California Cafe - Palo Alto
700 Welch Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1502Neighborhood:
CalifornianPrice: $30 and under
California Cafe - Palo Alto
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.californiacafe.com/paloalto/
- Phone: 6503252233
- Hours of Operation:
Monday - Saturday 4:00pm-9:30pm
Sunday 4:00pm- 9:00pm
Saturday & Sunday 11:00am-3:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Californian
- Executive Chef: Todd Yamanaka
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Catering: From large corporate affairs to intimate social gatherings, California Cafe offers a variety of options including private and semi-private rooms, patio seating, as well as the opportunity to buyout the entire restaurant.
We use only the finest seasonal ingredients, and are happy to work with you on creating a custom menu. Our gracious and knowledgeable staff is committed to fulfilling your expectations so that your event will reflect your unique styles and tastes.
- Private Party Facilities: From large corporate affairs to intimate social gatherings, California Cafe offers a variety of options including private and semi-private rooms, patio seating, as well as the opportunity to buy out the entire restaurant.
- Private Party Contact: Nadine Goduci 8774593832
A word from California Cafe - Palo Alto
Located in the charming and historic Stanford Barn, Palo Alto’s California Cafe exists to provide an escape from the outside world. We feed the senses through chef-driven creations, engaging service and relaxing ambiance. Our multicultural offerings feature seasonal ingredients with broad appeal. We are passionate about the guest experience, providing service that is friendly and knowledgeable. Our relaxing environment serves as a California-style oasis.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
California Cafe - Palo Alto reviews from OpenTable diners
- Good FoodBrianVIPDined on 12/24/2013The longtime Palo Alto restaurant manages to put out good and reliable food. Service staff is young and enthusiastic although they can dissapear for extended periods of time.Special Features:
- Quiet, excellent staff - attentiveOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 12/21/2013Quiet, excellent staff - attentive but not rushed, food was well presented and served. Will go back again.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good but slightly disappointingKathleenDined on 12/20/2013We decided to eat here at the last minute on Friday and we were surprised that there were plenty of tables available. We had the Organic Greens and the Spinach salads which were delicious, the Mahi Mahi, Roasted Vegetable Napolean, and the Scallops. They were out of scallops so I ordered the burger (well done.) Salads were delivered in a timely manner, however the entrees took a long time. When they did arrive the Vegetable Napolean was cold, the Mahi Mahi was fine but the burger was under cooked. Waitress never returned so a bus-person helped. (it wasn't medium well, but the flavor was good!) Then we waited for a check. A bus-person brought it to us and apologized for being so short staffed. The restaurant was far from full.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Tasty food, loud dining roomDianeDined on 12/18/2013I went to lunch here with 8 coworkers for a holiday meal. We were seated in the middle of the main dining room. It was really loud in there. The menu has a lot of different choices for both carnivores and vegetarians. Prices are very reasonable for the quality of the food. I had a trio for $15.50 - my selections were macaroni and cheese, sauteed chard and fish tacos. The standout was the chard. It was cooked in a very fragrant, almost nutty tasting oil with lots of garlic. Everyone at my table took a bite and enjoyed it. The fish tacos were very tasty as well. The macaroni was ok. I would return, but ask for a table in the corner where it's not so noisy.Special Features:
- I have been a customer ofcherylDined on 12/17/2013I have been a customer of the Cafe for over 15yrs now, &up to recently been happy with the food &service. 2 eeks ago I had lunch on the patio with a friend &our service was terrible. Our waitress never came to our table, we had to stop another waitress to get service. & t went down hill from there. She wasn;'t pleasant, barely brought the lunch, never came back to see if everything was alright or ask if we would like another drink, dessert or coffee. & she dropped our check off & walked away. On 12/17, our waiter Fabio, did bascically the the same thing,. It took him forever to come back to the table & tke our order for lunch, then to come back &take our drink orders. It took forever to get our lunch, & he also never came back to
