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Any Low-Noise Restaurants?

Original post made by Please stop the racket on Jan 10, 2013

Noisy restaurants are making it impossible to enjoy talking to people over a meal. Are there any moderately priced places to eat where shouting isn't required? Sometimes it's the kitchen equipment, or the TV, and the so called music on the loudspeaker. Where does an adult find a decent place?

Comments (16)

Posted by bru, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 10, 2013 at 1:47 pm

bru is a registered user.

> Where does an adult find a decent place?

LOL, you know it used to be that people went out to eat, and they talked calmly in low voices and respected others around them and places did not get too loud and chaotic.

Now, restaurants have turned into controlled riots. People yelling to each other, laughing, screaming, kids running around. The other night I was out to eat and the guy next to me had one of those walkie talkie phones that kept chirping and going off and he was having a conversation with the other side like they were across the street, about 4 feet from my table.

We have skewed all the social norms in America so that the average sensibililty of people is one step up from neanderthal, in fact I think neanderthals were probably more socially aware.

Today's norm seems to be for everyone to be as obnoxious as possible, and he who can offend the most with no one calling them on it is the winner.


Posted by geraldine, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2013 at 3:16 pm

For the last ten years there seems to be a trend AWAY from sound-absorbing walls and ceilings, and just plain concrete and/or tile interiors, which amplify noise. There has also been a trend toward too many closely-packed tables, which put too many people into a small space.

I think it is just a trend to reduce overhead and increase profits.


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 10, 2013 at 3:19 pm

My favorite moderately priced fairly peaceful places are Hobee's Town & Country, and Marie Callender's Mountain View. Oh wait, I guess they were too peaceful.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 10, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Cafe Pro Bono has been okay, Indochine, Phil's Treasure Pot, Tai Pan, Cafe Sophia, Cascal, Spice Kit & Joya have been, as well. This is just from recent memory. Of course, depends on your schedule, if you have kids, your budget & mostly, your noise tolerance.

Places that we have noted as being loud: Howie's, Round Table - any of them, Cheesecake Factory, Prolific Oven, Slider Bar, Beppo's (as if that's news), Mayfield Cafe, Douce France, any CPK, Amici's, Gambardella's.


Posted by Solon , a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 10, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Jing jing best for talking and leisure Emerson across from Aquarius
Mike's worst

Eva terrible
Sizzler mt vie good
Il forniao has some good spots
Two n cal ve


Posted by bru, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 10, 2013 at 5:24 pm

bru is a registered user.

> musical, a resident of the Palo Verde

Marie Calendar's in Mountain View closed over a year ago, the closest one I know of which is still open is in Sunnyvale.

Hobee's is a great spot, but I think it is going to be closing as well - at least the one in Town & Country - which I think is a shame - I love the Hobee's in T&C.


Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of Stanford
on Jan 10, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Spalti on California Ave. is civilized, and has very good food. Cafe Renzo on University Ave. is wonderful in all respects, though it has TVs at the bar and can get a little nosier during special games.


Posted by David Lieberman, a resident of Professorville
on Jan 10, 2013 at 7:23 pm

The Menlo Grill has a terrace which is beautiful and quiet. The food is excellent and they have no corkage fee if you bring a bottle of wine. I've only been there in the summer and fall so I don't know if they have heaters for the winter months.


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 10, 2013 at 7:28 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online due to reference to a deleted prior comment.]

Back on-topic of moderately priced options, I agree with Hmmm's suggestion of dining off-hours. Town & Country Hobee's served its final meal last week. My mention of them was a note of changing times. I share geraldine's observation that restaurants have become more sound amplifying. Anybody been to Frankie Johnnie & Luigi in Mountain View lately? Been awhile for me but I recall the front dining area as pretty quiet, but the back area less so.


Posted by Wally, a resident of Menlo Park
on Jan 10, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Seriously: quiet? great food? peaceful? Been around 30 years.

Flea St Cafe.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 10, 2013 at 8:11 pm



You get what you pay for in terms of quality.

Baume is a low noise restaurant of high quality and dinner costs at least $ 250 to $400+ per person-depending on the wine-it is always full -and -quite

Al Gore dines @ Baume -when he is in town-as do the lawyers, VC etc from Sand Hill Road and Wall Street and CXOs from local companies.

There are lot of multimillionaires and billionaires in Portola Valley, Atherton and West Menlo Park-they want a quiet secure place to eat quality meals and can easily afford the prices

Lower class restaurants actually crank up the decibels to encourage customers to eat fast and leave so the table can be sold to other customers

-turnover = profit for such places

We have flown with friends many times to Napa for dinner-it is fun- as long as you stay overnight in Napa-it is a short trip back to PA airport in the morning.


Posted by barron park resident, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 10, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Some locations south of Page Mill along el camino

Cibo grill on el camino infront of Creekside Hotel has been around for a long time... it seemed quiet when I checked the menu, though I have never ate there.

Hunan garden on El Camino, near Frys

FIsh Market can be quiet if you sit in the back/side area.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 10, 2013 at 8:58 pm

"Portola Valley, Atherton and West Menlo Park"

Couple things about that phrase -

West Menlo Park is actually a pretty small are, a particular neighborhood, but west Menlo Park is a larger area of Menlo.

Sharon has lately mentioned these places -Portola Valley, Atherton and West Menlo Park- repeatedly. What gives? There are VCs & executives in other areas, so why this recent obsession with this particular geography?

Back to the subject~i think it is easier to mention places that are not quiet because the quieter ones are rare!


Posted by Mr.Recycle, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 10, 2013 at 9:24 pm

@Sharon - Invite me next time you fly to Napa!


Posted by bru, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 10, 2013 at 10:53 pm

bru is a registered user.

> Town & Country Hobee's served its final meal last week.

I am so sad to hear this. I meant to get to Hobee's more often. Did they say if they would be relocating anywhere nearby. Town & Country made a big mistake!

Thank you very much to Hobee's and all the wonderful people who worked there, I will really miss you guys and Hobee's great food!


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 11, 2013 at 1:56 am

@bru (and on-topic as a moderately priced relatively peaceful place to eat), Hobee's was simply priced out as T&C attempts to go upscale.

PA Online Shop Talk, December 28, 2012 -- Web Link

It wasn't the first T&C casualty, Shop Talk September 23, 2012 -- Web Link -- (also mentions Marie Callender closing)

Hobee's sent most of their T&C employees to their other restaurants. The nearest is my frequent 7:00am breakfast haunt on ECR just south of Arastradero. I've eaten at every one of their eight locations.

Hobee's thank you note -- Web Link


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