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Star Anise
Star Anise
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Star Anise Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.staranisethaicuisine.com
  • Phone: (925) 454-9888
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 3:00pm, Saturday & Sunday: 12:00pm - 10:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Saturday & Sunday: 12:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Thai
  • Executive Chef: Sofi Sorroche
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Non-Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Railroad Ave
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: There is parking on the street directly in front of the restaurant. If none available there is a public parking lot free of charge on the opposite side of the complex.
A word from Star Anise
Star Anise "Modern Thai Cuisine" specialize in Thai originality with an influence and flare from beyond the borders of Thailand. All our dishes are prepared individually and fresh daily.

Enjoy our cozy light atmosphere for lunch daily or join us for a lively and elegant dinner each evening. Catering and phone orders availableContinued
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Diner Reviews
  • "The food was very good, but the service could only be described as "sour." Our waiter was not incompetent or overtly hostile, but he clearly conveyed the attitude that he would rather be just about anywhere else. When asked to divide our tab into separate checks, he returned with some hand written numbers breaking out the meal expenses on the original check. I couldn't tell whether he didn't really understand what we were asking for or just couldn't be bothered. The service pulls down the overall rating and while I'm recommending this restaurant, another service experience like this one would cause me to drop my recommendation."
    Dined on 11/13/2013
  • "Great food best Thai food I have ever had. Service is great too. Any dish you get you will not go wrong."
    Dined on 11/2/2013
  • "My wife and I had an amazing meal at Star Anise. She had the Duck and I had the BBQ Pork. Both were cooked perfectly and tasted amazing. Service was great and the facilty clean and well decorated. We will be back....often."
    Dined on 10/29/2013
  • "First time here. Food was really good and portions generous for a Thai restaurant and the down town price point reasonable. Not a good place for 2 people if you are hungry - very small place and very tiny tables for 2 - can not hold more than two dishes at a time and is awkward at that with drinks. If you order a 2 entrées + noodle/rice dish game over for space - limit is 2 item max. Too few tables in a very small place so asking for a larger table to accommodate food and drinks was not possible. Service was OK - a little light on the attention, when at capacity they seemed to be understaffed. I would definitely go back when craving Thai and I'm downtown - it was really good food. But I'd go with a party of 3 and wait for a larger table."
    Dined on 10/26/2013
  • "My husband and I come here at least twice a month. I think it's the best Thai food around. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is sometimes the waitstaff is very busy as there are only two people so the service can get a little slow. We love the Mango Beef, Salmon Pumpkin Curry and the Avocado Spring Rolls. Waitstaff is very friendly and good otherwise."
    Dined on 10/18/2013
  • "Food is great, but service is too slow and the wait staff is extremely rude. Service was too slow that we saw a couple leave."
    Dined on 10/8/2013
  • "We went for late lunch after a movie (very close to theater) and were pleasantly surprised. Because of the hour there were only a handful of people so service was fast and the place was quiet. I had the Aromatic Butternut Pumpkin Curry and absolutely loved it, silky smooth and quite flavorful. My wife had the Sea Bass and it was also delightful. Sadly, we were only in town for a wedding otherwise this would become a regular spot for us."
    Dined on 10/5/2013
  • "The food was great. The service not too great. When we got there it was fine because we were the only people in the restaurant. The only server was the bartender too. He was fine but he forgot to bring me the soup that I ordered. I was trying to get his attention, but it took a while since he had about 8 tables by the time we left. I also wanted dessert, but he didn't ask and walked over with the check in his hand. I asked him for my dessert - and he got it pretty quickly, but it was a very small portion of coconut ice cream. The last time we were there it was much bigger and served in a nicer presentation. Overall, I would give it an 8 out of 10. I love the food and the prices are very reasonable so I am sure we will go back."
    Dined on 9/22/2013
  • "We were seated and waited on quickly. The food was delicious and reasonably priced."
    Dined on 9/20/2013
  • "food was delicious and beautifully displayed. However, we made a reservation early and were seated right next to the open door. On top of that, our waiter was quiet and on edge, forgetting our appetizer and acting annoyed that we asked for it again."
    Dined on 9/10/2013
  • "I have great hopes for Star Anise. They're in the trendy down-town part of Livermore. Their food is delicious. The wait staff is perfectly wonderful. However, they just don't really have a "hook" to make it a memorable place. For a "double date" this place would be ideal. You could do dinner at Star Anise, then wander over and catch a movie, or wander down the block to the Blue Bar for a few drinks. They do have wine available, but in Livermore, every restaurant has decent wine available, so that's not a huge deal. The meal, and experience was "Perfectly fine." However, that's about the extent of it. If you're looking for a romantic meal, you need to choose elsewhere."