- tad bit more attention neededfoodiegoodieDined on 12/15/2013I had reserved the day for a special occasion, my daughter's birthday. It was a rare occasion for three families to be together for this occasion. However, although the host had told me that if I brought a birthday cake, attention would be given to cutting and serving it, someone forgot and as a result, my birthday daughter had to leave before we had the cake. If I had not mentioned it to the waiter, we would have forgotten the cake. It was quite expensive $40! and we did not get to serve it nor eat it for the occasion.Special Features:
- Great for Group FunctionsPanebVIPDined on 12/14/2013We had a group of 10 for a celebration while family was here who live abroad. The guest list kept changing and they were very accommodating about expanding the table. Things were promptly taken care by the staff (they amazingly kept up on all the drink orders!) and dishes were cleared quickly so you didn't have plates in front of you. Our waiter Andrew was really amazing. Food was excellent as always; we were able to order from the menu unlike the last time (when our party was much larger). Everyone enjoyed themselves. Having a semi-private room was nice, so people could visitSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Ordinarily I enjoy anythingOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 12/13/2013Ordinarily I enjoy anything on their menu but this time the Caesar was drenched in dressing. It was really unappealing. In all the years I've been eating here, both lunches and dinners, I've never been disappointed. My lunch companion did enjoy her pasta and the dessert was excellent. I'd be careful next time and ask for the dressing on the side.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Hard to get a server firstchristinaDined on 12/12/2013I made a reservation through OpenTable so it wasn't a problem to be led to my reserved seat. However, I had to wait for over 15 minutes to have a server to take my order for a drink. He arrived only after I had to wave to any server passing by me. Even then I had to wait. It wasn't that crazily busy but I don't understand why server wasn't sent to me after I was seated. As usual, grilled mushroom sandwitch - my choice all the time - and butternut squash soup were good.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Ladies' lunchjkchristmaslunchDined on 12/12/2013This was the perfect place for a ladies' Christmas lunch. The restaurant gave us a large table where we could put out gifts for exchange. Service was great as was the food. We did not feel rushed.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Lovely holiday luncheon choiceOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 12/9/2013A perfect spot for a holiday celebration with girlfriends. We were shown to a nice booth and were felt most welcomed by our servers. I appreciated that they had some dishes with two sizes and my smaller sized chicken penne was the perfect size and absolutely delicious. We did a wine flight which was fun and beautifully presented. An added bonus is that it's so close to Nordstrom for a chance to walk off a few calories!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- disappointedOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 12/5/2013Have been to California Cafe many many times -- this visit was not typical. With a reservation, we had to wait almost 45 min. for a table -- we had reserved a booth. Then the service was horrible. No one seemed to know we were there. After 30 min. we had to ask hostess for water and then had to ask her for menus (both times the waitress was a no-show). Then, we waited another 45 min. for our salads. We arrived at 12:15 for our reservation, got out after 3:00. We were not on our server's radar at all even though we were seated right in the middle of the room.
- Geat for dining near StanfordLocalVIPDined on 11/29/2013With the parking issues at Stanford, it is great to be able to walk to a nice place for visiting guests at Stanford or special outings. They have gluten free options which is great since two out of seven people in our party were gluten sensitive. Server very attentive.
- Thanksgiving dinnerFoodAddictDined on 11/28/2013Buffet set up in small, drear, not very inviting back room. Presentation of dishes not very attractive. Lots of salads, all basically somewhat similar, but tasty. Turkey was delicious, sausage dressing disappointing--just big chunks of bread and small pcs of spicy sausage--not much flavor. . Disappointed in sweet potatoes mixed with apple sauce- but not a traditional Thanksgiving sweet potato dish. Dining room could have been decorated with a lot more holiday cheer. Sitting in a booth with a big piece of black tape covering a tear in the upholstery--maybe time for a renovation! Desserts weren't very appetizing either--pumpkin pie overcooked and too heavy with the pie spices, bread pudding dry and should have been served with a sauce.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Thanksgiving somewhat out of sortsavercampVIPDined on 11/28/2013Our first experience with a thanksgiving buffet. At least half the appetizers were not available when we went in the first time. The main courses were available but some of the side dishes were missing or empty. The food was freshly prepared and tasted good. However the overall impression was not very professional. We would much prefer ordering from the menu.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Dissappointing Thanksgiving BuffetMTMTDined on 11/28/2013The 2013 Thanksgiving brunch was disappointing. There was an 11-3 buffet and a 4-8 buffet. At 4:15pm as we started the buffet we found they had not replenished many items from the morning. The buffet tables did not have enough serving utensils and sauces were in the wrong place for their course. Some food had been sitting since the morning buffet. They had run out of several items from the morning and we were told there was no more (oysters on the half shell, the persimmon salad, and the mashed potatoes.) One of the main reasons we had picked the buffet was for the oysters. For $38, we ended up getting a meal that was nothing special at all. Our server was fabulous and did everything he possibly could to make up happy.Special Features:
- thanksgiving!twokittyknitterDined on 11/28/2013A special treat to have Thanksgiving dinner at California Cafe in Palo Alto. this was our second year and we find it a delightful experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Special Place for HolidaysOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 11/28/2013First timers at the California Café. Really enjoyed the Thanksgiving buffet -- food was excellent and quite a variety to choose from. Only complaint (and it's a minor one) is that there wasn't anything that was chocolate! The family has to have its chocolate fix!! Wait staff was very helpful and observant; very cozy atmosphere. Will recommend to friends and come back in the near future. Thanks!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Disappointing Thanksgiving DinnerVGDinerDined on 11/28/2013This is the third time I've eaten at California Cafe for Thanksgiving. The two previous times were outstanding experiences; this time, the food offerings and the presentation were significantly lacking. The quality of the food itself was quite good; the turkey was perfectly seasoned and moist. However, there were no mashed potatoes at all, and there was an apple/yam dish instead of a traditional yam casserole. I appreciate California Nouvelle on most days, but not on Thanksgiving. The quantity of the food was also limited; I appreciate the difficulty in keeping a great deal of food fresh and hot, but even the cold salads seemed skimpy. I want my Thanksgiving Feast to feel like a cornucopia of deliciousness, and this completely missed.I would recommend this to a friend.
- ThanksgivingRobertDined on 11/28/2013Not sure if my assessment is typical as it was a Thanksgiving buffet meal. Food was delicious. Appreciated the nice touch of having a kid-friendly table of mac and cheese, mini corn dogs that they loved. Very nice variety of foods offered.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Dunner better than lunchRandiDined on 11/26/2013Have been here many times for dinner and love it. This was my first time for lunch and the menu wasn't all that interestingI would recommend this to a friend.
- Consistently satisfyingGrayHairedDinerDined on 11/24/2013Open on Sundays, convenient parking, spacious, good food and attentive service. All the ingredients that make a restaurant a fine choice for dining with friends or adult family members.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food and low keyOpenTable Diner Since 2002VIPDined on 11/24/2013I have been here for brunch twice in the last 2 months. Well thought out menu with enough selections without being overwhelming. Food is fresh, just be sure to ask that they hold the salad dressing. The small baked goods are a nice touch instead of bread, but they run out early. We came at 1 pm on a Sunday and the pastries were gone.Special Features:
- Not very impressedAngelaCDined on 11/22/2013Nothing horrtible, but just OK all the way around.
- DisappointinganoymousVIPDined on 11/20/2013I really wanted to rate the establishment higher, the food was very good. The bus boy was great, however the waiter was not on his game that evening. He did not inform us that the entree came with kale and allowed us to order a side of spinach, we would have appreciated the heads up and then not have ordered that particular side. When we brought it to his attention he said he thought we "would have read it". I get the customer is not always right, but really was that comment necessary? Also, after our dinner entrees were cleared we waited and waited and still waited, thinking he would come back and offer coffee and dessert, but instead he offered us the bill. Not the experience I expected at this place. That was very disappointing.
