California Cafe - Los Gatos
50 University Avenue
Los Gatos, CA 95030Neighborhood:
CalifornianPrice: $30 and under
California Cafe - Los Gatos
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.californiacafe.com/losgatos/index.php
- Phone: 4083548118x
- Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday: 11:30am – 5:00pm
Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm – 10:30pm
Sunday: 5:00pm – 9:30pm
Saturday: 11:30am - 3:00pm
Sunday: 10:30am - 3:00pm
Every Day 3:00pm-6:00pm *3-4-5 Happy Hour not available Holidays
- Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Seafood, Californian, Contemporary American
- Executive Chef: Leo Lopez
- Dress Code: Business Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Delivery, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
A word from California Cafe - Los Gatos
Located in charming Old Town, California Cafe offers an escape from the outside world. We feed the senses - California style - through our chef-driven creations, engaging service, and relaxing ambiance.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Brunch
California Cafe - Los Gatos - Best Restaurants in Los Gatos ›
California Cafe - Los Gatos reviews from OpenTable diners
117 reviews since May 21, 2014
- Ambiance4.1Noise LevelModerate
great for outdoor dining (51)great for lunch (51)special occasion (38)neighborhood gem (37)good for groups (35)great for brunch (30)scenic view (30)fit for foodies (22)romantic (13)kid-friendly (13)late-night find (3)hot spot (3)notable wine list (3)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
- Wishing for a better experienceOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 9/14/2014Waiter poured red wine all over the table as he missed the wine glass and slated wine on my mom and daughter and then tried to wipe of the glass and pour again. I had to tell him to get a new glass. We were there for my mom's birthday celebration lunch, after the wine spill I was hoping they would do the right thing and remove the glass of wine from our bill, no luck. This was my third try there, will not be going back. It's such a shame cause the venue is so nice and food is good. All three times there has been wait staff issues, wish management was more put together with running the restaurant.Special Features:
- Dark and slow serviceDisappointedDined on 9/13/2014Party of 2. We had a table outside next to the doors so there was too much foot traffic for a romantic dinner (1) Bad location for a table for 2. Service staff would walk right behind me btwn my chair and the wall of the restaurant sometimes bumping into my chair - very distracting (2) The service staff shouldn't be trying to squeeze through. We waited an extended period of time for our main entrees. Even a table of 4 received their food before we did and we arrived at least 20 minutes earlier. The waiter didn't even come back to apologize or explain. (3) At least give us an update on service. We sat outside but it was at least 45 minutes until they turned the lights on after it was already too dark to see the food.Special Features:
- Very GoodCalibriVIPDined on 9/10/2014Since moving from Los Gatos, I hadn't been to the California Cafe in a while, but I wasn't disappointed. The food was very good and the waiter - outstanding!Special Features:
- bobcathDined on 9/5/2014California Cafe has been our go-to for a upscale lunch for a number of years, we have taken numerous friends with us and always felt that it was a "safe" place for a great lunch experience. Friday was a huge let down, I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAS HAPPENED, new owners/new chief/new wait staff? The calamari appetizer was very rubbery like it had been cooked earlier then reheated (the cost was deducted from our bill by the manager) three of us had the the caesar salad, the lettuce was extremely wilted, as if it had been left out for hours, two of us had the Korean steak and there was not a knife supplied to cut it with, we had to flag down a waiter to get a knife, my wife ask for additional ice water and the waiter brought a glass of ice. No return!
- Restaurant OK, parking terriblemeeeDined on 9/5/2014Once we finally got to the restaurant, the service was good. It was a warm day, and even though I had made a reservation, the only seating we could get was outside in the sun. We took it as we had had a terrible time finding a parking place. Go early, rather than late for lunch. I think parking is easier before 11:30. There should have been more umbrellas for outside dining--the owner said he had more on order. We both had the beet salads--Baby Beet & Arugula gold beets, spiced pecans, goat cheese, honey sherry vinaigrette on the menu. There was a large quantity of arugula compared to the small beets, a little bit of goat cheese, and no pecans. It may be a while before I return.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 9/2/2014We had trios for lunch selection and it was more than enough food to eat for lunch but the food quality was average not too impressive but outdoor seating was very pleasant!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A long time FavoriteSandygmtDined on 8/31/2014The California Cafe is a favorite brunch stop for my husband and I. The view of the hills is a lovely compliment to the wonderful. You have choices that range from classics like eggs, bacon, & home style potatoes to wonderful creations like the Short Rib Benedict. Brunch is always accompanied by great Bloody Marys, Mimosas and steaming hot coffee. California Cafe is a must not miss brunch spot!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- gogoDined on 8/30/20142 1/2 to eat and the restaurant was NOT full. Food was bland, not fit for foodies, didn't have the wine we wanted on their menu, and service was SLOW. Bread was the best part of the meal. Tool bad… this COULD be a neighborhood gem.
