Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Aug 11, 2008 12:38 AM

Good Dinner in Palo Alto?

Wife & I are Caltraining down tonight to meet out-of-town friend visiting P.A. What's our best bet for a medium- to high-end dinner, most any type (except sushi--makes pregnant wife sad), within say a 10-minute drive of the station (Univ. Ave. & El Camino R.)? If on our home turf in SF, we'd take her to Delfina (main or Pizz.), Range, Foreign Cinema, La Ciccia, Minako, Thep Phanom, or a similar favorite; what's in that league of price/quality/formality level in P.A.? Evvia and Junnoon get good mainstream press but very mixed mostly negative here.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. We love Evvia. It's the south bay version of Kokkari if that helps. I can't imagine why it gets negative press in SF. We're also fond of Bodeguita del Medio on California Ave. It's Cal-Cuban. I like the ropa vieja, love the fried ripe plantains and they have an outstanding selection of rums. Tamarine on University, upscale Vietnamese, is quite nice.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Judith

      Thanks, Judith. I've realized that my method of looking for threads on this topic before I posted my query was flawed (tried to limit by date and ended up missing lots of posts), and that in fact Evvia gets mostly positive reviews here. (By "here" I meant Chowhound; I'd inadvertently excluded lots of good posts.)

      1. re: readingstand

        I second Judith's recommendations for Evvia and Tamarine. On California Ave., Bistro Basia and Bistro Elan are both very good Cal/French places. Mantra is an interesting Cal/Indian; one meal was great, the other was just good, but I don't think there is anything like it in San Francisco. Italian places down here are not as good as in San Francisco, so I would avoid those.

        I don't know which of these places are open Monday, so be sure to call ahead (or reserve on OpenTable when available) to avoid disappointment.

        Tamarine Restaurant
        546 University Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94301

        Mantra Restaurant & Lounge
        632 Emerson St, Palo Alto, CA 94301

        Bistro Elan
        448 S California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306

        Evvia Estiatorio
        420 Emerson Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301

        Bistro Basia
        201 South California Avenue, Palo Alto, CA

      1. re: Truffle Dog

        I know your dinner is over, but Cafe Brioche is a very reliably delicious provencal restaurant on California across from Elan.

      2. I've been to Evvia once (we were treated by friends), and not having to pay, I thought it was a very satisfying meal- a complete winner. Tamarine is good. Junnoon and Mantra both have their fans, but you should remember this board is tougher and has jaded palates (not a bad thing). People who eat out all the time might have different bars than people who only eat out occasionally.