PLAJ RESTAURANT AND BAR
Introducing Pläj, San Francisco’s latest restaurant — and perhaps more interestingly, its first Scandinavian restaurant.
Chef-owner Roberth Sundell opened Pläj (pronounced similar to “play”) on Friday night at the Inn at the Opera. He says he’s quite pleased with how the opening weekend went.
“We are focusing on Scandinavian cuisine, but also we don’t do super traditional,” says the Stockholm-born Sundell.
“We are adding a lot of California flair to our food so it speaks to a broader experience. If we went too traditional, the only people will be the Scandinavian and they will probably only show up once a month,” he laughs.
Sundell came to America 18 years, and soon met his San Francisco wife. He’s cooked in Los Angeles, and more recently, at a private club in Tahoe. But when a friend approached him about the possibility of opening a Scandinavian place in the former Ovations space, he jumped at the opportunity.
“In eight weeks we painted the place, cleaned it up, added new furniture and new menu. And now we’re open.”
He describes the menu (in full below) as neither small plates nor large plates, but Goldilocks-appropriate medium sizes, with four-ounce servings of proteins. There’s the obligatory herring, meatballs and kumla, plus a Scandinavian twist on a charcuterie plate with salted lamb, cured pork belly and wild boar salami; here’s hoping for some reindeer eventually. Berries — lingonberry, cloudberries, gooseberries — are all over the menu, too.
There are 44 seats in the restaurant, with another six at the bar. Speaking of the bar, the entire beer list (also below) consists entirely of Scandinavian beers, as noted byEater a few weeks ago. The cocktail list has plenty of Northern European flair as well, with cameos from Bols Genever, elderflower syrup, rosehip syrup and of course, vodka (also, references to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo).
Open for dinner nightly, from 5pm to 11pm. Here are the food and drink menus:
333 Fulton Street, between Franklin and Gough.