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Bistro Vida
Bistro Vida

Bistro Vida Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://bistrovidamp.com
  • Phone: (650) 462-1686
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 3:00pm, Saturday - Sunday: 9:00pm - 3:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm; Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 9:30am - 3:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: French
  • Executive Chef: Ali El Safy
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: We can provide French and traditional comfort food for a personal celebration or corporate event of any size.
  • Private Party Facilities: Up to 80 people can be seated for a private dining experience from our extensive Bistro selections, a la carte, or family style. We have a full bar, great wine list, valet parking. Great for your wedding, holiday party, birthday party.
  • Private Party Contact: Ali El Safy (650) 462-1686

Getting there

  • Cross Street: El Camino Real
  • Parking: No
  • Parking Details: Street parking all around and public lot directly to the rear of the restaurant.
A word from Bistro Vida
Bistro Vida, in downtown Menlo Park, offers traditional meals in a warm and inviting bistro setting. The restaurateur's passion for obtaining quality ingredients allows Bistro Vida to put forth savory and sweet French inspired dishes before its dining guests.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "Bistro Vida is a great spot for a leisurely lunch, or an intimate occasion with the one you love. The food is good, the service is sensitive and thoughtful, and the ambiance lets you relax."
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "Excellent mussels --I had the cream and Ricard version, my friend the Provencal. With a glass of the house Chardonnay, just right. Only one quibble - make the frites a little crisper, and serve them in a paper cone and not on a plate. The owner was there, making sure all tables were happy -- nice!"
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "My wife and I have been to Bistro Vida several times. It's become one of our favorite restaurants to unwind at on a Friday or Saturday night. We stumbled onto it when my wife got a craving for French Onion Soup. We were heading for Left Bank (just a couple doors down), but saw this place instead and decided to try it out. We loved it, and now it's our go-to French bistro. The interior has a homey, French look to it, and the food is very much your standard French bistro food (mussels, the aforementioned soup, croque monsieur, etc.). I particularly enjoy their cocktails, which lean toward New Orleans (Sazerac, Ramos Gin Fizz, French 75, etc.). Check it out!"
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "Given the positive reviews, maybe I had lunch at a different restaurant. I was hoping for an authentic French omelet, but this one was a super-sized Denny's, bone dry, and with a block of (hard) cheese tucked under the omelet. I took a pass and then, ordered the hamburger, med rare. It came raw. I asked them to cook the burger through. They did and it turned out as expected: overcooked, no flavor, with a rushed (bad) presentation. The french fries were soggy; the ice tea bitter. Service did not start well, but Louis became marginally better as time went on. He couldn't control the food, however. Large space, but with only 5 tables being serviced at lunch, that should have been a clue."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "We order a duck liver pate that was excellent . The Cazpacho soup was tasty . A very good coq au vin , good wine selection . We try the chocolate mousse very good and creamy , the food was some what unique and very tasty and the service better than most places ."
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "Bistro Vida is our favorite restaurant. We love the owner, the wait staff, the welcoming ambiance and the food! Everything on the menu is good."
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "1st time here for lunch. Very good service. Nice outdoor seating, though a bit crowded, especially if there are many passersby. This is the fault of Menlo Park, not the restaurant. Enjoyed coq au vin (have to have french food at a bistro) which was well done with a nice sauce and very tender chicken. Only request is that the menu try to offer a few more simple French bistro choices: too many sandwiches..."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Nice place, decent french menu, pleasant enough meal. But neither the food nor the service were above average. The tagliatelle with squid & veggies had a good mix of stuff, but the sauce was entirely flavorless. It desperately needed a lot of lemon to give it some tang, and maybe harissa or something similar to give it some punch. Just a dull cream sauce. Other food was good, but none of it was terribly challenging (charcuterie plate, frites). Service was very pleasant but rather slow. I arrived a few minutes before my wife, and they clearly weren't going to offer me a drink until she arrived. Then they were slow once my wife arrived, so it was 25 minutes after I arrived before they took drinks order. Needs work."
