Louie’s Gen-Gen Room is permanently closed

photo credit: Krescent Carasso

Louie’s Gen-Gen Room review image

Louie’s Gen-Gen Room


871 Sutter St, San Francisco
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You know what was the best when you were a little kid? Breakfast for dinner. Pancakes and hot chocolate (AKA child coffee) are extremely exciting to eat post 6pm. Louie’s Gen-Gen Room, a tiki-esque cocktail bar, is here to bring that excitement back. But the question is: are waffles for dinner as exciting as an adult as they were when you were seven? Yes and no.

It is still definitely fun to eat waffles for dinner. It’s even more fun when you get to wash them down with strong cocktails, while sitting in a great room that makes you feel like you might be below decks on a cruise ship. The basement location beneath Liholiho Yacht Club is dim and lounge-y, with a 1950s vibe from the plates and glasses to the retro teal paint.

But as much fun as Louie’s is, waffles for dinner are only going to get you so far, even if they’re delicious and topped with things like burrata and bone marrow. We like Louie’s for a drink and a dish or two - if you want to go for cocktails and a snack before a late dinner, or before a show at Bill Graham, or for a 10pm dessert waffle, it’s awesome. But the menu (which, to be clear, does include a few other non-waffle bar snacks) still lacks the diversity you need to have a thoroughly enjoyable full-on dinner.

Another reason Louie’s only really works in specific scenarios: it requires advanced planning. It’s reservations-only, and each reservation is for precisely two hours. It’s a fun challenge to see how many drinks you can down in your allotted time, and - spoiler alert - you can also consume many, many waffles in those two hours.

So while you don’t need to plan your next dinner at Louie’s, you should plan a drinking and snacking session here. In reality, waffles for dinner might not be quite as excellent as when you were seven, but Louie’s reminds you that it’s still pretty great to be an adult.

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Food Rundown

Louie’s Gen-Gen Room review image

photo credit: Krescent Carasso

Potato Chips

These housemade potato chips are great, the french onion dip is nice too, and the salty trout roe adds a nice pop. When else in your life are you going to eat potato chips and caviar? Carpe diem.

Louie’s Gen-Gen Room review image

photo credit: Krescent Carasso

Seafood Cocktail

Just ok. A little gloopy and full of chunks of seafood that aren’t fully identifiable. Crossing our fingers none of it was whale.

Louie’s Gen-Gen Room review image

photo credit: Krescent Carasso

Thinly Sliced Raw Beef

Or, as we like to call it in order to not scare our intestines, beef carpaccio. This is topped with pine nuts and celery and other unidentified amazing toppings, and you should definitely get this to bring some diversity to your table. It’s our favorite non-waffle dish.

Louie’s Gen-Gen Room review image

photo credit: Krescent Carasso

Avocado Waffle

Of all the waffle bases, the buckwheat one is our favorite. Putting avocado on things increases their deliciousness by approximately 50% and the sesame also elevates this. Good for vegetarians and also for normals.

Louie’s Gen-Gen Room review image

Okonomiyaki Waffle

We’re in the basement of a Hawaiian restaurant, and also maybe onboard a ship doing a transatlantic, so Spam is definitely making an appearance. This version is housemade, not from a can, and pretty good. A little salty and very rich - one of the heartier options.

Louie’s Gen-Gen Room review image

photo credit: Krescent Carasso

Bone Marrow Butter Waffle

You know what you definitely didn’t eat as a tot? Bone marrow. But now you’re a full-fledged adult waffle eater and you need to get fancy. There is some (but not a lot) of bone marrow spread, but the smoked sturgeon is what really makes this waffle. It’s like lox and bagel - sort of. Just keep drinking.

Louie’s Gen-Gen Room review image

photo credit: Krescent Carasso

Dessert Waffle

This changes up from time to time - we’ve had the macadamia nut one with fresh berries, but the caramel one on the menu now is equally unnecessary after consuming many other waffles. If you want to come here just for dessert though, this is the jam.

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