Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop





Revival Celebration at MacArthur Park, Palo Alto

Posted 17 September, 2008 at 11:54pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Dining, Food)

Tonight Tina and I dined at a celebration dinner at MacArthur Park Restaurant in Palo Alto, California. This restaurant, opened in 1982, is actually the second MacArthur Park (the first was in San Francisco, opened nine years earlier, slowly declined over the years and closed last year under the faltering Spectrum Restaurant Group). When Spectrum opened the restaurant in Palo Alto, they selected a historic building right across the street from Stanford University (in fact they lease the land from Stanford) designed by Julia Morgan and built in 1918. During the last few years, Spectrum has been in Chapter 11 twice and has been selling off many of their properties. Four months ago, two of the men who helped originally open MacArthur Park Palo Alto (Chuck Frank, an early Spectrum executive, and Faz Poursohi, the first chef at MacArthur Park) bought the restaurant back for a reported $500,000. The started renovating and changing the restaurant back into what their vision was without closing for a single day (pretty impressive).

The party was held in their pleasant patio area in the back of the restaurant. We tasted a variety of food available at the restaurant: smoked salmon, sturgeon, a smoked whitefish, potato skins, onion strings, breaded and fried tomato slices, grilled hanger steak, baby back ribs, bacon, blue cheese and iceberg salad, grilled prawns (huge), corn on the cob, and roasted peppers stuffed with cheeses. All of the food was good and tasty, but not exceptional. But then, this isn't the type of restaurant that you go to in order to open up to new tastes and flavors. From the sampling I had, the food is just fine for the price point of the restaurant (entrees from $15 to $25 with steaks up to $38 [for a pound of T-bone]) and the building and ambiance is quite pleasant. I'm especially interested in returning to the restaurant because the dining room is well lit, which means potential for nice photographs.

MacArthur Park Restaurant, Palo Alto

MacArthur Park (Google Maps)
27 University Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 321-9990

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