    Dined on 8/5/2014
  • "Good food, reasonable prices and excellent service. It was delightful to eat outdoors and was abe to reserve a table outdoors. There was a lot of foot trafic on the side walk but it was not really bothersome. The by the glass wines are limited but good. And none had turned like so many that pour by the glass. It is one of my favorites in MP"
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "Vida has been in this hood for long time and we just discovered it . Glad we did , food is wonderful . Great service and friendly and the atmosphere is very vibrant ."
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "Order the special or "Bistro Recommends" and the spinach salad -- you'll be very happy. Relaxed relable neighborhood gem."
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "At indicated above the service was poor and food mediocre. This restaurant, at dinnertime, seems to be frequented by elderly couples who are regulars and who do not care what the food is like. They are recognized and that is was counts. After 20 minutes we had not received the appetizer and had to ask for it. Then almost immediately the main courses were served. We were not ready for those, and the plates had to be sent back. You can see why we were dissatisfied. We had eaten here 4-5 years ago, and the experience was wonderful. What a change"
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "Came here last year and again this week for Bastille Day, July 14. The place is decorated, small romantic orchestra playing French songs, and it feels like Paris. Pretty busy for a Monday night. The salmon carpaccio is the best in the Peninsula. Beet salad is excellent. Prosecco causes no after-headache and lets you celebrate with bubbly. Only issue: service was very rushed this time (not usually though)."
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "We have been to France several times but not for several years. Bistro Vida is one of the places we go for a "French Fix". The atmosphere and chocolate mousse seals the deal. Especially like it when the Rive Gauche trio place there. Prices are reasonable."
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "Kudos for the fact that Bistro Vida did an excellent job in creating an atmosphere that was consistent with Bastille Day celebrations. In regards to food, the casoullet was a welcome delight for dinner. I was mildly disappointed that it was only on the menu for that Monday and is apparently no part of the regular cuisine. Thankfully, we were dining that particularly day."
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "The food is fantastic and plentiful! The prices are lower than Left Bank, and much larger portions. The Coq Au Vin, Cassoulet, and Short Ribs are not to be missed. I don't even think LB anymore when I want delicious French. The atmosphere is laid back and bistro-like."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "We're lucky to have a place like this in Menlo. Consistently good food, service, and management. Oh, and drinks."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Food and ambiance good but service terribly slow. There were very few people in the restaurant yet we sat there for at least 40 minutes after we ordered before our food arrived."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "We ordered Le Croque Monsieur ou Madame sandwich and the short ribs. Both were well below average and not worth the price. The service was also below average."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "The service was abysmal, the food was greatly disappointing, and except for the 100 points, a reservation was not necessary, the place was next to empty. I will not be back. "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "bistro vida must be good. i had lunch there on monday and am returning for dinner of friday."
    Dined on 5/26/2014
  • "I spent 21 years in paris. This place transported me there. Good job. The most authentic French bistrot food on the bay area. genuine French bistrot romantic atmosphere in Down town Menlo Park"
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Overall I think the restaurant has a good menu, nice wine selection but the beer selection needs to be improved. Unfortunately I was with a beer connoisseur and he was disappointed they did not have at least an IPA and a lager. Other than this the food was good. The waitress was a little over ran. She didn't offer me ground pepper for my salad until I was almost half finished. When the salad is placed on the table the cracked pepper should be in hand and offered. I will definitely come back."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "So crowded. 4 other groups waiting. Didn't seem to matter we had a res. Stood over 20 min in doorway. Others came after us & seated immediately. Service very slow. Champagne ordered by glass wasn't what we ordered unless really bad bottle but suspect made or just poured whatever they could grab. Cassoulet seemed like it was just thrown together & not cooked thoroughly. Most tables had cloth napkins but we & others who came later given thin paper napkins. Staff were nice but too busy to come back. "
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "We had the escargots and we try the gnocchi it was fantastic . The short ribs special that evening was extraordinary in red wine reduction sauce . The chocolate fondant was amazing . The wait staff was excellent we will go back again "
    Dined on 5/5/2014
  • "Always excellent food and that European flare that can lend itself to couples or family. "
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "We've eaten here a few times and I had great steak and frites in the past. This time the steak was tough and half of it was gristle. The frites were great as usual. My wife mussels were good. The salads were very good. The wine list needs to be up dated. The wine we ordered from the wine list has'nt been available for months. The service was exellant. We'll try it again but I will order something different next time."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "When will restaurants learn? When a couple asks to sit at their favorite table (a table for 4) and are refused because they are told it's for three or more, only to see another couple seated there five minutes later, it doesn't make for happy feelings! It was a slow week night, 4 other people in the place and only 6 or 8 more came in in the next 2 hours. Plenty of tables for 4 to 6. We saw another couple get up and leave because they wanted to move out of the sun and were refused a change of table. What gives? Be a little more flexible and welcoming, Okay?"
