About River Ranch Lodge & Restaurant

2285 River Road
Tahoe City, CA 96145
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Located on the banks of the Truckee River between Truckee and Tahoe City, this rustic old Tahoe lodge has been a Tahoe dining favorite for many, many years. Choose between a cozy table in our Fireplace Dining Room or along the river in our River View Dining Room. In the summer, dine on our patio that overlooks the river. Enjoy great food and drink that is creative and interesting while being delicious and familiar. The menu changes seasonally to ensure use of the most available sustainable, fresh ingredients.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Contemporary American, American

Hours of Operation:
Casual BBQ lunch daily in the summertime at 11:30 a.m. Dinner nightly from 5:30 p.m. Inside Bar open nightly

Cross Street:
Alpine Meadows Road

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(530) 583-4264

Website:
http://www.riverranchlodge.com/dining

Catering:
The River Ranch has a special large party menu for dinner parties upt to 50 guests. appetizer and buffet menus are available for large parties or weddings on our patio in the warmer months for up to 175 guests.

Executive Chef:
Michael Trapula

Private Party Facilities:
For an intimate setting the River Ranch's Fireplace Room, featuring a beautiful river rock fireplace, provides a warm and festive atmosphere for private dinner parties, rehearsal dinners, birthday parties, family reunions, company parties and holiday festivities.

Private Party Contact:
Event Coordinator: 8666182579

Additional:
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Restaurant Photos

  • Mirror Pond Pale Ale
  • Cool Bar
Mirror Pond Pale Ale
Cool Bar

River Ranch Lodge & Restaurant Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.1

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.1

service

4.2

ambience

4.4

value

3.7

noise

Moderate

89% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Outdoor Dining
Tahoe / Reno Area
Scenic View
Tahoe / Reno Area
Best Ambiance
North Lake Tahoe
2 More
Best Value
North Lake Tahoe
Special Occasion
North Lake Tahoe
Best Restaurants in Tahoe City ›

scenic view (24)
great for outdoor dining (15)
special occasion (12)
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romantic (11)
fit for foodies (7)
great for lunch (7)
neighborhood gem (7)
great for brunch (6)
vibrant bar scene (5)
good for groups (5)
kid-friendly (3)
notable wine list (3)
late-night find (2)
hot spot (1)
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253 reviews
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Stopped in based on Open Table reviews. ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined 3 days ago

Stopped in based on Open Table reviews. My wife had heard of a restaurant with a great river view, but couldn't remember the name. This was it! We ate outside. Just before the sun went behind the trees. They have outdoor heaters, and we needed ours.

I had trout, and my wife had the duck (no appetizers). Both meals were terrific! The sledgehammer Zinfandel was REALLY good- you can get it by the glass. The bread was terrific- only minor criticism was that we had to ask for it and it arrived just before our main course.

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food4
ambience5
service4

Enjoyed the river setting, great service ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined 6 days ago

Enjoyed the river setting, great service, very good food and nice choices for the area. We were pleased to find a nice restaurant in the area just a few minutes away from Squaw Valley.

Tags: great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, notable wine list
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

We had a wonderful dinner on their outsi ...

 
 (Sacramento)
·Dined on July 16, 2016

We had a wonderful dinner on their outside patio along the river. I ordered the fish fry and my husband the pork chops. Both were delicious! The service was great too. We will definitely return.

Tags: kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Really poor service from our server. Eve ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on July 3, 2016

Really poor service from our server. Everyone else was great but he had a terrible attitude and was not at all friendly. I understand it's a busy long weekend, but you're in the service industry! We were very friendly + relaxed. When we asked if our shrimp cocktail would be out soon (it took half an hour which seems outrageous for 5 shrimp), he just responded "probably" as he walked away!! We inquired about a bottle of wine, knew what we were looking for and he couldn;t even say if they had that kind of wine on the menu or not. And rather than offer to send someone over with some wine knowledge, he just said "I'll get a menu" and left us to it. I live locally and was bringing friends for dinner and was extremely disappointed that the service was so unacceptable especially when spending that kind of money.

Tags: good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view
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food3
ambience4
service1
value2

This is a restaurant we know well but wa ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on June 26, 2016

This is a restaurant we know well but wanted to try it under new ownership/Mgmt. Food was fabulous. Servers were enthusiastic and young - they will become smoother with time. Wedding reception blocked off outside seating. It had loud music but gave off a fun vibe. Would definitely go back and would recommend as well.

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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

Very slow service; bread basket was neve ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on June 20, 2016

Very slow service; bread basket was never brought or suggested to our table, as opposed to other tables; no grilled peach with the duck, as mentioned on the menu; took them a year to prepare a simple dessert. Overall disappointed.

Tags: scenic view
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food4
ambience3
service2
value3

We had a great time Greg our waiter wa ...

vip
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on June 12, 2016

We had a great time Greg our waiter was super and very patient and accommodating to our group.

Tags: good for groups, scenic view, neighborhood gem
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

I've been going to River Ranch for years ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on May 25, 2016

I've been going to River Ranch for years. It's consistently delicious and I've never had a bad meal there ever!

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food5
ambience5
service5

The perfect getaway for friends to catch ...

 
 (Tahoe)
·Dined on May 23, 2016

The perfect getaway for friends to catch up over a nice dinner. We were seated at a window table overlooking the flowing river at our reservation time- though there were only 3 other tables occupied at the restaurant. Our server was very pleasant and knowledgeable. Wine choices were quite varied as was the menu. Salads were fresh and large, onion soup was excellent. The elk was very tender and flavorful. he large pork chops were fair- a bit overcooked and dry, and the chicken dish was very flavorful and moist. Taking advantage of their 50% off entrée deal made the meal reasonably priced. Will go back again to take advantage of a similar offer.

Tags: great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

great time on a "tough" night!

vip
 (Las Vegas)
·Dined on May 21, 2016

Going from Reno to San Jose, I-80 closed due to May snow storm, remember reading advertisement that the RR has prime rib Friday Nights! Stopped in at 8:15, bar was buzzing with numerous groups, and was seated with a beautiful river view. very good prime rib and Caesar salad, great service by Avery, and then down to the Lake to go over I-50 to California. Thanks to the crew for the wonderful time in a fun location at the last minute! Will be back to eat on the patio!

Tags: romantic, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Great Meal by the Re-Flowing Truckee River

 
 (Tahoe)
·Dined on May 14, 2016

We've been going to the River Ranch for years. The new chef (now there about six months or so)

has reworked the menu - so it is back to what it was a couple years (and a couple of chefs) ago.

I had the duck with pineapple-infused polenta - best duck I've had anywhere in several years (and I've had a lot of duck!!). My wife had a great french dip sandwich. And the fried green tomatoes have returned -- just tremendous (and we could have several orders of them for dinner). Add a great wine and -- back as soon as we are back up at Truckee in July.

And the river is flowing again over the rocks!!

Our server, Jazmine, was great! Ask for her.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Mother's Day Brunch at the River Ranch

 
 (Tahoe)
·Dined on May 8, 2016

Both the food and the service was excellent. I would definitely return. Our only disappointment was not being able to get a table with a window/river view. On the other hand, our table back by the fireplace was quieter. Perhaps if we had been able to wait longer they might have been able to arrange it, but we were on a short timetable.

Tags: great for brunch, special occasion, scenic view
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

River Ranch provided the best brunch ever.

 
 (Tahoe)
·Dined on May 8, 2016

The food for their Mother's Day brunch was outstanding. Our server was excellent and when my daughters bacon was not cooked as she liked it the server provided her with another order cooked perfectly at no charge.

Tags: great for brunch, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Early Mother's Day Celebration

 
 (Tahoe)
·Dined on May 7, 2016

We went to River Ranch for an early Mother's Day celebration. It was a fantastic dinner. The bar was warm and friendly while we waited for the table. Our table was situated to view the river and the fireplace. The waiter provided good suggestions and was quite amiable. The food and drinks were excellent. The menu changes depending on the seasons. I would definitely go back.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Mediocre

 
 (Tahoe)
·Dined on March 28, 2016

Mediocre. I haven't been here in a while. I have enjoyed it the others times I have been here before. The food really had no consistency, one bite would be flavorful the next was just bland. A seasoning issue Im sure. The server was just ok. Just an order taker. No personality and no suggestions. H e even dropped the check before asking if wanted dessert and coffee. Which we wanted. I did order dessert. The lava cake had no lava and was dry and tasteless. For $10, go to savemart and buy a cheap dry cake from the bakery. The creme brûlée s top was overdone and i order creme brulee and lava cake EVERYWHERE -563

Tags: great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
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food3
ambience4
service3
value2

Nice location. Good variety of foods. Kid menu

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on March 28, 2016

Nice location. Good variety of foods. Kid menu.

Will do again in near future.

Tags: kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, scenic view
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

Very pleasant evening.

 
 (Tahoe)
·Dined on March 27, 2016

We had dinner for four, celebrating two birthdays. We sat on the river, which was beautiful. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meals, as well as a shared appetizer and really delicious creme brulee for dessert.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

Lovely Restaurant

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on March 6, 2016

On most of my visits to Tahoe, I always return to the River Ranch Restaurant. The restaurant is cozy, and has a lovely ambiance. The food and service is great too. My husband and I had dinner in the dining room (cozy fireplace) but you can also choose to dine around the bar area -- which is also very nice. The bar is great and also has a nice fireplace -- and on this particular Saturday night, they had a great band playing. I must say, they do a great Irish Coffee . A definite must visit when you are in the Tahoe City or Truckee area.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

River Ranch is not just for lunch!

 
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on February 27, 2016

We had dinner in the smaller dining room and it was excellent.

Tags: kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great historic location, food was dismal.

 
 (Tahoe)
·Dined on February 15, 2016

For the first time in the 44 years that I've known my wife, she sent back her meal. She ordered lobster. It was so over cooked, it was rubbery and difficult to cut... not to mention flavorless. My fillet mignon was suppose to be medium rare, but it came up short of rare - more of a "blue rare". I should have sent my back too. I eat around the center of the fillet and left a rare cube in the middle of the plate. Despite the fact the restaurant is at a scenic location we were seated behind a staircase with no view. When we were seated, the section we were in was empty, but we were given nearly the worse table available.

The River Ranch is a great old location, but we won't be back.

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food1
ambience2
service4
value1

Great Atmosphere

 
 (Dallas)
·Dined on February 14, 2016

Cool restaurant. Nice ambiance. Food was average, needs spices…flavor. Service was slow and not very attentive.

Tags: scenic view, vibrant bar scene
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food2
ambience5
service2
value2

The restaurant is quite cozy and very romantic.

 
 (Tahoe)
·Dined on February 14, 2016

The bar area is just a bit small but other tables are available until dinner time. But in the summer its hopping in the patio. It's a very nice place to hang out and meet people or just be with someone special.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

Special Place

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on February 13, 2016

great - really nice place to go when you don't want glitz but do want good food and great service

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Tasty, friendly and scenic dining

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on January 24, 2016

River Ranch has a fine menu and the service is attentive. It's set right by the Truckee river so, especially when snow is falling, it's quite a scenic dining spot.

Tags: good for groups, scenic view
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

River Ranch

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on January 11, 2016

Had an outstanding meal at River Ranch over the weekend. Very busy on Saturday night, but was expected. Meal was perfectly prepared and very good. Service was a little slow, but wasn't a problem after a long day of skiing. Everything on the menu we ordered was excellent and would gladly eat here again.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Sadly the ambiance has faded

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on January 11, 2016

We have been to the RiverRanch at least 10 times over the years but the current strategy of removing the white tablecloth, sophisticated vibe into more of an apres-ski bar scene, while maintaining $30 to $40 entrees, cannot be called a success. Our waitstaff was very attentive but could not overcome the dominance of the large TV screens around the bar. Their separate dining room was closed on a Sunday night. Soups were good and one of us had a nice trout, but the short ribs were quite bland. Wine list was acceptable in terms of depth and markup. Probably would not return, however.

Tags: scenic view
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food2
ambience2
service3
value2

New Year's Eve

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on January 1, 2016

We have eaten at River Ranch many times over the years. This was a very busy New Year's Eve and our food was excellent in taste, but all plates arrived at our table cold. They graciously re-cooked our meals, but it still was a disappointing experience. We'll give them a mulligan this time.

Tags: fit for foodies, scenic view, hot spot
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food2
ambience4
service4
value3

Love this place but probably not for New Years Eve

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on January 1, 2016

We love going to the River Ranch. Love the atmosphere and the food. We went New Years Eve in 2015 and was a little disappointed with the menu. Service and atmosphere was great, as always. Disappointed they took Silver Oak Cab off the wine menu.

Tags: scenic view, vibrant bar scene
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food3
ambience5
service4
value3

Enjoyable Dinner

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on December 31, 2015

My wife and I enjoyed our dinner here with two other couples. The service was friendly and efficient. My favorite bite of the evening was the "Bacon Bacon Whisky" appetizer. The other dishes that I tasted were good too, but nothing amazing to note. Bottom line: I would be happy to return here for another dinner someday.

Tags: good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
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food3
ambience4
service5
value4

Thanksgiving DInner

 
 (Tahoe)
·Dined on November 27, 2015

We went to the River Ranch Restaurant for Thanksgiving Dinner. We had a bit of a wait despite a reservation, but considering it was late on a very busy day, it wasn't too bad. The server was accommodating, and the food was excellent. We would look forward to going again in the summer when we could experience the patio and river views.

