We took another couple to Lavanda a new restaurant on University Avenue in Palo Alto on Sunday night. It used to be the Good Earth and it certainly no longer looks like that organic food diner anymore.
I thought with 9/11 and the dot-com demise that expensive restaurants were going out of style or at least were cutting back on prices, but this is not the case here. If I'd known how expensive the entrees were (most in the mid-to-high 20's) I probably would have chosen another restaurant. I don't mind paying those prices when the atmosphere, service, food, etc. are outstanding but at Lavanda, while everything is solid, there's no reason for such high prices, in my opinion.
Our table had the duck, seared tombo tuna, quail, and sea bass. Appetizers were an interesting salmon gazpacho and celery root soup. Again, no complaints, but nothing to warrant these prices. The wine list was also on the high side (we had a delicious Joseph Swan Pinot Noir at $38 -- one of the cheaper reds).
Lavanda purports to be a wine bar as well but the bar area, again while just fine, is nothing you'd be dying to go to for atmosphere. Zibbibo (also in PA) with its quirky building and cozy bar is more appealing to me. I didn't get a look at the wines by the glass list but I'm sure prices are high as well.
So I can't really recommend Lavanda. There are so many other restaurants in the Bay Area that offer fine food at lower prices with more dynamic dining experience and service (including L'Amie Donia, also in PA) that it's better to skip Lavanda.
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