Cons: not priced accordingly more

A great experience 1/14/2007

slee57 Provided by Partner
My friends(5) and I went to Bong Su to try it out and we had a memorable time. The service was good, we were promptly checked in and told that our table was almost ready when we got there. We waited at the bar and got drinks and the drinks that we tried was good. 4 of us had the Bong Su Aperitif and one of my other friend had a glass of wine. The bartender was very nice. He suggested some dishes to us which we did try and liked a lot. We had the calamari and duck roll for appetizers. They was delicious, especially the sauce that came with the calamari. For entrees, we had the prawns, black cod, lemongrass chicken, lamb, pork chops, and shaking beef. All the items were good but a little on the small side. For dessert, we had the passion fruit souffle and the beignets which were yummy! We had a great time there and we were happy to find out the we were given the monkfish dish for free and were not charged for bottle fservice fee for two bottles of wine that we had brought. FYI: you are allowed only to bring 2 bottles of wine. All in all, we enjoyed the food and drinks, the staff was friendly and the Maitre'D was very nice and attentive. He checked on us the whole night and made sure that we were happy. Pros: drinks, decor, atmosphere, dessert, staff Cons: small dishes for the price more

A must try! 12/26/2006

lorror Provided by Partner
I have been here a couple of times already! These are the dishes that I recommend: shaking beef, fancy rice, Emperor's rice, black cod, scallop curry (has a little spicy kick to it), tamarind prawns, and the Ha Long Bay soup. The passion fruit souffle is a must for dessert. I'm still thinking about it! The atmosphere is very serene....I feel like I am at a spa. The decor is very beautiful. There is a lot of attention to detail. Pros: ambience, food Cons: pricey more

Poor Excuse for Vietnamese Food 12/22/2006

sfrestaurants21 Provided by Partner
This SOMA spot is a waste of real estate. Besides the cool decor, this restaurant lacks every key criteria that would make this a shock and awe restaurant that stands out above the rest. For anyone that has had true vietnamese food, either authentic or done up, you'll soon realize upon receiving your first appetizer that there is nothing amazing or anything worth remembering about Bong Su. For any amateur menu writer, the most imporant objective first and foremost is to simply describe the dish. Bong Su does a poor job of doing this and when describing their garlic crab noodles, they fail to even describe the most important aspect - the NOODLES. For anyone that has true vietnamese garlic noodles, you'd probably expect to receive a warm plate of thick egg noodles folded carefully in crab and garlic sauce. However, with Bong Su, they use a glass noodle (vermicelli like) which is most deceiving and not even surprisingly good. Besides the food, the staff is friendly however extremely incompetent. They have no sense of urgency in serving their patrons and lackadaisically bring out food. I specifically asked the hostess to inform our server that it was a birthday occassion and that I woucandle to be brought out on our dessert. But when we received our dessert, there was no candle to be found. Also, to order dessert it took more than 15 minutes from the time our table was cleared to get service. And one last complaint, our leftover food was packed up to go, however we never got the food! They forgot to bring it back to us! PLEASE DO NOT EAT HERE AS THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER BETTER RESTAURANTS!!ld like for a more

Ooooooh the duck! 11/1/2006

missheidy Provided by Partner
So my girlfriend go out to dinner from time to time to catch up with each other. Whenever we can, we'll find a new restaurant to try out. I had suggested Bong Su to my friend because she is half vietnamese, also I've always been curious to try it out since I park in the garage close by daily and noticed it replaced the old Max's. As I waited for my friend at the restaurant, I was very impressed with the decor. The hostess and waitresses were dressed in a long, halter style top, very beautiful. When my friend showed up, she too was in awe of the place and loved what the waitresses were wearing and wants one of her own! We started off with drinks at the bar. We asked the bartender for his drink recommendations, which he did a great job. I had the Kaffir Cocktail, which was really smooth. He also recommend the calamari as an appetizer. We indeed had the calamari, but I enjoyed the duck most of all! It was tender and was accompanied with a citrus type sauce. Yum! Pros: Cocktails, Atmosphere, Great Staff Cons: A bit pricey more

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery 10/7/2006

cjglynn Provided by Partner
In a space that formerly housed Max's Opera Café, yards of fine silk in muted shades of cream and green now provide a peaceful, upscale backdrop to the modern Vietnamese cuisine at Bong Su. While Bong Su, whose name means plumeria, is new, its dishes are not. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the masters at Slanted Door should surely be flattered by the pretenders at Bong Su. Showing little imagination, Bong Su offers standard appetizers like shrimp spring rolls, green papaya salad, and seared day boat scallops, as well as tried and true entrées like curry tamarine prawns and the ubiquitous shaking beef. The overly loud music prevents diners from enjoying a potentially peaceful atmosphere and drowns out the friendly servers. The wine list features numerous half bottles, including the standard Riesling and Gewürztraminer offerings that complement Vietnamese food so well. While Bong Su does not disappoint, neither does it innovate. The originals at Slanted Door have nothing to worry about from this Nguyen-come-lately. Pros: Good, but standard, upscale Vietnamese food Cons: Lack of parking, Expensive more

The Cod is Amazing. 9/18/2006

relt Provided by Partner
The food at Bong Su was amazing. Had the shaking beef & the cod - can't wait to go back. Seems silly to review this restaurant and compare it to cheap Vietnamese restaurants because it clearly isn't going for that. It's a great place to go out to - great ambience, no unbearable wait, and the food is delicious. If looking for amazing food, plus the added bonus of a nice atmosphere - definitely give Bong Su a try. Equal to, if not better than Slanted Door. GET THE COD - if you've ever been to Koi in LA or NY, this is better than theirs! Pros: Delicious food, fast service, cute bar more

Paying for the atmosphere 8/15/2006

ralyn Provided by Partner
I've dined here during lunch and my first impression was that the atmosphere was very contemporary and chic - the food was ok, but in my opinion when comparing to another Vietnamese restaurant, Slanted Door, I prefer the food at Slanted Door. Also, I recently inquired for information of having a dinner party and the price that was quoted to me was $100 per person - a bit much for an ok tasting restaurant. Granted the venue is very chic - but I would rather pay $$$ for good food instead of paying for the atmosphere - I would rather book at Slanted Door. more
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  • Neighborhoods:

    Central East, SoMa (South of Market), SoMa