LAVANDA Restaurant and Wine Bar
LAVANDA Restaurant and Wine Bar
Reviews Coming Soon

LAVANDA Restaurant and Wine Bar

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.lavandarestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 6503213514
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm, Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean, Croatian
  • Executive Chef: Bruce K. Schmidt
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Facilities: The restaurant can accommodate large parties. Please call for details.
  • Private Party Contact: Bruce/Luka 6503213514
  • Entertainment: Join us for live jazz on Fridays (7:00 to 10:00) & Saturdays (6:30 to 9:30).
  • Special Events: Lavanda offers a $29 four course prix fixe dinner every Sunday!

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Emerson
  • Public Transit: Two blocks from downtown Palo Alto Caltrain station.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Parking is available in the city lot behind Lavanda off of Emerson.
A word from LAVANDA Restaurant and Wine Bar
Located in the heart of downtown Palo Alto, Lavanda invites all that enjoy fine wine and Mediterranean Italian & Croatian cuisine to come and see this beautifully renovated restaurant. Diners discover simple dishes made with the finest ingredients. Fresh seafood, homemade pastas and an assortment of high-quality poultry and game dishes are easily paired with over 600 wines, including close to 30 selections by the glass. The elegance of the food and wine parallel the charm of Lavanda's open-spaced atmosphere, encouraging a relaxed but exceptional dining experience. Hailed as one of San Francisco Magazine's Top Restaurants in the Bay Area, Lavanda has also been recently awarded Wine Spectator's prestigious Award of Excellence.
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LAVANDA Restaurant and Wine Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
  • Been there many times and
    luv2dine2VIP
    Dined on 9/8/2012
    Been there many times and this was a disappointment this time for me. My wife was satisfied with her meal. I read that someone really like the lentil soup but my experience was it was tasteless and I would not recommend it to anyone. My stuffed cabbage was bland as well.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Asparagus and zucchini appetizers
    MikelVIP
    Dined on 9/7/2012
    Asparagus and zucchini appetizers were good. The schnitzel was beautifully crumbed and cooked, but way too much butter in the marsala sauce. Excellent service, good drinks list, and very pleasant, relaxed atmosphere.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great for business lunches!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/6/2012
    This was my second time at Lavanda. I really like this restaurant - the food was good and the service was good too. It doesn't seem as popular as some of the other restaurants, but I was fine with that as the noise level is perfect for a business lunch. Also, the parking seemed easier than other places in PA as it is closer to the end of University Avenue. I would recommend this restuarant.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The Coatian specials were
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/1/2012
    The Coatian specials were excellent! Tried the stuffed cabbage and lamb and beef sausages which were excellent! Beet salad and bacon wrapped dates also delicious. Our waitress was so attentive and yet not overbearing. Live music in the background added to the special ambiance! We had a lovely meal and experience with friends! Would go back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We are sorry Lavanda is closing.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 9/1/2012
    We are sorry Lavanda is closing. Our evening there was great. The service was outstanding and as always, the food and ambiance were great. We will miss it.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent service. All our
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 8/30/2012
    Excellent service. All our requests such as changing tables, splitting plates, sampling wines, and adjusting orders based on food allergies were graciously accommodated and well executed. Excellent food. Heirloom tomatoes on bruschetta were so delicious we ordered more. Vegetarian entree of eggplant a la osso bucco was inspired and delicious. Will return if back in area.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • SO SAD!
    happycamperVIP
    Dined on 8/27/2012
    I just discovered Lavanda last week and quickly returned this week with friends who also loved it! Delicious food! I am VERY DISAPPOINTED that this excellent restaurant is closing! I'm a foodie and think this restaurant is TOPS! Our service was good this week. Last week Natalie was incredible! She helped with suggestions and her pleasant and bubbly personality made our dinner a wonderful experience. I am so sad Lavanda is closing next month!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The waitress messed up the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002
    Dined on 8/25/2012
    The waitress messed up the wine order. We were seated at a table for dinner. We asked for a bottle of wine. She brought two glasses and poured us two glasses. We mentioned this to her when she came back to our table after our glasses were almost empty. She filled our glasses and charged us for a second glass. I thought that was pretty shoddy. Usually when you order a second glass, you get a second glass, not a refill of your first, when you are ordering by the glass. Only when you order a bottle do you use the same glass.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • First I have to say that the
    JLFergVIP
    Dined on 8/19/2012
    First I have to say that the host/bartender's cologne smelled amazing so it was a pleasant experience when we walked us to our table. On Sunday nights Lavanda has a pris fixe menu, four courses for $29. It was quite a deal. We had homemade okra chips, the choice of salad or lentil soup (great soup). choice of entree (gnocchis, farm-raised salmon, or Croatian lamb and beef sausage), and choice of either baklava or flourless chocolate cake for dessert. Everything was delicious. We'd go back again.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Lavanda never disappoints!
