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Opaque - Dining in the Dark

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53 reviews
|Venues & Event Spaces|San Francisco, CA 94102

689 Mcallister St, San Francisco, CA 94102

(800) 710-1270

Closed now
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What is Opaque? Just imagine that you can not see for an hour or two, that you are abandoning vision in exchange for a new, multi-sensual dining experience. Opaque is enhancing our senses of taste, smell, touch, and hearing by abandoning one that we often take for granted - this is "Dining in the Dark". Brought to you by Opaque, the dining in the dark experience allows you to willingly plunge into a world of sensitivity you have never experienced before, taking you through a journey of taste, sound and touch, all in the dark. Opaque - Dining in the Dark - will seat you in a literally pitch-black dining room where you will be guided and served by blind or visually impaired individuals that ha

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53 reviews
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JPHauck review for Opaque - Dining in the Dark
JPHauck on Trip Advisor

6 years ago

05/24/2016, 03:44 AM
A Dining Experience with Missing Senses Some people will fear this place because the idea of eating in a restaurant that it all dark and not seeing your food or surroundings can be intimidating and conjure up all kinds of images and problems. Not to fear I say to you. This...More
JPHauck review for Opaque - Dining in the Dark
JPHauck on Trip Advisor

6 years ago

05/24/2016, 03:16 AM
A Dining Experience with Missing Senses Some people will fear this place because the idea of eating in a restaurant that it all dark and not seeing your food or surroundings can be intimidating and conjure up all kinds of images and problems. Not to fear I say to you. This place continues to be a great experience in dining with good food as well. I had been to the former location for dinner 3 times so when the opportunity opened to go with my work team and to the new location I jumped on it. The location is somewhat challenging to get to without a ride of some sort. There is minimal public transportation access. But it's not a bad walk from downtown either if you don't mind a few hills. When you arrive the hotel itself is charming as is the bar. The servers take your oder before you go in, because once you are in side you can not see a thing. You can go for a full on sensory experience and allow the kitchen to pick what you will eat and I really suggest this if you want to see what you can learn from extending your senses without sight. You are guided to your table by holding on to the person in front of you. I do wish they would check bags and coats because that does seem like a challenge to deal with. You get to your table and have to feel your way into the booth and get a feel literally for where things are. It is pitch black and you can not see your hand in front of your face. So here is where I make several notes to attendees: Take off your watch - it likely has glowing parts and nothing ruins the experience faster than being able to see any point of light no matter how dim. Turn off your phone - do not just silence it. Look everything you wear and carry and ensure none of it reflects or has light.This is really key. Sitting at a table where you can see the clock hands on someones watch can really ruin the full experience. The adventure begins as you stat to feel for things on your table. You learn how to reach out and touch without pushing over, breaking or spilling. You learn how to hand things off by finding the person next to you. Also I find you start to talk more and notice the silences more. As people start to eat, talk about the experience. You may find someone at your table is eating with their hands and given up all standard table rules, but then again how would you now - you can not see them. The experience is fun and something you will never forget. The food here is also pretty darn good. The restaurant could have relied on the gimmick to get you in and sold you a lesser grade food, but this is where Opaque breaks out. The food is awesome. I have never had a bad meal. You get time to enjoy your food and your company and you get to learn a lot about your self and how the world works for those without sight. If you have the time when you are in SF - make this happen. I do suggest parties of 2-6 max. While they can accommodate larger groups, its hard to make it work with too many people. Be very aware of light you create. Don't ruin the experience for everyone by pulling out your phone or having you watch glow.
travellingboffin review for Opaque - Dining in the Dark
travellingboffin on Trip Advisor

6 years ago

12/08/2015, 07:42 AM
The blind leading the blind, a unique experience. The food was average but the service and the experience amazing, and it's pricey for what it is, but I would do it again if it was a special occasion. The only gripe I had was a timer on the wall had illuminated a few times during our meal, which meant we did see for a few seconds each time.
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Ksmallz-Yolo review for Opaque - Dining in the Dark
Ksmallz-Yolo on Trip Advisor

6 years ago

11/24/2015, 03:52 AM
Complete Disappointment They lost our bottle of wine. Food is moderate at best. Our server Sergio was eating while serving. Horrible
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casperia review for Opaque - Dining in the Dark
casperia on Trip Advisor

6 years ago

11/11/2015, 08:46 AM
Try it for a new experience I reluctantly agreed to take my daughter here for her 18th birthday... she was dying to experience dining in the dark. It was completely dark, you are guided to your table by your waitress conga line style, everyone holding the shoulders of the person in front. I was nervous of being in the dark and that I wouldn't find the food, or worse it would end up all over my face and clothes, but it was surprisingly easy to adjust to using your other senses. Passing the bread was a little tricky.. I decided I better off without butter, lol... But we managed just fine. It turned out to be a really fun experience, a little pricey but I would go again for a special treat with someone. I haven't been successful in convincing my husband to go yet, but I might try again for my birthday. :)
Frankly2Honest review for Opaque - Dining in the Dark
Frankly2Honest on Trip Advisor

