Block 34
Block 34

Block 34

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.block34.com/
  • Phone: 6504343403x
  • Hours of Operation:



    Happy Hour/Raw Bar - 4-6pm
    Lunch - Monday - Friday 11:30am - 2pm
    Dinner 5pm - 9:45 pm
    Bar - Open till 10pm. Late night menu coming soon
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service, American, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: American
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: We can cater anything from breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktail parties......Also we can bring a full bar to any event.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: El Camino Real
  • Public Transit: Cal Train is around the corner & buses run up/down El Camino Real
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Parking lot behind restaurant and street parking.
A word from Block 34
Block 34 is a kitchen and bar in downtown San Mateo showcasing one of the newest, exciting food and cocktail menus on the Peninsula. Featuring meticulously crafted dishes, all of our food and drinks are prepared with seasonal ingredients from local purveyors, for a modern and unique take on contemporary American cuisine.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
  • Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
Block 34 reviews from OpenTable diners
111 reviews since June 27, 2014
Overall Rating3.7
  • Food3.9
    Service3.7
  • Ambiance3.5
    Noise LevelEnergetic
81% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (53)neighborhood gem (48)vibrant bar scene (48)hot spot (41)good for groups (28)notable wine list (18)late-night find (18)kid-friendly (11)special occasion (9)great for lunch (7)romantic (1)Show More
  • Disappointing
    SanMateoFoodieVIP
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    We really want this restaurant to succeed but we have tried it twice for dinner and unfortunately the food is not great. This last time my risotto was greasy and my husband's fish was so fishy tasting that he had to send it back. The owner is really personable, the wine list is great, but the food is just not living up to expectation.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We like it
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Have been there 4 times since they opened and still like it. There are few things that I would change or make sure they don't happen though. The food could be better or at least consistent. When you try something once and love it so much you want to go back and have it again asap, imagine what a disappointment it is when the next time that same item is so different and so mediocre and you are left so underwhelmed.... Would suggest hiring an executive chef! Will be back because we like it there for different reasons as well.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A mediocre eating experience
    PrincessVIP
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    The space is very modern loft/warehouse like and quite attractive to my taste. I had pulled chicken which was different tasting, but finally got use to the flavor. The sandwich was veer sparse in meat. It's served with a very small salad on the plate. My fried had some kind of unapplealing salad. I don't think this limited menus is worth going back to.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, hot spot, kid-friendly, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • LnP832
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    We've never had a bad meal at Block 34, and the service is always great. This was the first time for lunch, and we weren't disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • disappointing
    ladyVIP
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    Just had our 2nd experience at this new restaurant. First time, service was awful but after complaining, it greatly improved and the food was super. Second visit, three weeks later, way too much noise, service still dreadful and this time, even the food was not great. Shame. Had great potential
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • too much noise
    juneVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Too much noise. Food okay. Could not hear people across the table
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nothing spectacular
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    The baked oyster was extremely salty. You have to ask for bread, otherwise they would not serve or offer. The mushroom risotto I had was soaked in oil. Just way too oily. My girlfriend had miso halibut. It was just ok and nothing spectacular. The only dish that we both thought was good was the grilled octopus.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Inconsistent service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Service was very inconsistent. The hostess sat us down without offering us water. She than sat next couple down and offered them water. Waitress was ok, however, never offered us water.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Irregular
    shimnoVIP
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    Two visits-one good one bad. Service at the table was good. At the Bar not so good. Steak Tartare excellent. Ceviche awful. Tuna Tartatre fair.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • What a Shame~!
    CubisinoVIP
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    Here is a restaurant that has some environmental style. The food was also worth noting as some nice flavors - though quite small in size for the price. Where did this place go wrong? SERVICE . . .LACK OF SERVICE! The wait staff was horrible - absolutely no attention to anything - water - food - check - (Had to ask twice sometimes three times for all the above listed) It's sad when you have a restaurant showing a little style in a sea of places that don't make an effort - only to have a waitstaff that has NO BUSINESS being in customer service. That memo was clearly lost! Too bad - I will most likely Not be returning.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Rough
    beepitybeep
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    The interior looked like it was an odd mix between modern decor left from a previous tenant and a "hip" wall covered in reclaimed wood. It was difficult to hear each other of the loud ambient noise. Service was bad: waited for an eternity and then was asked to take our order twice. Food was just mediocre.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food
    CynthVIP
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    Really pleased there's a new restaurant in San Mateo with good food. Went for lunch and sampled several small dishes and main dishes. The crab frisee salad was my favorite. Will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Jeff S
    Jeff
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    There on Wednesday night - at 6:45, place was very crowded, including the bar. They have only been open 10 weeks and you can tell that a few more things are needed - TV around the bar. I think the staff was overwhelmed with the crowd, may be a little understaffed. The staff is still learning table numbers - took food to the wrong table numerous times. Wife ordered the NY Strip - med rare and it came out done. Alex, who owns the place was apologized and they did another - although it took too long as I had already eaten my chicken which was good - but alone. If two people are having dinner and one dinner is wrong, put the other back - keep warm. They went to dinner to eat together. Not the best experience but will go again.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Food and Friendly Service
    JillCVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Though the menu isn't extensive, everything we tried was delicious. We started with the deviled eggs and a half dozen oysters (well, my husband had the oysters and said they were fantastic and really fresh), a bottle of fizzy water, and a cocktail for me. Thumbs up all around. The burger was fantastic, and they went out of their way to accommodate my lactose intolerance. My husband had the halibut and almost licked the plate clean! For dessert, after a chat with the chef (who'd wandered over to our table), we were torn between the carrot cake and the block pie ... then saw they had a sampler with both PLUS the choc block (hazelnut-chocolate yumminess). It was the perfect amount of sweet after a big meal. I highly recommend this new place!
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Time to sort out service issues
    FridayNiteDinnersVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    This is our second time at Block 34. We love the food and we love the owners. And we know this will be a great establishment when the service bugs are sorted out and the noise level is contained. We received our appetizers with good timing, but then waited long enough for our entrees that both the manager and server came by to apologize. The service had challenges the first time we were there too and we chalked it up to getting everyone up to speed but now they have been open long enough that we'd rather see this fixed. Also, you do not want a table in the middle of the restaurant if you want to have any sort of conversation. We were lucky enough to get a table on the side but saw friends in the middle that said the noise was deafening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fabulous!!!
    RachelleC
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Manhattan foodie spot has arrived in SM! A group of us ladies headed out for the evening and felt like we were dining at a NY hotspot. From the homemade cocktails from oldskool bartender Henry... (Highly recommend the 34 Sour) To the Spanish fries (we had to order another round!) From the raw bar: oysters, tuna tartare, ceviche and grilled octopus - all exceptional! Finally bacon beignets with maple pot de creme - to die for! We ordered a sampling of almost everything on the menu and it was all delicious. Service was above and beyond including hands on service by owner Alex who made sure everything was satisfactory. Can't wait to go back! Great new restaurant and foodie find for the whole peninsula!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Block 34 San Mateo
    DogLover
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Great, energetic scene. Appetizers delicious as were the main dishes and desserts. The owners are very personal and fun. The only gripe would be the noise level which they are aware of and plan on fixing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Soooooo YUMMY!!!
    MyReviewForYou
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Hubs said best burger ever...it was the bacon jam that did it. Crab salad was addicting. Dessert sampler was perfect in every way. Oh, and if you love a good margarita...get one, or two, i did!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best new restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    We are so glad to have block 34! Third time dining. Never disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fooled once
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    I went with my son. We decided to share a salad (crab and frisee) a side (brussel sprouts) and a main (hamburger, ordered medium rare). Plus corn chowder and a glass of wine. First came the soup: good corn taste but too sweet, and the salad: almost no crab, way overdressed. No wine, so I reminded the waiter. After a reasonable wait the brussel sprouts (not bad, but lacking flavor) and the burger came. Cooked well done. The patty was so thin they couldn't cook it medium rare. Basically almost a fast food burger - at $17. Still no wine. It came when we’d nearly finished eating so I declined it. We decided not to take our chances on dessert. We’d shared an amount of food suitable for one and with a 15% tip the tab was nearly $60. Enough said.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fun & Open
    FoodexplorerVIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Block 34 is a refreshing replacement to the former restaurant. Bit noisy but a fun local hangout.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • cjro
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Outstanding food. Everything we ordered was perfectly prepared and the desserts are amazing!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Getting better
    PaulVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    The food at this place had gone from good to very, VERY good. Kudos to the kitchen staff. Great wines and now one doesn't seem to have to wait quite so long for the drink orders to arrive at the table. They still need to work out the kinks, though (even after being open 40 days now). The noise level here is more than energetic--it's downright LOUD...to the point where conversation is hopeless. And making a reservation here does not get you a table at the appointed time---very disorganized.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Loudest restaurant ever!
    karenpebble
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    salad soaked in dressing, brussel sprouts hard as a rock. Furniture not comfortable and way too loud. they need carpet on the floor or something.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Loved the place
    Hope
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    OUR party of 5 thouroughly enjoyed celebrating two birthday dinners at Block 34.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just fell short……….
