MacArthur Park - Palo Alto
MacArthur Park - Palo Alto

MacArthur Park - Palo Alto

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.macarthurparkpaloalto.com/
  • Phone: 6503219990x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Monday - Sunday 5:00pm - 9:00pm

    Happy Hour: Monday - Friday: 4:30pm- 7:00pm

  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American
  • Executive Chef: Faz Poursohi
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Delivery, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Off-site catering is available for groups any size ranging from simple drop offs to fully staffed events. We cater corporate and personal events at just about any location. Call the Banquets line for menus and more details.
  • Entertainment: Happy Hour Menu from 4:00 to 6:30 Monday through Friday.
  • Special Events: Wedding receptions and larger events are hosted at MacArthur Park which can easily hold 200+ guest. We host everything from a young childs birthday party to large corporate dinners. "We are pros at special events

Getting there

  • Cross Street: El Camino; adjacent to Palo Alto Train Station
  • Public Transit: Located right next to the Cal Train Station and Bus Stop.
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: $5 at dinner (self parking is available at all times at the back of the restaurant)
A word from MacArthur Park - Palo Alto
Palo Alto neighborhood favorite MacArthur Park relaunched in April 2008 with the original chef and owner. Faz Poursohi (of Faz Restaurants) and Restaurateur Chuck Frank (formerly with Spectrum Foods, owner of 16 upscale eateries) are at the helm and have revitalized this historic landmark designed by Julia Morgan in 1918. The revitalized menu features Faz' award-winning Oakwood Smoked California BBQ Baby Back Ribs, mesquite grilled meats and fresh fish. Special features include signature cocktails, the MacArthur Park famous potato skins and onion strings.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
MacArthur Park - Palo Alto reviews from OpenTable diners
59 reviews since May 19, 2014
Overall Rating3.6
  • Food3.6
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
67% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (26)neighborhood gem (21)special occasion (17)romantic (13)great for lunch (9)great for brunch (8)great for outdoor dining (8)notable wine list (8)fit for foodies (8)kid-friendly (7)vibrant bar scene (6)scenic view (3)hot spot (1)Show More
  • Lovely relaxing evenin
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    The staff were exceptionally patient with our group of 6 as we spent a lot of time talking to one another and probably spent 2 1/2 hours there. I had been warned it was noisy and expensive but neither turned out to be true. We had onion strings, calamari and seafood platter appetizers with excellent martinis. Calamari fried just right. For mains our group had prawns and prime rib and all were delicately cooked. Wine list was very nice and corkage fee very reasonable for a bottle we brought. Ambiance of the Julia Morgan building was comfortable but elegant. We just had a wonderful night and the highlight were the staff, who catered to us in every way.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Would not recommend.
    luv2dine
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    BBQ sauce on the ribs and chicken were extremely tangy. Ribs were overcooked. Coleslaw was disgusting (tasted only like horseradish). I shared the 1/2 slab of ribs and 1/2 chicken with one other person. The entree was served on one plate, yet they still charged me a petty $2 split plate fee. Food was bad, especially for the price. Would not go back. Would not recommend.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful Every Time
    HJMPDR
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    We take a trip to Palo Alto every two years and MacArthur Park is always our choice for dinner our first night. It is a lovely place with a comfortable atmosphere. The food is always delicious and the service is superb! Once again, Patty was our server and she took EXCELLENT care of us. We highly recommend this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Saturday Night?
    Kevin
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Neat building. Good service. Boring food. Kind of quiet for a Saturday night. Good, nothing great though.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Forbidden from self-parking in an empty lot. Ridiculous. Asked for rare New York steak. It arrived well done and leathery. My wife's chicken was similarly tough.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great BBQ in a Beautiful Setting
    frequentDinerVIP
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    The ribs were outstanding, and a half slab with the sides is plenty. (We had an appetizer and salad course before.) The server provided a sample of the beer she recommended, and I liked it. What a nice touch! This restaurant is tucked away, so I'd bet many people don't know about it. It's their loss. The interior is magnificent, and the bar is not intrusive on the diners. The menu is large which we have sampled at banquets. On those occasions everything was delightful, but we cannot resist the ribs.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Terrific food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Everything was excellent. The service was professional and unobtrusive
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • EDWARDVIP
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    The "Family BBQ" dinner at MacArthur Park was very tasty and enjoyed by all, as there were plentiful servings of Caesar salad, ribs, chicken, sausage, and fries. The included mud pie desert was a nice way to end the meal. The restaurant was not crowded and the service was attentive. The Family BBQ as well as the Friday/Sunday night prime rib special are competitively priced and a good reason to dine a MacPark.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Service...Average Food
    Hopk7791
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    We had visited MacArthur Park numerous times in the past in San Francisco and had always enjoyed the experience. Overall experience was mediocre and the food was just average. Everyone has an off night, so we will at least give them another opportunity in the future.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Same as it was
    LionCatSquirrel
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    We hadn't been here in quite a long time, but it is just the same. The cobb salad is excellent, the best I've had anywhere. The prime rib was tasty, but came medium instead of medium rare. The French onion soup was gooey and delicious. We split a couple of desserts - the mud pie was good and went quickly, but what they called an apple tart was just cooked apples on puff pastry - disappointing. They could try changing up their menu a bit, it's the same thing every time and their specials were not enticing. They also could have a few more wines by the glass available. I'd go back again, but not very often.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Seems to be struggling
