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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Portola Kitchen reviews from OpenTable diners
65 reviews since April 22, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food3.9
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
81% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (41)great for outdoor dining (35)great for lunch (28)kid-friendly (23)great for brunch (20)fit for foodies (18)good for groups (14)notable wine list (7)special occasion (6)hot spot (6)vibrant bar scene (4)romantic (3)scenic view (1)Show More
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 41 ratings-only reviews submitted since April 22, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance4
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 141 reviews are from the Portola Kitchen reviews archive.
  • 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.
  • Delicious dinner but harried staff
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    Dinner was really very good. The pasta with kale pesto was outstanding, as was the osso-buco and the duck sausage. Appetizers were good too. Service seemed frantic and yet it was very hard to catch the attention of the waiters, so service was spotty. At times really attentive and excellent, and at times frustrating (e.g., trying to get more water). And as with so many places lately, some sound buffering would be a great idea. In general, I'd like to go back. The food is worth the return visit. And of note, the manager was very nice, coming around at the end of dinner, making sure there was fresh coffee and asking how our evening went. That gains plusses in my book as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always a favorite
    EuclidVIP
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    We enjoyed another great meal in this special find in Portola Valley. Unique preparations and complex flavors. Service is very friendly too.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nite out
    Shiffy
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    Greeted immediately upon arrival. Super friendly. Seated immediately. Waitress gave great recommendations. Service was a little slow but that mazeltovy have been by design. Brought us a free desert as it was our first time. Only charged one corkage fee. Never rushed us. We will be back. Keep.up.the good work
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We were satisfied with the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    We were satisfied with the food served. On a very busy weekend, our orders were taken in a reasonable time. The only problem encountered was that the bill was very slow in coming at the end of the meal. As people were waiting for a table, we were surprised that the staff didn't seem to be in any hurry to turn our table around. Our server more or less disappeared for about 25 minutes. I finally had to take our bill and credit card to the cashier myself. Nonetheless, we would return in the future.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just Great!
    Food4Thought
    Dined on 2/22/2014
    Food was great! Service was great! Atmosphere was great; warm ambiance, not too loud, not too quiet. Great dinner experience overall.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My favorite restaurant!
    guitgeekVIP
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    Understated elegance and style. Great food, great service, great casusal atmosphere with an air of sophistication. Perfect place to impress your foodie friends. Probably a little too lively for a business dinner but perhaps lunch. I can't say enough about this place!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • brunch not so much
    chicklynicklyVIP
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    Love this place for lunch. Service was way off for brunch: husband's drink was late, food was super slow and the side we ordered didn't come as listed. Willing to take a risk on Brussels sprouts eggs Benedict even though it ended up weird. Announced our Open Table reservation but it didn't get recorded so I got the stupid email from open table.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Menu sounds better than it is
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 2/12/2014
    Each time I go to Portola Kitchen, I find lots of interesting things on the menu. And each time, go away slightly disappointed. I had the Veal Parm this time and there was inexplicably a very spicy addition to (I think) the farro. My wife had a kale pasta that looked good, but the sausage was painfully spicy. We like spicy food, but this was spice in completely the wrong places. Like line cooks randomly adding things to dishes.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Portola Kitchen at lunch
    foodlover
    Dined on 2/12/2014
    I have had lunch there twice. It was recommended to me as a "foodie" place. The food was either pedestrian or delicious/original. The shrimp louie salad and the cobb salad were simple, nothing remarkable. You can get similar anywhere, and I have had better. On the other hand, the Lamache gnocchi were incredible and the poached pear appetizer with bur rata was delicious and original. The chocolate boudin cake was wonderful also. One bad note, I was told that the brussels sprouts side was wonderful. It was awful, tasted of horseradish, inedible, and was served without the lemon and ricotta that the menu promised. I will go back and take friends, because of the wonderful items we had.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Portola's Gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 2/10/2014
    I loved the ambience in the restaurant. It felt warm and welcoming, with delicious flavorful food. The staff was excellent, personable and attentive. I enjoyed the seating, it was comfortable and private, allowing us to chat at ease. The unique thing about this restaurant is that it had a cool, relaxed atmosphere with caring staff and great food!! I ordered the Kale & Shelling Bean Minestra soup, which was fresh and flavorful with the right balance of tomato, bean and kale and the pecorino romano cheese brought out the flavors very well. The fries had a wonderful tomato aioli dip that I loved and the pizza base was very tasteful and crisp. The dessert, which was the Valrhona Chocolate “Budino” was simply delicious and decadent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, vibrant bar scene, great for brunch, scenic view, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing food
    Pembly
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    Our party of 4 all ordered veal piccata. The veal slices were all overcooked and burned on one side. Each plate had varying amounts of both a red sauce and a brown sauce. Both sauces were overpowering and completely disguised whatever taste remained with the veal which could have been cardboard for all we could tell. Pickled cauliflower and tasteless runny polenta accompanied the veal. I have been served much more appealing food in institutional cafeterias. This was our third and last try our local neighborhood restaurant. Our other two meals were spaced 3 to 6 months apart and were also disappointing. They were not as bad as this last one, however.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic