Olla Cocina

4.4
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312 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary Mexican

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Casual
Join us on Thursday, March 19th from 5-7pm for a fun social
featuring Espolon's premium hand-crafted tequilas! Enjoy delicious Mexican bites and learn about the fascinating process behind tequila making. Tickets are $30 per person in advance online or $35 per person at the door*. Salud!

*Note: This event is 21+ with valid photo ID.

Link to online tickets can be found here: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3236190


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Located in the historical San Pedro Square, Olla Cocina is a stylishly casual contemporary Mexican eatery featuring a fun menu of shareable bites and entrees as well an extensive list of signature craft cocktails, local beers and wines on tap. The kitchen and the bar draw inspiration from many regions across Mexico and use seasonal California ingredients for a fresh take on traditional favorites. Olla is a slice of modern Mexico in the heart of downtown San Jose.
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What 312 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall2food1service2ambience3

While the location is great and the vibe of the restaurant is fun, the food quality and service are not the best. I definitely think there are better options for food and service in the surrounding area.

N
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience3

I was recommended the restaurant. Went with 4 adults and 1 5yr old. I was recommended the horchata martini special, which was like sipping on spiked syrup for >$15, didn't drink the rest - not enjoyable (and! i'm a lover of sweet cocktails!) I think the server was serving 10 other tables and so couldn't really check on us for refills etc, so we asked other serves to help instead. I ordered two vegetarian enchiladas, which have been THE BEST specially made enchiladas, w/ special vegetarian sauce - I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND TO ADD TO THE MENU, and had a side of baked beans instead of rice, portions and presentation was excellent. We were sat on the smaller area to the right of entrance, which I wish we would have been sat in the middle, being that we had traveled 2 hours away to eat here, we didn't get the whole experience of appreciating the art, building, etc. Mom ordered steak dinner, she was dissappointed the meat option seemed of poor quality, and shes a meat lover. Dad ordered vegetarian sopes, delish, and sister had i can't remember. Whole experience was ok, food was ok for the rest of my family, I would probably try something else next time

PL
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Solid choice for lunch, the tacos were great! Would eat here again.

OT
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I was here couple of weeks ago for their Restaurant Week for $30 prix fixe menu. We had their pablano caesar salad, ceviche and wonton chips, salmon entree, pollo con mole, tres leche and flan. Wow! Everything is amazing and very tasty. $30 for a 3 course steal was a steal and we are so happy to come by to try so many things.

My husband usually isn’t a fan of Mexican food but even he is blown away and I’m so glad he enjoyed it too. I thought everything was all pretty memorable and exceptional. The ambiance and attentive service definitely puts the cherry on the top. On your way out, don’t forget to get your parking validated by the hosts (this is if you parked across the street at the parking structure). Overall, it was a memorable meal and great for a date night!

WD
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and Drinks are always so flavorful! Our go to Mexican Spot for good food drinks and ambiance.

K
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wow, I was blown away on how delicious the food was, just everything about this restaurant is amazing. I'm always looking for a good authentic Mexican restaurant and Olla Cocina has now been added to my list for future visits.

OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the layout and food!

LB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience3

Service was extremely poor. We were waited on initially but then could not get the attention of our waitress. 2 meals of the 4 arrived and we had to wave down another waiter 15 minutes later to find out where the other 2 meals were. The people around us where having similar issues. Then one of the sides was never delivered but it was still on the bill which was removed after we brought it to the attention of the waitress. The food was adequate but we wished we had eaten somewhere else.

TD
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

The waiter was terrible. Had money falling out of his pocket, brought all our food late and cold and when we asked to get check it took 35 minutes and then when we finally had to find him he was upset with us for asking for the check and explained there was people at the bar who was taking up his time. No apologize and told us “it’s ok, don’t worry” and then we were late to out sharks game. Too many people packed in the restaurant, not enough servers and servers and white guy British host was completely rude from the moment you walk in door. The food was terrible! The salsa was watered down and no flavor and the mole was bad. The only good part were the drinks but they also took 30 minutes to come. We left and both got completely sick at the game and felt sick the next day from the food. We think the chicken was left out too long is not cooked properly. Not sure how we got so sick for two day’s but it happened directly and immediately after coming to your restaurant.

s
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The restaurant was way tooooo noisy compared to previous visits. We only had a party of 4 and had to yell at each other to be heard.

d
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good tasty food. Friendly quick service.

OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome mexican food, a bit pricey but service even know it was a Hockey game night.

BR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was on-point! They consistently checked in to make sure we were okay and if we needed anything. The service was quick and the food was delicious. The cucumber margarita is a game changer, I’m obsessed with it! It’s a little pricier than what I would’ve thought but nothing too out of control. I enjoyed my experience and would definitely go back. It’s great for meeting up with friends/an after work spot.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Took my parents here when they visited.

KC
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience4

The food was pretty good. I ordered a cabbage and cotilo salad with shrimp and it was very bland/boring. The shrimp were great. My friends food was all good. Only issue was the noise at lunch time was terrible. We ate outside which made it bearable but they need to do something about the acoustics.

RB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My first time at Olla Cocina. The wait time was very short, the staff were very friendly and attentive and the atmosphere was friendly. The food came very quickly, it was excellent and filling.

OT
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food wase great! The Avocado Tacos and the Brussel Sprouts were the best next to the Carnitas.

f
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Preface by saying that I have always enjoyed and recommended Olla Cocina for good food and a fun atmosphere. I will go back, but since consistency in restaurant success is so important, I must offer constructive criticism. The sides of rice and beans were excellent. The chips and guacamole were downgraded by many broken chips, like they came from the bottom of the pile. The bowl that the guacamole was served in was hard to dip into. Too narrow. The carnitas were huge chunks - ok but very dry, not unctious and tender as carnitas should be. For $6 per, the tacos should be something out of 'Taco Chronicles', yet they were lackluster.

