463 S. California Avenue, Palo Alto, CA | Directions 9430637.425459 -122.145168
Lunch: Mon - Fri, 11:30am - 2pm; Dinner: Mon - Thu, 5:30pm - 9:30pm; Fri, Sat, 5:30pm - 10pm; Bar: Mon - Thu, 5pm - 11pm; Fri, Sat, 5 pm - midnight
Neighborhoods: Evergreen Park
Amazing Cuban food! – I used to work in Palo Alto and go to this restaurant all the time! It was one of my favorites. I absolutely love their tortillas con pescado (fish tacos) and their grilled chicken breast sandwich. The cumin aioli on the sandwich just made it that much more delicious!
Avoid the Wrath – I have patronized this restaurant several times, due to the convenient location and the cigar bar. The food is so-so, not as good as one would expect given the prices they charge. The atmosphere is not bad, despite the cramped quarters. Most of the staff is friendly and helpful.
I won't go back again, however, after being subjected to an inappropriate rant from the owner. I ordered a sandwich to eat outside at a table at the rear of the building. The owner stormed in through the back door hollering at us that she could lose her license if they found patrons eating back there. There were no signs to indicate this, nor had the staff objected, and I would happily have moved inside if informed. When I said the staff hadn't mentioned that, she essentially called me a liar. She forgot Restaurant Service Rule #1: Don't wig out on your customers just because you're having a bad day! I won't be back until they go out of business and there is a new owner.
Disappointed – We've had dinner at La Bodeguita at least ten times in the past few years and have recommended to many. However this last visit on Saturday night was terrible. I ordered the Masitas - their signature dish. It was a smaller portion than normal; served in a bowl, not a plate; they eliminated the plantains which normally come with this dish; the dish was so spicey all I could taste was the spice, not the food; the server didn't even ask how we liked the food; and the bill was $75 for two. I believe they just raised their prices on top of the poor food and service. We will not be going back any time soon.
Best Mohitos – "ropa vieha" (sp?) is great and authentic. great atmosphere and a cigar lounge to boot.
Really, really good (dam citysearch requires 100 character limit).
Cuban Cuisine? – If you are looking for authentic Cuban cuisine, this is definitely NOT the place! This restaurant that prides itself on its history and association with Cuba really comes off as some Cuban/American fusion. I don't know if it's just indicative of Palo Alto, but I found the cuisine inauthentic and extremely pricey. I believe this may be the only restaurant in the world where "Arroz con Pollo" costs $16.00. Speaking of "Arroz con Pollo," their rendition of this dish left a great deal to be desired. I found the food very bland, the rice and plaintain were dry and hard. Oh, the most disgusting part was that my plate was served to me "lukewarm." I was so put out that, in lieu of dinner, I ended up ordering a $9.00 appetizer plate of 3 empanadas which were actually quite tasty. The plating of the food was beautiful; I just wish equal effort had been put into the preparation of the dish. The service was mediocre. If you want REAL, reasonably priced Cuban cuisine, go to the city--your stomach and wallet will be pleased.
Excellent food tho pricey – We had gone as a group for a friend's birthday. Initially there were four of us, then two more added 20 minutes later, then two more 20 min after that. (We had informed them that there would be 8 total.) On a Tuesday night, we were seated promptedly as I would expect and a table for 8 was ready. Most of us ordered mojitos immediately and my husband and I personally thought they could have been sweeter. It was as if there was little or no sugar used to muddle the mint leaves; otherwise, drinkable. We all shared appetizers of crab cakes, fried potatoes and the spinach salad with goat cheese. All we delicious. My spicy pork with rice could have been a little spicier for my taste, but still great. My husband loved his tierra y mar. The birthday girl and husband were quickly informed that their snapper was out but they were glad to get mahi mahi in place of it and prepared the same way. Honestly we don't recall receiving bad service. Our main waitress was attentive and the water fillers came often. Decor was lively and warm. For 8 people the bill came to almost $3XX and we figured even for the two of us, it was about $90! Definitely something saved for special occasions like this. Would probably return again.
excellent food, atrocious service – My family and I came here for my birthday recently. I've been here before, and remember the food being pretty tasty. We were seated rather promptly but then 15 minutes went by without any service, then 20 minutes, and finally 25 minutes. By that point we were fuming! This is a relatively small restaurant, and waiters/waitresses were passing right by us without even making eye contact. We finally flagged down the hostess and asked to speak with a manager. She went and found our waitress who apologized profusely as she had forgotten that our table was hers. We were offered free appetizers and drinks, but my one problem is this: Wouldn't one of the 6 -8 wait staff members notice that there were customers in the restaurant who hadn't been attended to? One would think someone would bother to find out who was covering our table. Overall, the food was fairly good, but the service really tainted our experience.
Super Tastey! – Amazing, amazing food here! Also has a great ambiance and great drinks. Has some healty options, but I usuall get tempted by their rich options instead (superb appetizer empanadas and mojitos!)
Great Mojitos – I just went there for my 3rd time. The hostess is always friendly. I couldn't make a reservation for my 6 friends on a friday night because they were booked. However, I was craving their food and so decided to try my luck. The hostess seated us in the dining area right away, with the condition that we had to limit our dining time to an hour and a half (since there was a party that had booked that table). We didn't mind because it was ample time. The service was fast, the food was great as always, and the mojitos were great!
Oyster shooters! – After reading other reviews of this place, I have to agree that the service isn't always the speediest. With that in mind, I do think they have some good dishes like their Ajiaco which serves two and has lots of seafood as well as their empanadas. Something I learned for walk-ins. Keep your eye on the tables next to the long side of the bar. Those are first come, first serve. Otherwise expect a wait time of an hour and a half plus on weekends. For oyster lovers, I have to mention their oyster shooters with habanero rum. Make sure everyone at your table tries it.
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