It's been tough to get a reservation at the 60-seat Rich Table ever since it opened in Hayes Valley in July 2012. But with a little persistence and maybe even some last-minute luck, you can be downing its signature sardine-laced potato chips in no time. General manager Katrina Parlato shares some savvy advice.
Diners can attempt to make a reservation for a date up to one month in advance via OpenTable. Don't be afraid to join the wait list if you can't get a specific date that you want. "We are very true to the wait list," promises Parlato. "There is always some movement, but sometimes it is very last minute. If guests are patient and can wait until the last minute, there is a good chance they may receive a reservation."
The bar is your best bet for eating without a reservation. "We do have 11 seats at our bar which are on a first come, first served basis," notes Parlato. "They do fill up rather quickly, but you can add your name to the wait list, grab a beverage down the street and we will phone you as soon as we have your seats available."
Parlato says that the restaurant doesn't really have a lull time and that the bar is typically full by 5:30-5:45 PM. But she has a valuable tip to take into account if you want to try to guess when a seat will free up: "Most guests at the bar are there for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. Sometimes later in the evening around 9:30-10 p.m is a little easier as well." Do note that the restaurant closes at 10 PM Sunday through Thursday and at 10:30 PM on Friday and Saturday.
Once you do snag a seat, don't miss the porcini doughnuts and the sardine chips. The menu at Rich Table changes very frequently, but these are signature items that you should usually be able to order.
For more tips on hard-to-get restaurant seats, see Secrets to Scoring a Table at State Bird Provisions and Secrets to Scoring a Table at La Nebbia