    tryitagainsam
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    We were excited to try the "new kid on the block" but were disappointed in the slow service , cold and noisy atmosphere and food that was so-so but some of our dishes lacked the ingredients listed on the menu (i.e. truffle oil on the risotto) and the fish was dry. We are hoping to try it again once they work out the kinks of a new restaurant as San Mateo can certainly use one!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    The noise level in the restaurant was overwhelming. Don't expect to carry on an intimate conversation. They also need to spread the tables out to provide a little more privacy.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • BeWhatYouClaimToBe
    BeWhatYouClaimToBe
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Promptly seated (w/reservation). We were attending "Funny Girl" at Hillbarn with attendant time limitations. We ordered broadly from the menu with lots of tasting/sharing. Vegan dining companion had the risotto with mushrooms which was well executed. My wife had the halibut which by consensus was the winner of the evening. Waitress recognized us from our initial visit approximately a month ago and service was attentive and efficient (no "hi" I'm Zelda and I'll be your server tonight-no coming to the table every three minutes to see if everything is okay since three minutes ago under the mistaken impression that somehow that makes for good service). It is what it claims to be-worth your patronage.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ahi Poke is awesome
    ckone
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    What impressed me was the Raw Bar. We celebrated my husband birthday at Block 34 and overall food was delicious. However, the ahi poke was the best one I ever had.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not what I expected
    sanmateoa
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    I really wanted to try this place after reading all the great reviews... But it was very disappointing. The place is really plain and the lighting is awful. There is not a nice atmosphere, which I expect from a place where the cheaper entree is $24. I thought the food would justify the lack of decoration and character, but it didn't. We ordered the ceviche, the crab salad and the steak. The ceviche had coconut and didn't have cilantro or lime, so it didn't really taste like ceviche. The salad was bland and boring. The steak was OK but wasn't worth $32. Sadly, we didn't enjoy it and won't be coming back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fun new neighborhood reateraunt
    Luv2dine
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Great service and good food made for a truly enjoyable evenin with friends! Delicious cocktails and apps. Main courses were solid but nothing to rave about. Dessert on the other hand was amazing! Carrot cake was the best I have ever had and the Block pie is not to be missed as a salute to New York's momufuku's crack pie! recommend that the wait staff get a lesson on pairing as our waitress was not able to make a recommendation! Her attentiveness and sweet demeanor more than made up for it!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fun2eatVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Block 34 is outstanding. We have been there twice and each time the food and service were excellent. Great hamburgers, fish, risotto, and the corn soup delicious. Can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not worth the price
    Susan
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Everything we had was ok, but overpriced. I don't mind paying for good food, but I don't like paying too much for fair food. The appetizer fries were $12 and were your typical order of fries with some sauce and cheese over them...really? The salmon was okay, the brussel sprouts the best thing I had. The Book 34 dessert was a laugh and again over priced.....brown sugar in the shape of 34, with powdered sugar on the side. Really??!!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best Restaurant in San Mateo
    RestlessDiningVIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We've eaten here twice and been very impressed both times. Nice to have good cocktails and great food a few blocks from home.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic Feed just a little loud..
    BergieVIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We enjoyed the ginger ceviche….yum. There were four in our party and all very much enjoyed the cocktails, appetizers the bacon beignet dessert is not to be missed. Wish we had enough room for the funnel cake sunday. The owner was walking around greeting guests between his kitchen duties and love you can see them working in the kitchen. The sound level is a little to high, we couldn't hear our own conversation without raised voices (hope they work on that with some better acoustics). We'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good idea poorly executed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    You want places like this to to be great. You hope that they can at least achieve the level they aspire to. But this place is a hopeless muddle. Senior service staff stand around and talk to each other about how the night is going, rather than seeing to it that the service is top notch. The bartenders seem more interested in how they look than the quality or punctuality of the drinks they serve. In other words, there is an attitude problem here from the top down. As for the food, after two visits it is clear that there is no consistency in either the concept or consistency. Let's hope this place learns the humility to improve.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great new San Mateo spot
    KruserVIP
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Shared a birthday dinner at Block 34 on a Wednesday night - place was hopping! Cocktails were great- the made me a killer Manhattan. Food is very good - highlight include the ceviche and the oysters. Entree choices are limited, but they are all very good - the fish and the steak were prepared perfectly. All the deserts are good, but he clear winner is the Block Pie. On the negative side, it can get hot in the venue, and the noise level is really, really high. We found ourselves screaming at each other at one point, which is a drag. But don't let that get in the way - just prepare for it. I look forward to many more meals at Block 34.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Interesting
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    The service was almost bizarre. The waitress stopped by to make suggestions, then left. Very awkward. I had to call her over to take drink orders. Food was good. Noise level very high. No knives on the table and when we asked, one huge knife appeared. we had to ask for more.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • pelzie
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Great place even though they are still "new". Staff is a bit over-friendly which can be annoying at times. But you can tell they are trying. Great food/ lots of new flavors to try. Will be going back. Happy Hour sounds great!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love Block 34
    MLB123
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    It's a great new find. Great energy and atmosphere! Love running into people here. The service is exceptional. Everyone is so friendly, helpful, fast. They all make you feel very important. The cocktails are great and $1 Happy Hour Oysters!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.