Palo Alto Restaurants
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Italian. Bella Luna in Palo Alto is a casual dining staple. Sunny Tuscan hues saturate the intimate interior, and the dishes create a tasty illusion of dining in Italy on food prepared by Italian chefs. The pasta, tender yet al dente, is unbelievably good.
Asian, Fusion. Pan-Asian cuisine shines at Bistro D’Asie, a vibrant Palo Alto restaurant. Modern California and French accents enliven the menu of Asian dishes, with some of the most notable creations being the duck tacos, the ahi tuna spring roles, the lamb luc lac and the hamachi ceviche. Backing the menu of reasonably priced fare is a great selection of deserts like pumpkin cheesecake and cocktails ranging from mango mojitos to sangria that packs a punch.
Californian. A Palo Alto classic, California Café is a stylish, relaxing restaurant in the historic Stanford Barn. The menu of creative, diverse cuisine is divided into small and large plates, with options ranging from Boston lettuce salad and vermouth steamed mussels to grilled Kobe tri tip and oregano & black pepper gnocchi. Their Liquid Therapy menu boasts several tempting cocktail creations.
Mediterranean/Greek. Evvia has been serving beautiful and elegant Greek cuisine since 1995. The menu, showcasing seafood and game, features many of the most sought-after traditional Aegean dishes as well as selections which have been modernized through the innovative blending of cultures, techniques and Californian fare.
Italian. Il Fornaio is a stylish and breezy favorite for those seeking Italian cuisine in Palo Alto. The skillfully prepared cuisine includes creative appetizers, bold salads, richly flavorful pastas, Italian specialty entrees from the rotisserie and grill, and pizzas crafted using house-made dough and mozzarella imported from Italy.
Latin / Spanish. Contemporary and stylish, Joya Restaurant & Lounge is an easy place to settle into chic vibes and enjoy a refined, Latin-influenced dining experience. Modern interpretations of fare from Spain and Latin America arrive at the tables exuding exotic aromas and promises of a vibrantly flavorful experience. The seasonal menu favors only the finest, freshest local and imported ingredients.
Indian. An elegant restaurant decked out in shimmering layers of gossamer and hues of burnt sienna, Junnoon is a beautiful restaurant that has been earning the praises of renowned publications since it opened in 2006. Whether sitting indoors or out, dining at this Indian restaurant in Palo Alto means taking a journey with inventive, redefined Indian cuisine.
Mediterranean. Chef Clyde Griesbach has left a trail of great dining wherever he's cooked, and with Lavanda he's found a sophisticated showcase. This urban grill at the top of University Avenue offers eclectic small tasting plates, along with heartier fare such as roasted sea bass with chanterelle mushrooms and guinea fowl with sautéed chard. Save room for the signature grilled coconut cake!
Steak, Italian. Loui Loui is an elegantly designed restaurant with a casual attitude in the heart of Palo Alto. Marrying the idea of a steakhouse with an Italian restaurant, the menu offers creative dishes hailing from American and Italian culinary traditions, with options like veal chop Milanese, scallopini, aged prime New York steak, tuna tartare, lobster pumpkin risotto and linguini with Kobe meatballs.
American. A neighborhood favorite in Palo Alto, MacArthur Park wins regulars with reliably tasty preparations of American cuisine. The menu features award-winning Oakwood Smoked California BBQ Baby Back Ribs, mesquite grilled meats, fresh seafood, creative starters and robust salads.
Indian, Californian. Mantra boasts the most unique combination of traditional Californian cuisine and classic Indian dishes. Enjoy the bright colors of India in a contemporary setting, fresh tastes of California with Indian spice, and a great meal paired with a glass of remarkable wine. The S.F. Chronicle notes, “The restaurant brings flash, glamour and a dash of Bollywood mystique to Palo Alto."
Cajun/Creole. At this festive eatery, barbecue and Jamaican jerk dishes jump-start meals that march on toward gumbos, grilled seafoods, jambalayas and a raft of sensuous desserts. Don’t leave without enjoying one of Nola’s renowned margaritas or tequila mixed drinks. Come and drink in the colorful elegance that is Nola.
