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Reposado - Palo Alto

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  • mdg Feb 6, 2009 09:23 PM
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Reposado finally brings the Silicon Valley area a wider-ranging menu in a Mexican restaurant. At last, a place where not every single dish is served with rice, beans, and/or tortillas!

We started with the sopitos (chicken, pork, and beef) and a corn soup with chili. We then had the roasted chicken pipian and the grilled salmon filet with mole verde. All were good; I was especially fond of the sopitos and the salmon. The food is good if not yet at the level of greatness of a Frontera Grill, a Gabbi's, or a Distrito. But it's new and promising; hopefully it gets up to the next level in time.

The wine list is OK, but could use some more regionally-appropriate choices. How about the great Mexican Nebbiolo from L A Cetto like they serve at El Callejon in Laguna Beach? Or a nice Argentinian Torrontes? Or an Albariño by the glass? There are no draft beers yet, and no tequilla list, both of which are common at many other sit-down Mexican restaurants in the area, and which go so well with this food.

The room is great - attractive, festive, and loud (but not as crazy loud as some places like this are). I think they've only been open a month but they were doing great business on our visit. They have an excellent location, a menu that so far is unique to the area, and good-tasting food. Hopefully this marks a new stage of growth for Silicon Valley Mexican restaurants as places see that you can do good business with more interesting menu choices!


236 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301

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  1. We went the night after they opened. I wish I could share your enthusiasm, mdg. The meal was fine, but nothing memorable. It's not in the same universe as Frontera in any way, quality of ingredients, creativity, distinctive flavor, inspired menu. The owner said he wanted to have a place where people could eat Mexican food other than the rice and beans thing and show off what creative Mexican cooking can be. But his menu wasn't that interesting and doesn't do service to the idea.

    I realize that it was the second night. We'll go back before long and give it another shot.

    I don't know Gabbi's or Distrito. I'll check out the former next time I'm in LA. Distrito means going to Philadelphia, not such a likely event for me, though not completely so.

    1. We went tonight to try it and have little enthusiasm. It isn;t that the food is bad, it just isn't special and certainly not worth the price. i have no problem paying for quality but this just doesn't do it. I had a pepitad crusted salmon with rice and chile arbol sauce. The waitress described the dish as a pumpkin seed sauce so I was expecting a pipian, but it was a standard chile arbol salsa. Good, but I can get just as good at many local taquerias. The salmon was $30 for a very thin uneven cut, which resulted in overcooked fish. Rice bland. Tortillas are hand made but made from mass market masa so nothing special - tasted like my Chavez tortillas. The high points were the mojo marinated pork chop and the conchinita pibil. Both nicely flavored, but the sides on both lacked balance and flavor to bring the dish together, I am not a stickler for 'authenticity' but pibil works so well with pickled red onions and habenero salsa, neither of which were served here. The vinegar dressed cucumber didn't stand in well for these. One son had the chicken fajita kids dish. Fine but nothing special. However i don't ever expect much from kids' menus. Service was friemdly and upbeat but a bit superficial and salesman-y. I wish it would fulfill my desire for a non taqueria or regional Mexican, but I will have to head up to Poc Chuc for that still...

      1. My experience has been consistently quite positive. They incorporate fruit flavors such as mango, which I love, as well as corn in all its tasty forms. For the price I wish they were serving sustainable seafood/meat and organic vegetables. I also prefer to have a lot of non-fried vegetarian options. These are often factors in my restaurant choices.

        I wouldn't recommend the variation on caesar salad, which lacks interesting flavor. I wish they would add some other meatless salads to their menu.

        The tortilla chips are from a package and include the red-dyed ones, which turns me off at a high-end restaurant.

        My favorite dish there has been a salmon special with chipotle sauce and -yum!- coconut rice.

        236 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301

        2 Replies
        1. re: eldub

          I have been a few times and generally agree with the other posters. The place isn't bad, but it's not living up to the price. They certainly put out a menu and appear to be going after an upscale concept. The Frontera reference is a good one, but without the folk art. But we found the food to be lacking execution. Average chips, some dishes lacking flavor, the molé was out of balance, we got shrimp that still had veins. All of that says poor execution and cutting corners.

          1. re: eldub

            They took two adjoining spaces and made it into a really nice room with tall windows and a nice energy. The restaurant looks great. The food does not fit the atmosphere or the prices. I've now been twice and had a nice meal both times but nothing too memorable...proven by the fact that I can't recall what I've eaten there either time. I would come back as part of a larger group since I do like the energy and the feel of the space and I do want the restaurant to get better and succeed. For a nice meal with just me and my SO, I'd go elsewhere.

          2. I don't usually email restaurants but I did in this case, because I think the space is great and there is promise there. Anyway, kindly the manager invited us back on the house. So, we dined there last night, and things were much better. i think the price points this time were only a tad too high - probably $5 or so per plate IMO. i had the lamb chops, which were nicely rare (as requested) and good cuts. The mole was a bit sweet and not earthy or complex enough for my tastes, but still good. The potatoes were a bit too creamy/greasy for my tastes, but the veggies were very nice. And they won me over with the cocoa nibs on the plate. Overall, a successful dish with a few quibbles, mainly personal taste. My husband had the short ribs, which is very much liked. We also had the ensalada mixta, which was meh - the nopales were actually very well prepared, but were overpowered by the celery in the salad. The tacos were good - the chicken was particularly good. The carnitas had a good citrus undertone, but the braised style carnitas withou the crispy bits I like. The carne asada good, but nothing special as was the fish. The tacos are not greasy at all, served with a small amount of fresh guac. They are small tacos - with one 3" ish tortilla.

            I will return for sure when they have the prix fixe menu. I would recommend it for groups. It isn't a destination for me, but not much in PA is. I think it performs well, but again, just a bit too high in price for me.

            Service was very good - and I don't think the waiter knew we were being comped until the end.

            1. My wife was much less impressed with Reposado on our first visit than I was, so we just got back here again tonight. Overall the food was much improved. The sopitos were even better than I remembered. The seafood stew included shrimp and salads of excellent quality, and the rotisserie chicken with pipian and red rice was also very well prepared. Portions were large - I wish they would cut both the portion size and the price so you could try more things if you get an entree. The dessert list looked promising, including some very nice dessert wines, but we were too full.

              The drink list was also much improved, including the wine list. There now a tequilla list and an Albariño by the glass - hooray! - but with my seafood stew, the Spanish Tempranillo by the glass was just great. Still no draft beers, which is unfortunate. They are doing great business, so this time the loudness level was really a bit too much for us.

              It's great to have several contenders now for more interesting Mexican food in Silicon Valley beyond the standard menu items, especially getting away from serving everything with chips and rice and beans and tortillas! Especially when they improve their food quality with time, when so often it goes the other way.


              236 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301

              2 Replies
              1. re: mdg

                Those other contenders being?

                1. re: redrover

                  Casa de Cobre most notably, also Mezcal. Estrellita is still in the chips/rice/beans rut, but the special entrees are delicious and overall food quality is probably higher than Mezcal.


                  Estrellita Restaurant
                  971 N San Antonio Rd, Los Altos, CA 94022

                  Mezcal Restaurant
                  25 W San Fernando, San Jose, CA 95113

                  Casa de Cobre
                  14560 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070