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
61 reviews since May 21, 2014
Overall Rating3.6
  • Food3.7
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
68% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (27)neighborhood gem (23)special occasion (18)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
  • Quite enjoyable
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 12/20/2013
    The setting is warm and inviting. We took advantage of the Prime Rib Special, (offered Fridays and Sundays), and it was, quite possibly, the best I've ever had. Our server was very attentive. Overall, it was a positive experience. The only downside was that I had requested a quiet table, and we were seated next to two raucous parties. It is the holiday season, so there were celebrations taking place, but it seemed the other side of the restaurant was quieter. Not sure why my request was blatantly ignored.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Mismanaged opportunity
    ScharVIP
    Dined on 12/17/2013
    MacArthur Park has so much going for it but they regularly stumble in the basics of being a good restaurant. For the third time, twice in the last 2 weeks, they did not have our reservation for a large group, even though we stopped by in person to check on it the week before. Service is very slow. Food is average. The setting is so lovely and convenient. We kept hoping but are now giving up.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Embarassing Fiasco
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 12/15/2013
    Been going to this restaurant off/on for 20+yrs. Raved about it to other party members, thought it would be fun for Christmas get together. Bad experience, nothing went right the minute we walked in. Restaurant near empty, took 20min to get a drink which was not good, sent it back, settled for wine. Asked for bread/plates 3 times before getting it, also water. Took quite some time to get food order, then when it came everyone had food but me. Waiter proceeds to tell me he forgot to put in my food order and it would take another 20min. I asked what would be fastest, he said prime rib, I said fine. It came and was cold. These are just some of the "highlights" of the evening. Needless to say other members of party will not be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • we waited for a waiter for
    resident
    Dined on 12/14/2013
    we waited for a waiter for over 15 minutes. The busboy brought water and bread. Efforts to flag down a waiter went unnoticed. It is no doubt the time was at least 15 minutes. The room was decortated nicely for the holiday. One of the three of us had the short ribs on the recommendation of the waiter. He, the customer , said they were tough and grislly.He even gave one to his grandson on the wresting team at Stanford and he said it was awful. It cost more than the salmon I ate, which was good. It seemed some woman, like a manager in a red sweater was going around talking to some partrons. The wait for the waiter was very unsettling and influences our decision to go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • MacArthur Park
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 12/14/2013
    This is a great old building. It was designed by the architect who designed Hearst Castle. Very open feeling in here. We had grilled apple salad and beet salad to start. My wife had beet salad. She did not think the greens were very fresh. The apple salad was good. Entres were shrimp pasta and filet. They were both tasty and good. Service by Patty was very good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Going Downhill
    SpSsVIP
    Dined on 12/7/2013
    This used to be a great restaurant. Food has gone significantly downhill in the past years. BBQ nowhere as good as the past. Kids Pasta was blah. Told the server the kid did not like it (did not eat any) and they still charged me for it. Think twice before you go as food is not so great and it is just about the atmosphere now.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good ambiance and service
    4thgenCA
    Dined on 12/6/2013
    MacArthur Park has a nicely varied menu with something for just about everyone--from comfort food to good seafood and prime rib. Nice ambiance--cozy without being "cute." It was raining and cold outside when we went...don't know how this works when the weather is warm enough for outdoor dining. Service was good. We arrived earlier than expected and were still seated right away (and it was Friday night at 7:30). Good news about MacArthur Park for Bay Area people: it's across from the CalTrain station (on the Stanford side). Come by train. There is ample parking, although you have to figure out the streets around the train station to access it (if unfamiliar with the area, follow signs to CalTrain and Red Cross building).
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • sad remnant of a fine place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2001VIP
    Dined on 11/29/2013
    Have not had success here in the last few years, but given our grown kids nostalgia for the many fun times and fine meals we've shared here we tried it. Don't bother - suggest you let it quietly die. Other tables food delivered to us, no waiter assigned to our table, hostess desk not manned. Waiter had a tenuous grasp on his job when he showed up. The food was edible, barely - but totally uninteresting. There are dozens of better choices within walking distance. The building remains a fine space. The Christmas decorations are handsome. I don't know what to say -- turn it into a rental space, and have catering brought in.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Thanksgiving surprise!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 11/28/2013
    What a fantastic way to spend our holiday. We could bout have felt more welcome or well taken care of! The food was absolutely awesome and delicious. I can not rave enough about our server Jennifer, she made sure we had everything we needed and had such a fantastic attitude and demeanor! We're coming back!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We came for Thanksgiving and
    pedirnmom
    Dined on 11/28/2013
    We came for Thanksgiving and didn't realize it was a buffet. The hostesses were disorganized and seemed new at their jobs. They did not give us instructions regarding the buffet. We were waiting for a server to order our drinks and I actually had to go find someone. The bright spot was a wonderful waitress (she seemed to be the only female one on staff that night) who offered to help us when she heard us complaining and was very sweet. She deserves a commendation from jumping into the breach and making us feel welcome. The food was hit or miss, the volume loud, poor service and generally disorganized. We were disappointed especially after spending more than $100.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Thanksgiving Dinner
    Aquarius121
    Dined on 11/28/2013
    The buffet was abundant and delish. The main courses were turkey, ham, and prime rib. The salads very good as were the sides.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Spot!
