641 Santa Cruz Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025Neighborhood:
FrenchPrice: $30 and under
- 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, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, 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 6504621686x
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.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
Bistro Vida - Best Restaurants in Menlo Park ›
Bistro Vida reviews from OpenTable diners
63 reviews since July 31, 2014
- Ambiance4.1Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (45)fit for foodies (20)great for outdoor dining (20)great for lunch (13)romantic (12)special occasion (12)good for groups (10)great for brunch (8)late-night find (5)hot spot (4)kid-friendly (3)notable wine list (3)vibrant bar scene (2)Show More
- It was really just okay.DianeT1VIPDined on 11/25/2014Fish and chips was good. Lobster soup was watery. Salad was kind of boring.
- Good food, but sporadic serviceErikaVIPDined on 11/21/2014Friday night at 7:30pm, the place was packed. The owner is always nice giving waiting customers a glass of wine. We sat down, and we can tell, everyone is busy. Unfortunately, we were missing something at the table from the beginning to the end---tiny fork for escargot, chicken on the ceasser salad, the plate was taken when my husband was still eating, the pen for the bill. Each time, it took some time to get what we needed. The food was delicious, 3 different glass of wine were not very good….Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Bistro VidaYaelbDined on 11/21/2014As always, good food, and excellent service. Just one issue, it was very noisy and quite warm, but the food came in a timely manner, even though the place was packed.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- My Review of Bistro VidaMeFoodieDined on 11/13/2014My wife and I went to Bistro Vida for dinner because a friend of hers told her they had very good hamburgers. As my wife preferred a steak sandwich, I called them before going there to ask about the kind of steak they use in their steak sandwich. I was told that it is a small filet. When we got there, the menu said that it is a hangar steak, contradicting what I was told. I ordered the $14 hamburger and my wife ordered the $15.50 steak sandwich. They were both served with French fried potatoes and some other items. I didn't like my hamburger for the following reasons: 1) the meat was of average quality and I've had far better quality hamburgers elsewhere for a lower price; 2) There was mayonnaise on the hamburger that I wasn't told about in advance, didn't think was appropriate, and diminished the overall taste; 3) It was extremely messy and kept falling apart, making it very difficult to eat. My wife thought her steak sandwich was alright, but nothing special.
- Birthday Bistro!OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 11/7/2014A group of friends enjoy Bistro Vida for birthday get togethers! Excellent Salade Nicoise and a delightful chocolate cake for dessert! Friendly, thoughtful service. Parking on the street in front or a lot in the back. They are always happy to see us!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fresh, well-prepared foodbonvivantDined on 11/5/2014I ordered the baby spinach salad as a starter and the seafood ceviche appetizer as my main course. The salad was large and delicious. The ceviche was amazing! Packed with fresh seafood, clean, bright flavors and served with tortilla chips. It was quiet on the Thursday evening we were there. I imagine it fills up on Fridays and Saturdays. The service was great. They were there "just enough" to make sure we had everything we needed without being intrusive on our conversations. Friendly servers. Our food and drinks were served quickly. We will be back again!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Never disapointsOpenTable Diner Since 2002Dined on 10/29/2014The service is sometimes a little slow, but the food is always completely satisfying.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- out2dinnerout2dinnerDined on 10/18/2014This is a wonderful neighborhood restaurant and the food is delicious. The salmon was grilled perfectly and the vegetables were the best I've had in ages -- not the usual steamed cauliflower, carrots and beans. The service was also excellent.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Lovely meal outdoorsOpenTable Diner Since 2006VIPDined on 10/12/2014The coq au vin the excellent as was the poulet roti. The accompanying mashed potatoes and vegetables were also very good. It was a beautiful evening and sitting outside was perfect. Also it was not noisy outdoors (can't say about dining inside). It was a very typical French bistro with a very French menu. This is one to return to for sure.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Spectacular menu and abianceSageVIPDined on 10/3/2014Had a delightful lunch with dear friends. We were delighted with the wine selections and blown away by the menu. All of our dishes were amazing. Deliciously prepared, beautifully presented and served with perfection and detail. The french onion soup is one of the best I have ever had. The salad Nicoise was simply scrumptious. The owner stopped by to say hello. They were so gracious to make changes to the recipes to compensate for one of our friends who is vegan. The four of us could not have had a better time. We even moved outside after our lunch to enjoy a lovely espresso. We intended to be there for an hour but stayed for two. Go and enjoy!Special Features:
- Solid French Bistro Fare and Vibemldmld21Dined on 9/26/2014Really enjoyed lunch at this local bistro on Santa Cruz Ave. Food was tasty, although slice of quiche was a little small. Accompanying salad was good. Service was solid and sitting on the sidewalk was relaxing. Good lunch spot for casual meetings.Special Features:
- EDWARDVIPDined on 9/19/2014Bistro Vida is a very good restaurant for both food and service when in downtown Menlo Park. The menu is bit limited, but our wait staff was very willing to make substitutions and changes to satisfy our parties desires. We enjoyed the Friday evening beef short ribs special as well as the steak frites after a tasty house salad. Prices are reasonable making Bistro a good choice for lunch or dinner.Special Features:
- Favorite neighborhood spot!BrittanieVIPDined on 9/14/2014We frequent Bistro Vida and are never disappointed by the food, ambiance and service. The lounge type music is an extra bonus as we love Buddha Bar! The patio is lovely - they have umbrellas to shade from the sun and sometimes we even bring our small dog w/ us when we dine outdoors. A favorite spot for brunch, etc. in the neighborhood! Cheers! BrittanieSpecial Features:
- Always wonderful!MarissAngelDined on 9/9/2014I've never had a meal at Bistro Vida that I didn't enjoy. Their servers are warm and friendly and we LOVE heading to this wonderful neighbourhood gem for food.Special Features:
- Not notableLarryDined on 9/8/2014With Left Bank just down the street, i thought Bistro Vida would -have- to be pretty good to keep up. So I was disappointed that it was just OK. I had the cassoulet, and my friend had the Niçoise salad. Both were middling. having had the Niçoise a few times at Left Bank, I was not impressed by the Bistro Vida version. Cassoulet as well, not badly done but nothing special. I really wanted it to be a notch above Left Bank. For dessert we had the cheese plate, but instead of the four cheeses on the menu they had only one trio, kind of "take it or leave it" cheese plate. Nothing special again. There's nothing drawing me back to this place, sorry to say, especially as Left Bank is right down the street.
