The atmosphere at Le Colonial evokes the tropical elegance of French Vietnam in the 1920s. Designer Greg Jordan, whose celebrity clients include Donald Trump and Pat Riley, has used patchwork tile floors, shuttered windows, antique lamps and rattan furniture set among palm fronds and lazily swirling ceiling fans to instill a sense that one has been transported to turn of the century Indochina. In addition to the intimate main dining area on the third floor, Le Colonial has an outdoor veranda on the second floor offering a sanctuary from the bustle of the city. The bar and lounge behind the veranda provides a relaxed salon ambiance with its faded oriental rugs, decorative bamboo birdcages, low wooden tables, Vietnamese posters and comfortable couches. The lounge is ideal for tea, cocktails, appetizers or casual dining while enjoying conversation with friends and listening to live music.
Le Colonial San Francisco is the brainchild of partner, Jean Denoyer who launched the successful Le Colonial restaurant in New York. Jean Denoyer was excitied to bring this distinctive style of Vietnamese cuisine and ambiance to San Francisco. Since 1998 Le Colonial restaurant has claimed the legendary address 20 Cosmo Place (off Taylor Street, between Post and Sutter), formerly of Trader Vic’s fame. General Manager Andre Cortes, who has been in the music business for over 20 years, recalls that “in the 90s, during the swing revival days, California led the way so I would bring hottest local swingers like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Lavay Smith And Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers to 800-people venues in New York.” Envisioning live music at Le Colonial lounge several nights of the week, he continues, “I want to create something of a niche here, and have Le Colonial being recognized as a cabaret/jazz music venue in a greater sense.”
The Vietnamese cuisine at Le Colonial features fresh and high quality ingredients, culled from the bounty of produce and ecologically farmed meat, game and poultry found at farms throughout the Bay area. Among the specialty dishes prepared by Executive Chef Terrance Khuu are Pho Bo and Banh Xeo (Crispy Rice Crepe Filled with Shrimp, Bay Scallops, Bean Sprouts Served with Lettuce Cups, Nuoc Cham). Entrée selections include Mi Vit (Roasted Peking duck breast with a pomegranate glaze served with sautéed green beans, sliced pineapple and five spice duck confit). A vegetable side dish not to be missed is the incredible Xu Bruxelles (brussel sprouts which were like eating candy). An extensive wine and cordial list complements the menu. This restaurant is a perfect date night location with great food, cocktails and music. The prices are a little high but still reasonable, the service and the environment is great. If you visit San Francisco consider a night at Le Colonial.
Colonial Website: http://lecolonialsf.com/