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“Good Ambiance”
Review of Joya

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Ranked #13 of 365 Restaurants in Palo Alto
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $83
Cuisines: South American, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Florence Street
Transit: Palo Alto Caltrain stop is just a few blocks away.
Description: From tapas to entradas, Joya Restaurant and Lounge provides a modern interpretation of the rich culinary lineage of Spain and Latin America. Joya is proud to have teamed with Shopworks (designers of W-Hotels in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and San Diego) to create a natural-hued, contemporary restaurant and lounge that imparts guests with a feeling of comfortable exclusivity. So if you are looking to enjoy a refined Latin-influenced dining experience, new age cocktails and festive live music, we invite you to join us at Joya Restaurant & Lounge.
Reviewed July 29, 2014 via mobile

This restaurant has great presence, situated on a corner with huge windows that open up completely. It offers great people watching, a lively bar, and a sophisticated ambiance that is rare in Palo Alto. The food is good, nothing spectacularly gourmet nor a value deal, but tasty. Get the ceviche and order drinks and enjoy the setting.

Thank melimir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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124 - 128 of 213 reviews

Reviewed July 22, 2014

Ate here on a recommendation. It seems to be busy almost every night. My colleagues had steak and were very pleased. I had one of the fish mains, I found it ok - not particularly amazing. This restaurant is definitely about the atmosphere first and food second. Worth a visit but not outstanding top notch food deserving of its price tag!

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Thank The_Judge_786
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2014

just mediocre tapas...I've been there at least three times but it doesn't get any better...the lounge bar is cool though....

Thank trigonas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2014

In this restaurant we tried several kinds of food: tapas were not bad but different from those in
Spain, however, Argentinian steak was really good--strongly recommended! The choice of good
wines is also impressive, prices are reasonable. The staff was friendly, good atmosphere.

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Thank StuttgartAbc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2014

Good but not great tapas in downtown Palo Alto. In spite of a full house, we lucked out with a mere 15 minute wait for a table of four around 8 PM on a Wednesday evening. Noise level could have been lower, but blame that on the team of intoxicated Facebook employees who were finishing their meal next to us.

I began mine with the tomatillo and avocado gazpacho. For a green variety of one of my favorite summer creations, it provided an enjoyable start to a somewhat mixed set of platters to follow. We ordered the ceviche combo – three types of lemon-cured fish. Not my favorite preparation, but the spicy shrimp was yummy. The deep fried Latin empanadas were quite filling, but they weren’t any more delicate than sandpaper. The chicken ‘anticuchos’ were well seasoned but slightly overcooked. Grilled asparagus were good, as was the charcuterie assortment, but the grilled artichokes with enhanced Thousand Island dressing lacked inspiration. Had I wanted to eat sixteen layers of artichoke leaves, I would have steamed them at home where I don't have to worry about staying clean. Is it normal to have a pie-eating contest on business? I don’t think so! Then why must I smother my face into greasy artichoke leaves like a pig in hopes of finding the prized artichoke heart that should have been the focus of this dish in the first place? Speaking of which, the lackluster churrros for desert looked like miniature hotdogs, and there was no whipped cream to accompany the chocolate sauce. My local Mexican café offers a much better version at a lower price; one expects more of a trendy yuppity uppity joint in downtown Palo Alto.

The best tapas was sautéed dino kale & mushrooms. They were prepared as an eclectic combination with gorgonzola cheese and sliced grapes. Additionally, seared bay scallops were served on a green plantain purée, with grilled sweet corn and tamarind beure blanc.

Clearly the food had its highs and lows, although presentation and delivery needed improvement across the board. Yes, orders arrived quickly, but we never got serving utensils. Even though our place settings were regularly changed, it was still awkward and borderline unhygienic to help ourselves to these group dishes using our own forks and knives, especially for second portions. Not to pile on, but the table was so wobbly, we suffered from sea sickness.

The subpar performance notwithstanding, I have to hand it to one of the waiters for running after me onto the street with my wallet. Somehow I left it behind, probably because I had left my brain in the meeting room that day after trying to absorb twelve hours of cloudy information. Still, the return of my wallet was symbolically aligned with our future expense report, because for the first time that week, we weren’t embarrassed to get the bill. Even though some of the prices seem outrageous on paper ($27 for the three small ladles of ceviche, $12.50 for no more than ¼ pound of glorified cold-cut meat), we were able to consume all this variety for about $35 per person. Mediocre food and good prices – not necessarily a bad combination for those needing to control costs, and definitely an attractive one for those managing the budget back home at corporate headquarters! 3.5 stars!

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4  Thank Cherry_Wonderdog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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