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home > dining > usa > california > palo alto

Lavanda – Searching for a place with good food that would allow some recalcitrant wine geeks to B a little of their O, I finally settled on this upscale establishment at one end of Palo Alto’s main drag. I’m a little early, and so I wander the streets for a while, finally entering to find that John DeFiore is equally early, and enjoying a drink at the bar. I wish I’d thought of that.

Lavanda has the usual California mix of suit-and-tie folk mixed in with casual, jeans-wearing students. It’s a restaurant that attempts to be formal, but is a little noisy and frenetic to really achieve it, with high quality but occasionally uneven food; order wisely. My meal is very nice, except for a buttery dish of truffled pasta in which they’ve severely overcooked said pasta, but my fellow diners seem well-pleased with their meals. The wine list is long and extremely interesting, and if one isn’t bringing wine there’s no lack of solid options. Service depends on who you have; one waiter is dismissive and cold, others – including, at one point, one of the owners – are warm and welcoming. (11/05)


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