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“That's what salmon should taste like!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Calafia Cafe

Calafia Cafe
855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94301-2305
650-322-9200
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Ranked #33 of 313 Restaurants in Palo Alto
Cuisines: American, Café, Sandwiches
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations
Milford, Delaware
Top Contributor
171 reviews 171 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
“That's what salmon should taste like!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012

First the negative...it's a bit loud...that's it
We arrived and were promptly seated and and the waiter came over. It was second visit for many in our party and he not only remembered us but what had been ordered a few days ago. It was my first visit and he introduced himself and explained the menu. He suggested the fish special and I not a salmon lover thought twice, but decided to join the other 5 in also ordering it. I'm glad I did as I never knew salmon could taste so good. The presentation did make it difficult to take the first bite as it looked like a work of art. I tasted every flavor he said it would have.
We purchased 2 separate wine selections he recommended and again we tasted the flavors he told us we would.
He kept checking on us to be sure our needs were met. When it came to dessert he again explained each and suggested since we only wanted 3 to order a variety a few that not only tasted great, but were large enough to share. Once again he did not let us down, and yes, once again due to the beautiful presentation it was painful to have to cut and divide. Each was so different yet so good it would have been a mistake to have not shared and enjoyed each.
When payment time came he had no problem breaking it down into separate checks and collecting all at once with a mixture of cash and several credit cards and returning the cards and receipts to the correct parties.
If you're not int fish they also have meat, chicken,and gluten free meals. Pricing for the meal was good. Wine and dessert were a bit high, but still worth the price.
My hat's off to the waiter...and also the chef...I'd give them 10 stars if I could.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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81 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Santa Clara, California
Top Contributor
212 reviews 212 reviews
131 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 75 cities Reviews in 75 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“Great vegitarian choice”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2012

Looking for a different menu? Come to Calafia. The food is fresh, great and innovative. The menu has lots of interesting options including organic for a vegitarian. They also serve organic meats. Full bar as well. It's worth it!

  • Visited June 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
San Diego, CA
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Fun eating experience and great vegetarian options”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

This restaurant was recommended by a local so that was a good start. It has a great eclectic atmosphere with individual tables, a large communal table and plenty of single row seating around tha windows and kitchen. Outdoor seating is available. There is also a take out are that is more of a mini-market with a large take out salad bar. An actual bar is wedged between the take out area and restaurant area. The kitchen is open so you can watch all they are doing. A fascinating lighting display is over the communal table which seems to fill up later. Interesting photos on the wall including a panoramic of a grateful dead concert at Stanford in 1982. The decor is modern yet warm and comfortable. You need to get your own salt and peeper shakers from a table that has a small gong on it.

Service was excellent. The food is heavy on sustainable with plenty of both healthy and sinful options. Half the menu is for plant eaters and the other half for meat eaters. I had the arugula special salad with figs and heirloom tomatatoes which was tasty and fresh. My main entree was the short ribs with mash potatoes. The sauce was flavorful but a bit too salty. My daughter had the salmon which she enjoyed. My wife, the vegan, had a large salad filled with seeds and lentils that she seemed to enjoy. She even had small flower blooms in her salad. She talked us in to getting the vegan chocolate cheese cake which was actually pretty good considering it was vegan. Overall I thought the food was very good but not great. I do want to go back again and try other dishes. I really want to be able to give them 5 stars in the future.

Before we left I got to bang the gong.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Palo Alto, California
1 review
“A dangerous place to eat if you have a severe gluten allergy...”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2012

Calafia, despite publicizing their efforts to prevent cross contamination etc. is a really dangerous place to eat if you have a severe gluten allergy, intolerance or celiac disease.

I recently had the frightening experience of having 4 or 5 wheat elbow macaroni buried in a supposedly gluten free noodle dish. The restaurant served this to me despite being informed that the dish must be completely gluten free for medical reasons. This is unfortunately not a single occasion as they have made a similar mistake in the past which put me out over a week! Their reaction to these grave mistakes tends to be casual at best and they don’t seem to understand the severity of allergies. If your gluten intolerance/allergy is at the more severe end of the spectrum it’s best to be safe and steer clear of Calafia.

Visited July 2012
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Belmont, California
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Gluten-Free options!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2012

I really love this restaurant. It truly is fresh and unique. A casual dining cafe specializing in organic, high flavor cuisines from around the world. Calafia Café is one of my go to places, especially sine they offer a wide variety of gluten-free items. Calafia makes it an easy option for those who have a gluten intolerance like myself or if you are looking to eat healthy.

A few of my favorite items are:
Grilled Zucchini & Quinoa Salad
California Walnut & Beet Salad
Tofu Lettuce Cups
Beet Generation Juice

  • Visited May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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