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Teatro ZinZanni..Need input

I've passed the big tent on the Embarcadero a million times...never been interested. Now I have out of towners that want to go and I would love some feedback. I went on their website and it seems fairly pricy but is it worth it? I imagine it's more about the show than the food. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. I went to the one in Seattle. While the show was entertaining and inventive, it was at least an hour too long and I was so glad I wasn't paying. (Many people love it -- however, I am just not a Cirque du Soleil kinda gal.) As you have already learned, it is very pricy, and at least at the show I went to, they really pushed the drinks, which adds to an already very expensive evening. (Of course, one can say "no," but I needed a couple of cocktails to get through the night.) The dinner in Seattle's show is coordinated by the catering business of a popular chef there, Tom Douglas. It was basically the quality of a okay wedding reception. It's hard to say more without knowing more about your guests. Have they been to SF before?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Atomica

      They have been to SF before and we've done Beach Blanket Babylon as well as whatever Broadway shows have been in town at the time. They like to do something more than just dinner when we get into the city. Glad to hear that the food is not horrendous and I do believe that I will probably need a cocktail or 2 to get through the whole thing,

      1. re: baseballfan

        Maybe they'd like Supperclub. They do some sort of show--I'm not quite sure what it entails.

    2. I went qiute a few years ago and it was fun for something different. I was surprised that the show was fairly entertaining--more so for me than Cirque. Food was better than expected considering I wasn't expecting too much. We were a party of four women which I came to appreciate because they only chose men to go up on stage and participate in the show. I don't recall them pushing cocktails but that may not be just a bad thing.
      All in all, I would go if you had friends that really wanted to go. I guess if they are looking for a show, you could see if AsiaSF interests them.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Cheesy Oysters

        That seems to be the consensus: the food is decent, if not exciting, and the show is fun. The price isn't that high when you consider it's dinner and a show, which would run you a lot more if you paid for them separately.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Yeah, this is the type of place where I'd choose death over eating there ... even if someone like Michael Minna fell on hard times and had to cook there. Seems kind of depressing too with all those over-the-hill celebrities going for one last desparate hurrah. But I'm not a participatory dinner theatre type and it sounds like these folks might be.

          I do like Beach Blanket Babylon and maybe they might consider Pena Pacha Mama around the corner from BBB. There is a show with a three course dinner for about $30 and it was really, really fun and festive. The food is decent if not amazing and I really enjoyed my birthday dinner there.
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/330450

          http://www.penapachamama.com/

          1. re: rworange

            Hi rworange,

            Penapachamama sounds great. Thanks for the tip. A question: do you think a couple with a babysitter for the night could have dinner and see a show and not make a super late night? Like if we planned to be out from 7PM to around eleven? Or is that wishful thinking. It sounds really fun and we could use a little romantic evening.

            1. re: cafecreme

              Yeah, I think the show starts around 8 and I was out before 11, IIRC. I know I left Pena Pacha Mama prior to BBB getting out.

              Just FYI, though you want a night out sans baby,. the table next to me had a baby. While it is not a kiddie place, they handled it well and even the snotty woman at another table who initially made comments was won over by the end of the night. The staff didn't have any problem with it either.

              1. re: rworange

                The food was pretty good, from what I recall. Don't expect anything daring, but I had some sort of lamb with a middle-eastern preparation. Well-cooked and flavored, nice piece of meat.

                The entertainment was not my cup of tea.

                Basically, if you are a straight man, be prepared to be pulled into the fracas and be harassed and embarassed. One guy from our group was stripped of his shirt and, bare chested, tied to a post while his face was painted. Another was told to stand on a chair and, while being told to balance on it, an attempt was made to pants him.

                Could be clean fun, but if you're not in the mood to be on display in front of strangers - worse yet, this was a work event - then I wouldn't suggest going. I pretty much spent the evening hoping I wouldn't get yanked up there.

                Besides that, many of the performances were decent - juggler, contortionist, etc. Extremely expensive, and I was glad I wasn't paying. But I wouldn't go again if you paid me.

            2. re: rworange

              Thanks for the tip. Pena Pacha Mama sounds like just the ticket. I don't like participation either...it ruins my meal and experience anticipating being dragged kicking and screaming into the show. However, from the posts below, since I am a female, I guess I would be safe at Teatro ZinZanni.

              rworange...just wanted to say thanks for your posts. I enjoy reading them and the thoughtful way in which you provide input.l

        2. i actually went a few weeks ago and had a great time. i'm part of a service that offers discounted tickets to certain events. anyway, i've always wanted to go to see teatro zinzanni, but it was always too expensive. since we paid the half off of the original tickets, i found the entire package to be entertaining and worth it. the show rotates every few months or so. the show we saw was really quite good. they offer face painting and pictures (both you have to pay and no cameras are allowed inside the tent). i suggest bringing your camera anyway, and taking pictures before the show starts in the lobby area.

          the show was pretty amazing, there were many laughs and "oohs" and "ahhs." unfortunately, however, the food wasn't as good as i would have wanted it to be. they have the menu pasted on the website. most of it was good. i had the ravioli and my bf had the lamb. the ravioli was not very good, it was pretty bland. the lamb however was decent. i was not as impressed with the wine list, i was half expecting they would have more selections. i wanted a riesling, but they didn't have any, so they gave me something else that was good and sweet, but it wasn't a reisling.

          both of us had a grand time, but were of the opinion that had we paid the full $140.00 per person, we would have expected a more flavorful dinner. if you an find discounted tickets (or if they change the menu), then i think it's worth it =)