- french bistro comfort food2savorDined on 9/5/2014Always enjoy Bistro Vida. We got there early @ 6pm with reservation and sat among the few tables outside in front, so it was quieter than indoors. The wine we ordered was not available so our server provided a wonderful substitute (which was priced higher but was provided at the same price as what we ordered). Coquilles St Jacque (spelling?) had ample scallops and was served with risotto...french style comfort food, delicieux! I had put a note "candle in dessert---birthday" in the open table reservation and it arrived without prompting and complimentary. We only wish owner Ali had been there that night as he is so pleasant to chat with. Merci beaucoup Vida Bistro!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wanted to like this placeFrenchafficionadoDined on 8/29/2014We were looking for the French bistro experience. The decor and outside tables beckoned. Although our service was very good and the menu looked appealing, the quality of the food suffered. We ordered the steak frites and the salade Nicoise. The steak was fatty and flavorless, even with the herbed butter. It could have used a touch of garlic or something to flavor it. The tuna in the salad similarly had the funny taste of stale fish. The profiteroles and tarte tatin came in generous portions and were the best part of the meal.
- A Gem Among GemsMarciaDined on 8/17/2014Bistro 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.Special Features:
- Mussel manialxticsVIPDined on 8/16/2014Excellent 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!I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great French BistroNewOrleanianWannabeDined on 8/15/2014My 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!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Bad food, challenging service (1.5)NameVIPDined on 8/15/2014Given 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.
- Tasty french cuisinetommyDined on 8/13/2014We 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 .Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- My favorite restaurant!LauralovesfoodDined on 8/12/2014Bistro Vida is our favorite restaurant. We love the owner, the wait staff, the welcoming ambiance and the food! Everything on the menu is good.Special Features:
- A pleasant lunch time choiceOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 8/8/20141st 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...Special Features:
- Good, not greatWontBeBackVIPDined on 8/5/2014Nice 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- jodleeDined on 8/2/2014Good 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 MPSpecial Features:
- Oui will be back againGordozoDined on 7/31/2014Vida 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 .Special Features:
- Relaxed French BistroPeninsulaFoodieDined on 7/30/2014Order the special or "Bistro Recommends" and the spinach salad -- you'll be very happy. Relaxed relable neighborhood gem.Special Features:
- The following 913 reviews are from the Bistro Vida reviews archive.
- OVER RATEDwelove2eatwellDined on 7/29/2014At 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
- Bastille Day Celebration rocks!radcliffeDined on 7/14/2014Came 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).Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- French ExperiencedinelocallyDined on 7/14/2014We 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Bastille Daydifficlt2pleaseDined on 7/14/2014Kudos 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.Special Features:
- Delicious!JulesDined on 7/12/2014The 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.Special Features:
- Great dining experience outdoorsscrambledeggsDined on 6/24/2014Had a wonderful dinner with friends on the sidewalk! Great food and service!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Consistent, reliable, goodAuggiesmanVIPDined on 6/13/2014We're lucky to have a place like this in Menlo. Consistently good food, service, and management. Oh, and drinks.Special Features:
- JerryswifeVIPDined on 6/11/2014Food 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.
- Below Average - Last Time HeremikeDined on 6/6/2014We 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.
- I'm not in France anymore!BuckVIPDined on 5/31/2014The 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.Special Features:
- really good....ohmysmomVIPDined on 5/26/2014bistro vida must be good. i had lunch there on monday and am returning for dinner of friday.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- genuine French bistrotdinefeverDined on 5/23/2014I 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 ParkSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.