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“Best French Restaurant for 50 miles” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ma Maison Restaurant - CLOSED

Ma Maison Restaurant
9051 Soquel Dr, Ste K, Aptos, CA 95003-4035
831-688-5566
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Price range: $18 - $29
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Santa Cruz, California
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Best French Restaurant for 50 miles”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2010

Chef is french, married to local gal. the restaurant is the best of both. Love the food, it is as real french cooking as you can get around here, better than a lot of places is Paris. Service is excellent. What a terrific deal. We try to get there at least once a month. We'd eat there every day were time and money not something of an issue.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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16 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    9
    2
    0
    3
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, California
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“Passport Card HASSLE at Ma Maison”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2010

First the food. My lady and I tried this place for the first time as it's listed on my work passport website as giving us a discount, 2 entrees for the price of one. We live in San Jose and go to the coast frequently and wanted to try something new as we were tired of the same ol choices we'd tried in the past. She had the prawns with ravioli stuffed with sweet potato with a salad starter. I had the steak with fritas and an excellent veggie medley...almost a quiche really. I started with the French onion soup and we split creme brulee for desert. It was a feast and everything on our plates ranged from good to superb. The service was very good as well as the ambience. We sat outside on their deck as the early evening was warm and pleasant. We were most satisfied and if my review ended there, I'd be giving it a solid 4/5 stars for sure. Alas it doesn't.

The more I think about it, the more Twilight Zone it feels like in retrospect. I asked when we first sat down if they accepted the Passport discount card. Sometimes our work website, where the list of restaurants and retail shops that participate in this Passport program, is out of date, so I wanted to make sure. They agreed it was valid. Great....the meal proceeded as earlier described. Then another staff member approaches me and begins to describe the bill and the discount that was given. He detailed the bill and then mentioned he really shouldn't give us the discount as my card did not have my name on it. I just stared at him as I didn't know what to say. I felt like had done something wrong even though I've used this card maybe a dozen or so times over the past few years that my work has offered this for us. I had never been asked about this previously. He then detailed how the card can easily be abused by people who just hand it around to friends since there is no name on it in a tone that I took as somewhat confrontational and accusatory. OK, other tables are watching us now and my lady and I are just staring at each other in disbelief. To be fair, I suppose I can see his point, but I didn't know what to say. He misread us, plain and simple. He also adds that an 18% gratuity had been added to the total of the bill prior to the discount taken. Again, I had never seen this before and there was no prior mention nor blurb in the menu to describe this. I was embarrassed, though I should have been ticked at this point. The anger didn't kick in til later much to my regret. But wait there is more. At this point, I pay and we agree we will not be returning. They should either take the card, check it up front if necessary, or decline it at the beginning so that we can go elsewhere without being hassled. Before we leave, I use the restroom. Upon exiting, this same guy is waiting for me as I go and checks the restroom I just left! This guy must have really believed we were just trying to jack them up on this night. Like I was going to mess up the restroom as revenge for the hassle. I've never seen anything like it. He must have had some previous experience with this sort of thing and felt like we fit some sort of profile to do this. Un-freaking-believable!!!!

Obviously, we won't return which is a shame since the food was good. The only reason we tried them in the first place was their participationg in the Passport program. I'd never have heard of them otherwise. There were only 3 full tables on a Saturday night at 7pm so maybe there were other issues in play here. The prices were quite high but since they are posted up front, no one can really complain after the meal, which again was tasty. But here I am on a web site writing this review instead of reading, taking a walk, or whatever to end up an otherwise pleasant evening.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bay Area
Top Contributor
597 reviews 597 reviews
476 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 156 cities Reviews in 156 cities
212 helpful votes 212 helpful votes
“Julia Would Have Approved”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2009

Ma Maison 8-14-9

Cute, converted house with good French food in Aptos.
Indoor and patio dining.
Excellent food service by Beau and others.
Good foie gras and French onion soup starters.
The beet and smoked salmon salads were nice.
The succulent shrimp with squash raviolis was delicious.
Recommend the ice cream profiterole for dessert.
Wines are very good, including those by the glass.
Full bar, including pastis.

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Bellevue, Washington
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
“Best French Restaurant in the area!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2009

Pros: Excellent food especially their seafood, friendly staff, reasonably priced, very much like the Parisian cafes/restaurants.

Cons: Can't say anything bad about their food at all!

Went here for Valentine's dinner and it was amazing. There was French music playing in the background which really reminded us of the little french restaurants we went to in Paris. Very cozy.

Dinner - They had a 4 course prix fixe menu for dinner and my husband had the crab cocktail which was amazing and I had the duck pate which ok. We both had the cauliflower soup which was so creamy and flavorful. My husband is not a fan of cauliflower and even he liked the soup a lot - that says something. For our entree, we both had the seafood cassoulet which as my husband says was "verrrrry good". It was a plate of mussels, shrimp, salmon, scallops, some white fish and legumes (carrots, mushroom and some zucchini) all in this AMAZING creamy broth. I don't know what was in there but it was so good. I even did something I know was bad for a french restaurant - I dipped as much bread as I could get my hands on into that broth. It was SOOOOO good. For dessert we had these heart shaped chocolate cups with passion fruit custard, a raspberry sauce and some fruit.

Even the hostess and owner, Janet was great. She came over and talked with us for about 15 minutes before we left and she was so friendly and helpful (was easier to do since we were one of the last ones in there). We are definitely returning the next time we are in the area. Bittersweet Bistro used to be our usual favorite restaurant until our dinner here tonight. We now have a new favorite.

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Santa Cruz
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Truly authentic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2009

If you love authentic French dining, Ma Maison in Aptos is the only place to go in the entire Santa Cruz area. The moment you walk through the doors you are whisked across the Atlantic to the charm and elegance of a classic French eatery. Hors-d'oeuvres include an amazing French onion soup, delicious crab cakes and even the French classic escargot should the mood strike you. Entrees include a scrumptous roast duck, steak au poivre and many other gems. You really cannot go wrong with anything on the menu. Desserts are also great (especially the creme brulee) and they have a full bar. Service is usually attentive, friendly and non-invasive. Perfect for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends. Overall a very memorable dining experience.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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