3345 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94306Neighborhood:
Tapas / Small PlatesPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.mandarinroots.com/
- Phone: (650) 565-8868
- Hours of Operation:
Tuesday: 11:00am-2:00pm, 5:00pm-9pm
Wednesday: 11:00am-2:00pm, 5:00pm-9pm
Thursday: 11:00am-2:00pm, 5:00pm-10pm
Friday: 11:00am-2:00pm, 5:00pm-10pm
Saturday: 11:00am-2:00pm, 5:00pm-10pm
Sunday: 11:00am-2:00pm, 5:00pm-9pm
Happy Hour: Tues-Sat 5-7pm
Happy Hour will be first come first serve. Reservations cannot be made for happy hour, thank you for understanding.
Bottomless Mimosas Saturday and Sunday 11:00am-2:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Contemporary Asian, Chinese, Tapas / Small Plates
- Executive Chef: Jarvis Yuan
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Delivery, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
A word from Mandarin Roots
Mandarin Roots offers a fresh approach to grandma's traditional Chinese cuisine. Acknowledging our roots, we combine contemporary & classic techniques & ingredients for an updated menu to give you a unique & amazing dining experience.We have many dishes for vegetarians & we are able to make some dishes gluten free upon request. To enhance your meal, we offer a great selection of wines and draft/bottled beers. Our bar also features one of a kind craft cocktails, using fresh juices and premium liquor. We promise that you will be hooked after your first visit! Also come join us for happy hour M-F 5-8 pm, happy hour will be on a first come first serve basis and reservations cannot be made for happy hour tables. Thank you for understanding and we look forward to serving you! See you soon!Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Mandarin Roots - Best Restaurants in Palo Alto ›
Mandarin Roots reviews from OpenTable diners
35 reviews since July 26, 2014
- Ambiance3.9Noise LevelModerate
great for outdoor dining (16)fit for foodies (13)neighborhood gem (13)good for groups (10)romantic (5)special occasion (5)kid-friendly (4)hot spot (3)vibrant bar scene (3)great for lunch (3)notable wine list (3)great for brunch (1)Show More
- I'll be backSaw1444VIPDined on 11/13/2014Great menu, decent wine selection, attentive service, and tasty food. Parking in back is a bit tough and might be an issue at prime time. Our wait person made excellent recommndations, some of which we followed, but everything was great.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Cigarette Smoke RestaurantKevinprinVIPDined on 11/5/2014When we arrived for our early evening reservation we immediately noticed the smell of cigarettes in the dining area. We were seated in the nearly empty dining room. The cigarette odor was so strong that we could not stay. We left without ordering.
- Celebrate wife's birthday2MyWifeDined on 10/31/2014Good food in small portion, service is excellent, quiet and romantic setting. Enjoy the night here.Special Features:
- Salmon was ok but too saltyLuncherDined on 10/16/2014Decent food, can probably find better elsewhere. A little pricey. Parking lot is dangerous -- park on the street, even if you need to walk across El Camino. Cars entering and exiting the parking lot use a single very narrow lane. Don't know what would happen if two cars try to enter/exit at the same time. Someone has to backup. I would assume the person exiting since the entering car would have to back up onto El Camino. I'm surprised it meets code. And if your vehicle is other than a subcompact, you'll have problems with parking, especially if the lot is full. If I return, I will NOT use the parking lot.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 10/11/2014Excellent food but small portions. Very dark - hard to read the menu. Waiter kindly lent us his cell phone with flashlight to use. Served our meal out of sequence so gave us a complimentary dish.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Food was decent but overpricedLuvfoodDined on 10/3/2014We went for dinner and the Peking duck was the highlight, but with a hefty price tag. Food was decent but not memorable; we found the $200 tab for 4 people surprising for what they delivered. That being said, I would consider their happy hour as pricing is reasonable then.Special Features:
- Hunan Garden Rebornmaven88Dined on 9/27/2014Overall, we had a very enjoyable meal at Mandarin Roots. I'd say the update on the old Hunan Garden is more reflective of the times and the clientele seem to agree. They also seem to have a winning formula with their patio area (though it gets quite dark for my eyes) and their Happy Hour drink and tapas menu. If all this seems a bit like Straits/Sino or even nearby Indo, there's a reason for that and it's reflective of demand. Personally, I enjoyed the modernized Chinese-style dishes more than the fusion mix but Palo Alto has crowds that like both. Kudos to Hunan Garden's family for upping the ante and transitioning to the next generation to become Mandarin Roots.Special Features:
- Great outdoor dining spacemvdenizenDined on 9/19/2014This is my second time dining at Mandarin Roots. The restaurant has a wonderful outdoor dining space, perfect for early-evening. I've now tried almost everything on the "Happy Hour" menu, and liked everything except for the sweet potato fritters - they were greasy & all the root vegetables stuck together. Especially notable were the duck rolls (perfect sweet + salty combo) and the scallion pancakes - I can easily eat multiple orders of both. The Taiwanese burger is some of the best I've had, and the bulgogi beef tacos is so good. I've also gotten the "lotus & lillies" vegetarian entree - the lotus root is perfectly cooked and seasoned. The happy hour drinks are $5 and decent. Service is friendly, the food comes out fresh & quickly.Special Features:
- Just as good or better than beforesillyjill9Dined on 9/14/2014I was a bit skeptical when I heard the restaurant was being handed down to the next generation, but my fears were allayed. Their new menu contains many of the same items as Hunan Garden used to serve as well as a bunch of new ones that are really tasty too. I will definitely be back!I would recommend this to a friend.
- Mandarin Roots for Group MeetingSundanceDined on 9/12/2014Meeting my professional friends for a quiet long dinner on their patio was perfect. We had a pleasant meal and did not feel rushed, even though people seemed to be waiting to be seated. I would definitely go back again to try more dishes with a larger group.Special Features:
- Interesting menu itemscanyonkarenDined on 9/6/2014We've been eating at this restaurant for years, since it was China Lion and then Hunan Garden and now Mandarin Roots. We've enjoyed the new menu items. On our latest visit, our favorites were the Peking Duck Spring Rolls, Ahi Tuna Poke, Corn and Seaweed Tempura Fritters, and the Sichuan Green Beans. The special cocktails were great, but seemed to take a long time to arrive. Looking forward to our next visit so we can try some of the other new dishes.Special Features:
- A Happy-Hour Gem4pickygourmetVIPDined on 9/2/2014With a large and varied menu, the happy-hour here is an excellent value. It extends from 5 to 8 pm and all food items are $5 and beers are $3 and cocktails are $5 everything is on ample portions and service is good.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- skywayDined on 8/29/2014Food was slow to come out. Bass too salty and portions in general small. Interior very nice.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food!JanetDined on 8/26/2014Surprisingly good fusion food. We had a good time dining there!Special Features:
- Excellent foodJenniferDined on 8/25/2014All the tapas were so delicious. And we were there early enough to get happy hour prices. Sweet!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great ambience, stellar foodtansaneDined on 8/22/2014Everything was perfect ... Except the parking which is an absolute painSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Ask for the Happy Hour menuECECDined on 8/22/2014The best "small plates" are on the Half-price Happy-Hour menu - which is not provided unless you ask for it, even though we sat outside. The unhealthy options - such as the calamari and pork "quesadilla" - looked especially tasty on the adjacent table, especially after they told me they were half-price. Our chicken lettuce wraps were adequate. The "fried tofu" appetizer was disappointing and not worth the $10 they asked for it - get the ma po tofu, instead. The sides we got - ma po tofu and asparagus - were pretty good; they were both tossed with the same red sauce. The "sichuan" chicken we ordered was the same size as the sides and relatively uneventful - although it was a different red sauce. Serving sizes are modest, not over-sized.