- Redecorate!BaileyDined on 11/17/2013While California Cafe has been a mainstay near the Stanford Campus, it obviously needs a little money spent on refurbishing. The banquette we sat in had "leather" seats that were totally ripped on both sides. One hole had been covered with duct tape, the one on my side was just an open hole with stuffing popping out. Not a good first impression! Food was fine, except they had run out of french toast (how does that happen on a Sunday at noon?). Aside from that, no complaints about the food but the place looked as though it will be closing and they simply aren't spending money to keep it fresh.Special Features:
- This was a wonderful surprise.OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 11/16/2013This was a wonderful surprise. I was visiting my son at Stanford and we looked up nearby restaurants on urban spoon. California Café was highly recommended so we gave it a try. It was perfect! The ambiance was wonderful and relaxing, the service was fast and friendly, and the food was very fresh and tasted delicious. The menu was varied, as well. I will definitely come back to this restaurant everytime we are in town.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- it took 13 minutes for theOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 11/14/2013it took 13 minutes for the waiter to take our order, then 30 minutes for our food to be cooked. then when the food arrived it was overcooked
- Brilliant for groups!OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 11/9/2013We did an evening meal with 7 adults and 5 kids (all 6 and under), it was perfect. They put us in a side room, the kids could run around, we were able to enjoy a really nice meal the kids got to choose their bento boxes - with health things (finally a place with out fried chicken nuggets!) All the parents were really happy with the options for their children and felt it was healthy and the children were excited about the presentation - so they ate it!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nice Solid & DependableOpenTable Diner Since 2008VIPDined on 11/8/2013Had' N't been here for a while, but now will return more often. A new cheff is in charge, and he's making changes for the better. We had a great server, and the whole evening was wonderful. Moderatelly priced, too. Highly recommend for couples night out dining!Special Features:
- Stanford FavoriteMartyDined on 11/6/2013Love the food it is always so fresh and flavorful. Excellent service. It is Stanford University's best places for lunch.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- WonderulabcdeDined on 11/2/2013Super place for groups! Ours met there from all over the Bay area, and ended up with two more than our reservation stated. They accomodated us by moving us to a larger room, and served all meals all at the same time. Terrific evening for all.Special Features:
- Excellent service. Most ofjamieVIPDined on 10/27/2013Excellent service. Most of the food was tasty and well prepared. The salmon was perfect, but the accompaniment was bland.Special Features:
- Service was very slow. TheEastBayDinerDined on 10/19/2013Service was very slow. The first tipoff was when we were seated and no one came to wait on our table for a long time. Someone finally came to take our order. 5 minutes later, another waiter came an apologized for the wait and said he'd be taking our order. Not a good sign when they couldn't keep track of who was serving which table and who had already been taken care of. It took at least half and hour for our order to arrive. After that, no one ever came back to check on us. We noticed we were not the only ones that this was happening to. As for the atmosphere, the restaurant felt dated and not at all upscale. The lighting was uneven throughout the restaurant. We sat under bright lights. The two tables next to us sat in the dark.Special Features:
- Pass on this CA CafeFoodie1VIPDined on 10/14/2013The service was truly awful. The waitstaff was awful!
- For the familyParentsDined on 10/12/2013A nice private room for family time! Very attentive staff.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- solid Stanford faithfultertiarydogVIPDined on 10/9/2013Great restaurant and the service was very good. The mussels were great and so was the romaine salad. The salmon was really great; although a small portion. I would suggest that the restaurant pair the salmon with a different salad as it was wilted and didn't pair well with the salmon. Overall pretty good.Special Features:
- We were visiting a patientShel10groupDined on 9/13/2013We were visiting a patient at Stanford Hospital and took time to get a bite to eat. Very friendly staff, good food and good service.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not as good as in the pastOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 9/10/2013The same food wasn't quite a tasty as it used to be. Service not as crisp and thoughtful. Disappointing, as it was always a great place for lunch.Special Features:
- Poor ServiceOpenTable Diner Since 2006VIPDined on 9/7/2013We took friends out for a pre-football game dinner, which was also supposed to be a celebration for a birthday. I called to confirm the birthday information the day of the reservation. The last 15 minutes of the meal, our waitress was nowhere to be found, and then it was too late to get the promised birthday dessert. It's hard to complain when something "free" isn't provided, but the service was still very poor. There weren't a lot of people dining at that hour, so it's hard to understand why.I would recommend this to a friend.