Tags: kid-friendly, good for groups, special occasion, scenic view
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food5
ambience4
service4

Beautiful and quaint

 
 (Tahoe)
·Dined on November 27, 2015

We have been going to the River Ranch for over 30 years and it has consistently been one of our favorite places. We have celebrated our anniversary, Thanksgiving, Christmas and many other special times at the River Ranch. The atmosphere is warm and friendly with loads of charm. The food never disappoints. The location is beautiful on the edge of the Truckee River near Lake Tahoe and Alpine Meadows ski area. We just love this place!

Tags: romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
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food5
ambience5
service5

good holiday fare

 
 (Central Coast)
·Dined on November 27, 2015

Surpassed my expectations in terms of food and ambience.

Tags: scenic view
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food4
ambience3
service2

Regarding thanksgiving dinner

 
 (Tahoe)
·Dined on November 27, 2015

Compliments to the Chef, perfect relaxing dinner, thank you.

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view
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food5
ambience5
service5

ThanksGiving Dinner

 
 (Tahoe)
·Dined on November 26, 2015

Food quite as good as previous years. Service was very good.

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food2
ambience4
service4

We will never return

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on October 2, 2015

This was disappointing on many levels. We used to dine here years ago, so we were looking forward to a cozy dinner by the fireplace, and even booked a room here so we wouldn't have to drive after dinner--which I told the person when I booked this. No one informed us that the dining room was closed that night for a private party-- we learned that by accident when we overheard it in the bar. No one greeted us when we went to the bar at happy hour, nor was anyone available when we were ready for dinner. Because it was "half-priced wine night" it was extra busy, plus a game was on, so the bar was packed and noisy at 5:30 pm. We enjoyed a bargain appetizer and cocktail, served by a friendly waiter, but it was downhill after that. Only seating was in the noisy bar area. We must have had a new waiter who had no skills or personality. He suggested the crab cake special, and also that we pay an extra $5 since we were going to split the entree, so we would have extra portions of the sides. Crab cake was ok but looked very brown/overcooked; the mashed potatoes were inedible as were the very salty roasted 3 tiny spears of asparagus. We notified the waiter who had a blank look on his face as if he had no idea how to handle that. There was no apology or offer for a replacement or perhaps a complimentary drink or dessert. We left soon after.

I realize this is a review for the dining- but the lodge was disappointing as well-- no apparent renovations or upgrades in many years. No assistance with luggage (and we broke the handle on the suitcase trying to drag it up the stairs; cold room; uncomfortable bed, lumpy pillows. But there was a decent continental breakfast. I received an email asking me to contact them if I had less than a positive review to post; I contacted them on Oct 2 but other than a reply that they would show this to the manager, I never heard back.

Tags: good for groups, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
ambience1
service2

River Ranch is back

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on September 13, 2015

Stopped coming for dinner because neither the food nor the service was worth coming for. It is changed now; really good food and a terrific waiter, Joey, who just gets it. We'll definitely be back.

Tags: great for outdoor dining
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food5
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service5

Pleasant

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on September 12, 2015

The river ranch seems a bit desolate with the truckee river, running outside its windows, slowed to a trickle by the drought. The restaurant was hosting a large and very loud party in one room, leaving lots of river view tables near the bar.

The food is simply erratic. The seared ahi tuna appetizer was very good. The house salad was voluminous, but the lettuce pieces were pretty much whole, making it a chore to eat without a lot of cutting. The salmon was first notch, while a pappardelle missed the mark. First, the pasta was served with julienned red peppers, not mentioned on the menu. When it was replaced with a pepperless version, it seemed that all flavor had been removed, leaving some fresh veggies, lots of pasta and a mess of cream sauce. It was not particularly noteworthy, although the volume of food was generous.

All in all, this place definitely tries hard, as noted in at least two items. But, a certain sloppiness manages to undermine each achievement.

A nice spot near on the river...more care in preparation would make a big difference.

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food3
ambience4
service3

Enjoyable evening

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on September 1, 2015

We celebrated our 41st wedding anniversary-ate outside overlooking the remnants of the Truckee River (darn drought!). Wonderful service (Joey), great food, they brought out a anniversary dessert for us- nice touch. Overall, a wonderful way to celebrate our 41st anniversary. Thank you.

Tags: great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
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food5
ambience5
service5

Good for drinking

 
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on August 30, 2015

We were hoping for a fine dining experience. Instead we were seated in a dining area right next to the bar. The load noise during our meal made it impossible to hear ourselves and we were celebrating our anniverzary. The food and bottle of wine we ordered were wasted. Our waiter told us there was no other dining area except outside.

Tags: great for outdoor dining
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food4
ambience3
service2

Old Favorite

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 28, 2015

Good food. Creative menu. Great service. Our server was attentive but not intrusive.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, notable wine list
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food5
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service5

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