Ristorante Bella Vita Italian Bar and Grill - Los Altos

4.3
607 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Ristorante Bella Vita is located in downtown Los Altos on First Street and serves Northern Italian Cuisine. Our dishes are prepared the finest and freshest ingredients featuring ever changing daily specials we will prepare any special meal to meat your diet. Gluten free and whole Wheat pastas available on your request We offer a full bar with an exceptional Wine list.We have Private dining available for any to gathering and catering out.
What 607 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Very cold, temperature wise, restaurant. Heaters were not working, so I asked to be sat in the main dining area. However the restaurant was just not cozy. Not quite happy with this restaurant. Therefore, will not be able to recommend it.

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a
San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Bella vita is a super family style Italian restaurant. The food is generally very good family style - some excellent dishes are available too.
We eat here regularly preferring it to many nearby places of greater pretence but much less accomplishment.

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t
San Francisco
69 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Haven't eaten here in a long time and we were pleasantly surprised. I had spaghetti with shrimp and pieces of salmon. Very good. My husband had one of the specials, lamb shank, and really liked it too. Their bread is good but when you ask for butter, they bring you 3 little individually wrapped pieces:( Didn't like that part. Our service was good and we left there full.

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R
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Bella Vita is a gem of a restaurant. Lovely smallish setting, reminds me of Italy. The service is gracious and friendly. The food is very good. The ambiance is cozy and warm. You can hear each other talk and it's popular but does not feel crowded. I really enjoy this place. I drive across the bay to dine here. Thank you. Grazie!

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m
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrated my husbands birthday here with family. Quality, delicious food for all tastes and preferences. Made our celebration special.

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S
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this restaurant. Awesome and authentic Italian food, great service, lovely ambiance, etc. Best kept secret...so don't tell too many folks! ;-) Ssshhhh!!!

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Loved our meal. The front room is quieter than the back. This is such a calm, nice place. Excellent service from our waiter, Matt. Delicious food - everything ate every morsel. They had excellent gluten free menu, and they even had gluten free bread.

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DT
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Bella Vita is a reliable, neighborhood gem. They have a large amount of seating, not obvious from the outside. The menu is a nice mix of traditional Italian dishes, with plenty of non-meat options. We eat there several times per year and always have a good meal, good service, and good wine.

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LF
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

As Los Altans, we have visited Bella Vita at least once a year, generally with guests, because of the pleasant atmosphere and relative quiet for conversations.

Sadly, the restaurant has slipped since we were last there. We ordered the calamari appetizer -- the coating was nice and crispy, but the squid was chewy, not crunchy and the sauces were flavorless.

We also ordered the carpaccio which was good.

As a main course (secondo), I ordered the lamb chops (medium rare) on the special of the day, but they came medium well done with a gummy sauce -- perhaps they spent too much time waiting under a heat lamp. My wife's veal piccata was also nothing special. The vegetables accompanying the main course were good, but the starch was very ordinary spagetti in a tomato sauce.

The service was good, but I hope they get their kitchen back in shape....

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p
Hawaii
5 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent sea bass, excellent pasta, and very, very good service. Easy to get to, easy to park, enjoyable evening. One of our favorite dining experiences.

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AT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Very enjoyable surroundings, you feel like your in a small town in Italy with warm decor and friendly service. Food was good to very good - portions were generous.

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M
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our New Year's Eve private party had very enjoyable experience at Bella Vita. The service was very friendly and efficient, the food was excellent, and the overall ambience was exactly what we hoped for for our private party.

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MM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We have been to Bella Vita several times and are always pleased with the food, service and ambiance. Even with a group of six, the back room stays sufficiently quiet for the group to hear each other. We had 4 on 12/29 and were seated immediately, had super service and totally enjoyed our evening. The Linguine Tuttomare is delicious. Enthusiastically recommend Bella Vita

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OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

Two of us ordered specials and were shocked when we got the bill. They were quite a bit more expensive than we anticipated. I had asked the waitresses opinion on one special vs. one from the menu that only had a different pasta. She recommended the special but didn’t say it was $7.00 more costing me $26.95. I owould have opted for the menu one. My friend ordered the lamb chops special and was horrified when she found out it was $38.95. She too would have chosen from the menu had she known. I think they should advise you of the prices for the specials because I don’t like having to ask up front. It seems tacky. We will from now on. I would also not recommend any of the desserts. Everyone I’ve had here has been awful.

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DK
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

My wife and I had salads and pizza. My spinach salad was small and bland. Her beet salad was small and used sliced flavorless canned beets. Our piazza crust was doughy as if it was undercooked. The toppings, half margarita and has Italian sausage were mediocre. Also there was not enough red sauce and cheese topping. I have had better pizza at the fast food chains.

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CJ
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic. Had the most lovely evening could not have been better. Everything was superb definitely will go again!

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RO
San Francisco
49 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

sorry to learn you will give up lunches but we will continue with dinners

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SU
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food, great service. Unfortunately, our Open Table reservation was NOT received by the restaurant, but they accommodated our large party anyway, and were very gracious about it. I will not use Open Table again, but I will definitely dine at Bella Vita again, it's an absolute favorite.

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s
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Chicken marinera was undercooked and another part was hard as a rock. Server never showed up to ask if anything was ok. later when we called him, he just took it out and I asked for salad instead and there was no dressing and had to hunt him down to ask for dressing. no apologies . very poor service. I used to go there all the time and thought it was a good restaurant however this time I had not seen any service and food worse.

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OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice place for a birthday

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D
San Francisco
66 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always consistent. Great service. Many menu choices we love. The specials are often the best. Chef is flexible to personal requests. Friendly owner is very involved and personal.

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FM
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We had a reservation at 6:30 and were told our table wasn’t ready. No problem, until we were told our table was given to someone else by mistake. The hostess tried to accommodate us by adding a small table and chairs to a booth in the bar. Totally uncomfortable. Then the waitress told us the “kitchen was backed up” but they were working on our order. She came by several times with the same report and about an hour after we ordered we had our food. Which had little to no flavor. Overall, a huge disappointment.

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MM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love the vibe at this place. Great food, nice intimate feel, and quiet.

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T
San Francisco
36 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent, friendly service. Well prepared and tasty food at a reasonable price. A great neighborhood restaurant for lunch or dinner.

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l
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Service. And good, moderately priced wine selection.

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KL
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

We had a great time! Many tables sat at the same time due to parade but everything was speedy enough. Out of the wine I wanted so we had to order a more expensive bottle, and i’d like to see a discount in situations like that. We will definitely be back though!

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s
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

We waited 40 minutes for our food (salad and pasta).

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p
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very good for visiting with friends in quiet restaurant for a change.

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PC
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service! Wonderful menu of classic Italian recipes.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Service was excellent. This was my first time dining at this restaurant and I came here for the Chicken Parmigiana dish. Unfortunately the server mentioned that they were out that night. However another customer who was seated after my family, received a special order of chicken parmigiana.

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g
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

I did not look at reviews beforehand- went to lunch with a business colleague at 2pm. Completely empty. Looking up, sideways, everything is chipped, dirty or yes, crawling with mold up the walls on the patio by the water feature. I was shocked. It's huge, I understand it must be wildly expensive to upkeep but I spent the whole time wanting to leave. We got a $20 lunch chicken breast with vegetables that was inedible, I kept spitting the gristle into my napkin when he was not looking. It was some thin (?pounded) filet with too much sauce. The salad and vegetables were fine. The hostess was nice and the food came quickly. Maybe it was lovely once long ago... but it needs a huge cleaning inside and out and repairs to the paint and walls all over.

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BR
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 1

Ristorante Bella Vita disappointed on multiple levels. Unlike any other dining establishment in Los Altos that we have visited, this restaurant lacks tremendously in terms of food quality, service and cleanliness. My husband and I live in Mountain View and we often take dinner excursions to Los Altos as it is a quick drive and has a surprisingly high density of great little restaurants. This time we felt like Italian food and consulted Open Table on the matter. The reviews seemed decent and we figured for it to be yet another gem in this small town next to ours. Unfortunately this was not the case. The food was bland and underseasoned. For our antipasti choice we chose a house salad as well as the Carpaccio di Manzo, which despite our explicit request still contained capers. We would have let that one slide but the staff didn't manage to omit olives in our salad either and therefore fail both of our omission requests. How difficult is it to leave a single ingredient out of dishes like that?! Apparently the wait staff must have forgotten to communicate that to the kitchen. As mentioned above, the problem wasn't just the food quality but very much a service issue as well. In between plates our utensils were taken but not replaced. This created some trouble for us when the entrees were served. We ordered the Fettucine Con Vitello and the Risotto. After the flawed Carpaccio and the flawed salad and my utensils being taken but not replaced, I've demonstratively ate a bite of my Risotto with my fingers in front of the young, handsome but dense waiter. He gave me a puzzled look but didn't bother to figure out the problem. Both entrees were lacking salt, potentially to accomodate the restaurants geriatric clientele, and the balance on the seasoning was awful. Based on this experience we have decided to skip desert. On our way out, a trip to the restroom revealed strange food remnants on the door handle to the unsanitary men's room. Also: The music was awful.

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g
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice restaurant, plenty of menu options. I had the Lamb shank dinner special, meat just fell off the bone. Another member of our party had the pasta special, "Artichoke/Cheese raviolis with sautéed shrimp on top in a light marinara sauce" said it was great.
Nice wine list with very reasonable prices.
We will be back.

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T
San Francisco
37 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Local restaurant with excellent food and great service. Dinner is freshly prepared and promptly served. Always enjoy their caesar salad and had the catch of the day deliciously prepared with tasty lemon caper sauce. Highly recommended.

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RH
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 4

Bartender/Manager/Owner/Host(?) -- whomever it was who seemed to be in charge was very cold, impersonal, dismissive, and unwelcoming. Waiter was trying his best, but was stretched covering too many tables. Food was meh. The soup of the day was butternut squash and arrived cold, bland, and thin -- tasted like perhaps they were adding water to the original soup to stretch the servings -- we sent it back. It's a shame that a great little town like Los Altos and a nice location and inside ambiance isn't matched by a quality old school Italian restaurant. Really wanted to like it, but cannot recommend it -- there are certainly better places to eat in town.

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KK
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great, homey atmosphere. Excellent food! Solid service.

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RO
San Francisco
49 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

keep up the good work

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K
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We appreciated the careful service and the superb food. The place just feels nice to be in; comfortable. Love all the menu choices too; can come again and have something completely different.

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RS
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

On a Saturday evening, we had a very good dinner and excellent service. We were able to have a conversation at our normal voice level.

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h
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The halibut special was great!

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