Left Bank Restaurant Review, Menlo Park, Santana Row

Reviewer: Foodnut.com

Left Bank

635 Santa Cruz Ave

Menlo Park, CA 94025

(650) 473-6543

650-345-0770 (Fax)

Left Bank Website

Book Reservation

Left Bank Santana Row San Jose Exterior Decor

Left Bank is a Brasserie style French restaurant. They have 3 locations in the San Francisco Bay Area and got started in 1994. They serve seafood from the CleanFish Alliance of sustainable seafood products. Our last visit in September 2012, was to the Santana Row location in San Jose.

Left Bank San Mateo Interior

Decor, Vibe – Patio seating outside, separate bar area, nice French style decor inside with a big exposed kitchen and large French posters. Families, couples, several big parties were dining.

Left Bank Menu Pictures (Click to zoom into any picture)

Website Menu

Left Bank’s specials and prix fix change every day.

Left Bank Picks:

Left Bank Menlo Park Calamars Frits

CALAMARS FRITS ($11.50) fried calamari, crispy onions, Pommery mustard aïoli
ESCARGOTS ($10.25) in pernod garlic butter was extremely oily and maintained little of the snail’s flavor.

Left Bank Menlo Park Soup

SOUPE À L’OIGNON GRATINÉE ($7.50) traditional onion soup, emmenthal cheese

MOULES FLORENTINE ($11.50) steamed mussels, spinach, white wine, shallots, garlic was a large bowl full of fresh mussels in a flavorful broth that is sure to be liked.

Left Bank Santana Row Cheese Fondue

FONDUE AUX FROMAGES ($9.95) melted brie, blue, and goat cheeses is an excellent appetizer for cheese fans. Good quality cheese and some crispy toast made for a classic dish.

Left Bank Menlo Park American Burger

FALLON HILLS BURGER ($11.75) 1/2 pound grass-fed beef, pommes frites, ADD bacon, avocado, emmenthal, cheddar or Fourme d’Ambert (each 1.50)

Left Bank San Mateo Onion Soup Gratinee

Onion Soup Gratinee ($7.25) was a good rendition of the classic, with refined onion and cheese flavor. It was not too salty or too cheesy. Portion size was on the smaller side.

Left Bank San Mateo MOULES FLORENTINE Steamed Mussels

Moules Florentine ($12.50) had tons of fresh steamed mussels, white wine, and a little touch of spinach. The bread was a little on the burned side, though it made for nice dipping.

Left Bank Santana Row Duck

MAGRET DE CANARD AUX PÉCHES ($19.95) roasted duck breast with peaches, chickpea fritters, gastrique sauce was cooked to a perfect medium rare and was balanced out with the very fresh sauteed peaches.

Pork Tenderloin ($18.95) was thought to be a boring entree but proved to be a juicy, and cooked perfectly. The included broccolini was also very fresh.

Left Bank San Mateo Steak Frites

Brasserie Steak Frites ($19.95) natural grass fed beef skirt steak, delicious pommes frites, fresh carrots was very good. The steak had excellent flavor but was not the most tender. It was cooked to a perfect medium rare.

Left Bank San Mateo Egg Noodles

Their Egg Noodles are home made and delicious.

Left Bank San Mateo Chicken Special

Prix Fixe By Passot ($26.50) Daily changing 3 course prix fixe special is of great value. Too vinegary, garden variety, Green Salad started the trio.
A good sized juicy chicken breast cooked well and served with mash potatoes was the entree.

Left Bank San Mateo Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp was an excellent dessert. Hot out of the oven, not too sweet, just the right size.

Left Bank San Mateo Salmon

Saumon ($5.50 for kids) A good sized grilled salmon fillet with fresh vegetables was a steal at this price. It was cooked just right.

Left Bank San Mateo Asparagus

Sauteed asparagus ($4.25) were several extra big spears of grilled fresh aspargus. Nice and healthy.

Left Bank San Mateo PROFITEROLES

Profiteroles ($6.25) three cream puffs, French vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce was brought to us as a complimentary birthday dessert. A nice touch, and a really nice dessert with really smooth ice cream..


Macaroni and Cheese ($5) Elbow pasta with cheddar cheese and sauce Béchamel was pretty standard fare.


Left Bank had decent service and good pacing of dishes. The server checked back often, the bus boys came through often, water was never low. Having read many negative reviews of this place, we worried a bit. Granted, Left Bank is a regional ‘chain’ and not as intimate and homey as a couple-owned restaurant, the food and service was very good, making it a good experience. We only had one salad miss the target. You could drive up to Chapeau! or  Bouchon or fly to France to do better.  The San Mateo and Pleasant Hill locations closed in 2008.

Also at:
507 Magnolia Avenue
Larkspur, CA 94939
(415) 927-3331

635 Santa Cruz Ave
Menlo Park CA 94025
(650) 473-6543

377 Santana Row Suite 1100
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 984-3500

Left Bank on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Map:

Left Bank Overall Rating: (Very Good 2.5)

Come Back?

Food Rating: (Very Good)
Service Rating: (Good)
Atmosphere Rating: (Very Good)
Value Rating: (Good)

Guide: 0 = poor, 1 = Below/Average, 2 = Good, 2.5 = Very Good, 3 = Excellent , 4 = Extraordinary

Alcohol:Full Bar
Hours:Mon - Th 1130am - 10pm, Fri 1130am - 11pm, Sat 11am - 11pm, Sun 11am - 10pm
Parking:Free Lot
Prices:$9.75 - $26.50 (Dinner)

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  • Katya
    July 15, 2009 at 10:08 am


    I wanted to see if you could correct a factual error in your article. The San Mateo and Pleasant Hill locations closed in 2009 not 2008. Please let me know if you can make that change for accuracy purposes.

    Much appreciated,

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    […] present. Verdict – Yankee Pier had some solid dishes. We hope they can work on their service. Left Bank in Santana Row seems to be the best bet for decent food in this […]

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