All photos by Drew Altizer Photography
San Francisco’s social set turned out in full force for the grand opening of San Francisco’s Crystal Jade Restaurant on Friday, November 14th. Renowned designer Ken Fulk bestowed his midas touch on the 20,000 square foot restaurant, which is comprised of a large indoor dinning room, several private dinning areas, a luxurious bar — that harkens back to an English gentlemen’s club — a terrace with breathtaking views of the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge and a to-go concept.
The entire space was beaming with excitement after the ribbon cutting ceremony performed by Mayor Ed Lee, local restauranteur Gus Murad and Crystal Jade CEO Ip Yiu Tung. Guests sipped on sparkling rosé and signature cocktails, such as the Drunken Poet, while waiters served delicious small bites highlighting four of the eight culinary traditions of China, throughout the evening. This included Sichuan, Jiangsu, Hunan and Zhejiang cuisines.
As the first restaurant that LVMH has invested in, via their L Capital Asia satellite, the opening of Crystal Jade drew tons of fashionistas who showed up in furs, severe high heels, and Chinoiserie which threatened to overrun their foodie counterparts on this particular occasion. Happily, the focus remained on the delectable appetizers, luscious cocktails, and excellent service that is sure to make Crystal Jade one of the most popular restaurants in San Francisco.
Several groups installed themselves in the main dining room, Jiang Nan, while other guests refused to leave the natural beauty of the “Flower Rain Terrace”. Corporate types will love the well appointed private dining rooms which, close off entirely from the rest of the restaurant and provide the perfect environment for important business transactions. We found a nice corner room ensconced behind the “Liu Ling Bar” that we couldn’t resist. It is called The Xiao, after the stunning beauty and clever Empress Xiao (581-618 AD) who enchanted six emperors during the war times including her last husband, the strongest emperor of the Tang Dynasty, whom she married at the age of 50 while he was only 17 years old. This petite lounge features an enticing large sofa and high-backed velvet chairs, Chinoiserie wall paper, mood lighting and semi-private dining booths. Large enough to accommodate small group of friends, it is the perfect spot for a decadent birthday party.