448 S California Ave, Palo Alto, CA | Directions 9430637.425902 -122.145172
Lunch: Tues-Fri 11.30am - 1.30pm Dinner: Tues-Sat 5.30pm - 9.30pm
Neighborhoods: Evergreen Park
A Place For and By Food and Wine Lovers – This is a great spot for a hedonistic meal with someone you love or to impress business associates. The menu includes California bistro dishes beautifully prepared and presented. For lunch try the Niman Ranch sirloin burger with truffle butter and for dinner the Niman Ranch flatiron steak or the Sonoma duck confit. The wine list, like the service, is a perfect blend of French and Pacific Coast styles, impeccable yet friendly. The rose garden, if you can get in, makes it all seem like heaven. Reservations are a must.
Exceeded Expectations – I took my fiancee here for her 30th birthday with her family and had a wonderful experience. The staff was not only attentive, but kind and knowledgable about the entire menu and provided great recommendations. The only negative was that they were out of the entree special of the evening which sounded tasty. It was our first time to the restaurant and there is no doubt I would return again. The ambiance was nice, it wasn't too loud and again the food was absolutely wonderful.
avoid this place - Rude staff - so so food - expensive – we were just there for our valentine's night. There was a fixed menu and pretty expensive at that -$65 per person not including alcohol. The food was simply taste-less (appetizer very soggy). The staff couldn't care less. We left without eating dessert even though we paid for it. I talked to the owner. He didn't seem to care. There are so many wonderful restaurants in the Bay Area. Why not patronize the kind people's restaurants? one can forgive the food, but not the rude staff. It saddens me to write this.
Great for business lunches – This place is really starting to grow on me. It's law firm recruiting season, and I've been taking interviewees here all week. The recipes are always inventive, the food is fresh and generally well done, the service is fast and friendly, and the menu is varied enough to offer something for everyone. Definitely recommended.
Foie Gras - my favor appetizer – Little pricy, great chief, food and service. We go almost every month as our retreat.
Quite well done – Went there last night. Appetizers: dungeness crab and avocado tasted fresh and light, and the potato waffle with salmon and caviar were well-balanced. Entrees: Scallops with chanterelle mushrooms and potatoes were tasty, and the pork chops with penne au gratin and onions were also very flavorful (the best "au gratin" I have ever had -- light and full-flavored without feeling heavy on the palette). For dessert we had the apricot souffle, which was absolutely magnificent, and coffee parfait - not the most innovative recipe but presented and done well. All portions were quite generous. Service is more than adequate, although the place seemed a bit loud. Finally - prices are on the steep side, but expected for the kind of food they prepared. Don't expect dainty small-portioned French food here -- that's not their style. Overall, I would recommend this place.
Sit on the garden patio and enjoy the ever-changing menu. – The Scene
Living up to its name, this smart, trendy bistro on California Avenue lures Silicon Valley's jet set. On nice days you can sip wine in the back garden. Inside, banquette seating offers intimacy with plenty of prime crowd-watching. The wait staff is skilled and knowledgeable.
The meal often begins with a delicious amuse-bouche of sun-dried olives and sliced bresaola (air-dried, aged and salted beef fillet). For your first course try the tiny crab cakes or the house specialty: a poached egg and sevruga caviar on a bed of shallots, crisp pancetta and spinach. If you're looking for something light, the mussels in tomato, basil and porcini broth are always a safe bet. Meat lovers can enjoy the natural, hormone-free Niman Ranch steaks. Favorite desserts include cream-cheese tarts with seasonal fruit and coconut custard with fresh mango and crispy sesame tuiles. The inventive wine list is well-suited to the food.
Exquisite – Food here is equisite. My favorite place in the peninsula to go for fancy food. Great food, great wine, romantic, and service is wonderful.
A Little Trip To Elan – I dined at this small and hip bistro on California Avenue in Palo Alto on a recent evening. Overall, the food at Bistro Elan is very good. The desserts are excellent. However, if you read the press clippings before going, as I did, the food doesn't quite meet expectations. Most reviewers give Elan glowing reviews for its food. The menu is solid, but lacks that one spectacularly creative dish that would intrigue the seasoned diner. The staff is solid. The decor is quaint, while at the same time a bit pedestrian. Overall, it is a good restaurant, but not one that will blow you away.
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