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 WinnerKid Friendly
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Portola Kitchen reviews from OpenTable diners
64 reviews since May 20, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food3.8
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
70% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (41)great for outdoor dining (34)great for lunch (27)kid-friendly (17)fit for foodies (17)great for brunch (16)good for groups (13)special occasion (7)vibrant bar scene (6)hot spot (5)romantic (4)notable wine list (4)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 8/24/2013
    All five in our party were disappointed in our meals. Nothing was very good. Just okay.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Seems to be going down hill
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 8/23/2013
    Since the founding Chef left we've dined twice at Portola Kitchen and both time have been less than satisfied. This last time I had the Torchio pasta with slow cooked beef and horseradish cream. No horseradish flavor as far as I could tell and the meat was under salted and lacking flavor not to mention the dish was poorly plated. My wife's roast chicken breast had been cooked over long, timing is the key to a chicken breast and somebody in the kitchen missed on this one. My Caesar Salad with extra Anchovies was quite good. Mike needs to get the kitchen working at the same level as it was under the original Chef if he wants the current concept to work, otherwise it's easy to drive to Mayfield, Parkside grill or eat at Los Amigos.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Portola Kitchen
    greatVIP
    Dined on 8/19/2013
    Food was excellent, as was the service. I'd recommend this restaurant to my friends, even though it is some distal from the villages of Menlo Park and Palo Alto.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Dinner
    Fabulous
    Dined on 8/3/2013
    Petrale sole out of this world. Budino to die for!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Local great
    greatVIP
    Dined on 7/29/2013
    The meals and the service are good. There is covered outside dining which is nice when the weather permits.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Enjoy the new version of Mike's
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 7/27/2013
    Enjoy the new version of Mike's Cafe. Went for brunch... my dish of ham scramble was excellent. My husband's mushroom omelet was not as good. Omelet was not juicy but more like a egg pancake that had been folded over on top of little whole mushrooms and broccoli.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, comfortable nightbout
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/26/2013
    As a trained chef myself I don't find many casual restaurants that deliver great food. Everything we had was amazing and could have paid twice the price at the Village Pub or Madera for the same item. It is not formal or fancy, rather your neighbors" tasteful home in portola valley. Don't miss the panna cotta, I could order 5 and make it my meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best lunch in years
    CarolCVIP
    Dined on 7/25/2013
    A friend & I had a late lunch here one weekday and the food was out of this world delicious. Our prosciutto, broccoli rabe and mozzarella panino was fabulous, as was the pasta and meatballs. They are one of the few restaurants that makes an Aperol cocktail almost the way I like it, so we enjoyed those. It's located in a small strip center but the interior is very nice and the outside patio overlooks fresh fruits & vegetable organic market, not the street. Looking forward to returning soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • hidden gem
    greatVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2013
    Because the restaurant is not "down town" it seems to be out of the way, but worth the effort to drive there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • reliable, solid menu
    cappyVIP
    Dined on 7/13/2013
    We have been here many times and will continue come back. A great, reliable neighborhood restaurant. All ingredients from produce to fish to meat are always fresh and well prepared. I love their beet and arugula salad. My favorite entrees are the salmon or the grilled pork chop. Chocolate budino dessert (a light pudding) is awesome!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Italian Wonder
    Tangage
    Dined on 7/3/2013
    Great ambiance for romance or a casual get together. Food was outstanding and the service was timely. This is new favorite spot for a nice night out.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • slow service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 6/30/2013
    We went on a Sunday morning and there were only 3 groups there. It took over 30 min to get our food after ordering. Not acceptable and would not go back here.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Sadly missing the mark
    California1944VIP
    Dined on 6/20/2013
    This was our third visit and the same issues continue to plague the restaurant. When we arrived on time for a 6:30 reservation made two weeks ago, our table wasn't ready, and the general manager assured us that while they take reservations, they "do not guarantee a table". We ended up at an outside table cobbled together from three smaller tables of different heights. Not the evening we expected. And, as usual, there was a 30 minute wait for the wine, 40 for the first course. Not ready for prime time
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We ate outdoors. Heaters made
    Gloria
    Dined on 6/19/2013
    We ate outdoors. Heaters made the cool evening just fine. Everyone enjoyed their food. The chicken Caesar salad was one of the best I've had.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Absolutely Amazing!
    TownRocksVIP
    Dined on 6/17/2013
    My first time dining here and I've already made a reservation to come back next week. Our waitress (Cristin) was incredible - fantastic service, great menu suggestions and easy conversation. She also suggested a wine for me and my guest that was out of this world. Overall the experience was over the top and I can't wait to introduce another friend to this neighborhood gem.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My only complaint is the iced
    Rooooo
    Dined on 6/16/2013
    My only complaint is the iced tea. Hugo, our server was fabulous.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love PV Kitchen
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 6/15/2013
    We live in san jose but we make it to Portola Kitchen a couple times a year, and we always have a great meal and good service.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Kitchen in transition?
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 6/14/2013
    While we usually enjoy our meals here, the last two visits have been somewhat off. My husband's favorite dish, the short ribs torcchio, has been replaced with a lamb torcchio with peas, which he dislikes. I tried the carbonara special on our most recent visit, and it solidified in a gelatinous mass of cheese at the bottom of the bowl - not what I expected from a special. My husband ordered a pork chop special, which came covered with peas, not mentioned on the menu. Service has seemed slower recently, too. Still packed most nights, and we're not ready to give up yet, but we're hoping these last 2 visits have been aberrations, and not a trend.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Surprising
    Ronchie
    Dined on 6/12/2013
    I went there with my husband on our weekly date. We were looking for something neighborhoodie and not too fancy. The food was amazing. Every bite we took was a wow. The service was very informal yet friendly and fast. Too fast at times.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Food but spotty service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 6/7/2013
    Our food and wine was excellent. My wife has had their PK Burger several times and says it's the best burger she's had. My salmon was perfectly cooked. We loved the beet and arugula salad. Our server was overwhelmed, though; she may have had too large an area to cover. She didn't take a drinks order first; the entrees hadn't arrived 40 minutes after we finished the salad course so I asked her to check on them, this surprised her and we could see a frenzied discussion at the kitchen. The entrees did arrive ten minutes later; we suspect she didn't put the order in originally. My wife and our dining companion were miffed that she didn't apologize. Despite this I'd give them another chance because the food was excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Surprisingly good
    WontBeBackVIP
    Dined on 6/3/2013
    This is the same prioprieter as the various Mike's Cafe's around the area, but this is much better than any of those. Good food all round, nice wines, nice place. A keeper.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good blend of pleasant ambiance,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 5/30/2013
    Good blend of pleasant ambiance, interesting menu choices, well prepared food and very good service.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A Wonderful Experience
    MikeVIP
    Dined on 5/26/2013
    This was our second time dining at the Portola Kitchen. The wait staff on both visits were friendly, cheerful, and very helpful. All of our main dishes were evry very good. The fish, veal, and chicken were paired with tasty sides and attrcatively served. We would recommend the Portola Kitchen for you and your family.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Worth crossing the 280 for..