    Chuck
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    This was once a favorite place in a historic Julia Morgan building. Stopped going after some mediocre meals, but decided to give it another chance. Half the large dining room was screened off and empty (a bad sign). Service was confused, with two of our three entrees delivered before the salad course arrived. They offered to take them back and "keep them warm", but we opted to keep them and eat the salad later. The third entree arrived 10-15 minutes later. The breaded catfish was excellent, but the once-iconic baby back ribs were mediocre at best and the prime rib was so-so. We won't be going back again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Date night
    Mjbreview
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    Ribs were good...meaty and flavorful....not fall off the bone ...they could have been a bit more tender Wine list is extensive Pork chop was supposed to be med-rare, but when it came, it was cooked too long and dry Overall: romantic, quiet palace with great wine. Food: so-so
    Special Features:
    romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointment!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Arranged a date night with my husband and we were looking forward to our dining at MacArthur Park. Wrong choice! Dinner was overcooked and flavorless. The bar ran out of the rum my husband was drinking. What top notch restaurant runs out of liquor? The only good think was our server and the "Tower Of Onion Rings" we had, yes sad..Onion Rings! ;(
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Better than expected
    localguy
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    Yelp had some negative reviews, but the three of us all thought the food was quite good. Only problem was it took awhile to get the service started, even though it was not crowded at all. Server was very good and friendly however.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • MoviegoerVIP
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    Service was aliitle slower than expected but the service was at a very good level.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Kimo
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    The manager is from Montreal and the server is half Japanese (Shimizu) and the help was funny. The owner of Mac Park was sitting on the table next to us who my wife got to meet. My wife worked for American Resturant Group a while back and the owner owned Il Fornio Restaurants. Great food, nice to hear each other talk without shouting and great atmosphere, we feel very comfortable dinning at Mac Park.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food but not great service
    AngelaC
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    The food is excellent. We ordered a variety of things on the menu, and everything was tasty. However, the service was intermittent, especially considering there were only 8 tables seated and at least 2 wait people. Not sure if it was a kitchen, bar, or wait person problem that caused the delays. All of the staff were friendly and pleasant, just not very efficient. Not sure if we will go back again, even with the great menu.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely experience
    alimc
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    My husband and I had a very pleasant dining experience here last week. The food was delicious and our server delightful. I had the large prawns with rice and my husband had the very delicious ribs, which were in a very tasty marinade. The building is such a historic gem it is a pleasure to dine here.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just okay
    eileenmoVIP
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    Beautiful restaurant, but food only fair. I was dissapointed in the food. I had grilled shrimp, overcooked and under-seasoned. Very unremarkable. I have to say the appetizer was better. My dining mates food rated a bit better, steak, and sea bass. On an upside, the service was excellent, and the atmosphere is wonderful.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Avoid this place!
    SeasonedTraveler
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    We used to love this restaurant but it has gone way downhill! The food was awful, service non-existent and atmosphere barely okay. The fake flowers were an indication of their new standards.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fathers Day brunch
    Biff
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    A friend recommended MacArthur park for a fathers day brunch. The food was fantastic and the service was excellent, especially Laura, our server. I would definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Decent and convenient
    OutofTowner
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    If you are staying near Stanford it is a convenient place to have a good meal. Nothing special about the food. The service was good and staff was friendly.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding prime rib special
    JoelVIP
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    And very delicious apple salad. Wonderful large cobb salad.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    House made potato chips like rubber. ribs not fully cook and non attentive service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice Experience as always
    JohnK
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    We often dine here, its a neighborhood restaurant with a fairly diverse menu and generally they can accomodate Gluten Free options.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Barely adequate
    Reasonable
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    Apparently my wife and I were wearing our invisibility cloaks as we had repeatedly signal to get attention from the staff.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Food, Questionable Plating
    SUfoodie
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    I found the food at the restaurant to be really very good. We started with the combo platter # 2 for an appetizer and were greeted by a plate that looked terrible. It had lettuce all over everything, the individual food items overlapping and mixing together, and an obscene amount of ginger, in addition to random pieces of lettuce and carrot al over everything. This aside, the Ahi tuna was delicious, the smoked salmon was great, and the jumbo prawns were phenomenal (even though they came with gratuitous amounts of cocktail sauce). Our appetizers, the salmon and fillet mignon were cooked perfectly and looked much better than the appetizer plate! Service was good and the environment was nice, despite being near the train!
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food, service, etc.