    Dined on 4/23/2014
  • "This symbolizes a typical french bistro that serves great food and drinks . Found this gem on open table and we felt like having french since we know back home as francophiles , the energy was vibrant, the staff was all attentive , thank you for lovely experience "
    Dined on 4/22/2014
  • "I've never been disappointed here, the food is consistently very good."
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "We love this little piece of Paris, especially dining on the sidewalk on a nice evening. The owner always makes us feel welcome, pleasant service, and good value on the food & wine list. We prefer Bistro Vida to the theme-park French next door."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "This took up back to a little bistro we went to in Paris. The menu has a little bit of everything and everything tasted great. Don't miss the french onion soup, the best I've had. The shrimp and scampi risotto was so yummy. The desserts were fine, but nothing to rave about. The service was good and helpful. The red wine by the glass wasn't the greatest. The syrah was ok- but nothing special, the bordeaux was flat and tasteless. I left my wallet and didn't realize it until the next day. When I called they knew what I was talking about. I got in back with a smile and everything in it. That made this the best place ever for me. When you dine you get that nice relaxing feeling and can sit back and enjoy the good food."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "We felt like were in france . Fantastic ambiance , the bread is amazing . The wine and food was very good , the trout on parsnip mash perfectly cooked. We even spoke french with the owner who was from egypt"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Excellent food for the price . Scallops is wonderful and the poulet roti was very moist , fine wine list , the server was attentive with out hovering ."
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "Food was expensive for what it was. Tables were too small, we were 4 tall adults on a tiny table with not enough room to set all the plates and glasses. We asked for a larger table (one was available just behind) and it was denied. This table was really meant for 2 people. Waitress insisted there were 8 oysters and not 6 and then she served only 6, did not bother her. Given the situation and overpriced oysters they should have added 2. At the end they kept the door open, it was freezing and we asked to close the door. Denied... Supposedly they were taking the tables from outside inside... Not really my problem, they were closing at 10 and it was only 9:20... They should have waited..."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Typical french bistro that serves great food and wines . The energy is vibrant , the staff was all very attentive. We will go back again"
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "I have been a confirmed fan of Vida for 12 years. Classic bistro menu. soccer on the TV, and at least three foreign language sports newspapers available for perusing. My idea of heaven."
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "What a lovely evening . Good french food and excellent wine list . Very busy on a saturday night but very efficient service . An enjoyable experience ."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "I absolutely loved my visit to this bistro . I wanted to find a french bistro and vida was it . Loved the food , wait staff was attentive and friendly great vibe and parisian ambiance , can wait to come back with friends"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "My husband and I have wanting to come for a long time to bistro vida because we love french food , and my best highly recommended this place . As soon as I walked in I was greeted by the handsome owner who shook my hand and said to us thank you for coming . The servers are all professional , highly knowledgeable and super friendly . The food was perfectly cooked , and delicious . We will definitely coming back ."
    Dined on 3/25/2014