- AppetizersluvlosgatosDined on 8/30/2014I really liked the pot sticker appetizer and the salmon entree was really good.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- New chef doing greatPanebVIPDined on 8/29/2014Our server mentioned a new chef and some changes to the menu. We gave them a try and were glad we did. More complex salads, nicely done vegetables, delicious sorbets & gelatos. Looking forward to more innovations.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nothing SpecialOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 8/27/2014I found California Cafe to be just ok. Nothing objectionable, but certainly not great. The Gazpacho was actually quite good, but nothing else was better than fair.
- It was loud. Not enough veggiesWants1veggiesVIPDined on 8/26/2014Very loud could not here each other talk. Not enough veggies in my salad. Wanted out door seating non availableSpecial Features:
- Great food, great atmosphereWorldTravelerDined on 8/23/2014We have eaten at the California café many times over the years and it has become our "go to" restaurant when we entertain out-of-town visitors. I had the braised short ribs and they were so tender that I didn't need a knife to cut them. The service was impeccable and our waiter (who was from Lebanon) was the consummate advisor on our menu choices. I rarely recommend places to dine because, over time, they tend to devolve and to disappoint. California Café is the exception to my rule.Special Features:
- DisappointingElizabethDined on 8/19/2014I planned ahead and chose California Cafe for lunch. Although the ambience was beautiful, the overall experience was disappointing. They were not ready for us at our reservation time, though the restaurant was only half full. We were seated at a window booth (as requested) in the back next to a group of women with very young children who were squealing, running around and playing under the various tables. Our waitress seemed surprised to see us (after 20 minutes). She forgot about the bread. "Oops." Lunch took 45 minutes to arrive after we ordered. My veggie salad was bland yet soaked with dressing and not edible. (Chiptole? Never tasted it) Such a shame.
- CarlaDined on 8/18/2014Experience would have been great except that the restaurant was crowded and the service was notably slower because of that.Special Features:
- Anniversary DinnerluvlosgatosDined on 8/16/2014We decided to spend our 43rd anniversary at the California Cafe. The food was delicious, the atosphere was relaxing , and we had a booth that faced the beautiful sycamore trees. And we received an anniversary dessert of gelato! Everything was just great!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Sunday BrunchBrunchBunchDined on 8/10/2014It's wonderful to sit outside on the patio @ CA Cafe for brunch/lunch in the summer. It's always busy and while the service is good, it can be a little slow.But who's in a hurry on a beautiful Sunday morning? The menu is fairly varied, so there should be something for everyone, including vegetarians. While I didn't imbibe this time, their mimosas or bloody mary's are always an added treat. Overall a most enjoyable experience. It's also always fun to poke around in the shops @ Old Town after your meal.Special Features:
- California Cafe Reviewsmores64Dined on 8/7/2014We went to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday. I give high marks for almost everything at this restaurant. The atmosphere and ambience was terrific. The view from our table was also very good and last but not least the service was also outstanding. We both ordered fish, he ordered the salmon and I ordered the swordfish. They were both good but a bit dry and the peas that came with the salmon tasted more like frozen peas than fresh ones. The dessert of caramel bread pudding was delicious though. Overall, I would recommend this restaurant but next time I would order something other than fish.Special Features:
- Great sendoff for our guestPatrishDined on 7/29/2014On our way from Santa Cruz to San Jose airport, we wanted to treat our guest to one last good meal, and we weren't disappointed. I wanted something healthy and found a kale and mushroom ravioli plate, and our guest had the bbq chicken. It was all good! Only four stars because we had trouble finding some shade on the patio and there were a few meat-eating bees, but how can the restaurant be blamed for not controlling Mother Nature? I would happily dine there again.Special Features:
- outstanding lunchfoodloverVIPDined on 7/25/2014we had my birthday lunch here. this is the first time as a couple. our prior visits were with groups. we totally enjoyued ourselfs. had a table by the window. super service from Chad. not extrem;y crowded for a friday lunch.Special Features:
- Always enjoyablenjfoodieVIPDined on 7/21/2014Have only been here for lunch, enjoy it very much. The service is knowledgeable and attentive. Particularly like the menu option "Trio", which allows you to select one item from three different groups so you can try several items. It was too windy for us to sit outside this time but there is patio dining and good people watching available. And inside you still get a nice view out the back window. The food is good and I always find lunch here relaxing and fun.Special Features:
- pizza2goDined on 7/20/2014the restaurant was not busy so it was fairly quiet. Our server (Pierce) was very attentive. Our dining experience was good considering one of guests told us that their dining experience when they were there last was not that good. We mostly likely will go back for another meal to experience the service when the restaurant is busy...then we'll know if it's indeed worth dining at California Cafe!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A wonderful treat for any VIP :)PriscillaDined on 7/19/2014This restaurant is absolutely amazing! The atmosphere is beyond extraordinary; it's quiet, beautifully decorated, and relaxing. The food is to die for. Personally I had the short rib which was mouthwateringly delicious. Also the dinner bread and accompanying dipping sauce had so much flavor, however it's only for those that like a lot of garlic which I do. Overall this place is the perfect choice to take the VIP in your life to.Special Features:
- Great place for lunchLookingForAGoodLunchDined on 7/15/2014The menu is a mix of common and uncommon dishes. I had a lovely chicken-kale salad with apricots. The outside seating makes for a pleasant, quiet lunch. The service was great.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Appears to have gone downhillDrewthoughtsDined on 7/12/2014We had not been here in awhile. I remember the menu being much more exciting. The fact that we were able to get a 6:45pm reservation on a Sat night at 6:25pm should have told me something was not great. The food for the price was not worth it. The portion of Tuna for $30 was small and the side the small bed of oyster mushrooms the fish was rest upon. Boring and small. The gazpacho was bland and the texture was slurpee like. The biggest positive were the kid's meals. The kids got these bento boxes with a nice selection. These were impressive and well priced. If you have kids and want an adult like dinner then this may be a good location for you. They had a nice drink selection, but my blackberry mojito was not enjoyable.Special Features:
- Saturday Night at the CafeluvlosgatosDined on 7/12/2014California Cafe is one of our favorite restaurants to dine at. It has a great ambiance to it and the food is very delicious. I had the salmon and it was wonderful! It is so relaxing to sit and look out the window at the beautiful sycamore trees.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always Wonderful!streborjcDined on 7/12/2014Lunched with a friend on Saturday. Beautiful restaurant, great food and good service.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- sallyDined on 7/10/2014Everybody, such as Mgr. waiter, busboy were very accommodating to us. That is one of the reasons we like coming to Calif. Cafe. Our granddaughter and her husband were visiting us from So. Carolina, and we thought they would enjoy Calif. Cafe, too. Thank you, Sally and TonySpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good Feedback Followup2SeniorsDined on 7/8/2014The manager visited the table. We mentioned that Beer Batter for the Fish & Chips was a bit soggy. First, he offered another cooked fish & chips but we said the current one was okay without the batter. He then decided not to charge us for the meal. He sent the cook out to see the dish and to apologize for letting the dish get out of the kitchen. The recognition of our feedback was acknowledged and corrective action was taken. Kudos to the restaurant management and staff.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great time at California CafelocalguyDined on 7/7/2014I took a group totaling 5 people and had a great time. Staff were very accommodating to seating my group, 2 of whom were very tall and large. We were given a large table near the window and then received attentive but not overbearing service. Food was very good and final bill reasonable. It was reasonable busy but the noise level was not intrusive.Special Features:
- Eating in the treesladywolfDined on 7/2/2014Had a very enjoyable lunch with friends. Looking out the window, it looked as if we were right up there in the trees. Good food, good choices.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- TiredDobar1Dined on 6/29/2014Been eating here for years and it's sad to see it deteriorate. Slow service. Bland food. Loud. Needs to re-invent itself. Not coming back until that happens.Special Features:
- they have lost their wayggLGfoodVIPDined on 6/29/2014I hesitantly went to California Cafe upon the assistance of 2 family members. I had heard that it has lost its way and that the food quality was very poor. The rumors were true. I will never go back. We went for brunch and sat on the deck. The deck is perfect, great views, the weather was outstanding. It was not very crowded but the service was incredibly slow. Not sure why it took so long to cook eggs. The eggs benedict was very mediiocre. The home fry potatoes were terrible (how do you ruin home fries)? The bacon was soggy and mostly fat. The lobster sandwich was bad. My daughter had 3 bites of her Salmon Benedict and stopped eating. She said it was terrible. I'm sorry to see this restaurant fall so far. It used to be goodSpecial Features:
- DisappointedDisappointedDined on 6/28/2014We have been at California Cafe in past and have been very pleased. Saturday was a terrible disappointment for our visitors/party of 8. The food was mediocre at best: burnt pizza, mushy swordfish, bland bolognese and dry meatloaf. In addition, the service was unacceptable. Fortunately,one of our party knew another member of the wait staff and called on him frequently to assist ( which he did most graciously) as our waiter was MIA most of the evening. He never brought bread; we had to hail him down for each necessity. The reservation staff was very helpful, pleasant . Friends told us they were disappointed in the quality of the food. Because of our previous positive experiences, we elected to gather there. We will not be returning.Special Features:
- Great Restaurant; No ParkingNVSVRDined on 6/27/2014I truly enjoyed lunch at the California Cafe -- once I found a place to park after 30 minutes of searching within six or seven blocks! The food was excellent and the service was very good. The noise level was moderate and we were able to conduct business without any major issues. Although we were at the table for two hours or more (1:00 PM Lunch), we never were made to feel uncomfortable and the staff keep checking to see if we needed anything. I would use the spot again, but I wouldn't try it on Friday unless I had someone drop me off; parking is simply too hard to find during high demand periods in Los Gatos.Special Features:
- Waste of time and money!AryaVIPDined on 6/26/2014Our food was cold as our server did not bring the food out in a timely manner! My $30 plate tasted worse than any fast food joint $1 item! Oyster mushroom side looked and tasted like fake plastic food kids play with! Will never go there again! Save your money and treat yourself to other nearby restaurants in downtown Los Gatos!
- A dining delightGlennDined on 6/23/2014Recently ate at California Cafe celebrating a birthday. The service was outstanding, food excellent, and found the restraint relatively quiet where one could carry-on a conversation.Special Features:
- Perfect date nightCaliBardDined on 6/22/2014First dates are a crazy thing. They can go wrong quickly but finding the right restaurant, with a mix of wonderful, tasty, impressive food & quiet atmosphere was the easy part. The warm, welcoming CA Cafe was the perfect frame for a successful first date. After sharing an unremarkable Caesar salad, we enjoyed a beautifully presented calamari-tender and flavorful and presented in a paper-thin filo dough nest-recommended! We shared two entrees- the Capellini & Prawns, a savory dish of well cooked pasta with nice sized prawns swimming in a lovely pesto sauce & Lamb Bolognese, simple, and a bit heavy on chili flake and light on basil. The Capellini was definitely the favorite. The server was friendly and attentive. Overall a GREAT date!Special Features:
- Disappointing BrunchMarshgirl1VIPDined on 6/21/2014I have been wanting to try brunch here for a long time. I ordered brioche French toast that was supposed to come with apple sausage, strawberries, chocolate chips, & strawberry purée. I asked the waiter to leave off the chocolate chips as they were too sweet. When he brought me the brioche French toast it was completely plain. He brought a little cup of strawberry purée on the side. There were no sliced strawberries & no apple sausage, but there was 2 pieces of barely cooked bacon on the plate. I asked where the apple sausage was and he said the menu was wrong, but he would get me some. He never did. The French toast was very dry and over cooked. I was very disappointed. I expected better food. At least my husband liked his shrimp pasta.Special Features:
- VecinoDined on 6/15/2014Average! Bartender in a hurry. Did not listen for my entire order. Second one handed me a bill for 1st drink before it was even made by the 1st one. "Here's your hat what's your hurry?"Special Features: