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“Best "Just outside Seattle" Restaurant” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cafe Juanita

Cafe Juanita
9702 NE 120th Pl, Kirkland, WA 98034-4206
425-823-1505
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Ranked #2 of 235 Restaurants in Kirkland
Price range: $41 - $80
Cuisines: American, Italian, Seafood, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Scenic view, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Fine Dining
seattle
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Best "Just outside Seattle" Restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

While Café Juanita isn't within Seattle City Limits, it is certainly one of the jewels in Seattle's Restaurant Crown. Chef Holly Smith works magic with her menu, producing mouth-watering dishes to please even the most discriminating palate. Her dishes are imaginatively conceived and beautifully executed using only the best of ingredients. I love eating at Café Juanita because I have NEVER been disappointed. It is my favorite "go-to restaurant" for those special occasions.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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149 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    108
    23
    11
    5
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Kirkland
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“What a disappointment”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

Wow -- what a disappointment. What could have been a fantastic experience failed on nearly every measure. Plenty of wait staff, lots of chefs in the kitchen, not terribly crowded. But the seating arrangements are abysmal... vinyl bench seating on one side (at least 6" too low) and they put me on the crack in between two sections. Not very comfortable. And the tables were placed so closely together that any waitstaff or other clients ended up with their butt in my face when moving between the tables. Not terribly pleasant for anyone. We waited FOREVER for any one to come by to offer us water. The food flavors were nice, but -- come on, guys... nothing on the appetizer menu without meat? Not a single one? And only one fish dish? This is Seattle, not Omaha. My "silk handkerchief" pasta dish, for $17, had about 5 bites worth on a 15" plate -- no kidding. Lovely bites, but it wasn't even available as a full-sized portion, which some of the other plates were. We waited 20 minutes after the dessert menus were presented to get anyone to come back and ask if we wanted anything. Needless to say, we won't be back.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellevue, WA
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“second visit.....not so great”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

I first visited Café Juanita in December, 2013 for a friend's birthday and I thought it was great. The food, the atmosphere, the portions, everything. On that evening, I ordered the rabbit, which is one of their signature dishes. I loved Café Juanita so much I wanted to bring my husband there, so I made a reservation for my birthday in February. Everything was excellent, except the portion size for my part of the meal. Just in case you are wondering...I am 5 foot 7 and weigh about 120 lbs., so I'm probably not what you would call a huge eater and I don't choose restaurants for value in portion size. I often order just salad and an appetizer for dinner. Also, my husband and I often go out to other high-end "gourmet" restaurants in the area.

Anyway, my husband and I ordered the prosciutto as an appetizer (all fine) and he ordered the beef cheeks and I ordered the winter citrus salad and the scallops. The scallops were a special for the evening. My husband's portion sizes were perfectly fine, but the winter citrus salad was quite small and when the scallops arrived, I was shocked to see just 3 medium (not large) scallops on the plate with some "daubs" of the other items the waitress said came with the scallops. I would guess that between my salad and my entrée, there were about 200 calories worth of food. Thank goodness we also ordered the cauliflower because I would have been ravenous. I usually don't eat bread in restaurants, but we finished off one round and I ordered a second round of bread, which is unheard of for me.

In retrospect, I probably should have complained about the portion size. I think the waitress has some responsibility to let the customer know that it was a small portion-sized entrée. I noticed someone else ordered the scallops and received 4 (!) but maybe the portions were determined by weight, not by number of scallops. Everything was incredibly delicious and well-prepared, but I won't return...I'll save my pennies for some of the other high-end restaurants in the area because this was ridiculous.

By the way, the cost came to $13 per scallop! (and they weren't big!)

  • Visited February 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Too salty”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2013

Everything from bread, appetizers, to entrees is too salty. The only thing worth ordering is the king crab leg salad.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Tumon, Mariana Islands
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great Food and Service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2013

Great food and excellent service. The servers were great. They were so attentive into details. The best experience was I had the chance to try the braised rabbit. Chef Holly Smith is one of my favorite chefs.

  • Visited December 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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