    Dined on 8/31/2013
  • "The spicy Tilapia was excellent and the yellow curry with Chicken was so so. But the tilapia had a wonderful delicous flavor. We will go back to try more of the other dishes which sould interesting."
    Dined on 8/17/2013
  • "The food was really fresh and delicious. The service was fine but they were slow to take our order even though it was pretty empty."
    Dined on 5/12/2013
  • "Great little Thai place, healthy and very fresh! Good Variety , clean and hospitable hosts."
    Dined on 5/8/2013
  • "This was my first time trying Star Anise. It was not crowded at all for lunch, so I got special attention. I got the yellow curry with chicken and requested it be made mild. It was wonderful. I will definitely visit again when I return to the area."
    Dined on 5/5/2013
  • "We were seated promptly and served by a somewhat dour yet efficient waiter. The food arrived quickly. Portions were generous and the food was universally excellent. One of us is a longtime chef with a particular liking for Thai food, and he was delighted. He's a bit of a pain in the ass about restaurants so this was a major accomplishment. The place was in a serious flap when we arrived serving a full dining room, most eager to attend a nearby theater event. The crowd was handled beautifully and the relative peace when their show started was indeed a pleasure. Two enthusiastic thumbs (and one pinky) up for Star Anise!"
    Dined on 4/26/2013
  • "This was our first time dining with Star Anise and we loved it. The restaurant is located near the vibrant Livermore Downtown where a movie theatre and ice cream shop are right next door. The food was excellent, fresh and delivered hot right to our table in a timely manner. We will definitely be back and look forward to another great meal."
    Dined on 4/20/2013
  • "I've eaten here before with a larger group and the restaurant can handle any number of guests. The food is very good and has wonderful nuances of flavors. The food presentation is artwork. Service is good but lackluster. The wait staff are not at all amiable. This translates into "The staff is doing the customer a favor by waiting on them." If you could turn this piece around I don't see why you wouldn't be packed every night. We walked around downtown afterward and many restaurants were full to overflowing whereas there were many open tables at this restaurant."
    Dined on 4/20/2013
  • "The food here is absolutely fabulous! The service on the other hand is lacking...the waiter never smiles, and does not interact with guests to make suggestions or ask questions. We did not realize there are various options for the rice they bring to the table, and noticed that the people next to us had requested brown rice and garlic rice, while we were brought plain steamed rice. I would definitely go back (or maybe get takeout) because the food is delicious, but the service (and the baseball game playing constantly on the tv above the bar) really detracted from the experience."
    Dined on 4/14/2013
  • "Very good food served in beautiful decor. A very good overall experience. I've been several times and will definitely go back. Try the Roti and Pumpkin Curry."
    Dined on 4/12/2013
  • "My wife and I love this place and frequently dine at this unique, local gem in Livermore. We have always had a positive experience and every meal we have had here was perfectly prepared and presented. If you like Thai food, this is the place to go in all of the East Bay! Small place but great food with good service at a fair price in the newly renovated downtown."
    Dined on 4/1/2013
  • "The food ranged from somewhat acceptable to mediocre -- no standouts in any appetizer or entree. The fried calamari was ghastly -- made MacDonalds fries shine in comparison. To top everything, our waiter asked us to leave so he could seat other reservations at our table!"
    Dined on 3/16/2013
  • "Food was fantastic but service was practically nonexistent. Saw the server only once when he took our order. Someone else delivered our food and then I had to track him down and ask for the bill."
    Dined on 3/1/2013
  • "Lots to choose from an extensive menu - our table ordered appetizers, wok, noodle, and fish main dishes which were all outstanding. One drawback to this popular spot is that only one wait person worked the entire dining room by herself, occasionally aided by the bartender. Every table was occupied and customers were waiting for tables the entire time we were there. Our wait between beverage/ordering/serving was a little longer than avg. We could see that the person working alone was doing her best. Otherwise, everything was excellent!"
    Dined on 2/22/2013
  • "I'm hooked on the food! I absolutely love it! The reason I gave the service 3 stars because the person that greets us and seats us doesn't even smile. Other than that the food is EXCELLENT !! Best Thai food!!"
    Dined on 2/18/2013
  • "This is an excellent place if you are looking for an Asian Fusion restaurant. The staff is excellent. They give great suggestions on the menu and have extenstive knowledge of the cuisine. I strongly recommend Star Anise. It is a nice gem in downtown Livermore, CA."
    Dined on 2/16/2013
  • "The man who greeted us for our 5:30 reservation appeared preoccupied with the video screen, so much so that I wondered whether he has even checked off our reservation. His demeanor did not change throughout the entire meal. I don't think he once smiled even though he was bringing plates to our table. I was sorry we had ordered our entree shortly after we placed our starter order as the entrees were brought to the table while we were still eating our starter. The restaurant was quite crowded by 6:15 and the other server, a young woman, had to work very hard to get to all tables. She was quite pleasant as she tried to see to the majority of the tables. The food is very good and the prices reasonable, but service could be better"
    Dined on 2/16/2013
  • "Wow, our lunches were delicious and so reasonable. Nice ambiance too. Will be back."
    Dined on 2/13/2013
  • "Excellent food, but the restaurant is too small. The table next to you felt like almost only 8" away."
    Dined on 2/7/2013
  • "As usual food is urban Thai. Tasty without pretension. Music is a bit loud in certain spots due to speaker placement. Service is relaxed yet responsive. A long relaxing dinner or a quick before a movie."
    Dined on 1/19/2013
  • "I reserved a NYE dinner (12/31/12) for 8:30 pm. When I arrived at 8:40 pm, the restaurant informed they were closing in 10 minutes. They apologized, but I told them I had made a reservation on OpenTable. They just shrugged. Next time, this restaurant should be more careful on special evenings and make sure that people cannot make online reservations, when the restaurant is planning to close early. Luckily my group found somewhere else to eat, but there are not tons of options in downtown Livermore and it was last-minute. I'll probably never return to this restaurant."
    Dined on 12/31/2012
  • "Even with a reservation, we had to wait 30 minutes or so, which was disappointing. The servers also made us feel like they were in a hurry to get off work and rushed us out around 8, 8:30. That said, the food was great!"
    Dined on 12/31/2012
  • "The cuisine at this restaurant is actually quite good but the service is beyond poor. Was there after Christmas and there was only one guy working the floor. Many people were noticeably frustrated by one person taking orders, serving and clearing tables. He was actually staging dishes from the cleaned off tables on the bar, and there was a couple at the end of it 'trying' to order. The interesting thing was that he was quite unfriendly and made no attempt to apologize or otherwise 'soothe' the patrons. Overall a shame as if they hired some staff it could transition into a good dining experience given the quality and flavor of the dishes."
    Dined on 12/27/2012
  • "Star Anise has been a favorite of mine in the past. The food is excellent and reasonably priced. The presentation is artful and pleasing. However, I was very disappointed to have such terrible service. It appeared there was only one server staff member for the entire restaurant. I was embarrased when one of my guests decided to get up and get her own water. She later commented that she would not go there again. Our order was delivered one dish at a time, requiring those with food to share or have the rest of the table sit without food for a long period of time. Once the food arrived, all six guests at the table commented on how good it was. That was some consolation for the unreasonable wait and poor attention."
    Dined on 12/19/2012
  • "Food was great. Birthday celebration, and they brought a luscious dessert to share, only minor peeve that .service a tad slow"
    Dined on 12/15/2012
  • "Star Anise is my favorite restaurant. Gourmet Thai food in a quiet atmosphere. The flavors are complex yet subtle. Highly recommended."
    Dined on 11/24/2012
  • "We were excited to dine at Star Anise due to great reviews. We were happy to be able to get our reservation in one hour after reserving on Open Table. BUT....... when were arrived, we were told that the restaurant does not update the open table reservation system on a timely basis. They would not confirm my Open Table reservation even though I received the email confirmation prior to our arrival. We were told to add our name to the waiting list. The wait was 45 minutes. It was worth the wait. The food was excellent. Each dish had a different flavor and the spiciness was just right. The service was good. We had a good dining experience in spite of the reservation debacle! I would definitely recommend this restaurant."
    Dined on 11/23/2012
  • "Have had lunch here many times, tried it for dinner- just one waiter and getting food very slow. Then our dinners came one at a time with delay- would not come for dinner again but love the food!"
    Dined on 11/5/2012
  • "Location is great if you are going to the Bankhead Theater or another activity in downtown Livermore!!"
    Dined on 10/26/2012
  • "We (people) had a delicious lunch and the food was outstanding. The presentation was also great. We will return again for a birthday lunch next month. A real neighborhood gem."
    Dined on 10/18/2012