Last night, I went to Left Bank Brasserie in Menlo Park to try French Food, and I ordered the most expensive dish with Fish.
I guessed the size of my fish was no more than 1/4 the actual size of the fish with a few pieces of vegetables.
The skin of the fish had spices on it, but there was hardly any taste or flavor, and the meat texture was not soft like that of a fresh fish.
My boy friend gave me some of his chicken, and, again, no flavor,
My friends tried to give excuse to the tasteless fish by saying that it is not really a "French food" dish.
I will never go back to this or any of its branch restaurants.
Actually superior before renovation, but still good basics.
having stopped here several times over the years for business, the experience has always been very positively consistent -- which counts for a lot when you are the out of town host out of your element.
after the recent rennovation, there is an obvious emphasis on elbow-to-elbow crennulated seating of 2s (in contrast with the previous slightly wasteful diagonal seating) of 4s on a new golden/sparkly beautiful tiny-pieced roman granite flooring. but there is no extra 6 inches for privacy. the restrooms still are sloppy, and the staff seems less able to understand english (let alone the french menu) -- to the point of embarrasing errors one feels obligated to accept /ignore in order to keep the "flow" going . pidgeon english and pointing at the menu produces better predictable results, but hardly leads to an elegant experience, also, i do not want to be perceived as a cheapskate simply because their WONDERFUL bread deserves to be taken home. the new policy is to bring out a bag/box combo strait to you for you to pack it up in a do-it-yourself minnie pearl tradition. no thanks, except maybe with the grandkids in tow ala marie calendar.
while the food is still of very high quality and of remarkable preparation, the service detracts from the old and still potentially wonderful exprience in so many ways -- from not noticing absentee course silverware which makes the entire party have to wait, to the simply outright misunderstanding an order. and then the dreaded plate-grabbing even though it is quite obvious we are not all quite done, ugh. another instance where the host (me) has to make excuses . what a pain!
For an appetizer, we had the Assiette De Charcuterie, which had an assortment of meats, pickles and olives. I loved the pork rillette, my girl liked the duck one. The Proscutto was excellent, but there seemed to be a bit too much of it for an appetizer (I know, what a thing to complain about!).
We skipped salad or soup (we're small people!) and went straight to the main courses. My girl ordered the skirt steak while I tried the Coq Au Vin. I'd heard a lot about this classic French dish, but had never tried it. I liked the way it was presented and the sauce the chicken was in was spectacular, but the chicken itself was underwhelming. It fell off the bone and was succulent and moist, but in the end it was just... chicken. For some reason, I expected it to be more! My girl's steak was fine as well, but it was even better the next day when we combined her leftover steak with the leftover sauce from my dish. They should put THAT on the menu!
For some unknown reason, I ordered a desert, although each of us were plenty stuffed. I ended up ordering the Apple Tart, which was okay but ruined a bit by the apples not tasting quite right. I couldn't put my finger on exactly what it was, but they tasted wrong... maybe slightly burnt?
I don't remember the wines we drank, though I do remember the glasses of Pinot we had being much superior to the glasses of a red blend we had. The service was fine, though not quite as attentive as it needed to be, especially when we came to the end of our dinner (waited at least 20 minutes to get a bill).
Overall, a very nice experience and a definite repeat visit (hopefully sooner than 7 years!).
Bad value, spotty service. It seems like the left bank used to be so much better... The last 3 times I've been in there, I've been seated at a table where the server didn't realize he/she was assigned to us. This, of course, resulted in us waiting without haveing our order taken. The last thing I want to do is flag down a waiter and ask them to figure out who is responsible for our table. I shouldn't have to do that in a restaurant that clains to be upscale! The food is not so good anymore. Obviously, it is not close to traditional french cuisine- the salade nicoise is more like sushi over greens with caviar. Kind of weird. Plus the plates are really small compared to their price. The straw that broke the camel's back was when our waiter smelled like he hadn't showered in days and leaned over us to pour the water... ew!
Love it for New Year's Eve. I don't know what those bad reviews are talking about- I adore Left Bank. I make it a tradition to go there every New Year's Eve before counting down to midnight, and always leave satisfied. I did have an adverse reaction to the gnocchi once- too much truffle oil- but otherwise I always have a great meal. It is a bit pricey but so worth it. I've never experienced bad service, but perhaps I've just been lucky. I would definitely recommend it for a special event!
Not Worth It!. Our overall experience was very disappointing. The service is extremely slow and the waiters came to our table when they pleased. We had to ask for water and the dessert menu twice. I ordered an apple martini which is the worst I've ever had (my home-made ones taste better). For dinner I ordered a sole which was extremely oily and unappetizing. For dessert we ordered chocolate cake which was surprisingly pretty good. If you've already had dinner and want to go elsewhere for dessert this place might be worth it, but not beyond that. Definitely not worth the price either.
Its ok if you like bad service.. We had escargot and it was very chewy. We asked for bread but it never appeared. The mains were average at best.
Simple, unfussy, honest brasserie staples are inconsistent but often satisfying at this Menlo Park fave..
Designed by San Francisco architect Michael Guthrie, the restaurant's interior is chic, breezy and comfortable, with a heap of oversized French booze posters. Lots of light and a kind of bustling professionalism along the open kitchen make the dining room at once casual and urbane.
French brasserie staples are put through the aesthetic paces of Northern California. You'll find steak frites, bouillabaise and roast chicken. The execution has slipped a bit since opening. Haricots verts are floppy from overcooking, the simple green salad comes underdressed, and meat dishes are often oversalted. Still, the french fries are beyond reproach and the molten chocolate cake is the stuff of legend.
Disappointment at Santana Row. Service needs a lot of work here. Expect to wait a long time for drinks to arrive and between courses. The food is good but my husband's steak was not. He asked for medium rare and it was cooked "well" until he reached the center. He could have had a much better steak at Sizzler. Foodwise, the steak was the only bad thing. I had a Croque Jaques Pepin which came without basil even though the menu stated basil but it was good. We would have sent a couple of items back to the kitchen but did not have an eternity to wait for the slower-than-Heinz- ketchup staff.
Not worth it. I was expecting more when I went for lunch and then again for dinner (to give them another chance). Both times service was slow, food was cold, and not very good. I was very disappointed, especially for the price.
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