7 years ago

04/15/2015, 04:22 AM
Kept In The Dark A once in a life-time experience, not to be repeated. Not because it wasn't a great experience, but now that I know what to expect it takes away the most important element. In San Jose for a conference with a group of like-minded business people, the organizer arranged for us to have a secret late-night dining experience. We knew nothing about the place before hand but started to speculate when we were asked to turn off cell phones and put watches in our pockets, even those with only a luminous face. Menu-ordering is done in the light in a small lobby/hallway before entering in total darkness, I'm not sure how they would know who ordered what, they must seat you in the same order. The food was okay, of course the presentation is missing in the darkness. Plates are passed down from one end of the table to the other, one of our members ended up eating the butter thinking it was an appetizer. Upon reflection, it might have been a mistake ordering the steak, we all ended up eating with our hands anyway, to avoid cutting off a finger or stabbing ourselves in the eye with a fork. It was a fun and enlightening experience but not someplace I'd take someone for a first date.
495chipc review for Opaque - Dining in the Dark
495chipc on Trip Advisor

7 years ago

11/16/2014, 07:05 AM
Great Experience For those willing to have an open-mind even while you feel like your eyes are closed, Opaque is an incredible dining experience. Don't think this is simply about the food. It isn't. It is a total dining adventures where you get to experience life like the blind do. The food is not a fine dining 5 star experience but is is very good (especially the tuna tartare), but who wants to eat high quality food with your fingers anyway? The restaurant staff is visually impaired if not completely blind and that only adds to the experience. Our waitress Jennifer was fantastic as she helped us out dealing with the darkness, answering our questions about working while visually impaired and laughing right along with us as we floundered our way they the meal. This isn't for everyone But for those open-minded to it will love the entire evening.
Atalanta8 review for Opaque - Dining in the Dark
Atalanta8 on Trip Advisor

7 years ago

09/06/2014, 04:40 AM
Diner food for fine dining prices? Me thinks not. I’m floored by the great reviews of this place. It’s my eyes that can’t see I can still taste! OMG for 100 PP we were expecting fine dining. This place is probably on par with your local diner where you can get all 3 courses for 25 bucks, blindfold yourself and voila, I’ve just saved you 200 dollars, you’re welcome. The experience was pretty cool and maybe if you can find a place that does it with decent food, it would be worth it, but the more I think about the evening the more I feel robbed. There was not one drop of creativity in any of the food. The Amuse-bouche was a paper thin slice of apple with a dollop of goat cheese. I guess the inspiration came from 1st grade snack time when we had cheddar with apple slices. PS cheddar would have been better. My starter was a “mystery” plate. So when the waitress brought it she said “Here is your mystery salad.” Mystery was gone. Furthermore the “mystery” starter was one of the 2 options that were on the menu in the first place. Should have just stuck to the one my husband got, the tuna, I had a bite and that was probably the best thing we were served the whole evening. My husband went with the “mystery” main. When the waitress came she said, “Your steak knife is on the left.” Once again mystery solved. I was quite disappointed in my main. I got the pasta, which didn’t taste half bad I mean I like diner food for diner prices, not fine dining prices! The main issue was that it was about 80% eggplant. No it was not eggplant Parmesan. When I came home I looked at them menu to see what it was. I quote: “Cavatappi Pasta with Roasted Peppers, Roasted Mushrooms, Snap Peas, Creamy Tomato Sauce, Grated Parmesan Cheese.” Eggplant isn’t even listed as an ingredient! I know what eggplant tastes like, btw, it has a very distinct taste. I didn’t taste any snap peas BTW. They really count on you not seeing it and just throw any old thing on the plate. It was not warm either, but cool. It was something you’d send back in any other restaurant really. Desert was ok. Nothing that I would expect when I’m paying 100PP though. My husband went for the “mystery” desert which was just sherbet. I went for the “chocolate cake” which was a small thick cookie, not cake. The experience is interesting. I’ll give them that. Unfortunately, the biggest downfall of it is that larger groups of people don’t see other people around them so obviously it means that they are the only ones in the place so they scream and laugh like hyenas through the whole meal. Our waitress apologized 2 times. I think they should limit group sizes to 4. Above that the noise level is not manageable. So I dunno, guess it’s something to do to cross off your bucket list, but know you’re paying for darkness, not food, nor atmosphere, only darkness. Maybe just use the money and invest in some quality thick blinds.
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Heatherly C review for Opaque - Dining in the Dark
Heatherly C on Trip Advisor

7 years ago

07/26/2014, 09:20 AM
A unique experience My boyfriend and I really enjoyed dining at Opaque. We were only in San Francisco for one night and decided that we wanted to try something new. Mocha was an excellent server who was very helpful with guiding us in the dark. The food was very good but it was the overall experience that makes this place a unique gem.
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