LAVANDA Restaurant and Wine Bar
185 University Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301Neighborhood:
MediterraneanPrice: $30 and under
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!
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.Continued
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LAVANDA Restaurant and Wine Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
- Been there many times andluv2dine2VIPDined on 9/8/2012Been 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.
- Asparagus and zucchini appetizersMikelVIPDined on 9/7/2012Asparagus 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.
- Great for business lunches!OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 9/6/2012This 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:
- The Coatian specials wereOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 9/1/2012The 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:
- We are sorry Lavanda is closing.OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIPDined on 9/1/2012We 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:
- Excellent service. All ourOpenTable Diner Since 2010VIPDined on 8/30/2012Excellent 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:
- SO SAD!happycamperVIPDined on 8/27/2012I 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:
- The waitress messed up theOpenTable Diner Since 2002Dined on 8/25/2012The 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.
- First I have to say that theJLFergVIPDined on 8/19/2012First 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:
- Lavanda never disappoints!AmethystDined on 8/18/2012Lavanda 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:
- Lavanda is one of the bestOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 8/18/2012Lavanda 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:
- Very dissapointed in our dinner,OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 8/7/2012Very dissapointed in our dinner, especially after having had excellent lunches at the restuarant. Food was uninspired and very heavy.
- The food was excellent andOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 8/7/2012The food was excellent and light. We will definitely go back.Special Features:
- Excellent Venue for Business LunchDottyDined on 8/6/2012The 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:
- I've been to LAVANDA a fewOpenTable Diner Since 2002VIPDined on 8/5/2012I'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:
- Great place but needs to keekRickyDined on 8/4/2012Great place but needs to keek on line menus and wine list up to date.Special Features:
- This restaurant is one offlickaVIPDined on 8/3/2012This 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:
- The food was ordinary withoutoftenouttastingVIPDined on 8/3/2012The 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.
- Croatian Food Delicately BlendedGordonVIPDined on 7/26/2012First 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.
- Don't miss this spot thatDevErnLAHVIPDined on 7/21/2012Don'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:
- Won't go backOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 7/21/2012I 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.
- Don't Miss OutEdieGVIPDined on 7/16/2012Rumor 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:
- Great for Small PlatesJonTDined on 6/30/2012We 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:
- Our recent Sunday dinner encounterOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 6/24/2012Our 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?
- The food was good but nothingOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 6/16/2012The 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.
- The food was fine; everythingOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 6/6/2012The 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.
- great service and very attentiveOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 6/6/2012great service and very attentive greeting on arrival.Special Features:
- I went to Lavanda with highOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 6/2/2012I 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.
- Best kept "secret" in Palo AltoOpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 6/1/2012Always, 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:
- Introduces diners to CroationDrofnatsVIPDined on 5/30/2012Introduces diners to Croation food as well as its well known Mediterranean menu. Very delectable food.Special Features:
- Nice menu but the preparationSFbadgerDined on 5/28/2012Nice 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.
- Surprisingly good food. MuchAnyaDined on 5/13/2012Surprisingly good food. Much better than what I had there a couple of years ago. I will definitely come back.Special Features:
- I've been there before. TheOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 5/13/2012I'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.
- Went for mother's day brunch.OpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 5/13/2012Went for mother's day brunch. The food was great and service was wonderful. We lingered over our meal and were never rushed.Special Features:
- Vegetarian Osso Bucco!MaryamVIPDined on 5/4/2012I 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:
- I came for the first timeOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 4/26/2012I came for the first time with 2 friends and we had a great time, loved the food and wine list.Special Features:
- JW from ChicagoJeffWDined on 4/18/2012The food, service and ambiance were terrific. Noise level made it a bit difficult to hear conversation, but it is a lively atmosphere.Special Features:
- My husband had the CroatiandinerdeliteVIPDined on 4/17/2012My 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:
- We enjoyed the freindly staffOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 4/16/2012We 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:
- Great food & outstanding serviceRozet50VIPDined on 4/16/2012Dinner 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: