Portola Kitchen
Portola Kitchen

Portola Kitchen

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://portolakitchen.com/the-kitchen/
  • Phone: 6508516453
  • Hours of Operation:


    Lunch: Daily 11:30am-2:00pm

    Dinner: Su-Th 5:00pm-9:00pm

    Dinner: F-Sa 5:00pm-10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Italian, Californian
  • Executive Chef: Guillaume Bienaime
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 280 Freeway
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Portola Kitchen
Portola Kitchen is a place to gather with family and friends to enjoy the simplicity of rustic Italian-American cooking. Bringing you authentic cuisine, we use locally grown ingredients whenever possible, make our pasta in-house, and give our support to near-by wineries.

We believe the purity of our concept lies in the quality of our ingredients and the simplicity of our dishes. We are dedicated to bringing simple yet refined Italian-American cooking to our neighborhood and look forward to serving you and our community.

Along with our seasonal menu, we offer a full bar and a unique selection of California and Italian wines. Our menus are constantly changing, so the options for Dinner, Lunch and Brunch are endless. We also have a menu just for the kids.

Please join us and enjoy the rustic ambiance of Portola Kitchen. Whether it’s inside or out on our patio, we’d love to see you!
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Portola Kitchen reviews from OpenTable diners
57 reviews since June 26, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food3.8
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
76% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (35)great for outdoor dining (34)great for lunch (20)fit for foodies (15)kid-friendly (10)good for groups (9)great for brunch (9)special occasion (4)romantic (4)hot spot (3)notable wine list (3)vibrant bar scene (3)Show More
  • Good to try once
    LeungVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    I love the neighborhood. The tuna is great but too spicy. It would be helpful if there is a sign showing the name of the restaurant to drivers on the road.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Neighborhood Gem!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    We live in Menlo park and typically eat out in Palo Alto or Menlo. This may be our new local favorite restaurant. The pasta dish pumpkin and pear agnolotti was a taste sensation. I am still thinking about how good it was two days later! Salad with ahi, mango, avacado and radish was also outstanding. Place has high ceilings, great service and a friendly approachable vibe. We are going to become regulars.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pleasant, as always
    WontBeBackVIP
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Good food; excellent service. Only complaint was the Pesca Crudo appetizer (not sure I have the right name). The dressing on this was very spicy--too much for the mild flavor of the fish. I suspect this was a cooking error, rather than intentional; it was that hot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good neighborhood restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/8/2014
    Good restaurant, but parking in Ladera can be difficult at lunch hour.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Third time's not a charm
    MominatorVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    We really wanted to like this place. But after three visits, a few month's apart, our experience - with food and service - has not improved.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • SebastianVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Very good food, very interesting menu with lots of variety, very knowledgeable waitress. Only complaint was the overly eager busboys who wanted to clear dishes when we were obviously still eating, and were very noisy when they did clear the dishes.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • great service
    Happy
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Our waiter was friendly and attentive. Our kale salad was delicious and refreshing.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Keep bringing new people here
    12345dVIP
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    it has gotten so much better with the new chef. I had a five spice salmon salad, it was delicious. My friend had the pear salad and a turkey bacon sandwich, his plate was clean.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed with food/service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    I've eaten here several times and it seems the food/service keeps sliding. The portions were small and uneven (two people ordered the same dish and one was small and the other smaller), the pastas were overcooked, and the margarita pizza tasted like it came from a frozen box. The salads were the best part of the meal. I came here for brunch and it was great. Dinners not so great.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Music really enhances the evening
    amhey
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Love the Friday night jazz bands here. Sitting outside listening to music enriches the community. The restaurant made pasta was very good and the clams quite delicious. The bread is good, not great. I'd have preferred fresh steamed asparagus with absolutely nothing on it - no oil, no cheese.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A great nice surprise
    luv2eatgoodfood
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Enjoyed a nice evening eating outdoors. Everything was delicious, we had the calamari fritti, veal scallopini and fresh petrale sole and ended with the tiramisu. The sole was perfect: light, tasty and cooked just right!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Portola Kitchen easy dining
    robles101
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Convenient parking. Friendly and attentive service. Tasty, thoughtfully seasoned food in reasonable portions. Interesting wine list. Pleasant outdoor seating.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Country dining
    greatVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Dan is the manager and he runs a tight ship. All the staff is attentive and provides prompt service. If you're hungry the the meatball sandwiched, it great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Some good, some bad
    FoodieVIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    My entree of dick sausages was good, but my boyfriend's chicken piccata was not so good. He said that it lacked sauce and had very few capers. The arugula salad was also disappointing - not enough dressing. We sat next to the.band, which was a nice diversion, but it was so loud that we could barely talk.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great, Casual Meal
    MattVIP
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    Too noisy inside, but very pleasant inside. Fantastic Oxtail Pasta.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    We had to leave after having been seated due to illness. The fish we ordered was slimy and was not edible. The asparagus which came with it was overcooked. We also ordered skirt steak which was tough, and came with a tablespoon of mashed potatoes. Not at all enjoyable and certainly not worth the price. We will not be retuning.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • No lunch menu on Sundays
    MMMMMVIP
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    Very limited Sunday menu. Won't go again on Sunday...
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 40 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 26, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food3.8
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 159 reviews are from the Portola Kitchen reviews archive.
  • Portola Kitchen - we loved it!
    outwithfriends
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    fantastic outdoor dining with a European marketplace feel, wonderful staff, and awesome menu.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • better service this time than last
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    After several dining experiences, my lunch two months ago was disappointing, in that the usually attentive service was non-existent. However, this time it had improved (maybe due to comments to the owner).
