1601 bar and kitchen

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1601 bar and kitchen

1601 Howard St, San Francisco
Open: Tuesday to Saturday 6 pm-10 pm

Sri Lankan food is not the most well-known cuisine in San Francisco, but anyone who’s experienced the flavors at 1601 will not be able to stop talking about it!

Chef Brian Fernando has put together an exquisite menu of contemporary Sri Lankan cuisine, inspired by tastes, techniques, and traditions from his personal heritage. The result is a beautifully inventive take on the subcontinental culinary arts, heavy on small plates and fresh, vibrant flavor combinations--one of the best Sri Lankan restaurants in California.

While some restaurants that offer modern interpretations of traditional recipes go too far, at 1601 this is never the case. Dishes are re-imagined, but with a strong connection to what made them great in the first place. Anyone familiar with Sri Lankan food will recognize the influences in the braised sturgeon, with black curry sauce, coconut milk halibut ceviche, or the classic hopper, a rice-flour crepe with egg and sambal.

The setting complements the food perfectly, with a sophisticated yet laid-back atmosphere complemented with modern artworks, pickle wood walls, and marble tabletops. At the moment, this delightful 49-seat space remains bafflingly undiscovered, but get there as soon as you can, because it’s only a matter of time!