Bistro Vida
Bistro Vida

Bistro Vida

  • 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 6504621686

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.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Bistro Vida reviews from OpenTable diners
55 reviews since May 25, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4
    Service3.8
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
80% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (34)great for outdoor dining (23)great for lunch (14)romantic (12)fit for foodies (11)great for brunch (10)good for groups (8)special occasion (7)kid-friendly (5)late-night find (3)hot spot (3)vibrant bar scene (2)notable wine list (1)scenic view (1)Show More
  • EDWARDVIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Bistro 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:
    great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Favorite neighborhood spot!
    BrittanieVIP
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    We 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! Brittanie
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always wonderful!
    MarissAngel
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    I'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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not notable
    Larry
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    With 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • french bistro comfort food
    2savor
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Always 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:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wanted to like this place
    Frenchafficionado
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    We 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A Gem Among Gems
    Marcia
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Mussel mania
    lxticsVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    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!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great French Bistro
    NewOrleanianWannabe
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bad food, challenging service (1.5)
    NameVIP
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Tasty french cuisine
    tommy
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    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 .
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My favorite restaurant!
    Lauralovesfood
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A pleasant lunch time choice
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    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...
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good, not great
    WontBeBackVIP
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • jodlee
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Oui will be back again
    Gordozo
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    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 .
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Relaxed French Bistro
    PeninsulaFoodie
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Order the special or "Bistro Recommends" and the spinach salad -- you'll be very happy. Relaxed relable neighborhood gem.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OVER RATED
    welove2eatwell
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    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
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bastille Day Celebration rocks!
    radcliffe
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    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).
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • French Experience
    dinelocally
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bastille Day
    difficlt2please
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious!
    Jules
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Consistent, reliable, good
    AuggiesmanVIP
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    We're lucky to have a place like this in Menlo. Consistently good food, service, and management. Oh, and drinks.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • JerryswifeVIP
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Below Average - Last Time Here
    mike
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I'm not in France anymore!
    BuckVIP
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • really good....
    ohmysmomVIP
    Dined on 5/26/2014
    bistro vida must be good. i had lunch there on monday and am returning for dinner of friday.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 28 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 25, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.2
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 902 reviews are from the Bistro Vida reviews archive.
  • genuine French bistrot
    dinefever
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bistro
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mediocre at best
    Like2dineoutVIP
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing french bistro
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • European style ambiance
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Always excellent food and that European flare that can lend itself to couples or family.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tough steak.
    honeydojack
    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.
    Special Features:
    Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Aren't you supposed to enjoy
    MistyVIP
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    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?
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Truly a authentic bistro
    diego
    Dined on 4/22/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food Well Done
    AuggiesmanVIP
    Dined on 4/15/2014
    I've never been disappointed here, the food is consistently very good.
    Special Features:
    Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • C'est bon
    OpenTable Diner Since 2000
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • nice find
    AhParis
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loved this place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 4/7/2014
    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 .
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.