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love Portola Kitchen
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    Great food in an environment that is not stuffy or overpriced.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Inconsistent
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 6/16/2014
    Don't go on Monday. Bread was stale, the Misto salad of field greens was old. Other salads came straight from the refrigerator with no attention to detail. Fish was overcooked and the service was really slow. Sometimes a nice place but will never go back now.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fun neighborhood lunch place
    PBLBG
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Though parking was absolutely impossible on a Saturday at lunchtime, Portola Kitchen has a nice brunch menu and the cobb salad was lovely. Fresh ingredients, and a very large portion. Topped off with a double espresso and even their bread was fresh and good. Definitely would go back again though maybe not on a weekend if at all possible...
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A Weak Night at PK
    SueSue
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    We go to PK (Mike's) quite often and this past Thursday 6/5 was a particularly weak and disappointing dinner. Seemed like the cook/chef wasn't even there and the kitchen staff was trying to cover for him. Cocktails were as good as always, thanks Bill.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fast, friendly, tasty
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    Casual lunch with a customer - perfect spot. We both had pasta, which was delicious. Fast, friendly servers, indoor or outdoor seating. I'll be back - much easier than trying to fight for parking at other PA hot spots!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dolce
    DolceVIP
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    The food is simple but good quality. The service is good. Loved the ice cream.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pizza just ok
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    I was expecting more flavor from their mushroom pizza.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Solid
    PAfamily
    Dined on 5/15/2014
    I discovered this place a few months ago and have been back with family and friends many times since then. It's reliable, good food with a comfortable, unpretentious atmosphere, great for everything from outdoor brunch with our 5-year-old to a nice, reasonably priced dinner for date night with my husband. Quality of ingredients and preparation is high. There's no view to speak of (in a pleasant shopping center) but it's nice to sit outside on a warm day or evening in a shaded passageway. We've sampled lots of things on the menu, from creamy white beans baked in tomato sauce to roasted asparagus to salmon, pork, and the burger, and all is good. I was slightly disappointed with the Caesar salad we ordered last time but it wasn't bad.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Great Mother's Day brunch. Food was great and the service was wonderful. Wait staff very attentive our needs-especially the 19 month olds. They had crayons for to color and the waiter brought out her food when we got our salads and appetizers. Great outside dining-watching all the people go by.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, service glitch
    SkatmanVIP
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Came here for Mother's Day brunch. Ordered Lemon Ricotta pancakes which were quite rich , fluffy and tasty. One problem, hotcakes were cool cakes, being left on the counter too long. When advised the waitress, she replied with amazement, "Really?! They weren't hot?!" and walked away. Disappointing response after otherwise decent, cheerful service. Other items were also good, but again, sitting on under the warming lamp too long
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Family birthday - good call
    BigNightVIP
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    Except for my salmon being undercooked and having to send it back, everyone at the table (from 96 to 18) pretty much enjoyed our meal. It was handled and served well ... the restaurant was not packed so it all came to us promptly. The birthday dessert was consumed quickly by a few hungry folks ... and it looked good. I like PVK and the people are friendly and the place is comfy. Not necessarily a hot dining spot but that's okay, they are solid. Except for my salmon :-)
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • First Time Thoughts
    EaterVIP
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    On a recommendation from a friend, a buddy and I had dinner at the Portola Kitchen. Excellent service, good wine list and very good food.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love this place
    Levenisgoed
    Dined on 4/28/2014
    I have been here twice now and both times the service and food was great. The wine selection is fantastic and the appetizers, which is all we had, delicious.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Great for Lunch, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • excellent!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/24/2014
    food is well prepared and service is very friendly. This is at the top of our "go to" places to eat!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A bit disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 4/24/2014
    We went for an early dinner before heading to an 8 pm performance at Flint Center. The restaurant location is perfect for avoiding the commute traffic with easy access to 280. We had the sole and the veal scallopini. Both were bland. The fish was perfect cooked but treated slightly of bleach or ammonia. The veal was plentiful, nice to look at but boring. The service was perfect, thoughtful and efficient.
    Special Features:
    Kid-Friendly, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Country cooking in Portola Valley
    greatVIP
    Dined on 4/22/2014
    Linches are great and the service is good too. Try the meatloaf sandwich, it's wonderful.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic Food
    Frenchie
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    The presentation, which by the way is not important when it comes to priorities, is definitely above average. The important stuff, the taste, is fantastic. The Poached Pears Appetizer was rediculously delish.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, special occasion, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Gets better & nice nothing changes
    BigNightVIP
    Dined on 4/16/2014
    When the chef left I was worried. No more. It's better than ever. Runs smoother. Wines extraordinary. Bartender amazing. Waitstaff happy and smart. And the food is bountiful and fresh. New this time for me was Vongole, delicious! --which we split with a large freshly tossed salad, some grilled polenta and gulps of sauvignon blanc. Perfect. I like dining al fresco, with a view of the tomatoes, cantaloupes and cucumbers … and also the people strolling by. Just a nice, sweet, local go-to place, PK is.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Scenic View, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Local Gem
    BrianVIP
    Dined on 4/11/2014
    Fine food at wallet friendly prices. Enthusiastic service. Tidy and well selected wine list. The specials on our recent visit included a tasty house made sopressa. Casual dining at a high level.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great service and fabulous
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 4/2/2014
    Great service and fabulous white bean and kale soup- a complete meal.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lunch in Ladera
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 3/24/2014
    Nice lunch menu with appealing salad, sandwich and other entree choices. I enjoyed the eggplant sandwich. The noise level ( background music ) and moving adjacent tables in the bar area was a bit loud for conversation since I am more attuned to my mother's hearing issues.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.