Closed as of Apr 6 07

161 Sutter St.
San Francisco, California 94104
(415) 677-4405


3.2 / 3 votes

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New-Shojin Vegan Japanese Cuisine

MEDICINE features traditional Zen Buddhist food based on Shojin Cuisine in Kyoto, Japan. The food incorporates only 100% vegan, vegetable-based food using the freshest organic, sustainable ingredients. A modern touch has been added to this traditional cuisine that is based on the notion that food has historically been taken as "medicine" and the term "shojin" means "working to better oneself".

The cook staff also includes executive chef Bryan Waites who comes from a background of being the Sous Chef at Millennium, an organic gourmet vegan restaurant also in San Francisco.

Prices are more affordable than Millennium with appetizers and lunch sets ranging from $5-$10 and dinner appetizers and entree sets ranging from $5-18.

"Healthy eating has never been so delicious."-Patricia Unterman in the San Francisco Examiner

Added by katherine matutina on Dec 12 05 (last updated Apr 6 07)

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I thought the food here was really plain. I got something that sounded exciting and exotic, but it turned out to be steamed purple rice, steamed snow peas, steamed shredded carrots, a bit of ginger and a bit of wasabi. The steamed veggies were really plain and totally not worth $9. Although it did have Yuba -- which is a kind of tofu skin -- which was quite yummy and interesting. I tried my friend's spicy peanut noodle dish and it was neither spicy nor very exciting. The only thing that was worth having was the dessert which was exciting and yummy: white ear mushrooms in sweet coconut milk. The service was good, but the place was packed. Maybe other people like it a lot more. My friend liked it. But I would not go back to spend $10 on something I can easily make.

I'm still giving them 5 points because everything is completely vegan. But perhaps I'm being overly tough on them because they are vegan. The food builds into stereotypes of what vegan food is: healthy but super bland...tofu, brown (purple) rice and steamed vegetables. They even served a side of plain tofu (with a little bit of spice on top more as decoration than anything)!

So I might be overly tough; the place was really packed and other people seemed happier with their healthy food.

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Downtown Financial District


MEDICINE is located upstairs in the Crocker Galleria, downtown, in the financial district. There is a private elevator located on Sutter st. which will take you straight up to the restaurant.

If you are on foot or bicycle Kearny turns into 3rd st and Sutter is only a few blocks from Market St. There is also a BART stop at Montgomery from which you can walk up to Kearny which is the next street over.

Driving directions are available on mapquest or yahoo or google maps. Free street Parking is available on the weekends. During the week there is a parking garage at Sutter and Stockton st called Sutter-Stockton Garage.


Accepts Reservations

Wheelchair Accessible


$ - inexpensive


  • American Express Discover MasterCard Visa


  • Japanese
  • Macrobiotic


  • (Mostly) Organic
  • Delivery
  • Wi-Fi


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11am - 6pm

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