Olla Cocina

4.4
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297 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary Mexican

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Fun
Casual
Join us on Thursday, November 21st from 5-7pm for a fun social
featuring Roca Patron'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 297 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
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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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
2 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
1 review
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
6 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
16 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
33 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
12 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
39 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
8 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.

a
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Tasty!!!! Food presentation was also great. Like the restaurant ambiance. Friendly service. Clean too. Try the Latino lover drink if your into Spicy flavors.

BD
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

On a busy Friday night service was very good, and food quality was excellent. First time visit for some family members and they were very happy with everything.

LW
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience3

The service was very slow despite not being busy. The waiter was not very attentive and could not even remember our drink order. The food was pretty good but could see why it wasn't busy due to poor service.

T
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Love the food and drinks here! Brought a group of friends that have never been, they all enjoyed! Just beware - chips/salsa, that are normally included, are $5 a serving - we would have avoided if we'd known. Duck Carnitas Tacos are my fave :)

IT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Conveniently located close to big parking structure and main area attractions; fast (despite the busyness) and attentive service, tasty cocktails and small plates/appetizers (didn't have big plate dishes).
Highly recommend.

JL
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall1food1service3ambience1

I must say this is one of the worst restaurants I have ever been to and I am a foodie and saw was my group. First of all, the noise level was ridiculous. We couldn’t even talk to each other and one of us got a splitting headache. The pitcher of Cadillac margaritas were sour and couldn’t even taste the tequila. We returned those. The shrimp ceviche appetizer was like rubber. It was definitely over marinated. The rest of the entrees were with over spiced, underspiced, the Chili Rellano tastes like it was covered in a can of tomato sauce.
I talked to another guest when in the ladies room, and they had the same complaints about the food. When the manager came to us, she was snippy. I can’t believe she doesn’t get complaints like this every day. They ended up crediting us back for ALL of our food. I’m sure this is a common occurrence. How this place is even in business is beyond me. All I can see is don’t waste your money. This is the worst on so many levels

n
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

The food quality was inconsistent and over priced in my opinion. The guacamole was very good, but the salsa was boring. The avocado taco was pretty good, but pricey at $6/taco. The carne asada and Al pastor tacos were dry and not very flavorful. My al pastor meat was tough and fatty. My friends didn't finish their carne asada tacos because they didn't like it. Considering the cost, that shouldn't be happening. The location and decor are great, but we won't be back for the food. I would be willing to go back to try the cocktails.

m
San Francisco
50 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Good variety on the menu, like the patio seating, and usually the service is pretty good.

JP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved the avocado tacos, the ceviche, and margaritas. Great service. Good prices. Our favorite place right now!

g
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall3food5service3ambience4

Food excellent Service poor

PA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall4food2service4ambience5

The atmosphere was great but the brunch menu was very limited. The items that I really wanted to try were not available until 3pm which was a little disappointing.

RR
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall1food3service1ambience4

Service was VERY SLOW. We were seated and took forever to be acknowledged by our server. I'm having a difficult time recommending your restaurant.....

K
Kansas City
3 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Water glasses dirty. Tostada was cold. Chips stale.

SL
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We shared a bunch of different small dishes among four people. Loved the ceviche!

A
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Consistently good food. Service was a little on the slow side.

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