Reviews of the finest restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area by Carol and Joe Davis - the Dining Detectives. From Sushi to Prime Rib, the Detectives dine their way across the spectum of fine food. ©2006 Carol and Joe Davis

House of Prime Rib
San Francisco’s Choice for Prime Rib for over 50 years

We left Petaluma on a warm Spring evening heading South on Hwy. 101. The Marin hills were still green from the rainy winter and looked particularly beautiful. As we drove down the Waldo grade, the Bay was shimmering in the sun with the Golden Gate Bridge and The City just ahead. It was magnificent! In a few minutes we were on Van Ness Avenue at the House of Prime Rib and the Valet greeted us to park our SUV, Infiniti QX4.

The House of Prime Rib is famous for carving your Roast Prime Rib of Beef, to your specifications from a unique stainless steel serving cart at your table. Over 150,000 meals are served each year with the happy diners eating over 225,000 pounds of the best Prime Rib you’ve ever tasted!

The Manager, Gus, who has been working here for the past 47 years, seated us. He loves his job and it really shows. As we entered the dining room this Saturday night, we noticed a number of families that included multiple generations all dining together. It reminded us of when we were "kids" and our parents and grandparents took us out for a special occasion. This evening a number of Birthday cakes were served, followed by rousing renditions of Happy Birthday…. Filling the room with joy.

Shortly after being seated our water and piping hot bread arrived. Marti, our waitress this evening, came right over and asked if we’d like a cocktail. We thought we knew Marti from a previous dinning experience and remembered that she had served us about a year ago. She was a lot of fun and made us feel very welcome. We decided to start off dinner with Clos Du Bois Chardonnay and Clos Du Bois Merlot by the glass while we previewed the menu.

We had dined here a number of times over the years and were not at all surprised to find the only dish on the menu was still Prime Rib. Well, there is a note on the menu that Fresh Fish is available but we can’t honestly say we saw anybody eating anything but Prime Rib!!

There is an Art to producing Prime Rib to please one and all. First the Beef must be of the highest quality, corn fed and aged for 21 days to produce the best flavor and tenderness. Then comes the Roasting, which is an Olde English Formula of blanketing the Beef in coarse Rock Salt ensuring that all the juices are sealed in. Next the Hearty, Generous portions must be cut to order at your table to ensure it reaches your plate piping hot. The House of Prime Rib has perfected this Art.

Main Dinner Course Choices- Prime Rib

The City Cut- Prime Rib
A smaller portion for those with a lighter appetite.

House of Prime Rib Cut-
A hearty portion of juicy, tender beef

The English Cut-
Thin sliced Prime Rib

King Henry VIII Cut-
Extra generous thick cut of Prime Rib for the King sized appetite-
This is definitely the way to go. Polo, our carver rolled the stainless steel serving cart to our table and sliced a magnificent piece getting it to our plate piping hot. This fit for a King slice was thick and juicy, cooked to perfection and included the bone. Definitely The Best Prime Rib we had ever had. We couldn’t eat it all but for those who can and still want more ask and ye shall receive another little taste of beef. An overly generous gesture.

Children’s Prime Rib Dinner-
Complete with milk and ice cream (for children 10 and under) All the children we saw were very well behaved.

Prime Rib A La Carte-
Slices of succulent beef served with creamed spinach, choice of potato and Yorkshire pudding.

Dinner Accompaniments-
Included with Prime Rib Dinners

Salad Bowl-Seasonal Greens tossed with House Dressing (a Sherry Vinaigrette) – Prepared at your table – A great way to begin a Feast. You even get your salad fork chilled- a nice touch.

Baked or Mashed Potato- we had the huge baked Idaho potato with butter, sour cream, chives and bacon bits—This is a meal by itself.

Yorkshire Pudding- Also a rarity these days-it was light and airy, served hot and helped to soak up the Prime Rib juices.

Creamed Spinach- whipped with fresh cream and pieces of bacon.

Corn Bread- Homemade in the shape of an ear of corn. Small and tasty.

Horseradish—We were served 5 types of Horseradish each with a different consistency and punch. From fresh grated to creamy, the hotter the better as far as we are concerned.


It is hard to even think about saving room for dessert but you will be glad that you did. Here are two that we really liked.

Pecan Pie a la mode- just great! fresh, not too sweet- A must.

Traditional Bread Pudding – with Vanilla-Bourbon Sauce. We rarely see this tasty dessert – we highly recommend it here


The Wine list features some of our favorites:

Jordan 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon
B.V. 1995 Private Reserve Latour Cabernet Sauvignon
Cakebread Cellars 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon
Chalone 1996 Chardonnay

And for the high rollers:

Opus One, Mondavi/ Rothschild, 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon
Chateau Lafite Rothchild Pauillac, 1985 Imported Red Wine
Dom Perignon, Moet et Chandon, 1990 Champagne.

The House of Prime Rib is the real deal and has been here for over 50 years. Held in high esteem for generations, children who enjoyed dinning with their parents are now bringing their own children and grandchildren. Hat’s off to Joe Betz, the owner, who reminded us that it’s beef that keeps us hearty, and for Beef lovers- it doesn’t get better than this!

House of Prime Rib

1906 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, Ca. 94109

Phone 415-885-4605
Dinner Only

Open 7 nights a week
Mon-Thurs. 5:30 P.M. – 10 P.M.
Friday 5 P.M.- 10 P.M.
Saturday 4:30 P.M.- 10 P.M.
Sunday 4 P.M.- 10 P.M.

Major Credit Cards Accepted

Reservations Needed

Saturday Nights recommended to book 2 weeks in advance

(Larger Parties should book well in Advance)
Valet Parking

Full Bar