Awesome food what more can I say!!
It was really clean and service was on point. Host was very kind to check me in. The sever was constantly checking on our table and even the manager came by to see if everything was well. The food is delicious but a bit pricey.
This was our second visit to Sam's. Both times the food was good. The first time the service was very good and attentive. The second time, service was quite poor. Our server filled in for our own server (who never did appear). I also did not like where we were seated. Last time we were over by the kitchen, and it felt much more cozy and inviting. This time we were on the other end, and it was cold and unwelcoming. Nevertheless, the food would keep us returning.
Although we have eaten at Sam's in Half Moon Bay this was our first visit to the Palo Alto branch. The New England chowder was wonderful and exactly like the one served in HMB. We enjoyed fried calamari, fried oysters and shrimp/scampi pasta. The food was fresh and the portions very generous. We took food home with us and enjoyed it the next day. Service was attentive but rather too rushed. I had not even finished my chowder when the next course arrived! The only disappointment was the wine list. The wines were very expensive from our perspective (most of what we think of and drink as every day wines like Chalk Hill ranged from $40 to $50 and many were a lot more expensive that that) so we declined to order wine although we always enjoy it with meals. Instead we ordered draught Anchor Steam beers which we enjoyed and which were much better value for money.......but we'd have preferred wine to go with our seafood.
My wife and daughter wanted to dine at Sam's for New Year's, but we were unable to get a reservation at the Half Moon Bay location. I suggested going to Palo Alto, instead, and we were able to sit for an early dinner (3:45). Place was not crowded, and sun was just starting to set, so made for a nice ambiance. My wife ordered the Seafood Stew, and thoroughly enjoyed it (took some home, too). My daughter had a bowl of chowder and the Combo Louie, and I had the fresh cod. All of our meals were served quickly and at the proper temperature. Service was good and friendly. Nice way to start the New Year!
I was only here 1 week ago and had a craving for their lobster roll. Absolutely delicious!
Service was a little slow today.
Bad service, was waiting at the entrance for 5-10mins, then the hostess only appeared & I told him I had reservations, he seemed didn't care & didn't update the record!
Was served by a 'manager' instead of waiter, she took the appetizer orders , then disappeared! We had to ask for other waiter to take orders!
Food was not great , very disappointing!
Overall, service & food are bad!
I made a reservation through open table a week before the dinning date. The day before I had the confirmation call about my reservation. The day of I resieved a call that my reservation had been cancelled!!?? What how was that even possible the day of we had just confirmed the day before. Doesn't even make sense.
The lobster roll is outstanding!! Clam chowder not so because it's not thick and creamy the way I like it. They make theirs on the watery side. That's about the only negative I have about the restaurant.
The New England clam chowder and a side of crispy brussel sprouts were so delicious I will likely order the same thing when we return. And we WILL return! The portions were so generous that we took half home and happily ate the rest for dinner.
The service was attentive but not intrusive. Our waiter was very helpful to those with food allergies.
This was a spur-of-the-moment reservation and exceeded our expectations.
We had a "catch up" lunch here with some friends. The food quality at this location was better than the Sam's on the coast. Even though I usually order the great lobster roll, this time I had the Oysters Rockefeller and New England clam chowder. They were both very good. My friends enjoyed the cherrystone clams. The menu has many appealing options to try, making me want to go back to sample other dishes. The service was a bit off. The waiter had to be reminded to bring spoons and water several times and was not very available, even though the restaurant was sparsely populated.
We had a fantastic dinner yesterday. We both enjoyed the lobster roll sandwich. For just $2 exchange fee, you can have the brussel sprouts instead of potato chips! They were awesome! Brussel sprouts leaves were tasty and crispy...ONOlicious!
Sam's Chowder House in Half Moon Bay is more fun because it is on the ocean. But if one doesn't want to travel that far, their branch in Palo Alto offers the same thing. The food in
Palo Alto is also very good and the service was really excellent except the waiter kept screwing
up our bill. Perhaps he is new, but it didn't take away anything from the food. Will return when I am in the mood for lobster.
Enjoyed the meal, but the first table we were offered was the worst area in the restaurant and the place was almost empty and I had a reservation. The table was right near the kitchen and serving area and was extra noisy. We asked for another area which we pointed out and it was set up for us. However, I don't understand why one can't be offered the best, rather than the worst table. It often happens that way.
Excellent oysters and lobster sandwich. The butter is a little too much though, especially on the kids spaghetti.
I live in San Francisco, but work in Palo Alto. The schlep to work is unbearable at best, but one of my motivating forces is Sam's. I always look forward to escaping out to lunch for my shrimp and crab louis salad and a sandwich. After a nice, long holiday break, I am very much looking forward to schlepping down to Palo Alto -- not for work, but for Sam's!
I liked the restaurant, the fisherman's platter was very good. The chowder was good but unfortunately it had sand in it from the clams. Service was friendly and attentive. Decor and ambiance was just average.
We frequent Sam's in Half Moon Bay a few times a year. Other than being touristy the food and service are always consistent. Thought we would try Palo Alto and we were disappointed. Food including chowder was sub-par. At 5:00 were already out of mussels. Service was friendly but slow considering most tables were not occupied this early. While we will try their HMB location again, Palo Alto won't make the cut.
Was hoping for a GREAT lobster sandwich that would allow me to not care about the New England kitschy decor, bright lighting and diner ambiance. Sandwich was good and had lots of lobster meat, but as previously reviewed, was pretty dry - good for the purist who wants to control how much butter on his lobster. The butter was in the delicious sandwich bun, and the lobster was a bit dry. Husband and son both ordered the Cioppino and both enjoyed the flavor! But the crab was messy - both had wished they had used crab meat in the dish, versus the mess of cracking and splattering.
Wine list was decent, but expensive by the glass.
All in all, probably won't return. Wish it had been more.
We have made many trips to Sam's in Princeton on weekends, and this was our first trip to Sam's Palo Alto on a weeknight. Everything was fine, but not quite as delicious as we have come to expect. The shrimp were overcooked, though the sauce and pasta were tasty. The polenta fries were very soft; not at all crispy on the outside. For the price, we expected better.
The service was very good as were all the dishes we ordered. We had the specials which were great, served hot. The service was the perfect amount of checking on us while not disturbing our dinner.
As a seafood lover, I was excited to try this place. We arrived at our reservation time and were promptly seated. The waiter was outstanding- he knew to quickly provide the activity placemats, crayons, bread, and drinks to our young kids. He apologized profusely that I couldn't get moules frites since their mussel shipment didn't come in, so they had to ration mussels. He even kept us posted on our order status. The ambiance was energetic and busy but about a third of the tables were empty on a Saturday night. The noise level was not so loud you had to shout but not so quiet that you can't have families. So it was a fun, laid-back vibe. Unfortunately, the food was not quite what I hoped for. We had the seafood risotto and the fishermen's stew. While the seafood itself tasted fresh and were decent portions, the sauce/stew was bland and oddly sweet; the risotto lacked that nice creamy risotto texture. I believe they were trying out a squash based sauce/broth but it not seem to go and was not uniquely or strongly flavored enough to seem intentional. While I realize it may not be traditional, the lack of greens or vegetables in either dish also did not seem to go with the times in health-conscious Palo Alto; plus it would have added some color. I did not get a chance to try their popular lobster rolls, chowder, or fried foods, but I suspect these might be their stronger suit. For our meal, it was also no small price tag- two adult meals, two kid meals, an iced tea and a beer and we were out over $90 w/tip. For the price I would expect something a little more impressive in taste, but to be fair I'm sure rent is sky high in their location. Somehow if I were in Half Moon Bay I would instead think this more than adequate since my expectations would be different there. So in summary I can see this place as a good option to bring friends, kids, and relax with some decent bites while enjoying the downtown, but I would not bring someone for exceptional seafood.
We came for dinner and the food was great. Lobster roll is always delicious. The fishermans stew with linguine was filled with flavorful perfectly cooked fish and shellfish in a tasty wine based saffron broth. Service was ok, we had to ask a few times for water and bread. We also had to wait for our reservation and for a very long time for our food but the restaurant kindly comped our appetizer.
We will be back.
Food is great every time and so is the service, I always tell friends and family to go to Sam's.
Mediocre food. restaurant is better suited in a strip mall in suburbia. Quality and taste is lacking.
This restaurant is overpriced. The music was so loud I couldn't hear my business colleague sitting across from me. Lobster roll was fine, but I prefer The Lobster Shack in RWC.
Outside dining was on the sidewalk at a solid-sized table for 4. We enjoyed the lobster rolls! Happy hour include oysters on the half
Bring the family or just enjoy the seafood.. Not fancy, but great crab cakes and salads....
The clam chowder was wonderful. The lobster roll while good with nice size meat seemed to need more spice or something to zing it.
I wanted to take my mother to some place special for lunch on our way to Monterey. I have had the Lobster sandwiches from the Sam's Chowder food truck they are always so great, I had to try the restaurant. We arrived about 25 minutes early, but everyone was very accommodating and allowed us in and took our order. The food was fresh, hot, and delicious. My mother was very satisfied with the Boston claim chowder and the fish tacos.
Thank you again for a great meal.
I'm originally from New England and I know good seafood when I taste it. Sam's Chowder House is where I go to get it. I usually order the lobster roll. On this particular night I found that I wasn't very hungry, so I asked to have it packaged up to take home. The next day I used the lobster in a quiche--sublime.
I like the Half Moon Bay location better because of the ocean view and the general ambiance, but for people from San Jose it's a painfully long trip, so I'm very happy that Sam's has opened a branch in Palo Alto.
If you love seafood in a contemporary, trendy setting, this downtown Palo Alto restaurant is for you. We were well taken care of by our waiter and service staff, everything we ordered was delicious and perfect to share in a family style manner. The preparations are light, fresh, beautiful to the eye and very tasty. I enjoyed it even better than their very popular place out in Half Moon Bay.
We made reservations for 8 people for 6:30pm the day of on a Sunday and were pleasantly surprised that they were able to accommodate. Parking is difficult, as expected. The restaurant wasn't very crowded, which was probably why they were able to hold a table for us. They ran out of high chairs at the beginning but brought them later.
Food-wise the restaurant is ok. We recall their New England chowder being thicker before. Now it's just kind of salty. The lobster rolls are still good. Expect very buttery buns though. You can get essentially the same chowder from their food truck, but the lobster rolls were better at the restaurant. We also ordered seafood ceviche to share and it was ok.
Part of the problem was the lack of adequate air conditioning, part of the problem was the noise . For a Saturday night, there were lots of kids - family friendly is fine but the tables are so close, you have no privacy. The food was ok--I had the special lobster roll--there was plenty of lobster but it was dry & over cooked. The roll wasn't worth eating. The soup was just ok--too watery. The other diners in my party seemed satisfied with their meals although there was way too much garlic in the scampi. Overall, I wouldn't come back again. Too many other good choices in Palo Alto.
We had the fried squid as an appetizer and this was perhaps the best I've ever had, crisp not greasy and perfectly cooked. The entrees was all very good and our service was excellent. Add to that the Wednesday half-price wines and it was a bargain.
The food was terrible. The chef over salted every single dish. The only decent dish was the fried polenta and chowder. The other five dishes tasted like someone decided to put more salt before serving.
Sam's Chowder house is a nice but not fancy restaurant. Food good - not earth shattering but my shrimp scampi was tasteful. Another member of the party had a Shrimp Louis salad which was sent back as tasteless and watery. Waiter offered another entree and was very apologetic.
Beet salad was ruined w/ some new dressing. lobster good. Chowda good. Service a bit awkward - and a bartender who really didn't know how to make more than a beer.
It seemed folks really liked it or really disliked it, no in between. We went anyway and we really liked it. We started with the Captain's Platter which offered 4 each of cooked shrimp, raw oysters and raw clams. It also included ahi poke and lobster ceviche which my husband thoroughly enjoyed. I experienced my first lobster roll and was very pleased. And my husband didn't leave anything of his steamed clams with linguini behind. The bonus of the night was half-priced bottles of wine which was a great way to celebrate my husband's birthday. We will be back.
Good food, great selection of drinks and kid friendly.