Brazilian Steakhouse. Spice p any evening with a trip to Pampas. This restaurant maintains elegance while the spice of the Brazilian culture shines through. Spit roasted meats and cocktails mixed to perfection create the perfect atmosphere for friends, families or couples to enjoy a fantastic evening. According to Pampas, “every meal is a show.”
Italian, Californian. With an elegant and inviting dining room, Quattro serves contemporary Italian cuisine with a Californian twist. They offer a great selection of boutique wines from California and around the world. Offering valet parking service, Quattro is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Reservations are suggested.
Mexican. The word “reposado” in Spanish means literally to relax. This attitude is exactly what the atmosphere Reposado hopes to promote. Come here to enjoy a fresh take on traditional Mexican food, for some of the most memorable and delicious experiences in Palo Alto.
Californian, Steak. A mouthwatering menu and an elegant, golden-hued room shine together at Soleil, upstairs in the Westin Palo Alto. Local ingredients and provocative sauces create dishes worthy of the wine list.
Californian, Steak, Seafood. Hailed as a Bay Area tradition, Scott’s Seafood provides only the freshest seafood and prime dry aged steaks to its customers. The warm wood booths and crisp interior makes for a great environment for any type of party. Scott’s Seafood is excellent food at affordable prices.
Californian, European. Come to Shokolaat to enjoy the feel of a small Parisian bistro right here in Palo Alto. Restaurant, Patisserie, and Chocolatier are all words that Shokolaat use to describe the food within its walls. Shokolaat boasts the use of only organic and seasonable materials. Elegant and casual at the same time, this restaurant is the perfect place to dine on just about any occasion.
Singaporean. Come to Straights Restaurant to enjoy the rarities of Singaporean cuisine. The colorful lighting and warm glow that emanates from the windows are almost as inviting as the smell of spices wafting from the door. Come to Straits to enjoy a unique dining experience.
Chinese. Clean and sophisticated colors and décor create an elegant atmosphere in which to enjoy the best Chinese food. Tai Pan describes their dishes as “a pursuit of culinary excellence.” Thoughtful preparation and presentation of each dish is sure to satisfy any customer.
Contemporary Vietnamese. If Tamarine was a book, it would be a Pulitzer Prize-winner. From a sophisticated cocktail menu and intriguing wine list, to electrifying small plates cooked with genuine inspiration, Tamarine is the answer to a seemingly unanswerable question: What is the one thing missing from the Palo Alto dining scene?
Vietnamese. Dim lighting and a soft buzz create a very romantic setting in which to enjoy fabulous Vietnamese cuisine. Famous for their spring rolls, Three Seasons uses only the freshest ingredients to create their innovative and surprising selection of Vietnamese favorites.
Polynesian-American. A jungle gym of tiki gods--but a classy jungle. Sip a high-class mai tai in the lounge before embarking on a dinner trip from pork spareribs to boat-fresh seared suki tuna to a Calcutta curry. The centerpiece here is the wood-fired oven, where delights like the Indonesian Rack of Lamb come to worship.
Italian. Vero is the definition of a true authentic Italian style meal. The word “Vero” in Italian actually means truth, and every part about this restaurant makes validates the name. A warm and cozy atmosphere in combination with delicious homemade Italian classics makes Vero the perfect spot for a family meal.
Mediterranean. This eye-popping remodel by the renowned chef/partners of Restaurant LuLu in San Francisco offers delectable wood-fired favorites plus sushi. This restaurant boasts Pan- Mediterranean cuisine, with dishes hailing from all parts of this exotic place. Come and enjoy the vast wine list and delectable food here at Zibibbo. They even serve breakfast too.
Bistro Élan448 S. California Ave., Palo Alto CA 94306; Tel. 650.327.0284
California French. The only problem with the menu is that it's all tempting. Using seasonal produce, the chef allows flavors to speak for themselves. Wine, beer.
