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“Charming & funky, in a great way”
Review of Panama Hotel

Panama Hotel
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Ranked #2 of 233 Restaurants in San Rafael
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: B Street & Woodland Avenue
San Francisco, California
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Charming & funky, in a great way”
Reviewed October 5, 2011

The Panama's been around a long time. It's tucked away in a charming San Rafael neighborhood, and is just great in the summer on the patio - or cozy in the winter in the dining room. It can work for business lunches or romantic dinners. The food is California comfort - fresh ingredients, variety - without pretension. Always a nice selection of wines. On weeknights there are sometimes musical offerings. The last evening we went, Nicholas, Glover and Ray were crooning from the great American Songbook. The Panama's a wonderful find.

  • Visited September 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank LeChat123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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177 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    77
    84
    12
    3
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
USA
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Amazing Brunch”
Reviewed September 19, 2011

I had brunch here with my husband and mother in law. Everything was great, the atmosphere on the patio is wonderful and sunny and my polenta was DELICIOUS!

  • Visited September 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank papayap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfax,CA
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Terrible service. Poor value.”
Reviewed September 15, 2011

Had wanted to eat at the Panama Hotel for some time. My wife and I decided to have Sunday brunch. I should note that this is a fine dining establishment with prices to match.

* Cofee- quality was good, served w/o saucer, creamer served in expresso cup which dripped on table. Other tables had correct cream container.

* Waffle with berries, creme fraishe, and cognoc. $13. Wow! Put berries and creme fraishe on an ordinary waffle and you can get another $6.

* Potato's- these were excellent.

Bottom line is the food was ok. However, it is overpriced and the service is terrible. The waitress was all smiles and kissing our butts when taking our order but food was delivered by a food runner. We seldom saw our waitress once the food was dropped. Nothing was anticipated. We had to ask for everything. Then when it was time to deliver the check and ensure herself a good tip she did the last minute butter up. I then had to wait 20 minutes for the hostess to run my card.

I really wanted to like this place and am genuinely disappointed.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank feetofclay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, MN
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“A good meal in an interesting and relaxing atmosphere”
Reviewed July 30, 2011

My husband and I were taken here for lunch by family members who live in San Rafael. We pulled up and I was a bit leery. Then we walked inside and I was totally enthralled. We were seated in the beautiful garden area and had a wonderful lunch of very good food and great service.

This restaurant wasn't a tourist spot and was filled with interesting locals.
I would gladly go back on my next visit to the area.

  • Visited July 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank beenz4u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco Bay Area
Level 6 Contributor
88 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
“**Excellent food, polite staff, long wait**”
Reviewed June 10, 2011

Came for lunch and they were quite busy. The restaurant was packed with a diverse crowd of happy diners. We were seated pretty quickly considering. Once seated and drink request was taken we were left for a very long time and finally signalled for help. When the food finally did stove it was very very delicious! Yum!

I was not overly impressed by the service, seemed understaffed for a busy weekday lunch. Took over an hour before taking our first bite. But we were happy to chat during the wait and not in a hurry.

Overall, good place for a cozy talk over a meal. If dining alone or in a hurry, better to choose a different location, consider Crepevine instead.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Adventursaurus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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