- Another fine mealCarolCVIPDined on 8/22/2014Despite some confused service, the food was its usual delicious self, the prix fixe was right and we brought some soup home for the next day. We're thrilled to add this to our go-to restaurant list....
- Good Place for Business DinnercasualDinerDined on 8/14/2014Upscale, but relaxed, interesting food, not to noisy. Great for a night out with friends or colleaguesSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Loved the food!CarolCVIPDined on 8/14/2014My first visit--lunch with a girlfriend--excellent. Slow weekday, service was fairly quick. The Prix Fixe is an incredible deal--a nice sized entree, rice with a brown option, one eggroll and cup of soup, all prepared well. I had prix fixe orange peel chicken, she had walnut prawns and eggdrop (not prix fixe). Lovely ambience. We'll be coming again, for certain and often! Hubby and I plan to try dinner, since after I talked about it, he is anxious to try it. Highly recommend. Our usual go-to in Sunnyvale has fallen short last 2 visits so this will be a nice change.Special Features:
- Unable to handle high demandOpenTable Diner Since 2009VIPDined on 8/8/2014They have very good food but are currently unable to handle the high demand. We had a reservation for 7:30 pm for a party of 2 and there were 5 other parties also booked at the same time. In addition, there were 3 tables empty right in front of us and the hostess said they are not seating right now because they are waiting for the kitchen to catch up. Given that my wife & I work pretty long hours and don't get to spend a lot of time together, it was huge let down for us to come in and find out that there is a 25-30 mins wait even though we have a confirmed reservation. So we decided to leave and go to another restaurant. I say again, the food is great and I would definitely like to come back but only after they get their act together.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A very good Chinese restaurantoftenouttastingVIPDined on 8/8/2014For dinner my Husband and I ordered mostly appetizers and a rice noodle dish. The food was nicely presented and quite good. My only compliant was that the tuna appetizer was bland. We will return.Special Features:
- The following 4 reviews are from the Mandarin Roots reviews archive.
- Outstanding restaurantEva1Dined on 7/11/2014Manderin roots is the reinvention of Hunan Garden which has been a favorite of ours for years. Jarvis the owners son has taken over and put his signature on the menu. The dishes are fresh, upscale, visually pleasing and delicious. Jarvis ihas added some interesting cocktails and hired a pastry chef so from start to finish it's a fantastic meal. I highly recommend this restaurant I think it will become one of your favorites also.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Simon & his Team ROCK!!!valdrVIPDined on 7/1/2014Personally and Professionally we have been patrons of Mandarin Roots (formerly Hunan Garden) for more than 10+ years. They's put a new twist on some of the traditional dishes and have definitley taken the entire menu to a whole new level. We have used Hunan Garden for the past three years for our Annual Chinese New Year's luncheon at work and I'm so very excited for next year's menu with them as Mandarin Roots. I'd give them 6 stars if I could! ~Rose (Alston & Bird LLP - Silicon Valley)Special Features:
- OpentableDinerVIPDined on 6/22/2014The peking duck with buns was delicious. The side vegetable dishes were good too.Special Features:
- Awesome rebirth of Hunan Garden!PaloAltanVIPDined on 6/20/2014We were regulars at Hunan Garden (what Mandarin roots was before remodeling and renaming) for 15+ years and eagerly waited for the reopening. The father and son team did not disappoint at all! They kept some of their old hits but added an amazing list of tapas style appetizers. Kalbi beef taco was better than those from popular food trucks. Ahi Poke was seasoned perfectly and served with taro chips. Pork belly quesadilla was finger licking delicious! Corn and seaweed tempura is a must try as well. Leave room for dessert. Pineapple upside down cake was very yummy with a hint of coconut. Coffee ice-cream with waffle reminded me of my coffee runs at Blue Bottle. We pigged out but the check came out to be very reasonable.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.