    Amethyst
    Dined on 8/18/2012
    Lavanda never disappoints. We had a fabulous time. My only disappointment was that they ran out of asparagus :( so I couldn't have the appetizer I wanted, but everything else more than made up for it. Our server was amazing. She was helpful, friendly, and attentive but not hovering. I am particularly happy that the menu includes so many exquisite vegetarian options while my family can enjoy their more carnivorous meals.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lavanda is one of the best
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/18/2012
    Lavanda is one of the best restaurants we have ate at in the Bay area. We came for the Croatian menu. The service was great, our water glasses were never empty and a wide selection of wines(the Croatian wine we had was great our waitress even allowed us to have a small taste before purchasing to see if we liked it) The Sarma was cooked perfectly. For desert they had Flourless Chocolate Cake(for us gluten intolerant people) Saturday night they had a live band. Two things I would change: A few more gluten free options(it's nice to have bread/butter with the rest of your party) and the smell of cigarette smoke in the restaurant when people stood by the windows outside.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very dissapointed in our dinner,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/7/2012
    Very dissapointed in our dinner, especially after having had excellent lunches at the restuarant. Food was uninspired and very heavy.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • The food was excellent and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/7/2012
    The food was excellent and light. We will definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Venue for Business Lunch
    Dotty
    Dined on 8/6/2012
    The food is wonderful, interesting, fairly priced, and the wait staff appropriately attentive. This is a nice, quiet spot for a business lunch where you want to be able to hear the conversation!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • I've been to LAVANDA a few
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 8/5/2012
    I've been to LAVANDA a few times and have loved it each time. I'm sad to learn that they are closing soon. If I understand correctly, they are just moving to a nearby location so I will look forward to trying it when they reopen.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great place but needs to keek
    Ricky
    Dined on 8/4/2012
    Great place but needs to keek on line menus and wine list up to date.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This restaurant is one of
    flickaVIP
    Dined on 8/3/2012
    This restaurant is one of the few really good restaurants where guests can carry on a conversation without almost shouting at each other; we have been there with two to four other guests and had a lovely time. And the food really is outstanding!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The food was ordinary without
    oftenouttastingVIP
    Dined on 8/3/2012
    The food was ordinary without much flavor and not well presented. Both my Husband and I were quite disappointed. I was not overwhelmed with the wine by the glass that I tasted either.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Croatian Food Delicately Blended
    GordonVIP
    Dined on 7/26/2012
    First time we had Croatian food, and it was a delectable experience. The combination of 23 different spices would be hard to find in any other cuisine. Try the stuffed cabbage! We were seated immediately, although we arrived late (finding parking in downtown Palo Alto is notoriously difficult even on a week-night.) Service was attentive and the food was presented at the peak temperature.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Don't miss this spot that
    DevErnLAHVIP
    Dined on 7/21/2012
    Don't miss this spot that brings the best Med and Croatian food to University Avenue with wonderful seasonal specialities. Friendly, relaxing, and fine food/wine. Always a nice vibe, superb service, and calm atmosphere without the off-the-chart noise level of close-by spots. They say they will be moving at end of August....but very close by.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Won't go back
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/21/2012
    I had read some good reviews of this restaurant and was eager to try it. But I was terribly disappointed. I am vegan and asked the server if there was any way to prepare a vegan pasta for me. She had nothing original to offer other than pasta with tomato sauce. And then the pasta that she delivered was mushy, almost fit not to eat. I encouraged my fellow diners to try squash blossoms (a delicacy that I have made many times at home) but they came to us smothered with cheese and overpowering the squash blossom itself. Prices were outrageous considering what we ordered. Nope, will never go back again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Don't Miss Out
    EdieGVIP
    Dined on 7/16/2012
    Rumor has it that Lavanda will be moving locations, changing names, and the concept will change as well..... o.k. so that means the exhubrent owners are creating a new restaurant down the street. Although I will be VERY SAD to see Lavanda go, anything Bruce and Lucca do will be great and fun. Don't miss out on your last chance to dine at Lavanda and book your table now! We had a great dinner Monday night and the place was packed!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great for Small Plates
    JonT
    Dined on 6/30/2012
    We went to the early seating with four adults and two kids before an event at Stanford and had delicious small plates. The watermelon, feta, and mint salad was delicious with an acai cocktail or the lavender lemonade (free refills for the kids was bonus!), as were the zucchini blossoms and phyllo pastry. We would have stayed for the Croatian-themed mains if we could have!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Our recent Sunday dinner encounter
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/24/2012
    Our recent Sunday dinner encounter at Lavanda was quite different than the good experience we have had two weeks ago on a Friday evening. Our appetizers arrived luke warm and it took more than an hour before our entrees arrived. A couple of my friends ordered the set menu, selected dessert and were told after our meal that those desserts were not available. Our reservation was at 6pm and the restaurant was not overly crowded. Perhaps, the discreprancies with food and service had to do with the recent change in management?
