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General Info
Tamarine is a contemporary Vietnamese restaurant that features the light but flavor-intensive culinary delicacies of Vietnam. The restaurant offers a menu based on small plates, promoting the Vietnamese tradition of the 'shared' meal in which food is shared and enjoyed with those close. Tamarine's small plate entrees are enjoyed with the pairing of a variety of aromatic, flavor infused rice, designed to be mixed and matched to create a truly unique flavor experience. Along with culinary delicacies of Vietnam, the restaurant showcases the works of emerging artists from Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries.

Regular Hours

Extra Phones

Phone: (650) 325-8504

Phone: (650) 433-9056

Fax: (650) 325-8504

Payment method
amex, discover, mastercard, visa
Price Range
University South

Tamarine Restaurant & Gallery

Asian Restaurants, Vietnamese Restaurants, Restaurants
Other Information

Parking: Street

Wi-Fi: No

Bike Parking: Yes

Attire: Dressy

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Cuisines: Vietnamese, Asian

Alcohol: Full Bar

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: No


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Provided by Citysearch - 
Nice but the price

Given I'm from South East Asia, I'm a bit critical of the restaurant. I thought the ambience was nice. Food is good but not great.

It's probably a nice place for business trip, if you go there for food, I will go to some other South East Asian restaurants that offer that offer the same thing for a fraction of the price. Will go there on business only.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Good food, Shady business practice

Had a prepaid group function at the restaurant for work, which tends to mean that opened but unconsumed wine gets taken home by guests or hosts, as they have been paid for. When the party was over, 1 server claimed that the restaurant had a policy of not giving the wine out?! Another server claimed that there were no partially consumed bottles left. I had just seen one that was about half full, and there were no other guests around, so I knew that to be false. Having had multiple such events at other venues, there are ALWAYS partially consumed bottles left. The server also seemed to have an attitude and didn't seem to appreciate my request. I am inclined to think that either the servers get to take the wine home, or the restaurant gets additional revenues by essentially re-selling the wine.
The pros would be that food was quite tasty, and the ambiance nice. The cons are that it is a bit pricey and the restaurant and/or staff were of questionable integrity.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Poor customer service; poor management response; ill prepared staff

I have been going to Tamarine and Bongsu (both owned by the same people) entertaining clients. At a client lunch today, we experienced something that you never believe would happen to you. One of my guests, choked on a piece of meat and would have died, had it not been for a wonderful gentleman diner who was also having lunch. The hostess who looks miserable and treats every guests dreadfully just looked at us as if we had inconvenienced her yet again. The waiter came to find me handing me the bill worried I might run out without paying for our bill (hindsight, I should not have left a tip but I did leave a 20% - force of habit). After we left and reflected on the whole experience, we realized how poorly the staff had treated us. I phoned the restaurant to point out the liability of having wait staff that are completely ill prepared in light of a crisis such as the one we experienced and how badly they had addressed the incident. Kevin, the manager of the restaurant calls me to only tell me that they are sorry and that it is nearly impossible to train their staff to learn CPR. I pointed out that learning to dial 911 is an alternative option and not looking at your customers as if they are cramping your style and demanding payment in time of crisis another wonderful resolution. Kevin not only could not articulate a good solution to rectify the matter but also proved to be just as incompetent as the staff he manages.
The quality of workforce at Tamarine does not parallel the price and image that this restaurant is trying to project. Elderly should definitely not go there because if GOD forbid, you choke, you might be meeting your maker as these people would not even know how to dial 911 much less perform CPR.



Provided by Citysearch - 

What I liked: The ambience, the mushroom soup (vegetarian), tamarine prawns-succulent, sea bass-cooked to perfection, creme brulee, excellent service

What I disliked: Lava cake-tasted like right out of the microwave.

Comments: Received excellent wine recommendation from the bartender. Fixed price menu (3 course-$60/head)-worth the money. For NYE, should have included complimentary glass of champagne.



Provided by Citysearch - 
fantastic Vietnamese fusion cuisine

Our lunch did not start off on the best note. We did not have reservations and the hostess, who we all agreed was snooty, treated us like she was doing us a favour by sitting us at the ""one remaining table in the back room."" As it turned out, there were three other open tables in this very same room and they remained open throughout our entire lunch. What a joke!

Anyway, the food at Tamarine is the real star! This was one of the finest meals we had on our 18 day trip through California. We pretty much followed the recommendations of our very friendly waitress Kristen. Everything was great, except for perhaps the roasted quail, which seemed to just sit there staring at us like a testament to the fact that the Vietnamese will eat just about anything!

At $130 for four, our lunch was not cheap, but it sure was a treat! Highly recommended!

Cheers from Miami.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Treat yourself

Very unique food. Great flavors you can't taste elsewhere. Gotta try it.