    erkiVIP
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    We had a great meal and brought our 3 year-old son with us. He had a nice looking kids meal and we had a incredibly tasty prime rib dinner. The service was friendly and attentive. Would definitely go again and agin.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Find
    Pintzie
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    Nice open restaurant décor - great place for families of students attending Stanford to enjoy a meal together. Not inexpensive but not over the top. Ribs were good but wish I had the short ribs instead - just the wrong choice on my part. Delicious onion strings. My friend raved about the Prime Rib having great flavor. My friend's grandson practically licked his plate clean. Service was fantastic and so patient as we were waiting for the grandson to arrive and he was late - no pressure to order which was nice.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 30 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 19, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.8
    • Food3.7
    • Ambiance4
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 879 reviews are from the MacArthur Park - Palo Alto reviews archive.
  • Very Nice
    Datenighter
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Went for date night and the food and service was great! The guests however were a lot older. The Place was a little slow for a Saturday night. If you are looking for good food, good service and good prices this is the place to go. If you are looking to people watch and take in some stimulation then I would skip it.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hidden Gem
    Natalie
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    I love the fine restaurants in Palo Alto and couldn't believe I didn't know about this one! It has a perfect location off the beaten path, just steps from the cal train station. The food was tasty and our mud pie for dessert was amazing! Our server, Jace was great...personable as well as knowledgeable. We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    We went for Mother's Day and didn't really like the buffet. I would have preferred to order off the menu. I had 1 plate of food; not worth the $45 per person amount. My mother-in-law probably ate $8 to $10 worth of food so it really wasn't worth it for us. The buffet should be $25 to $30 max and maybe there should be options for people who don't want to do the buffet.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Really bad
    Eventplanner
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    I've never written a negative review before but this experience was so disappointing that it needs to be shared. Horrible food and presentation. There was a dead cheap house plant as the center piece to our dining table I mean seriously dead brown dried up and wilted. The food was so bad I couldn't even eat it. They need to close down.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A/C COOLS BUFFET
    jak7
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    The Mother's Day evening buffet was unfortunately placed so an A/C vent blew cold air across three food stations, chilling food despite fires under the serving trays. We've experienced this problem before at MacArthur Park. There were otherwise many choices to satisfy both vegans and meat-eaters. Seating and service were timely. Ambiance was lovely; the restaurant occupies a historic Julia Morgan building that once was the reception center for Camp Fremont during WW I, and was moved to the present location from Menlo Park.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mother's Day Buffet Dinner
    RDB27
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    After many years, we visited MacArthur Park and had their Mother's Day buffet dinner. At $45/person, not including beverages, it could have been better than just "Good." The roast beef, carved to order, had a large vein of fat running through it. The rolls were very "chewy" and not tasteful. The rib and chicken barbecue was tasteful, as was the asparagus. However lack of an assortment of fresh vegetables was disappointing. The Caesar salad was also disappointing. Desserts were varied and tasty. It is possible that their regular dinner would be better, but we will not take that chance in the future. There are many very god restaurants in Palo Alto and surrounding cities competing.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Still Excellent!
    lckt13
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    I went to their sister rest. in SF for decades until it closed. Been twice to this one in PA and like it even more. Great ambiance, valet parking, lovely historical building and interior, excellent service and outstanding cuisine. The wine list could use some work offering some lower priced bottles and glasses.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2003
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    Beef ribs were way too salty. Steak was just OK. Vegetables were very good, at least.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Bad experience at MacArthur Park
    Foodie27VIP
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    I don't think I will ever go to MacArthur Park again. I took 7 of my staff members there for Teacher Appreciation Week. The food was horrible, Taco Bell would have been superior! The service at first was adequate, but then became unacceptable. I had to raise my hand to get our server's attention and that did not even work towards the end. However, she remembered to bring the bill!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The Charm is Gone
    downtowndinerVIP
    Dined on 5/1/2014
    MacArthur Park used to be a vibrant and upscale place, but not anymore. We went on a Thursday evening which is typically a busy night for Palo Alto restaurants; this place had only two other tables filled and it looked like a vacant warehouse. It smelled very musty and everything (floors, columns, etc.) was in bad need of refurbishing. They charged for valet parking and the lot was basically empty. Too bad because with proper ownership this could be a gem but the party is over.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Lovely meal
    SassyCat
    Dined on 4/29/2014
    This gem of a restaurant is a little off the beaten path, so consequently it is not as thunderously packed and loud and many restaurants in Palo Alto, so we enjoyed a lovely dinner with friends in front of the fireplace, and we did not have to shout to be heard. We felt as if we were in a lovely guest house. The historic building is very interesting and provides a gracious ambience. The food was very good, from my vegetarian choice to the seafood dishes of my companions. They also have a very creditable wine list. This dining experience is not unique for Palo Alto, and I'm glad we still have this choice. Highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet