Viva la Vita
Viva la Vita
Reviews Coming Soon

Viva la Vita

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.vivalavitarestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 6506378859
  • Hours of Operation:

    Lunch: Daily 11:30am-2:30pm
    Dinner: Daily 4:30pm-10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, Californian
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Patio/Outdoor Dining, Wine

Getting there

  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Viva la Vita
Our goal is to create a gourmet dining experience for you. We are located in San Carlos and we carry a wide variety of selective California and Italian Wines. Our menus are influenced by many flavors and styles and is prepared to your specific standards. Our knowledgeable and attentive staff will help you pair your entree with your wine. Partial or full restaurant buy out is available for private parties.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Viva la Vita reviews from OpenTable diners
  • Sunday Slow
    Sandy
    Dined on 11/3/2013
    We had dinner on a Sunday evening, and their were just a few groups of diners in the restaurant; the whole Laurel Street restaurant scene was pretty quiet. That said, the food was tasty, plentiful, and nicely presented. Our waiter, however, was somewhat inattentive. I'd go again, but would like to experience the restaurant at a more vibrant time. Looks like they have a nice outdoor seating arrangement at the front of the restaurant; that might be enjoyable on a warm day or evening.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely little restaurant
    DrLydiaGray
    Dined on 10/26/2013
    This is a lovely little restaurant. The room has a very nice intimate feeling. The service was excellent and our waitress was very attentive and helpful. The food was very good and reasonably priced for a restaurant of this type (not too expensive, but not exactly cheap either). This was our first time here and we will definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The definition of neighborhood gem
    SanMateoMan
    Dined on 10/17/2013
    We have been to this place 4-5 time and love it. Service is great, food is well above average Italian. We've sat inside and out and love both. We'll be back.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Preetty good.
    Shaybabby
    Dined on 9/21/2013
    I had a shrimp pasta dish and it was great! Myhusband had the duck and wasn't crazy about the sauce. Service was good,restaurant is cute.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excllent food, wonderful atmosphere
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 9/20/2013
    Food was excellent and the outside sitting was great. The weather was perfect and lots of happenings going on. My husband had looked at the on-line menu and was disappointed that they didn't offer Lamb... BUT... lo and behold... Lamb Chops was the special for the night!! Would recommend to friends and family for a lovely evening.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Really can't recommend--only
    out2lunch
    Dined on 8/28/2013
    Really can't recommend--only patrons for most of the visit and less than attentive service, A bit "pushy" with daily specials/other menu items. Food mediocre at best. Hope it can improve in time.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Another fine meal at Viva la Vita
    MichaelW
    Dined on 8/17/2013
    The food was great and the complementary digestif at the end of the meal was nice touch and very satisfying.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Staff was very friendly and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/11/2013
    Staff was very friendly and treated us to Moscato on the house!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • This place is good food. They
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 7/20/2013
    This place is good food. They always have different specials which we often get. Lamb chops last weekend were very tasty.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Unfortunate
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 6/30/2013
    We are local, and decided to give this restaurant another chance because of the ratings on Open Table. The recipies that Viva is using are good, but the execution is lacking. They never seem to have enough business, and I could tell that some of the fresh produce (butter lettuce/green beans/broccoli) had been in the walk-in a few days too long. The kitchen (or was it the service) was very slow, and for a Sunday night with the kids dinner, just not on pace. The bill at the end of this was $100. We wish it had worked out, but we will not be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Gem In San Carlos
    SaltlyVIP
    Dined on 6/27/2013
    Nice Italian Restaurant in the heart of San Carlos. The food was great and the people very very nice. We'll be happy to go again!!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • NICE SPOT FOR A QUIET DINNER-
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 6/21/2013
    NICE SPOT FOR A QUIET DINNER- THE SERVICE IS GOOD, AND THE FOOD IS GREAT.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Food and Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 6/9/2013
    This was our 4th special occasion dinner at this fine Italian restaurant. The food was excellent and the service as well. The restaurant made every effort to make this birthday dinner special.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • we had a party of 8 on a saturday
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 4/27/2013
    we had a party of 8 on a saturday night and they handled our orders and service with ease. Franco was a very good server. We brought 2 different bottles of wine and as they were ready to pour the second bottle, new wine glasses were brought. That was very observant as they were different varieties and the first had sediment due to age. We all enjoyed our entrees and the port served at the end. Thank you for a great experience. We will be returning soon .
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice place to go with kids
    RhishiVIP
    Dined on 4/24/2013
    Ravioli was very nice. Minestrone was good. Service was very friendly. You can hop over to Cowabunga or Harmony for a post dinner ice cream as well.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food and great service!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 4/21/2013
    Great food and great service! Reasonably priced too. The butter lettuce salad was killer! As was the ravioli. My fiancée had a Caesar salad and spaghetti bolognese- he loved both! Cannoli and biscotti were great for dessert! Will definitely be coming back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very good food and great service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/21/2013
    Very good food and great service at reasonable prices.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awful-No one came to the table
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 2/14/2013
    Awful-No one came to the table to take drink order or meal order for over 20min. Asked Matre'D to take the drink order, but she didnt' even go get our server to attend us. After 30min of waiting, we got up and left. The worst place I have ever been to.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Had a good time...good food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 2/12/2013
    Had a good time...good food! And they can cook gluten free.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We had a hot, tasty and flavorful
    Rose
    Dined on 12/28/2012
    We had a hot, tasty and flavorful salmon entree with lemon and herb sauce, fresh vegetables and mashed potatoes. The chef's butter lettuce salad with champagne dressing was yummy, especially with a substitute of feta cheese instead of the blue cheese per our request. The waiters are always willing to make your request for possible substitutions a reality with the chef. Also, the owner surprised us with a creative dessert tray comprised of tiramisu cake with candles, fresh fruit slices , and red wine in a glass with a orange peel draped from it. It was our anniversary.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice restaurant with great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 12/25/2012
    Nice restaurant with great food and reasonable prices. The staff was very polite and friendly. We went there because they were close and open on Christmas but we will definitely go back. The spinach and cheese raviolis in pesto cream sauce was excellent!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • the restaurant was cold, the
    BonappetiteVIP
    Dined on 12/15/2012
    the restaurant was cold, the doors are strore front type doors, not a restaurant type door, very drafty. the staff had to keep running out the front door to deliver food to the next door area which is also owned by the restaurant, very annoying and disruptive. Service was slow due to understaffing. won't be going back there. the food was good but we had to wait a long time for our appetizers.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food, Great Staff, Great
    RickVIP
    Dined on 11/8/2012
    Great Food, Great Staff, Great Owner! We will be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delightful dining experience.
    MenloGalVIP
    Dined on 10/24/2012
    Delightful dining experience. My companion enjoyed the meat lasagna special, a hearty portion of pasta layers, flavorful sauce and just enough rich cheese to complete the dish. I enjoyed the Tuscan chicken with proscuito and fontina cheese, it was moist, juicy and flavorful. The garlic mashed potatoes were just how I like them, not too garlicy, just enough and enough texture to give good mouth feel. Service was attentive as always. There were many folks enjoying dessert that night and they looked beautiful, but alas, both my dining companioin and myself were full. Highly recommend and I will return, one of my favorite spots in San Carlos.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We had one entree that was
    Rose
    Dined on 10/13/2012
    We had one entree that was the chef's special and very tasty. I liked the creative lemon risotto, glaze over the seafood. The other entree was the veal piccata, which always is a winner. For an appetizer, we enjoyed the melon and Italian ham with a mild sauce. It was a memorable evening. We got to see the new addition for large groups adjoining the main restaurant. It appears to have a warm feeling with lots of wine selections to preview. Apparently, 60 people can be served there. What a great restaurant!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • It is always a pleasure to
    CatwomanVIP
    Dined on 9/25/2012
    It is always a pleasure to dine at Viva la Vita. The manager and his staff are always attentive and friendly.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • First time at Viva la Vita
    MenloGalVIP
    Dined on 9/8/2012
    First time at Viva la Vita and certainly will not be the last, it may become my new "go to" spot. Charming, cozy restaurant in San Carlos, plenty of choices on the menu and the food was delicious. The service was prompt, attentive and knowledgeable; I liked that she confirmed the order after it was taken. My dining companion and I split the salad special and it arrived beautifully presented on two plates per the recommendation of the server. I enjoyed the chicken piccata with vegetables and mashed potatoes. The veggies were nicely seasoned, the potatoes had nice texture and the chicken was nicely seasoned. My companion enjoyed the raviolis from the main menu and they were divine. Portions are ample, bread yummy.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • cant miss the dessert especially
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 8/10/2012
    cant miss the dessert especially bread pudding and tiramsu
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It took 50 minutes to serve
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 8/6/2012
    It took 50 minutes to serve our party of 3. We were also the only patrons in the restaurant the whole time we were there.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Absolutly love the food here!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/24/2012
    Absolutly love the food here!! I have yet to have something that I didn't like. The service can be a bit slow if they are busy, but the friendlyness of the staff make it easy to over look it. Tuesday nights they have a singer come in and it can get a bit loud. The good news is he is an excellent preformer.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Keep on walking
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/3/2012
    horrible food slow service wobbly table never got fixed. With all the restaurants on Laurel Street, I can't beleive this one is still in operation.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We love Viva la Vita (we've
    AahzVIP
    Dined on 6/18/2012
    We love Viva la Vita (we've been going for several years), but this visit was really bad, mainly because of poor service. For example, we asked the loud music to be turned off, and the waiter responded, "I have a customer." Later the waiter refused to hand over the check because someone was still pushing food around on the plate. In addition, the kitchen was really slow. (Again, an abnormal problem.) Aside from one dish being served too cold (which they nuked on request), the slow kitchen did not affect food quality, it was all very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Staff was friendly and food
    gc37
    Dined on 6/10/2012
    Staff was friendly and food was quite good, but "la Vita" they are living is one that involves a long, slow meal, so don't expect quick service!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Italian food at good prices!
    Gourmet1VIP
    Dined on 6/8/2012
    Our most recent dining showed that the food is excellent both in preparation and presentation. Mehmet, the owner, was gracious and attentive as always. Very good service by Lauren made for a fine evening. The $10 corkage fee is very fair for those of us who bring our own wine and is one of the reasons we like to come here as so many others in this area charge unreasonable amounts. (San Carlos, Belmont, and Redwood City are NOT San Francisco so corkage fees of $15-$25 result in our not going to these establishments.) Highly recommended for the quality of food and excellent service.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • It has a romantic vibe and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 6/2/2012
    It has a romantic vibe and the food is delicious. I enjoyed it so much I'm throwing an event at the restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate