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Tadich Grill or House of Prime Rib

Going up to the Bay area and have heard a lot about both places but can only eat at 1...........which one is worth the trip


Tadich Grill
240 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

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

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  1. They're both very traditional old SF restaurants so it depends on whether you feel like eating prime rib or fish.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      Ditto. In case the OP does not know, the only choices at House of Prime Rib are prime rib and the fresh fish special of the day. Sand Dabs and Petrale Sole are the signature dishes at Tadich, but any seafood over the mesquite grill, such as the halibut steak, will be excellent.

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

    2. Tadich is a decent late lunch option. I sit at the counter, have a martini, some oysters and whatever fish my waiter recommends. It's easy to spot the FiDi denizens from the day trippers.

      5 Replies
      1. re: steve h.

        Do yourself a favor and don't order oysters at Tadich unless you're so blitzed on martinis that you have lost your sense of taste. Over the years, I have had fabulous oysters on both coasts but without a doubt, the oysters we were served at Tadich last week were the worst I've ever had. After I told the waiter that they were absolutely tasteless, he confided to me that they wash their oysters in tap water before serving them, and that might affect their taste. Might indeed.

        Tadich does terrific petrale sole, sand dabs and seafood salad, For great oysters in San Francisco, we head to Swans.

        1. re: Elzoe

          Lots of solid oyster outlets in San Francisco. Tadich is very decent. Oysters are fresh, shucked properly and go well with a martini. It's a goto, late lunch, place for me in the FiDi. I wear a jacket because Tadich, at the food bar, is old school. Hog Island at the Ferry Plaza is very pleasant. Again, the oysters are well shucked, fresh and tasty. I usually sit at the back corner of the bar and pair my selections with California sparkling wine. Zuni cafe, a favorite place known for chicken and hamburgers at lunch, is also a superb place for fresh oysters. Vodka gimlets there work for me when I pop in. So many more joints...
          Oyster dining in San Francisco is not an either/or thing: plenty of good places out there. Maybe you should visit a few more of these august outlets.

          1. re: steve h.

            Last time I visited SF, my brother took me up to marshall on tomales bay.
            We did the general store for lunch and grabbed a half bushel at hog island on the way back to town.

            Damn good on both accounts.

            1. re: AdamD

              It really is that good. I'll be back to Tomales Bay next month. My little rental cottage has a porch that looks out over the bay. Oysters are a mainstay.

          2. re: Elzoe

            Wow, the oysters I had there were watery and tasteless, which confused me because they were from a source I'd had other times and hadn't thought was so watery. Washing them in tap water sounds exactly like what happened.

            Sometimes if I am shucking a lot of oysters to fry up for sandwiches or to present to guests, I shuck all the oysters into a bowl, rinse the shells, then with clean fingers swish the oysters around in their liquor so the sand and pieces of shell settle to the bottom. Lift the oysters out and replace them in the shells, then filter the oyster liquor through a sieve and spoon it back over the oysters. It's labor intensive, but it's the kind of thing I think should be standard if you are paying $3 per oyster like at Tadich.

        2. Tadich is more of an only-in-SF experience, though I prefer the less touristy Sam's a few blocks away.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            I had a really bad meal at Sam's and now cannot trust them; Tadich has never let me down.

            1. re: walker

              I've tasted some pretty second-rate food from other people's plates at Tadich, though I always order sand dabs, Petrale sole, or Rex sole, which are reliable.

              What did you order at Sam's that was bad?

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Your waiter at Tadich is pretty important. It's sort of a Galatoire's thing if you're a New Orleans diner. Bottom line? Be a regular, sit at the counter, dress appropriately, listen to your waiter. Lunch (late) is good.

                1. re: steve h.

                  "dress appropriately" Good for you!

            2. re: Robert Lauriston

              Same here - loved both Sam's & Tadich, with Sam's ahead by a few points.

              1. re: klyeoh

                Agreed - Sam's is special - when working in the Financial District, I'd always try to hit Sam's at 5:30 for a tiny booth and just ask the waiter to bring me whatever fish was nice that day - never disappointed. Retired now, but visited recently - my waiter was female (a novelty) and young (also a novelty) and smiling (somewhat rare) but overall everything else was as remembered. Tadich is OK - Sam's is more than that - but to each their own..

            3. At Tadich I usually order either the cioppino or petrale sole, both are very nicely done. But I've also seen some excellent looking steaks come out of their kitchen. One night the special was rib steaks and they looked and smelled great. Quite a few people were ordering them that evening too.

              2 Replies
              1. re: curiousgeo

                Tadich's cioppino's one of the dishes I've tasted that I thought was second-rate. Frozen shrimp, overcooked seafood.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  I've always enjoyed the cioppino at Tadich, served piping hot with toasted bread. It never crossed my mind that it was second-rate.

              2. Tadich is a great SF experience and the food is decent-I happen to like it for a drink and an app. or two.
                HOPR makes great prime rib-they do one thing and do it well.

                1. I would pick Tadich.

                  It's one of the last of it's kind, it's very San Francisco, and the food is perfectly fine, and sometimes surprisingly good. The preparation is purposely simple and it's the last place serving the model version of a classic sourdough bread.

                  House of Prime Rib is fun, and a throwback, but mostly it's just long in the tooth. The food is often a sloppy, mediocre mess (though I will say, when it's good, it's darn good), and you can't be easily put off by browning lettuce, or an assembly line atmosphere. I like the idea of a steakhouse which time forgot, but not at expense of the meat itself. I think you can duplicate the experience in many other cities.

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

                  1. Two different houses, different menus. Completely different feel. Both places have well-deserved excellent reputations for their food. For myself, I'd go to Tadich as part of a quintessential SF dining experience: you won't find it anywhere else. Try the Petrale, the Sand Dabs,....and the daily specials (non-seafood) are also very good. HOPR has good food, but it's been done and is still being done many other places.

                    1. To tell you the truth,I have never been to the House of Prime Rib,but my daughter practically dragged me to Tadich.My wife liked the Petrale soul ,I don't even remember what I ate,so I guess it wasn't that good,but what I did remember was the rude waiter we had ,it was like pulling teeth to get some more bread and coffee,and they just use their hands to brush you off,by a wave,like yeah I am busy .So to be honest with myself,I will try the Prime Rib next time I go to San Francisco. Phil

                      1. No contest..Tadich Grill wins hands down! Great martini, crab cakes and any fish. Always fresh. Even the raviolis are like someone's grandma is in the kitchen. Plus cool old San Francisco feel.
                        My boys are the 4th generation to eat there! ZIVIO! (Cheers in Croatian)

                        1. I've always very much liked Tadich (40+ years, or so) BUT for oysters Hog Island in the Ferry Building is superb. As far as steak and red meat are concerned, Alfred's Steakhouse (659 Merchant St) is consistently unbeatable and has been for years.

                          1. The last time I was at House of Prime Rib I was diappointed with the quality of the food; meat not tender and tasteless, salad soggy but I must say the drinks were terrific and we had a great young waiter. Nice ambiance for a large old restaurant. I've always enjoyed Tadish's for the experience and ambiance. There are better and cheaper places in North Beach for sand dabs.

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

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Virginia Yee

                              My friends and I ask server to pour on 1/2 as much salad dressing. Or, you could ask for the dressing on the side.

                              If you did not think the quality of meat was acceptable, you should have asked for another plate. Most of the time, my meals here have been great.

                              1. re: Virginia Yee

                                How long ago was your last visit to HOPR?