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Aug 7, 2008 07:47 PM

Le Central still any good?

I lived in San Francisco many years ago and used to love Le Central for lunch on Friday (for Herb Caen et al watching). We are returnug for a vist over Labor Day and I wonder..... Am I living in the past or it is still worth it?

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  1. I have been here a couple of times in the last year and half. A few months ago, went for a Sat. lunch and saw Willie Brown. Cassoulet was decent, but I prefer Jeanty at Jack's. Choucroute garnie was fine. I like the place, and would return, but bottom line I think other places are tastier for that type of cooking. Still, it has a nice feel and if I had nostalgia associated with it I might enjoy it quite a bit more.

    1 Reply
    1. re: twocents

      I've eaten there only once. It was lunch on New Year's Eve Day. Willie Brown was there that day, sitting by the window with three others playing yahtzee.

      The place was packed, we hadn't reserved, but only waited about 15 minutes for a table to open up. As you can imagine, because of the day, the resto was very 'festive'. We enjoyed ourselves, the food, as I remember it, although exactly what we ordered I don't remember, was decent. I definitely go back.

      A place I'd never return to is Cafe de la Presse - pretentious and arrogant waitstaff.

    2. link

      Le Central Bistro
      453 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94108

      1 Reply
      1. re: rworange

        Absolutely NOT. I am a local and I went about one year ago "for old time sake" and it was one of the worst meals I have ever had in SF.

      2. We, too, used to go there regularly in the mid to late 70's and into the early 80's when it was owned by two brothers originally from France. I think one if not both of them have died and they sold it some years ago. We hadn't been for years but have been a couple of times over the past year or so--mainly for nostalgia reasons. The space hasn't changed and it brought back a lot of jgood memories. Our recent meals have been fine--can't go wrong with the roast chicken and fries. I think Le Central was where I had my first cassoulet and, though I enjoyed it recently, it doesn't stack up well against some others I've had. The service was excellent on our recent visits. If I were you, and you're going to be around for a few days, I'd give it a shot. If you do, let us know what you think.

        1. Is it the best bistro lunch in San Francisco? Maybe not. Is it still worth a visit for a Friday lunch? Definitely. The food is still good and the overall experience is still essentially the same as it ever was. Sometimes a restaurant's whole is greater than the sum of its parts (food, service, etc.). IMO, Le Central is still one of those places that defines San Francisco.