Buca di Beppo643 Emerson St., Palo Alto CA 94301; Tel. 650.329.0665
Italian-American. Like a Sicilian Christmas carnival in the '50s, this party spot blends clutter, joy, high spirits and, oh yes, huge portions. Go with several friends.
Cafe Brioche445 California Ave., Palo Alto CA 94306; Tel. 650.326.8640
Southern French. Mediterranean magic: exceptional cuisine on oversize plates is whisked to tables as soon as it's created.
Caffe Riace Ristorante Italiano200 Sheridan Ave., Palo Alto CA 94306; Tel. 650.328.0407
Italian. An absolute joy. Every dish is made with honest expertise--no tricky trendiness here--and served with flourish and pride. The homey offerings are based on wholesome Italian staples. Beer, wine.
Elbe German European Cuisine117 University Ave., Palo Alto CA 94301; Tel. 650.321.3319
German. Named for the third longest river in Europe, Elbe adjoins Rudy's and hence hosts a boisterous next-door bar crowd. The ambiance leans strongly toward Hollywood-on-the-Rhine. The food? Bratwurst, Polish sausage, sauerkraut, venison.
Empire Grill & Tap Room651 Emerson St., Palo Alto CA 94301; Tel. 650.321.3030
American. Waiters with charm to spare, an energetic clientele and a menu packed with grilled, roasted and smoked intensity make Empire Grill much more than simply a smart place to sip a cosmopolitan. Full bar.
Fuki Sushi4119 El Camino Real, Palo Alto CA 94306; Tel. 650.494.9383
Japanese, Sushi. For over two decades this superb Japanese restaurant has served sushi to Nobel laureates and other grateful foodies. Small wonder, since Fuki Sushi is easily the best appointed Japanese eatery in the area.
Gordon Biersch640 Emerson St., Palo Alto CA 94301; Tel. 650.323.7723
American. Food takes equal billing with ambience and fine handmade beers at the first in this group of successful brewpubs. The menu is so fine-tuned, though, it could thrive even without a brewery attached. Beer, wine.
La Bodeguita del Medio463 S. California Ave., Palo Alto CA 94306; Tel. 650.326.7762
Cuban. Themed after a vintage Havana haunt of Ernest Hemingway's, this zesty restaurant serves lively Cuban influenced cuisine along with liquid staples like rum and mojitos in a handsome, casual atmosphere. Full bar. Cigar divan.
The Old Pro2865 El Camino Real, Palo Alto CA 94306; Tel. 650.325.2070
American. An oddball sports bar serving a broad selection of entrees, including burgers, pizza and ribs. Eleven television monitors and constant conviviality keep this place hopping. Expect little and you'll get a lot. Beer and wine.
Osteria247 Hamilton St., Palo Alto CA 94301; Tel. 650.328.5700
Italian. Authentic Italian cooking done by skilled chefs from Italy--inventive men willing to explore, yet mindful of Old World standards. Be sure to make a reservation, or you'll be lucky to put a single foot through the door. Beer, wine.
Restaurant Soleil675 El Camino Real, Palo Alto CA 94301; Tel. 650.321.4422
Meditertanean. A mouthwatering menu and an elegant, golden-hued room shine together at Soleil, upstairs in the Westin Palo Alto. Local ingredients and provocative sauces create dishes worthy of the wine list.
St. Michael's Alley140 Homer Ave., Palo Alto CA 94301; Tel. 650.326.2530
New California. Reservations are a must at this smart bistro, whose menu includes inventive potato, meat and seafood dishes that tilt toward New American cookery. Beer, wine.
Spalti Ristorante417 California Ave., Palo Alto CA 94306; Tel. 650.327.9390
Italian. Along with a handsome interior, Spalti offers good wine and sparkling flavors. Casual. Beer, wine.
Zao Noodle Bar261 University Ave., Palo Alto CA 94301; Tel. 650.328.1988
Asian. Putting a hip spin on an ancient culinary art form, this contempo noodle palace purveys many forms of the deliciously messy primal food. Casual. Beer, wine, sake.
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