    JunT
    Dined on 11/28/2013
    Went for Thanksgiving Buffet. Good food, service was outstanding, and good ambience.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nearly Perfect
    Ballubah
    Dined on 11/28/2013
    The food was excellent and the layout was good. Because it was a buffet we expected the service to be top notch but we had to ask for water twice, we had to ask to have used plates taken away, etc. We should never have to ASK for anything.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • When you don't want to cook turkey
    JeanVIP
    Dined on 11/28/2013
    Thanksgiving buffet could not have been better. Interesting choices, variety and top quality makes MacArthur Park my choice for all the holidays this year. Carving station had succulent turkey, wonderful ham and prime rib. Other entrees where delicious and service was fabulous. Going back on Christmas day.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great memories. Even better service
    Wknder
    Dined on 11/22/2013
    Great memories of eatting here with folks years ago. Great ambiance. Great setting. Our service was absolutely fantastic. A great staff and great attendance that had us talking about the great service when we left.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always delights . . . . .
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 11/22/2013
    We took the advice of our very savvy server and had their salmon -- an excellent choice. Everyone was gracious and the service was outstanding. And, the building is charming.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • MacArthur Park restaurant
    UnhappyVIP
    Dined on 11/16/2013
    MacArthur Park restaurant is situated in a historical building in Palo Alto. My friend and I dined there on a Saturday evening at 7:00 pm. There were only 5 tables occupied in the entire restaurant. Super quiet! Our entrees took a long time to arrive. My pork chop was dry and no flavor. Parking lot in the back is dark and unpaved. We will not go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Reasonable value
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 11/15/2013
    We go for the relaxed atmosphere, the gin martinis and the reasonable prices. This last time, we went on a Friday evening and had the roast beef special for $19.80. Our only complaint was that the vegetables were overly seasoned and didn't taste freshly cooked. Portions are generous and the waiter is willing to divide salads. Coffee is good.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • almost no one there and very
    dave
    Dined on 11/2/2013
    almost no one there and very slow food service. People were pleasant but getting our food took forever
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yummy BBQ
    PrincessVIP
    Dined on 10/30/2013
    My husband and I had delicious chicken and ribs and substituted the side dishes with no problem. The wait staff was very accommodating and gave us great service. We will return there in the near future.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another successful meal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIP
    Dined on 10/21/2013
    This is the second time recently we've been to MacArthur Park, and it was another wonderful meal. I started with the Split Pea soup, which was good but I was looking for a more basic, traditional soup, whereas this version came with too many other vegetables in it (peppers, onions - good for someone else, but not my style). What I had of it was delicious, of course. My entree was the Mac & Cheese, which was very good (although it is better with bacon, which I forgot to ask for). And of course, for desert, there was the mud pie = a huge slice of coffee ice cream in a pie crust. Again, a very successful meal and I would definitely go back and recommend to others.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • meh-carthur park
    tornatore
    Dined on 10/21/2013
    Although MacArthur park is open until 10, there were no reservations available past 8. When I showed up at 8, the restaurant was nearly empty, with only 4 tables with other diners. I asked the hostess about the unavailability of later reservations, and she said it might fill up at 8:30. Ha! My guest and I were the last to show up of the night. Nothing against OT, but you don't need a reservation at this once-popular restaurant, at least on a Monday night. The service was attentive and friendly, but the food was lousy. The bread was very dry, likely from being in the warming drawer too long. The foil-wrapped butter seems (and is) cheap. The ribs were tough and chewy, and the american fries tasted as if they had been cooked long ago. Meh.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Not the Same
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 10/19/2013
    Used to go there all the time many years ago when it was a lively spot with delicious ribs. A favorite choice for a celebration or when hosting out of towners. Went during a recent weekend the place was not crowded on a saturday night. The ribs were not as I'd remembered them. And the service was seriously, incredibly slow. This Mississippi Mud Pie dessert was the one thing that lived up to the memory. This used to be a staple destination. It's sad to see this happen at such a prime near-campus location .
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Waited for almost 1/2 hour
    Geor
    Dined on 10/18/2013
    Waited for almost 1/2 hour to be acknowledged. Finally moved to the bar, ate there, great
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very nice time
    DSK1
    Dined on 10/18/2013
    It had been over 20 years since being at MacArthur Park. Went with kids after a long day. Not too dressed up, but MacArthur Park served us like we were regulars. Good service, very good food and good with teenagers. I had the 10oz prime rib for just $19 on Fridays- great deal. My wife had swordfish special that was excellent. Nothing lost here in terms of service and food in 20+ years.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • MacAuthur Park is still good!
    Mary
    Dined on 10/15/2013
    Years ago we used to go here, but somehow we got out of the habit. Last night we were there to celebrate our anniversary and were happy to find that the food and service are still good. I love that the Julia Morgan architected building has been kept to its original design.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food with service to match
    Busdiner
    Dined on 10/8/2013
    Food was excellent, service was prompt and respectful. A variety of dishes in our party, from swordfish to steaks - all were very well prepared arrived at the right time and very tasty.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dinner, great deal
    James
    Dined on 10/6/2013
    The Sunday (and Friday) night special of a 10 oz. prime rib with potato and veggies for $19.18 is amazing. Everything was delicious! Also, we had the fish special which was swordfish with rice, veggies and an interesting fruit salsa (lots of it) on top. Would definitely return, especially on the special night for prime rib.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Football Weekend
    BobD
    Dined on 10/4/2013
    Was recommended to me by Stanford grad. I had ribs (1/2 slab) with mac and cheese side. Wife had prime rib (small). We had the onion stack for an appetizer. Also, Anchor Steam on tap! Portions were large and very good. Our waitress was great. Surprised that there were not more people there on a Friday night. We would definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The food and service were
    EDWARDVIP
    Dined on 9/22/2013
    The food and service were both good at MacArthur Park, as my party enjoyed the Caesar salad, Sunday night "prime rib special," and the fresh salmon. The chocolate brownie with hot fudge and vanilla ice cream was a wonderful way to complete the dinner. As there were never more than eight tables occupied during the 90 minutes I spent at the restaurant, I see no need for the mandatory valet parking charge. MacArthur Park is a good choice when looking for a varied menu with tasty food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice ambience
    Denise
    Dined on 9/19/2013
    I brought my mom here for her birthday and she loved it. She's been there before but it was a nice dining experience with valet, gorgeous architecture, and attentive service. Since it was a Thursday night, it wasn't crowded and we were able to eat peacefully. The server checked in and made recommendations accordingly (wine, etc), plus the other servers and workers would also check in with us frequently. We got the french onion soup which was a bit sweet, chicken barley soup (very fresh), baby back ribs and shrimp skewers. The baby back ribs and fries made for a great lunch the next day (so many leftovers). We also got a complimentary dessert (poached pear) which was light after all our eating. Thanks MacArthur! The bar looks splendid too.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Improved
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/11/2013
    It's a quiet spot that is good for groups. We are glad that the valet service is back. The food and service have improved from when we were there a year ago, but it still seems a little expensive for the quality.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • FAMILY DINNER
    MARIGOLD
    Dined on 9/9/2013
    Enjoyed our visit. Restaurant had few customers in early evening, but the old historical building and airy dining room were very enjoyable as usual. Food was good except for Cobb Salad. Mac Park served a wonderful Cobb for years but new serving vessel, so-so toppings and bland dressing were disappointing. One guest noted that the menu has fewer options than the last time she dined there. However, others in party very pleased with steak, salmon and pork chops. Ribs and Calamari good and well prepared. Pacing of meal a little slow. Server was not attentive. Had to ask for coffee, had to ask for refill for coffee, had to ask for dessert menu. No one visited table to ask if all was okay. All in all, would return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great re-discovery
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIP
    Dined on 9/8/2013
    I hadn't been to MacArthur Park in probably 20 years - seemed so old-school and stuffy. Decided to try it again, and I was so glad I did. It is nothing like I expected. The food is excellent, and the service was top notice. Plus, you can't go wrong in the beautifully designed/built historical building from the early 20th century. I had the pork chop, with carmalized apples and sweet potato mash, which was out of this world with flavor. One of the best pork chops I've had. Deliciously cooked and prepared. My friend had the Mac & Cheese, which was creamy and delicious, as well - my suggestion, try it with bacon on top! And for desert, I had the mud pie, which was a beautiful way to finish the meal. Can't wait to return and try more!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • MacArthur Park's Spark
    supadineVIP
    Dined on 9/6/2013
    Charming restaurant hidden next to the Palo Alto train station offers delicious food with a good atmosphere to boot. Special occasions are great, with the friendly touch of getting a dessert on the house for your birthday and the manager checking in to say hello. Like dining at home, but very fancy!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Well past its prime
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/1/2013
    A lovely building. Good service (very light occupancy). Pricing was top drawer; food was fair at best. Steak overcooked. Ribs were tough and sparse. Tables too small (for a party of four).
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food still great but noisier
    UhClem
    Dined on 8/31/2013
    We met some friends for dinner and chose McP because it has always been a good place for conversation. That night a very large group met for dinner and watching a football game, so the restaurant became a sports bar. Quite noisy. Fodd is still very good.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicioso
    randyn
    Dined on 8/25/2013
    MacArthur Park has made a tremendous comeback as a restaurant. The food is much improved over the past 2 or 3 visits. I highly recommend it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The noise level was tolerable
    RUTHYKVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2013
    The noise level was tolerable compared to other restaurants in the area. Service was very good.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Avoid McArthur Park on Sundays
    DaCoachVIP
    Dined on 8/18/2013
    We have been to this restaurant many times, but never received service like this. The server was in a hurry to leave, so he told us we had to order right away - even though it was only 7:45 and the restaurant nominally closes at 10. Once we ordered, our salad was served at the same time as a drink...no time to even savor the drink. Then before we had a chance to finish our salad, the entree appeared. I never did get a chance to finish my drink. I'd avoid this restaurant on Sundays.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate