546 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA | Directions 9430137.448898 -122.158496
Monday To Friday From 11:30 AM To 02:30 PM Monday To Thursday From 05:00 PM To 09:00 PM Friday To Saturday From 05:00 PM To 10:00 PM Sunday From 05:00 PM To 09:00 PM
Neighborhoods: University South
Nice but the price – Given I'm from South East Asia, I'm a bit critical of the restaurant. I thought the ambience was nice. Food is good but not great.
It's probably a nice place for business trip, if you go there for food, I will go to some other South East Asian restaurants that offer that offer the same thing for a fraction of the price. Will go there on business only.
Editorial Review by Angela Asche – Dark and sultry Palo Alto restaurant fuses an art-gallery ambience with innovative Vietnamese cuisine.
Good food, Shady business practice – Had a prepaid group function at the restaurant for work, which tends to mean that opened but unconsumed wine gets taken home by guests or hosts, as they have been paid for. When the party was over, 1 server claimed that the restaurant had a policy of not giving the wine out?! Another server claimed that there were no partially consumed bottles left. I had just seen one that was about half full, and there were no other guests around, so I knew that to be false. Having had multiple such events at other venues, there are ALWAYS partially consumed bottles left. The server also seemed to have an attitude and didn't seem to appreciate my request. I am inclined to think that either the servers get to take the wine home, or the restaurant gets additional revenues by essentially re-selling the wine.
The pros would be that food was quite tasty, and the ambiance nice. The cons are that it is a bit pricey and the restaurant and/or staff were of questionable integrity.
Poor customer service; poor management response; ill prepared staff – I have been going to Tamarine and Bongsu (both owned by the same people) entertaining clients. At a client lunch today, we experienced something that you never believe would happen to you. One of my guests, choked on a piece of meat and would have died, had it not been for a wonderful gentleman diner who was also having lunch. The hostess who looks miserable and treats every guests dreadfully just looked at us as if we had inconvenienced her yet again. The waiter came to find me handing me the bill worried I might run out without paying for our bill (hindsight, I should not have left a tip but I did leave a 20% - force of habit). After we left and reflected on the whole experience, we realized how poorly the staff had treated us. I phoned the restaurant to point out the liability of having wait staff that are completely ill prepared in light of a crisis such as the one we experienced and how badly they had addressed the incident. Kevin, the manager of the restaurant calls me to only tell me that they are sorry and that it is nearly impossible to train their staff to learn CPR. I pointed out that learning to dial 911 is an alternative option and not looking at your customers as if they are cramping your style and demanding payment in time of crisis another wonderful resolution. Kevin not only could not articulate a good solution to rectify the matter but also proved to be just as incompetent as the staff he manages.
The quality of workforce at Tamarine does not parallel the price and image that this restaurant is trying to project. Elderly should definitely not go there because if GOD forbid, you choke, you might be meeting your maker as these people would not even know how to dial 911 much less perform CPR.
NYE – What I liked: The ambience, the mushroom soup (vegetarian), tamarine prawns-succulent, sea bass-cooked to perfection, creme brulee, excellent service
What I disliked: Lava cake-tasted like right out of the microwave.
Comments: Received excellent wine recommendation from the bartender. Fixed price menu (3 course-$60/head)-worth the money. For NYE, should have included complimentary glass of champagne.
fantastic Vietnamese fusion cuisine – Our lunch did not start off on the best note. We did not have reservations and the hostess, who we all agreed was snooty, treated us like she was doing us a favour by sitting us at the "one remaining table in the back room." As it turned out, there were three other open tables in this very same room and they remained open throughout our entire lunch. What a joke!
Anyway, the food at Tamarine is the real star! This was one of the finest meals we had on our 18 day trip through California. We pretty much followed the recommendations of our very friendly waitress Kristen. Everything was great, except for perhaps the roasted quail, which seemed to just sit there staring at us like a testament to the fact that the Vietnamese will eat just about anything!
At $130 for four, our lunch was not cheap, but it sure was a treat! Highly recommended!
Cheers from Miami.
Treat yourself – Very unique food. Great flavors you can't taste elsewhere. Gotta try it.
can't wait to come back here again – I have eaten at this restaurant three times. Everytime I come back, it has always tasted better than the last time. I am looking forward to the next time I get a chance to go there again.
Oh Tamarine – It is good for Palo Alto to have an upscale restaurant that ISN'T owned or run by Wolfgang Puck. Tamarine is that upscale restaurant. The service, while faltering at times, is great overall. The food is exceptional. Special dishes include Basil Tofu and Signature Tamarine Prawns. The Vegetable dishes are better than some critics credit them. The menu variety is excellent. Now, for superb Vietnamese, one doesn't have to drive the thirty miles north to "cisco" and waste time finding almost nonexistent parking spaces up there.
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