About El Paseo
Originally built in the mid-1940s, the history of the Bay Area is woven deeply into the construction of El Paseo. The bricks walling in the quaint warren of rooms were reclaimed from landfill from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the thick beams, supporting many of the ceilings, were rail ties from the gravity trains used to bring visitors up Mount Tamalpais’ East Peak at the turn of the last century. Designed by noted architect Gus Costigan, who sketched his designs while serving in WWII, El Paseo is a soulful and authentic example of the California Mission-Style. With this incredible history in mind and a near life-long tradition of celebratory family meals spent at El Paseo (birthdays, Mother’s Days, recording contracts… you get the idea) Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Sammy Hagar financed the meticulous two-year restoration of the property; a restoration which has enhanced El Paseo’s warmth and accentuated its timeless appeal.
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Californian, American, Contemporary American
Hours of Operation:
Sunday-Thursday 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Friday & Saturday 5:00pm-10:00pm
Happy Hour: Sunday-Thursday 4:00pm - 5:00pm
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Parking is located on the street as well as a pay lot at the corner of Sunnyside and Miller.
Private Party Facilities:
We look forward to hosting your private event.
Please email email@example.com for more information and seated/standing capacity.
Private Party Contact:
our Events Team: (415) 388-0741
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Inquire for more information.
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El Paseo Ratings and Reviews
Food very good. One of our salads was missing an ingredient listed on the menu. It goes past three people before being served (salad maker, expediter, runner) but was missed. Missing element brought quickly when requested. Carrot appetizer good, but could use more carrots for the price. Meat cooked somewhat under what was requested, but server knew this might happen and encouraged us to order one degree more cooked than desired. Worked out (still underdone a bit, but better than overdone). Server was very nice, friendly, efficient - she was the best part. Atmosphere nice, not too loud. One gripe - as long as I've gone there, the lights over the stalls in the women's restroom have been out. We don't need "mood lighting" in the restroom. We need to be able to see. This is not the place to save on electricity or create atmosphere. It's also not safe, especially for more mature folks or those with mobility challenges.
The food was very good. Had a delicious pork chop, that was it on the plate. Some very good local blue cheese and honeycomb on top. Very nice combo but really called out for a green and a little starch. I will return and have gone here off and on since the 1980s, different owners and incarnations every few years but always pretty good.
The ambiance at El Paseo couldn't be more beautiful, unfortunately the service couldn't have been worse. We went there to celebrate Valentine's Day. We showed up about 15 minutes early for an 8:15 reservation. Our table wasn't ready so we were invited to have a drink at the bar. The bartender wouldn't recognize me for the first 10 minutes. When I finally managed to get his attention I asked for a wine list. He eventually gave me one - unfortunately it was illegible (I think their printer must have run out of ink). When I mentioned that, he said he didn't have another copy. He never made eye contact again to tell me what wines were available or to ask what we might want to drink. After being ignored for the next 20 minutes we left, checked on our table and were told it still wasn't ready. We were invited to sit outside and wait. Unfortunately it was cold, the heat lamps weren't on (though there were blankets) and we ended up waiting for another full hour! When we finally sat down we were looking forward to ordering the duck since we heard it was great. Well, the first thing the waitress told us is that they were out of the duck. We ended up ordering one fish entree and one rib-eye entree. The fish was tasteless and the rib-eye was very tough and chewy and hard to eat. The next time we saw the waitress she told us she'd bring the bill! She never asked us how we were doing, never asked how the food was, never offered us a dessert menu or coffee! I think she and the wait-staff wanted to go home (understandably, it was getting late)... but then again we had a reservation and it wasn't our fault that we were seated over an hour late! Nor did the waitress ever let us know that we should eat fast, or order dessert up front because they were getting ready to close. All in all the service was very impersonal to say the least and unfortunately made for a very disappointing Valentine's experience. I sent the restaurant a private email and got no response.
If we'd had bread we might not be cranky.
It's hard to give a restaurant a less than outstanding review for Valentine's Day because it's busy and everybody has high expectations. However, it took a very long time for us to get initial attention and a glass of celebratory sparkling wine so we were let down early. There was no bread offered and no one in the room had any until one couple later in the evening, so somehow we missed the secret bread password. The food itself was creative, inspired, and flavorful from salad to vegetables to entrees (duck and halibut) to dessert (doughnuts), and fairly priced. However, a wine overcharge that had to be reversed didn't help the feeling that the waitstaff just really weren't engaged in making our evening a pleasant experience.
Ultimately the question is whether we will return; the answer is probably not.
We enjoyed happy hour. The portions were generous. Drinks (margaritas) delicious,none of this “I can’t taste the booze” non-sense here.
We requested a quiet table and our request was granted. The sardines and fries witb eyes were incredible. We had the porkchop and risotto. Out of this world yummy!
The chef and staff do not disappoint. We will definitely be back soon
Waited about 20 min past our reso for our table. Bar and bartender are great so didn’t mind too much except we came starving. Food was good but not worth the price. Crab was super tender but could’ve been pre-cracked a bit. Steak could’ve come with a little more than 4 small potatoes for the $55 price tag. I thought it also lacked flavor. Was super excited for donuts but the had sold out already (along with baby carrots and oysters). Note that our reservation was for 7:15! Server saw my disappointment with the donuts and offered us some on the house next time we came which was extremely gracious. Service and ambiance was great, not super impressed with this meal. Will be going back for the burger and hopefully will have a better experience.
The service, food and bar are impeccably done. Chef Todd has curated a seasonal farm fresh menu with emphasis on locally driven produce and protein. Kyoko our server was informed and professional, knowing when to add to the conversation and when we wanted to be left alone. We sampled from the lengthy wines list, with an old world emphasis, this place has the market cornered on artisanal winemakers.
The ambiance is always impeccable! The energy is thriving, we will be back!!!
Drove over 13 hours from Vancouver to take my wife to El Paseo for dinner and to possibly meet the proprietor...Sammy.
Unfortunately, Sammy did not show up but the food was incredible, the ambience was quiet and romantic. Great place to go for a nice dinner. We will be back next time we are through.
I was disappointed with the re-do of the restaurant. El Paseo has always been a special place for us. And while I appreciate the change in menu prices means a change in things overall, the vibe has changed for the worse . It was loud (acoustics-wise), not as cozy, loud music (not dinner-appropriate--I get that Sammy Hagar owns the place, but not conducive to a nice meal)..I miss the old ambiance.
I gave my experience (my 3rd time dining here) an overall good rating and indicated I would recommend it with some caveats. It was very loud this time. The music volume was too high and although I am a fan of The Black Keys the playlist is completely in-congruent with the atmosphere. Please consider something softer as background music. It was difficult to have a conversation. The waiter was OK. Not particularly friendly, helpful or attentive--actually a little aloof. He also didn't let my husband know when he ordered the duck that is was prepared with essentially the same sauce that was used on our Brussels sprout appetizer. He should've mentioned it. The wine and cocktail pours are small in comparison to other comparable restaurants. We made a special trip from the Sacramento area to eat at El Paseo. We had better experiences in the past. The restaurant and building are absolutely beautiful and so unique. Unfortunately, this time the rest of the experience didn't quite live up to it.
So happy the chef from now-closed Molina is in Mill Valley at El Paseo! One dish that made the quarter-mile trek from Molina to El Paseo was the ribeye with melted Nicasio Square -- the steak was generous, perfectly cooked to medium rare, and the cheese made it that much more delicious. We also had the risotto with foraged wild mushrooms. We'd started with salads, and had plenty of entree to bring home leftovers.
Sammy Hagar was in the house, holding court in a corner booth. The vibe is a bit more casual feeling than previously, with waitstaff in plaid shirts, but it's still cozy and a nice date place.
My girlfriend and I have been coming here for a few years and it was one of our special places. Her son was celebrating his 18th birthday, so we thought we would take him somewhere special. Sadly, this was the second time we were unhappy with our dining experience.
One thing we always looked forward to when dining here, was the before meal popovers that we’re served as the table bread option. This is such a rare treat that it really made a big impression with us. When we arrived and were seated the waitress took our drink and dinner orders, but the popovers hadn’t been brought yet, so we asked if some could be brought with our wine. We were informed that they have a new chef and popovers are no longer offered. So, meal already starting off with a bit of a let down. We then asked if there was some kind of bread and butter that could be brought, since the waitress didn’t offer an alternative. The bread was brought and it was good, but no comparison to the popovers.
On to the meal...with a new chef comes a new menu, for a place that refers to itself as a “chophouse” the heartier comfort foods of past visits were sadly missing from the menu. There were really only 5 or 6 entree options, so we tried some new things. My gf had the risotto dish, I had the duck, and her son went safely with the burger, which he liked. We were both disappointed with our choices. I truly believe if you are only offering a handful of entrees on a menu, they should be the best dishes the chef can prepare...if this was the chefs best, maybe it’s time to switch things up again.
For the prices of the food here, mediocre meals shouldn’t be acceptable. We’ve had some really great, top notch meals here in the past with just one previous disappointment, but at these prices two disappointments is one too many.
It may be time for us to try some other places. The ambiance and location of El Paseo will be missed, but the new menu won’t. Will we come back? Maybe, time will tell?
Our server was great. However entrees were under cooked . We ordered the same entree, portions on each plate were grossly different....one plate a full serving, the other about 2/3's of a full serving. Very disappointing as we have liked their new chef in the past.
Service was poor. Not staffed for Christmas Eve. Nice staff, just insufficient for the night. Steak was under-cooked but given the staffing inadequacy, sending it back did not seem a wise alternative. Too bad. It’s a rather unique place, but we won’t be going back.
JoJo our server was absolutely terrible. Rude, unfriendly and just not enjoyable at all. Completely unapologetic for one of our entree being prepared incorrectly. Barely checked in after delivering our food. She seemed completely put out to be taking care of our table. She was friendly and warm to the table next to us however it definitely ruined our Christmas dinner. You would think a $500 tab would warrant some high end service... we’ve dined here many many times however a few more experience like this one with JoJo and we’ll be headed elsewhere... they should beware what an extremely bad Apple can do to repeat business at a high end place like this...
Waiter was a jerk. We ordered appetizers, first courses and entree. Our first course salads were rushed to the table while we were trying to enjoy our appetizers. When I asked the waiter to slow down the service, his response was defensive and he tried to correct me by implying the appetizers and the first courses were intended to be had at the same time. Then the entries came and we all were disappointed. Pork was tough...cod was small and lacked flavor and the very expensive steaks were tough and over cooked.
Other than the charming atmosphere the rest of the dinning experienced was below par.
Ordered the duck breast entree and it arrived totally unccoked, red in the Center. What I tried was chewy and had no flavor. I returned it to have it suficiently cooked and 5 minutes later
the duck was slightly more cooked but one of the least appetizing duck entrees I have ever ordered. The waitress asked if I would like another entree instead and I chose the Crab, which was very tasty, however the fries were lying on the same plate as the crab and were totally soggy from the crab juice. My wife’s cod entree was quite small and uninspiring. The new celebrity chef was missing in action. The $14 glass of Pinot Noir was thin and uninspiring. For the price paid, there are much better places to dine in Marin.
This was my fifth time to dine at L Paseo in the past it has been fantastic. This time looking back there were several red flags that we overlooked. There’s no longer a menu there’s a one piece sheet of paper with some entrées on it. There was one meat selection a ribeye not like there was before three or four different steaks or chops to choose from. This ribeye at $52 came with new potatoes and leeks with a layer of cheese melted over the steak the smell was somewhat overpowering. My steak was good, it was not wonderful it was good. But very little selection now it’s a little pricey. it’s a shame Sammy Hagar had a beautiful restaurant there in the past
It was cool outside and we were sat in a small cozy room with a fireplace. Great service. Dinner menu had only 5 entrees and seemed limited. Two people ordered the cod, and it was overcooked. I had the Sugar Pumpkin Bolognese, good, not memrable. Would go again for the ambiance and location.
Many favorite food items disappearing from the menu, now the tartare is gone, too. Our server didn’t ask us how our meal was nor did he even speak when filling up our last glass of wine. I was disappointed, but will give them another try. Everyone has an off night.
We’re frequent fliers at El Paseo. We had a 7:30 reservation and were not seated until 8:15. Our server was just ok, not very engaging. A large and very loud party was seated near us during our dinner. It was difficult to hear ourselves speak & our server became preoccupied with this table. It took a long time to order dessert.
New menu is terrible. Good trying way to hard to be clever. Nothing pairs. Left feeling hungry. No more deviled eggs. Lots of stuff gone and new things are really just not at all satisfying.
Staff was uninspired. Our server was obviously not into the changes. Unenthusiastic is a good description.
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