Foreign Cinema, CA

Foreign Cinema

Chef: Gayle Pirie and John Clark
Cuisine: California Cuisine, American Nouveau
Neighborhood: Mission
Price: $10-15 for brunch entrée
Phone: -415-648-7600
Address: 2534 Mission Street,  San Francisco, CA 94110
Hours: Dinner – Monday – Thursday 6pm to 10pm, Friday – Saturday 5:30pm to 11pm, Sunday 5:30pm to 10pm. Brunch Saturday – Sunday 11am to 3pm

Located in heart of the lively Mission District, Foreign Cinema is a popular brunch and dinner spot for locals and visitors alike. The chef and co-owner duo Gayle Pirie and John Clark have been part of the San Francisco culinary world for over two decades as cooks, chefs de cuisine, and consultants. They took over ownership of Foreign Cinema in 2001 and revamped the menu, focusing on California cuisine and using fresh locally sourced ingredients. They have also opened Show Dogs, a casual eatery in Civic Center in 2009 and published several cookbooks. The Foreign Cinema cookbook is apparently now in the works! And aside from serving amazing food, Foreign Cinema also stays true to its name and screens foreign and independent films on its outdoor patio. I have personally not seen a movie there, but it is one of my dinner goals for San Francisco.

The entrance to the restaurant is reminiscent of a movie theater with wide doors and a movie poster showingcasing Foreign Cinema’s name. A rather dark tunnel leads to the dining room which is brightly lit, spacious and bustling with diners. A little further on is the entrance to the outdoor patio, which is usually a little more cramped but is a great spot to enjoy a weekend brunch in the open air. Apparently there is also a mezzanine dining area overlooking the main ground floor, but I have not been there as of yet.

I’ve had brunch at Foreign Cinema a couple of times, but unfortunately failed to take photos of the food until my most recent visit.  I love the oyster bar, and even though I’m no connoisseur, I can tell the quality of the oysters served there is impeccable and the selection is very respectable. The drink list also does not disappoint — the cocktails are creative, strong, and delicious. So here’s what we ate.


COCKTAILS: French kiss, Bloody Mary, Mimosa
I’m not a huge Bloody Mary fan, but apparently this one is magical

OYSTERS: Beau soleil (New Brunswick), Nootka (British Columbia), Drakes Bay (Marin)
So fresh, so meaty, so yummy

Balsamic fried eggs, greens, organic potato & garlic hash, sliced Parma prosciutto
Two of my friends actually ordered this and it was amazing. How can anything with prosciutto, garlic, etc. taste bad?

Croque Madame: toasted ham & Gruyere, crowned with an egg and béchamel, French fries, small salad
This may have been my first Croque Madame ever. Loved the gryere cheese on it. The eggs in béchamel were very rich and creamy, almost overpowering actually, but I did not mind over-indulging.

Cinema’s house ground hamburger, organic Acme bun, grilled onions, tangy spiced mayo (slow cooked, brown sugar smoked bacon added separately)
Foreign Cinema is apparently known for its burger, and my friend loved his. The addition of bacon was key — it was so crispy and I loved the added brown sugar sweetness.

One Response to “Foreign Cinema, CA”
  1. Colleen Woo says:

    the photos looks deliciouse, i will ask Mr. Woo to go sometime, it’s in SF got to try it.

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