As the work week winds down, you’re already thinking about what you’re going to do Friday night. If you want to hang with the Bay Area’s haute, hip crowd then make your way to Hakkasan San Francisco, the ultra-cool modern Chinese eatery on the second floor of the iconic One Kearny building. That’s where you’ll find a downtown crowd that flocks there to celebrate the end of the week inside 10,000 square feet of sexiness that is still going strong, nearly two years after opening.
Hakkasan showcases a rotating roster of cutting-edge and of-the-moment local and international DJs, a part of the Hakkasound program, spinning an eclectic blend of world and electronic music and sensual tracks to create a seductive yet energetic feel. Mix that with this sleek, bronze V-shaped bar and you have a potent combination that can’t help but make for a good time.
Sure, the expansive wine and sake programs provide diners and oenophiles with intriguing local and internationally-renowned producers. Yes, there’s a lineup of beers from around the world, including the Bay Area. But, it’s the menu of innovative cocktails made with hand-pressed juices that are all the rage. You’ll definitely want to try the signature cocktail, The Hakka, made with Belvedere vodka, Masumi Okuden junmai sake, coconut, passion fruit and lychee juice. Think of it as a piña colada with some oomph.
Hakkasan features a modern ethnic interior infused with Chinese motifs, such as lanterns, and screens, translated into a contemporary language. The design of the 50-seat Ling Ling area, a signature feature of the Hakkasan brand, reflects the old school decadence of Chinoiserie, punctuated by latticed “cages” for semi-private dining. The main dining area, which seats 65, affords guests views of bustling Market and Geary streets through soaring arched windows. Privacy seeks will want to reserve one of the two private dining rooms, which seat 20 and 10.
Dim sum, seafood, poultry, meat, tofu—we have so many favorite items on the menu, we’re not sure where to start. One dish you’ll certainly want to order is the crispy duck salad, a heaping mound of deliciousness. Duck lovers will also swoon over the Pipa duck.
The regular menu may be Cantonese, but the pastry kitchen is both American and French. Delectable desserts like French house-made macaroons and the kalamansi chocolate ganache with eucalyptus sorbet and cocoa nibs provide a happy ending to any meal.
Photos by Aubrie Pick