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Recalling Vietnam during the time of French colonization, the upscale Le Colonial restaurant features a gorgeous, palm tree-lined interior. It's slowly but steadily attracting special events such as the Lotus party (every Saturday night).
I've been going to the place for 8 or 9 years already. Excellent food. Nice lounge upstairs. Bartenders are great. One of the few places where the food they make is worth the money you spend. I've had a lot of great moments there.
Once you enter Le Colonial's encompassing atmosphere of drowsy tropical elegance, jangling, frenetic downtown San Francisco ceases to exist. This urban oasis, tucked away in the inner courtyard that once housed Trader Vic's and accessed via a fronded open-air atrium, is rich with polished wood, crisp napery, carved rattan, and the gentle glow of candlelight. Two floors and multiple nooks and enclaves feature intricate tile flooring, vintage pressed-tin ceilings in deep red, antique... More »
Hard to say whether it's the mood lighting, the couches that encourage guests to settle in for another drink, or the young professional crowd that makes Le Colonial's French-Vietnamese lounge an excellent spot for flirtation. But whatever it is, it works. Drop in for a glass of wine and some spicy crab cakes and you're bound to catch someone exchanging spit behind a banana plant or bamboo room divider. If you're lucky, one of the people doing the swapping will be you. More »
Should I Stay or Should I Go?There was a collective groan of dismay when opening manager and lady-about-town Kimberly Bakker announced that she was leaving Le Colonial for pursuits in the Big Apple. Now it seems she may stay. What can we do to... More »
One of my more oblique hobbies is collecting bartender's guides, the more arcane the better. Bar guides reflect their time and place as subtly and as knowingly as a vintage kinescope or a trashy paperback. The prize of my collection is Bernard... More »
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