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“Great food” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Dorado Kitchen

El Dorado Kitchen
405 1st St W, Sonoma, CA 95476
+1 707-996-3030
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Ranked #6 of 107 Restaurants in Sonoma
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Doing business, Families with children, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Dessert, Dinner, Lunch, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: West Spain Street
Description: Executive chef Armando Navarro's farm driven cuisine is a collection of earthy yet sophisticated, complex yet straightforward dishes that showcase the essence of seasonal produce. Chef Navarro sources his ingredients from local purveyors and nearby Sonoma farms, a commitment and dedication that is in line with El Dorado’s overall eco-friendly green initiatives.Navarro’s deeply satisfying cuisine can be enjoyed at El Dorado Kitchen. In the center of the main dining room, parties of up to 22 can gather around a 21-foot-long table fashioned from a single wood plank reclaimed from a Vermont bridge. This table is perfectly positioned to afford each diner a view of the artistic talents hard at work in the open kitchen.An outdoor courtyard allows diners to enjoy the beauty of Sonoma. Enjoy dinner under the fig trees and the clear Sonoma sky or take your lunch pool-side in your own private cabana or on one of the inviting day beds by the pool. We also offer casual dining in our lobby, nestled next to the glowing fireplace.
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Great food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2010

My husband and I ate here on our recent trip to Sonoma. He had the boullibase, which he loved, and I had a fish dish (can't recall what kind) that was excellent. Everything was fresh and tasty, without heavy sauces or flavorings. The wine recommendations were spot on. Would definitely recommend this restaurant. We enjoyed eating on the patio.

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

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Avoid this place”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2010

Overpriced, low quality food combined with terrible service makes this a place that you definitely want to avoid.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
1 review
“Most Overrated Restaurant On the Square”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2010

El Dorado is a classic overrated restaurant in an area where you have limited choices. They act like a high class establishment, but have no idea what they are doing. My food was awful. I had the short ribs as did on of the other people I was dining with. Mine was 95% fat (yes I had to search through the sludge to find any meat) and his was much more normal for short ribs. I pointed this out from the instant I received my meal and was told by the wait staff they would "look into it". After they tried to clear my plate a number of times, I finally caught the waiter's attention again and had him take it back to the chef. The chef's response was "that's the way it goes sometimes" and that was it. When I expressed my astonishment to that response and explained that I have had short ribs a number of times and have never had such a poor cut (especially at the price paid at this place) he finally offered to talk to the manger. The manager came over and proved to be one of the most worthless individuals in the restaurant. After asking if I was local and learning that I was on vacation she said she was sorry that I was not happy and that I should have said something sooner.

Please remember, my complaint started with the first bite. When I informed her of that, she explained that she really liked the chef and he was a nice guy, which was not relavant. She also said that next time we come in (knowing we were on vacation) that we should ask for her and she would make sure we had a pleasant experience.

Clearly her only experience as a restaurant manager was in Sonoma Square as anyone else in the industry would have been professional and taken care of it on the spot. Overall, the food was really bad and the management was awful. They know they have a captive audience (i.e. Sonoma Square) and a lot of tourists so they don't have to worry as much about competition. A number of the individuals at the wineries asked us where we had dined and when we mentioned El Dorado, they laughed. The general concensus from the locals was the food was poor quality and it was a place that prayed on tourists.

If you have the opportunity to avoid eating here, I would suggest that. There are a number of places just off the main square that serve excellent food and have an experienced wait staff, management and chef. Avoid El Dorado at all cost.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northwest Arkansas
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Food delivery was very slow and flavor was bland”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2010

We went to this restaurant for lunch based on a recommendation from a local on our recent visit. The restaurant was minimalist design - very California looking. Its on the Sonoma town center square (which is very charming).

I ordered the Cobb chopped salad and my husband ordered a turkey club with avocado mouse. It took a very long... time to receive our food. The restaurant was not busy in any way and these items don't seem to be the kind that should take such a long time to prepare. My salad was very, very bland with little to no seasoning in dressing. The vegetables inside were tasteless - not as fresh should be. The lettuce was chopped iceberg, again pretty much tasteless. My husbands sandwich was also very much on the dull side. We were surprised being Sonoma is hoping to be known for its excellent cuisine to go with their flavorful wine. The food was high priced and very disappointing in flavor. We would not recommend this restaurant.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fair Oaks, Ca.
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Had to grab a burger after this dinner!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2010

This restaurant is in a great location in Sonoma. The food tasted ok, the real issue here is very slow getting your meal. Then when you do receive your meal it is extremely small portions. I ordered the steak and it was three slices of beef if there were four ounces I would be shocked.

That is what you receive for $29.00 I will not go back.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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