    equanstrom
    Dined on 5/21/2013
    In Palo Alto and need a restaurant that ticks the boxes (fresh, innovative, solid wine list and attentive service)? Look no farther than Portola Kitchen.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I so enjoy this restaurant.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002
    Dined on 5/17/2013
    I so enjoy this restaurant. The food is wonderful and the service very good. I do think that their wine list is too pricey. They do not have many moderately priced bottles of wine. This is unfortunate. You are much better off with the corkage fee. We used our opentable points with absolutely no problem. I highly recommend this restaurant!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great again
    Dagbldr
    Dined on 5/17/2013
    I always enjoy Portola Kitchen. It's a comfortable place the has great food, a nice wine list and a good staff. Highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Portola Kitchen-good but pricey
    Eloise
    Dined on 5/17/2013
    Very good food -- though one of four diners had a Caesar salad as an entree and found it "flavorless." Salmon and pork chop entrees were superb and one diner took home the rest of the pasta entree special. Here's the downside: With NO desserts and only ONE glass of wine, the bill came to around $45 a person. We split the bill four ways, and the diner who had the Caesar salad was not pleased. The rest of us thought the food was overpriced for a simple bistro.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This is a great neighborhood
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 5/7/2013
    This is a great neighborhood restaurant. The bar serves excellent and generous drinks, and the food is always good with generous servings. Nice to see the chef and the owner both nearly always in the restaurant warmly greeting guests in evenings.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, great for brunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous new "kitchen"
    PompyVIP
    Dined on 5/3/2013
    From the decor to the food everything was perfect! Extensive wine list including wines by the glass. Ordered the buratta crostini - outstanding, kale pesto homemade pasta- delicioso, fish of the day - cod (fresh) - cooked to perfection. Two shared and we still didn't have room for dessert. To wind up the evening we decided to have a nightcap at the full bar. Who do we meet? Mike, the owner. Yes the name rings a bell because he owns all the Mike's Cafes - Portola Kitchen being an ex. The executive chef was chitchatting at the bar as well and we had a very exciting culinary discussion with him - being the foodies that we are. Ended the evening with a Sasacaia grappa. Unique!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, notable wine list, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good & close by
    GeorgeVIP
    Dined on 5/3/2013
    Another good meal at a place close to home. The staff was pleasant and we were please with our meal.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We recently had a family dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 4/28/2013
    We recently had a family dinner (10 of us) ... dined outdoors facing Bianchini's produce display; the feeling is like being on a patio in a tiny market village. The atmosphere encourage people to relax, laugh out loud, sit comfortably, and (if there are pre-schoolers in the mix) move around. It is the perfect extension of the indoor restaurant. Our group ordered a variety of entrees: always excellent sole; the veal porterhouse special; homemade torchio pasta with lamb ragu; mussels; the huge burger and indescribable fries. Cocktails, wine and voila!! it was a memorable evening. PK is a regular go-to place when we are just 2 or 4 people, and we like to dine at the bar, too. But this was perfect for a larger, happy, talkative group.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good but not spectacular.
    AmericanClicheVIP
    Dined on 4/28/2013
    I came here for a Sunday brunch, and enjoyed the food. It was good but nothing tremendously special. The service was so-so and seemed uninterested. Bottom line: a good spot for a casual, easy brunch.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious entree. But appetizer
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/26/2013
    Delicious entree. But appetizer lacked flavor. halibut crudou laced acid or salt.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Overall just a great place
    ReviewerNicknameVIP
    Dined on 4/26/2013
    Overall just a great place to grab a very nice meal. The food and flavors are wonderful and excellent portion size. Our favorite places when needing to eat in the Portola - Woodside area.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Terrific! Our meal was delicious
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 4/24/2013
    Terrific! Our meal was delicious and tge hospitality of the staff sheer perfection! Portola Kitchen will be a favorite of ours to share. Thanks!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good lunch spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 4/24/2013
    Had a business lunch there, sat outside, was quiet, comfortable and the service was very good. Had the seared salmon salad, which was very good.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We frequent the restaurant,
    carlickVIP
    Dined on 4/20/2013
    We frequent the restaurant, and always enjoy the menu innovations, the setting, and the terrific staff. Highly recommended, always fun, always interesting. And, on top of that, reasonable prices.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Loved it
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002
    Dined on 4/20/2013
    Exceeded all expectations. It was great. We'll be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Try the new pork chop and
    SorvisVIP
    Dined on 4/19/2013
    Try the new pork chop and a bottle of Cartlidge & Brown Pinot!!! Amazing!!!!
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Portola Kitchen: Worth Finding It!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 4/18/2013
    Portola Kitchen is worth finding. It is hidden from street view, tucked inside Ladera Shopping Center, directly across the pedestrian walkway at Bianchini's Market. The location adds to PK's ambiance: if you sit outside, (under a covered canopy with noiseless ceiling fans), you face Bianchini's beautiful fresh produce displays. The open-air and local market displays transport you to a small European town. Chef Guillaume Bienaime has extensive experience creating very fine menus -- there is truly "something for everyone" on the menu. Tender petrale sole (in season of course), torchio (pasta) with seasonal ragu (lamb, duck, short rib, etc), terrific pizzas, huge wonderful burgers. DO NOT MISS THE FRIES! These are one-of-a-kind.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate