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
83 reviews since May 19, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food4.1
    Service3.7
  • Ambiance3.5
    Noise LevelEnergetic
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (41)neighborhood gem (41)vibrant bar scene (38)hot spot (34)good for groups (22)late-night find (16)notable wine list (14)special occasion (8)kid-friendly (7)great for lunch (3)romantic (1)Show More
  • 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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    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.
  • 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.
  • Block 34
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Friendly greeting. The waiter went beyond necessary to make certain suggestions. He also wiped up both the beer glass and table top after a slight spill, and refilled the glass to the top.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • One Big Bar Not Worth the Chaos
    JohnDoughVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    20 min wait *with* a reservation so we were squeezed in at a tall community table where we were ignored for 15 mins, received no water, drinks, or real 'service' while we waited to be seated at a proper table. Noise level was beyond intolerable. Deafening! Menu was boring and very limited and you better be a big fan of bacon because pretty much every other item comes smothered in it. So passé. Raw bar prices are quite excessive. They have some serious organizing to do if they want to compete with local establishments and survive longer than the opening grace period. Was hoping for something more polished to add to our weekly dine outs but with the under experienced, tacky plaid shirt-wearing staff and basic food, we won't get that here.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful appetizers and drinks
    myrneVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    This is a fun place to go for really interesting appetizers and drinks, you will not need dinner, too much fun trying the small plates and sharing. The dinner menu is small ,but covers everything from hamburgers to steak and salmon. It is new and very friendly.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Needs Work
    kk773
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Tried this new restaurant knowing it just opened and would have some growing pains. Experience was mixed, some good service and some not so good. Were early for our reservation (about 10 minutes) and were told by the hostess that our table was almost ready. Waited in the bar and were greeted by a server who was attentive. After about 20 minutes of waiting, noticed that a couple who arrived after us being seated. Our server saw the same thing and was already on her way to address the issue. Once seated, our new server was not as attentive, long wait to order, wish we could have kept our first server. My steak was perfect, my wife's chicken not so much. A little dry and the brussel sprouts very over done. We'll give a 2nd chance.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • ONCE WAS ENOUGH
    Fleur
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    THE DECOR OF THE RESTAURANT WAS NICE ENOUGH... SORT OF COUNTRY MEETS CITY! THE STAFF WERE PLEASANT. WE COULD SEE THAT A LOT OF THOUGHT WENT INTO PLANNING THE MENU. HOWEVER, WE PREFER TO BE ABLE TO TALK & BE HEARD BY THE PEOPLE SITTING ACROSS THE TABLE. SO IN OTHER WORDS... THE DINING ROOM WAS VERY, VERY NOISY. MAYBE SOME PEOPLE LIKE THAT ESPECIALLY IF THEY HAVE NOTHING TO TALK ABOUT. WE COULDN'T HEAR WHAT OUR FRIENDS WERE SAYING AT THE SAME TABLE. I DON'T THINK WE WILL BE GOING BACK. THE FOOD WAS NOT OUTSTANDING ENOUGH FOR A CURTAIN CALL!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • BebeShark
    BebeSharkVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    This was our first visit...the food was terrific and we will be returning for sure. The menu needs to expand a bit, but the tastes are great. Definitely worth a visit. San Mateo needs more restaurants like this.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • GracieVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Great atmosphere but unfortunately food was inconsistent and overpriced. Appetizer of deviled eggs and spanish fries were good but main dish menu was uninspired somewhat outdated. We asked for bread and got supermarket french bread which was clearly warmed up in microwave, chewy and hard. Overall not worth the money.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great new hip place!
    Lynlooo
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Would definitely go back! Alex and the crew were great. The desserts and food were fantastic. This is a must try restaurant.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Needs consistency
    EmmyBeeVIP
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Small portions for high prices... website states burger to be $15, but is actually $17 in restaurant. Chicken so small, one diner thought it was a game hen. We noticed other tables with the same dishes, but they looked different and portions were larger. Someone needs to check for quality control before it goes out to table. As with any new restaurant, they need to work the kinks out before I go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not yet all trained
    DDiner
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    We had a reservation for a table and the hostess tried to see if would sit at the oyster bar. Wait person was very good. Food was good. Nice to go once in a while. Not a place for business meeting; too noisy. Excellent for casual dining.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent restaurant
    laff1
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    Great menu and great service. Everything we had was wonderful but don't leave without tasting the Crack Pie. I loved my Ginger Martini. It was a little spicy which was delicious. They have great wines on tap too. The owner/chef came around to all the tables to offer suggestions and make sure everyone was enjoying their food. Very friendly place and cool interior.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • 2nd Visit too crowded
    PittVisitorVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    This was our 2nd visit since Block 34 opened in July. It was completely different: very loud (which we expected with the warehouse design), very cramped (we were told that they added more tables) and the service was OK. I had the seared tuna (excellent). The oysters were excellent too. My husband had the risotto and was not happy, too soupy not enough salt. The new configuration of tables for two made the east side of the restaurant extremely cramped. Servers did not know the table numbers and walked around hunting for the right diners. We will be back, it is a great place, but it was overbooked and for the money we spent, I expect more. Needs time to settle.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • good new spot in San mateo
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    The drinks and food were spot on but tables were a little tight best oysters in the area and interesting menu
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very nice 1st experience & vibe
    FunfoodieVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    We dined for 1st time and will be back often We shared items so got to try several things, and next time will bring friends to try out the raw bar. The service was great and the owner/chef, Alex Anderman talked with us about menu recipes, his vision and suggestions (he visited several tables). The only drawback was that the tables are very close and we sat near the kitchen entrance so got 'bumped' constantly by busy waiters.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.