That being said, I have had three previous outstanding experiences here. I will give it some time, and return to see if this Thursday night was an exception to their norm.

JW
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience4

This place should be better in so many ways. A few months after opening, we visited and had a very mediocre meal. Although we dine in San Pedro area frequently, we waited a few years later to try it again. The service was an absolute mess in every way. They brought us food we hadn't ordered, we never knew who our server was because it was someone different every time, and worst of all, the appetizer and entrees were brought at the EXACT SAME TIME. The entrees were delivered within 5 minutes of ordering and tasted microwaved. No need to ever try that place again.

FE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place to go to for a surprise birthday. No issues or great service, drinks and food!

S
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

All the staff here were super friendly. The margarita flight was delicious and so was all the food. We loved both indoor seating rooms and just the whole vibe of the restaurant. I will definitely be back here again soon!

SK
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience4

The food was less than desirable and the service was poor to say the least. Our waitress did not check on our table more than twice during our visit once our food touched the table and dint not fill out water at all. Our food was cold and the fish tacos tasted like they were cooked and reheated multiple times. The chicken was dry and the asada tacos were dry and did not have pineapples as listed. The restaurant it’s self was beautiful it I will not be returning or recommending to a friend.

DM
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience4

Good service, loud environment, tasteless food. No value. Better choices in the area.

NS
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

We loved the food. Four of us ordered a variety of items from the menu, and everything tasted great. The restaurant made a mistake on the bill, but they corrected it. The only reason I give the place 4 stars instead of 5 is that it was pretty loud. For our party that was a problem, but from a different perspective, others may enjoy the loud, energetic atmosphere.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

The modern decor is nice and the food delicious. I’ve already recommended the super amazing empanadas to a friend. The interior has so many hard surfaces, though, it was just too loud on a Saturday night to be truly enjoyable. I will probably be back, but will try for a sidewalk table.

AC
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall1food1service4ambience3

Hair in my food. At first, I considered that the long black hair had flown in due to the windy evening. When I found the second black imbedded into my taco al pastor, game over. Hector was very attentive and no, I did not tell him out the hair. I just wanted to get out of there.

TR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience5

A lovely and lively spot, courteous service, and, unfortunately, mediocre, seriously overpriced Mexican food. I had the duck tacos, which were bland and had lots of bones in them. The esquite (corn) was tasty.

i
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall1food1service2ambience3

Service was slow, very nice waitress but didn’t tend to our table well. Food was not worth the high price.

i
Atlanta
35 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Yearned for some Mexican and this place fit the task. Got a few of the appetizers to share. The avocado tacos was a surprise winner. Next were the sopes and covering the end was the chorizo mac and cheese. Service was responsive and polite. It was a FRI so the place was pretty lively with bike taxis blaring music while passing by.

T
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience4

We sat outside and enjoyed the music and people watching. Food was “blah”, we ordered a bunch of different things but nothing was great, lacked a lot of flavor. Desert was actually the best (warm churros). Service was ok, slow at first and had to ask for water and place settings several times. Disappointed because the atmosphere was great. Probably won’t return.

JH
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service were great - will definitely go again!

NH
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience2

The host did not smile and was unfriendly. Seemed like she rather be somewhere else than there. The server only checked on us once and he was no where to be found when we needed the bill. We ordered the sopes and it was extremely hard. Someone can chip a tooth on it. The chips were not complementary and extremely oily. Overall the quality did not match the prices.

P
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

The food was good, especially the ceviche, mac and cheese with chorizo, and the taco platter. The guacamole portion was really small, so not worth the price. The spicy salsa was great and chips were fresh. When we got there it was really loud as someone was having a birthday party. We couldn't even hear each other at our table, but then after 8:30 or so it quieted down. Service was just okay, nothing great. The decor and ambiance is nice and the restaurant is very spacious. I'd recommend it and think it is a great spot in downtown SJ.

m
Los Angeles
41 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience5

The food is good. I had the carnitas they are tender but they give you alot of fat and have no flavor. And we had ceviche it was good too we didnt finish it. I made reservations so I can get a nice table . The table was in a aisle didnt want to sit there so we sat at the bar was disappointed over all but nice waiter I would go again to try another plate and be very specific about my sitting .

OT
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food is great and they have the best margaritas in town 🙌🏻

R
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was delicious and the decor was amazing. The location was perfect for strolling and to enjoy an evening. The entire street was closed for pedestrian only traffic and had an array of games. My only concern was press entering the restaurant to take photos during our meal. I looked for a waiver stating that photos were going to be taken and that by dining we agree to our photo being taken - but there was no such sign. All in all a great dining experience - walking distance to many downtown attractions.

KL
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The beet salad was delish.

KS
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The purpose of dinning was my daughter b-day.....we had a fabulous time!
My sever Lola was a delight and she provided superb service....sweet and kind.
The food was Delicious and atmosphere was relax and pleasant.
The b-day girl enjoyed herself too. She loved the place

AP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food for good price. Host was great, very friendly.

JA
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

We always have a great time at Olla Cocina. I would recommend it to anybody. This particular visit, the service was a bit slower and less attentive that the times we've been before; however, I can't complain too much. Everybody, including restaurants, can have an off night. The food was still great though. We'll keep coming back.

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