518 Bryant St
Palo Alto, CA 94301
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Three Seasons Restaurant

Neighborhoods: University South
Cuisine: Vietnamese, Asian, Asian fusion

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  • 4/08/2013

    A Vietnamese chowhound from Wigan, P7 tried it and liked it.

Gayot
Rating:
13 / 20
Price:
$$$$$
Read Gayot Review »
jazzyjas7 photo

jazzyjas7

 Mountain View, CA
 

Tasty Fancy Vietnamese food

This isn’t your typical Vietnamese pho place…this restaurant is fancier and more expensive. They have a great selection of spring rolls with all kinds of ingredients: Ahi Tuna Rolls, Spider Rolls, Duck Rolls, Traditional Spring Rolls, etc. I only tried the Summer Rolls (Dungeness crab, avocado, cucumber, ginger soy) and I can’t wait to go back to try the others.

The portions are not huge, but everything we ordered that night was very good. I highly recommend the Steamed Chilean Sea Bass!

All in all, this is a good place to go for a nice dinner or on a date. It’s somewhat hidden in an alley, so make sure you check a map before you go.

Steamed Chilean Sea Bass

Tender steamed chilean sea bass with fresh ginger, lily buds, & shiitake mushrooms. This dish wasn’t very big, but it tasted very good!

AliceC photo

AliceC

 San Francisco, CA
 

I tried the summer spring rolls which...

I tried the summer spring rolls which contained crab and avocado and the typical spring roll fill. I enjoyed the accompanying ginger sauce. 6 pieces total, 3 rolls cut in half ($11). We also got the beef($20) which wasn’t over cooked and cooked with onions, peppers, and watercress. The crab noodle dish ($17) reminded me more of standard asian dish with shitake mushrooms and carrots. Overall, enjoyed the restaurant and the service was great.

tommers photo

tommers

 Mountain View, CA
 

We're back on good terms.

After my first two visits to Three Seasons I thought of it as a great way to get almost-Tamarine-quality east Asian fusion without paying an arm and a leg. But after my second to last visit I started to feel that the rewards weren’t that great for just giving up an arm. And now after my fourth visit, I’m warming up to Three Seasons again.

A few of the dishes, like the sweet and succulent sea bass in a caramelized onion and caramel sauce are quite memorable, but as I tried more items on the menu, few things felt worth it. The $11 honey quail satay is just two skewers of quail that weren’t even pleasant, let alone good, and came with a thin sauce that taste like lemon juice. The sweet and sour soup wasn’t bad, but wasn’t better than what I’d expect in the average hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese restaurant. The whole crispy red snapper is exactly that, a deep-fried whole red snapper. The meat was reasonably good, but nothing that made me want to finish the whole thing, which is too bad, since its one of the few entrees where you get a significant amount of food for the price.

But, on my fourth visit I got the rack of lamb ($26), the eggplant ($8), and the salmon sashimi. All three were terrific, and the the eggplant and rack of lamb provided a lot of terrific to boot. Generally I enjoy sashimi, but don’t feel like it has enough flavor to justify its cost, but this sashimi was some of the best I’ve had. It was almost describable as buttery and the flesh tore apart slowly. There wasn’t much sashimi to speak of, but what there was was wonderful. The eggplant dish was one of the best values they have. Its a side dish, but it seems only like it could be a small plate entree with a tagine like mix of vegetables and a peanut based sauce (I think) that was lick your spoon good. It wasn’t like any peanut sauce I’ve ever had and was not too sweet or peanut buttery as Thai peanut sauces can be. The mix of soft vegetables was great and the portions were quite hearty. The rack of lamb, while being one of the most expensive items on the menu, was still a great value. The bowl contains five or six lamb ribs each bursting with tasty meat and all in a syrah reduction that’s bursting with flavor. Its not a dish built on subtlety, but it packs quite a tasty punch.

The restaurant is beautiful as well as romantic, but you can do can get better food for less money or a better value as somewhere pricier and better like Tamarine.

Whole Crispy Red Snapper

The whole crispy red snapper is exactly that, a deep-fried whole red snapper. The meat was reasonably good, but nothing that made me want to finish the whole thing, which is too bad, since its one of the few entrees where you get a significant amount of food for the price.

Eggplant

The eggplant dish was one of the best values they have. Its a side dish, but it seems only like it could be a small plate entree with a tagine like mix of vegetables and a peanut based sauce (I think) that was lick your spoon good. It wasn’t like any peanut sauce I’ve ever had and was not too sweet or peanut buttery as Thai peanut sauces can be. The mix of soft vegetables was great and the portions were quite hearty.

Rack of Lamb

The rack of lamb, while being one of the most expensive items on the menu, was still a great value. The bowl contains five or six lamb ribs each bursting with tasty meat and all in a syrah reduction that’s bursting with flavor. Its not a dish built on subtlety, but it packs quite a tasty punch.

Salmon Sashimi

enerally I enjoy sashimi, but don’t feel like it has enough flavor to justify its cost, but this sashimi was some of the best I’ve had. It was almost describable as buttery and the flesh tore apart slowly. There wasn’t much sashimi to speak of, but what there was was wonderful.

Steamed Chilean Sea Bass

The succulent sea bass in a caramelized onion and caramel sauce is quite memorable. The soft flesh of the fish has a wonderful mouthfeel and perfectly absorbs the flavors of broth. The broth and the carmelized onions are what makes this dish though. They’re sweet in a way that doesn’t feel sweet and that perfectly compliments the sea bass.

Honey Quail Satay

The honey quail satay is just two skewers of quail that weren’t even pleasant, let alone good, and came with a thin sauce that taste like lemon juice.

Sweet and Sour Soup

The sweet and sour soup wasn’t bad, but wasn’t better than what I’d expect in the average hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese restaurant.

Lan photo

Lan

 

As far as Vietnamese restaurants go, this one caters more...

As far as Vietnamese restaurants go, this one caters more to the American crowd than Vietnamese folks. Having said that though, the restaurant does a good job of altering the Vietnamese formula to appeal to non-Vietnamese palates and the food here is quite good. The restaurant is located in an exciting area, off of University Ave. in Palo Alto. With a fully stocked bar, the restaurant is quite an exciting place to eat at night. If you’re looking for a place to eat and drink and be merry with friends, then this is an ideal location. However, if you’re merely interested in exploring Vietnamese food, there are more authentic and less expensive places to do this further south along the 101.

Tags
Vietnamese Asian Asian fusion
Website
Video
Hours
Mon-Thu 11:30AM - 02:00PM
Mon-Thu 05:30PM - 10:00PM
Fri 11:30AM - 02:00PM
Fri 05:30PM - 11:00PM
Sat 05:30PM - 11:00PM
Sun 05:30PM - 10:00PM
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jazzyjas7

Mountain View, CA
+120 useful

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tulips500

Irvine, CA
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jcfong

San Francisco, CA
+161 useful

Three Seasons Restaurant  Restaurant Reviews

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Three Seasons Restaurant is located near the cities of East Palo Alto, Santa Clara County, Stanford, Menlo Park, and Mountain.
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