335 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA | Directions 9430137.446396 -122.161349
Neighborhoods: University South
BAD FOOD !!! – I don't understand why this place is so popular. The food is pretty gross and the flavors mixed together are all wrong. In addition, four of us got sick, fish was spoiled.
Good location, so-so food, bad attitude – Many restaurants in Palo Alto have been trimming back their dinner hours of late, due to the economy. Once I asked to be seated at about 9:40pm, and the staff said they can only seat me inside (which I refused, since I prefer the sidewalk). Another day, I was asking the hostess for more information when an unkempt, pudgy old man in shorts with wispy white hair and a strong accent approached (turned out to be the owner; I believe the same management also owns the new next-door Joya restaurant --- see my separate review for that). He inquired as to my business, so I explained the matter and asked what the precise hours were. He said they serve dinner till 10pm, outside as well. When I began to politely explain the discrepancy he rudely interrupted me and said I "complain too much" and that he wasn't interested. I eat out a lot --- at both upscale establishments (which this one pretends to be) and more humble eateries -- and am on a friendly basis with many restaurant owners on that street. I was totally taken aback by this man's rudeness and lack of interest in my efforts at clarification. I will avoid this restaurant, and advise all my friends and colleagues to do the same! the mediocre food is not worth being subjected to such an attitude. See also my review of the next door, new "Joya" restaurant, which (one source informs me) is owned by the same people.
I Don't feel like trying it again. – Maybe it's just my luck - but I never had such a bad dish in such a nice place.
The mozzarella with grilled tomatoes and eggplants appetizer was very good and balanced. Obviously prepared before (as it was really cold). I would expect the main course to be at least as good as the appetizer, but the pork shank just made me nauseous. And it's a second-expensive dish in the restaurant! I have almost no cooking experience, but I make way tastier meals (from raw ingredients, of course) in my slow cooker. And I'm no newbie to Italian cuisine, and that was just not it.
Amateur Time – Strange place. I read several good notices and a strong Zagat rating so I thought it would be a good choice for a Christmas Gift Certificate for my brother in San Jose (I live in New York). I called in mid December and asked for a $100 certificate to be mailed. "No problem". She took all necessary info. After a week I realized I hadn't been billed and called again. "No record of that conversation. Let's do it again". Gee, Ok. Dec. 20 I'm stll not billed and called again. I speak with a manager who's affable enough. Starts the transactioin all over again, apologizes and guarantees it will be sent out the next morning. Christmas comes and goes. Nothing. I call a fourth time, speak with the same manager who once again apologizes and insists on sending it for free. Not necessary I say. He insists. OK. "Just pleeease see that it he gets it . . . You see where this is going. My brother never got it. I, instead, had one sent out (after Christmas of course) from Taylor's Refresher in SF. Very professional place. A REAL restaurant that understands services. I've been in the business for 25 years between NY and LA and I recognize a problem. Notice how many people complain about the service here? Like the old saying, a fish rots from its head. Clearly management is AWOL at this restaurant and the proof is in the pudding. Such a shame.
I thought my food had committed a crime – Ok, so I have read the reviews and I though that it was worth trying for myself. I got a great review from someone I know but I think it was outdated. I tried the fried seafood appetizer, it was dried out and bland and the salad was tasty at first but before I finished it had already wilted. The wine is seriously overpriced and it's just aiight.
Authentic Italian food made w/ local ingredients – We have been here a number of times and continue to go back. Really enjoyed the oxtail risotto. The ravioli made with their homemade sausage is a bit oily. Wine list has its highs and lows. Great choice for appetizers include the affettati della casa and the baccala at forno. Mediterranean Whole Fish Prepared in One of Three Way is a tasty seafood alternative.
overpriced – Small portions of expensive, average food. Pretentious. Nice atmosphere, though.
Excellent Food, Service and Ambiance – Four of us had an early dinner on New Year's Eve and thoroughly enjoyed it. The food was excellent, the service attentive, and the atmosphere festive. We appreciated the fact that we could order from the regular menu, even on New Year's Eve. They also had a special 7-course meal and we could order any of those selections a la carte. Our only minor complaint was that the wines by the glass are pricey.
Greatly overprices – Went with a group a of people to have vin santo with biscotti at their terrace. We were ripped off 16 dollars per person for a ridiculously small glass, as small I have ever seen for wine, --which wasn't even poored before us, so for all we know it could be tetrabrik wine.
Very poor service. Outrageous prices.
Wonderful Food with so-so service... – The ambiance was low lit, relaxing and comfortable while the food was excellent! My husband had pasta with Colorado lamb and I enjoyed an exquisite dish of house made, asparagus-filled raviolis topped with fresh cherry tomatoes and olive oil. The bread was served fresh and warm, and the olive oil/balsamic vinegar was some of the best I've had. For dessert, we split a chocolate soufflé topped with coffee sauce and vanilla gelato on the side (which was perfect because I love chocolate and my husband loves vanilla) and a cappuccino. Even the prices were reasonable! The only downside was that we were there at a time where the shifts were changing and the service took a bit longer than we would have liked, but they were very kind and helpful. Overall, it was a good experience. Would definitely go there again!
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