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The food was good but nothing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 6/16/2012
    The food was good but nothing to write home about. For the prices charged I expected more. The service was great until the end when we really needed prompt service as we had an event to go to, which the server knew about. Overall the experience was fine but I expected more from this category of restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The food was fine; everything
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/6/2012
    The food was fine; everything was fine. However, at these prices, the food should be better or at least more interesting than a good home cook would make. We had a wide selection (asparagus soup - OK, fried calamari with aioli - far too greasy, tapenade - OK, sirloin - OK, rack of lamb - OK, white chocolate cheesecake - very good). The only interesting thing was the use of figs with the lamb - combined with the whole garlic, the effect was surprising (in a good way). The wine suggestion was a good one and the service was good. But $200 for three people should be better than OK.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great service and very attentive
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/6/2012
    great service and very attentive greeting on arrival.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • I went to Lavanda with high
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/2/2012
    I went to Lavanda with high expectations, but left highly disappointed. We were seated in what seemed to be half-way in the bar and half-way in the main dining room, and it took a long time before we received service. I ordered the seafood grill, and I had to send it back twice, first because the tuna was overcooked and second because the new piece of fish was miniscule in comparison to the original piece. My husband ordered the rack of lamb which he ordered medium rare. It was more on the medium side and highly underseasoned.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best kept "secret" in Palo Alto
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 6/1/2012
    Always, always beautfiul food, flavorful and well-presented. Atmosphere is bright and airy yet manages to feel romantic if you're dining as a couple. Dinner is usually accompanied by a live trio or performance of some kind. Service is always very good. I honestly don't know how it's possible I consistently get a reservation for semi-large parties here--I am quite selective about dining out and Lavanda is always pitch-perfect.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Introduces diners to Croation
    DrofnatsVIP
    Dined on 5/30/2012
    Introduces diners to Croation food as well as its well known Mediterranean menu. Very delectable food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice menu but the preparation
    SFbadger
    Dined on 5/28/2012
    Nice menu but the preparation of the dinner was lousy...tons of butter/oil...everything tasted the same on the seafood mixed grill. It had no taste. This place has continued to go down hill from where it was 3-5 years ago. Won't return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Surprisingly good food. Much
    Anya
    Dined on 5/13/2012
    Surprisingly good food. Much better than what I had there a couple of years ago. I will definitely come back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I've been there before. The
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/13/2012
    I've been there before. The food was phenomenal on my first visit. This time, not so much. My steak was overcooked and the other food on the plate was different temperatures. Service is great though.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Went for mother's day brunch.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 5/13/2012
    Went for mother's day brunch. The food was great and service was wonderful. We lingered over our meal and were never rushed.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Vegetarian Osso Bucco!
    MaryamVIP
    Dined on 5/4/2012
    I live in NYC and also rate for Zagat ... This restaurant is a real 10 in the area.... the food, staff, location... just perfect... I am vegetarian and is really hard to find a fancy food for me but I had Lavanda's Vegetarian Osso Bucco that was insanely delicious and so amazingly well done and presented that I wish I could post its picture... Thank you Lavanda! Such a rare find in CA!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I came for the first time
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/26/2012
    I came for the first time with 2 friends and we had a great time, loved the food and wine list.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • JW from Chicago
    JeffW
    Dined on 4/18/2012
    The food, service and ambiance were terrific. Noise level made it a bit difficult to hear conversation, but it is a lively atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • My husband had the Croatian
    dinerdeliteVIP
    Dined on 4/17/2012
    My husband had the Croatian special lunch and enjoyed it very much. I had a steak and potato gratin dish which was also wonderful. It was very pleasant to sit at a table by the window on a sunny day. We will be back.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We enjoyed the freindly staff
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/16/2012
    We enjoyed the freindly staff and great food as this was a return visit while on business in California. I specifically went out of my way to go back to this restaurant as I enjoyed the meal on a prvious trip.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food & outstanding service
    Rozet50VIP
    Dined on 4/16/2012
    Dinner was delicious and the service was even better. If you are able to dine at Lavanda, ask to sit in BJ's section - she's wonderful. Service doesn't get any better. Be sure to try the blood oranges with rosemary, honey, and sea salt - truly yummy! We're looking forward to returning to this outstanding restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate