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Oct 25, 2008 08:57 AM

House of Prime Rib, SF report w/ pics

Made reservations on OpenTable which was easy, made it maybe a month before my date.

Parking is hard to find, luckily someone was pulling out on Polk and we got her spot. You can do Valet for $8, or I saw a parking garage for $6 at a nearby side street.

On the day I made it for 8pm, but we managed to get to the restaurant by 7pm. We checked in and let them know we were early.

Hubby got a Green Apple Martini $8.5-vodka & Bols Sour apple liqueur shaken & garnished w/ a maraschino cherry. He didn't care for it, but he didn't want to complain.

There are bar nuts/crackers in a small glass so you can drink & eat before your meal.

After 20 min, we were taken to our table. We got seated in a middle area where there was only 3 other tables around. I probably was the quietest area which I mentioned in my reservation.

Hot sourdough bread w/ a knife in the center & butter on the side soon brought out. We ate the whole loaf right away. Then a huge bowl of salad is brought and the waitress spins it and adds dressing & mixes it all up. There's Roman lettuce, iceburg lettuce, beets, egg, and something else. It was ok..kinda boring to eat after awhile.

Then the guy comes over to carve your prime rib. I picked English cut $36.85 which are thinner slice of medium amount of meat. I ordered it Medium rare and it was. Comes w/ cream spinach or cream corn. I got the cream spinach - it was ok, not my favorite.

Hubby got the Prime Rib cut $36.85 - bigger cut of same amount of meat - medium amount. He enjoyed it. He got a side of cream corn - tasted like corn not from a can, but not very good either.

We both got to share the Yorkshire pudding - which comes in a frying pan that looks like a puffed up pancake. Kinda boring to eat, no taste.

Baked potato or mashed w/ your meal. We both got baked potato and she asked if you want everything: sour cream, butter, bacon. We did. It was ok.

Since I marked it as an Anniversary meal we got a scoop of chocolate ice cream w/ 2 candles + a Polaroid picture of the two of us in a HOPR paper frame. That was cute. The couple next to us was celebrating a birthday & got the same thing so I kinda expected it for us. It was Nice!

Only bad part was on the bill his drink was $10 and marked Grey Goose, when it should have been Green Apple Martini $8.5. That was not noticed until I got home.

They have fresh fish it said on the menu, No chicken, but most everyone goes & gets the prime rib.

Bill: $36.85 + $36.85 + $10 = $83.70 + 7.11 tax = $90.81 Before tip.

Oh well, Average food, but if you want to Celebrate a Birthday or Anniversary maybe it's worth checking out.

FREE matchbox in the front by host & huge amounts of mints: regular & chocolate available near the front too.

House of Prime Rib
1906 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA 94109

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  1. We celebrated our anniversary there a couple of weeks ago.

    Overall our experience was in the same league as yours. We enjoyed it (my wife especially), but it's not the same sort of experience we would get at, say, Acquerello, where we went the year before .

    It's more like the Bennihana's of beef. Worth it for the show. We would go again sometime.

    One note. We were there on a very busy Sunday night. We got what must have been the worst two-top in the joint. It straddled between two rooms and was kind of plopped in space next to one of the giant mobile carving stations.

    We celebrated our bad table by ordering a bottle of Dom Perignon -- @ $175. Our waiter was very attentive to our every need after that. I think he was quite concious of the fact that we were aware we had an awful table, and that we never mentioned it.....

    1. They will give you seconds if you ask-- a thin slice of beef with some mashed potatoes. I haven't been for years but I always enjoyed it.

      8 Replies
      1. re: essvee

        I'm embarrassed that I know this, but if you finish those seconds they will happily bring thirds (not sure about fourths and onward---I'm not that much of a glutton).

        1. re: Hunicsz

          FYI, they don't really bring "thirds" either. They will bring a second helping happily, but the third one is not so available. My husband and his friends got a third helping one time, but they were a really big pain in the ass so I think they just brought it so that they would shut up. The last time a third helping was requested ,they were firmly told NO and the check was brought promptly thereafter.

          1. re: srr

            Really? The two times I've been there they offered thirds after seconds were finished. I guess it depends on your waiter.

            1. re: Hunicsz

              I believe they changed the policy on third helpings about two years ago. I used to see people get it with some regularity; about two years ago reports started cropping up that HOPR was denying the request for thirds. I haven't personally tried to order even seconds in several years.

              I love love love the prime rib they serve at HOPR and the sides are pretty good too but I've grown tired of that 1950s salad. It has lots of "goodies" and MSG in the dressing to cover up the fact that they are serving bland Costco lettuce. I know part of the place's charm is that there are no choices and the menu never changes, but a simple mesclun salad with a light vinegrette would be a big upgrade in my mind.

              1. re: Truffle Dog

                Re: Salad: My friends and I have discovered it tastes much better with 1/2 the dressing -- just ask them for 1/2 when they toss and leave rest on table if someone wants more. Lettuce stays crisper.

                1. re: walker

                  I just tell them to leave it off the salad. I think there might be some of that salt already in the dressing. In any case, it's plenty salty enough, as it is.

                  1. re: choctastic

                    I did find everything except the desert to be very salty. I little too much for me, but my wife liked it that way. May be why she liked the whole dinner more than I did. Although I didn't think it was bad.

                2. re: Truffle Dog

                  Not to belabor the issue of thirds, but I was there this September so perhaps certain servers/carvers will still do this. In fact, I wouldn't have asked had it not been offered.

        2. I've been eating here at least once a year for 30 years and have enjoyed it every time. They always seem to be fully booked every single night. But, even with a reservation, I've always had quite a wait.

          1. wow, everyone decide to go to HOPR on the same day/week. I went with a few friends about 30 mins before your reservation it looks like. Everything was as expected, though the only hiccup was that our server completely forgot our yorkshire pudding until we reminded him. It's a decent meal if your looking for a big hunk of meat. Nothing special, but they do what they do well enough.

            1. So, if some of you feel that HOPR is just ok, where is the Prime Rib better?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bob Copeland

                Harris' 2 blocks away from HOPR has some very good prime rib