Provided by Citysearch - 
can't wait to come back here again

I have eaten at this restaurant three times. Everytime I come back, it has always tasted better than the last time. I am looking forward to the next time I get a chance to go there again.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Oh Tamarine

It is good for Palo Alto to have an upscale restaurant that ISN'T owned or run by Wolfgang Puck. Tamarine is that upscale restaurant. The service, while faltering at times, is great overall. The food is exceptional. Special dishes include Basil Tofu and Signature Tamarine Prawns. The Vegetable dishes are better than some critics credit them. The menu variety is excellent. Now, for superb Vietnamese, one doesn't have to drive the thirty miles north to ""cisco"" and waste time finding almost nonexistent parking spaces up there.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Don't make the same mistake we did

We went to Tamarine for our anniversary because it was listed as ""Romantic"" and got good reviews on the food quality and service. The other reviewers must have gone to a different restaurant than we did!!! The tables in the main dining room are packed in so tightly that I was literally sitting closer to the 2 people on either side of me than to may date- even considering the small cramped size of the table between us! Our server could not even fit in between the tables to serve us the food- which was of average quality and extremely overpriced. The acoustics in the restaurant were terrible- I had to lean over the table and shout to be heard by my date. To make matters worse, our server was neither prompt nor informative, and seemed too inexperienced for a restaurant commanding the prices Tamarine does. Overall- extremely disappointing.



Provided by Citysearch - 
My 30th Birthday

Because I'm Vietnamese, my husband took me to this restaurant for my 30th birthday. He made the reservation a month in advance and called in to confirm a day before my birthday. He also clarified that it was for my birthday. When we arrived, we waited for 30 minutes before we were seated. The hotest was clueless and inexperience, unorganized. The waiter never came back to check on us to see what we needed after the main course came out. No much privacy in the restaurant. As a native person, the food is average. NOT RECOMMENDED!



Provided by Citysearch - 
marvelous dining experience

fast, great service..
romantic ambience
superb, tasty food
worth the price
highly recommendable



Provided by Citysearch - 
Romantic and Fabulous!

We went last night for our anniversary. I booked through Open Table and asked for a romantic table. They did just that. It was very private and we were very well attended to. The service was wonderful and the food not only tasted good, but was artistic in it's presentation. I highly recommend Tamarine for the city feel without having to drive to the city!



Provided by Citysearch - 
An absolute delight

Time and again, Tamarine never ceases to delight me. The food is delicious -- try the Tamarine Prawns, Shaking Beef, long beans and coconut rice -- and the service is spot on. Order a lychee martini at that bar and, with a little imagination, you'll be transported to Nobu, New York. The waitstaff are accomodating and gracious, and the decor is hip and funky without looking overdone. A great escape from the 'burbs!



Provided by Citysearch - 
I liked it. ! I liked it a lot!

On this particular evening, it all worked: the food, the service, and the ambiance. We were originally seated near a large group near the front. I asked to move and we were immediately re-seated in the back (a lot less noisy, fewer tables, excellent mood and lighting). The food on this night was spectacular: the eggplant had a smokey flavor, the beans had a wonderful texture (not overcooked), the sauce used for the tamarine prawns was excellent, the basil tofu had an outstanding flavor (not overpowering), and the flat iron steak was actually tender. The papaya salad was average (I've had better). The service was excellent; we really didn't notice the waitress or the bus boy.

Like many restaurants in the Bay Area, it's all about timing. And on this night, it worked out well.



Provided by Citysearch - 

the meat dishes here are no better than the meals you can get at a regular vietnamese restaurant, they taste just the same, especially the appetizers. some of the other dishes we ordered were bass and flavored rice, i chose the 'red' rice, both of which were very bland. you're better off spending your money elsewhere.



Provided by Citysearch - 

I read a few reviews here and was told that this was a ""Top 100"" restaurant so I didn't know what to make of it all. I took an out of town client to Tamarine on a recent Thursday and franky we were blown away. The ambience was nothing like he had ever seen with the art and colors. The service was impeccable (sounds like others didn't have my experience). We had cocktails at the bar, then dinner. Food was Top 100 quality. Like the Slanted Door in S.F.--only better service/ambience. We had the bass, prawns and garlic/crab noodles. They were all great. I certianly will return.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Bad Service

We have been regular visitors to this restaurant and the variety and quality of the offerings is wonderful and has remained consistent in quality.

However, the service on my recent visit was particularly bad.

We had confirmed our reservation by phone for 8:15PM and we arrived well in time only to be informed that the reservation was made for 8:30PM. However, we were seated only by 8:45 PM.

There was no attempt made by the staff or management to apologize or compensate for the obvious error in reservation and delay in finding us a table. What really added to our annoyance was the fact that we had two pregnant women in our group who had to stand for the entire 30-40 minutes despite our informing your staff of their predicament.

It was a total letdown on a day that was meant to celebrate a few birthdays.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Just another restaurant

My wife and I were finally able to make it here for dinner without reservations, after hearing so much about it for months. We ended up having dinner at the bar and were very disappointed. The bartender never helped us through the menu since we've never been there before, so we just picked items out randomly that sounded nice. She didn't seem as if she even knew what was on the menu, never got back to us, and judging by the looks on the faces of the other customers, we were not alone. She was so messy and loud, we kept feeling the annoying pounding on the bar. She spent more time talking to the employees than to us. The food was very good and so was the wine, but the service was terrible, bad first impression.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Don't Miss It

Look at the more recent reviews for this restaurant. This was recently rated in the top 100 bay area restaurants, and they deliver a great experience. The food is contemporary Vietnamese / fusion, and we enjoyed everything we tried. Don't miss the spring rolls - they're small, but tasty. We found the ambiance romantic, not too noisy, and a bit crowded. Dishes are great for sharing. It's a little pricey, but the restaurant is very popular (deservedly so) and the food is great.

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