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“Nice lunch on the patio”
Review of Playa

Ranked #30 of 109 Restaurants in Mill Valley
Price range: USD 5 - USD 20
Restaurant details
Reviewed 14 May 2017

The food is excellent all though a little on the pricey side. We had the pork tacos and an empanadas, both were excellent and the tequilime pie was very tasty. It has a great bar so I'm sure it's extra busy in the evening.

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Thank Philly413
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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39 - 43 of 63 reviews

Reviewed 14 May 2017

With so many good restaurants in the area, this establishment will either change to include the "human element" in their definition of who their customers are; or, not be here at all within the next half decade.

With a setting beneath some of Mill Valley's famous historic redwoods, this establishment has definite potential -- especially for the outside deck dining -- even though the view is of some garage roof tops, an alley and a parking lot.

Indoor dining is in a modern setting with an open kitchen along one wall and a well stocked bar on one side. Semi-comfortable seating at individual tables is in one large room with little to baffle the competing noise level of aggregated conversations. Among the patrons, the loudest voice in the room prevails.

As for entrees, the well prepared meager to moderate sized portions were presented well. The best part of the dinning experience, however, was the exquisite "homemade" chips and fresh guacamole with three different spiced salsa sauces ranging from mild to extremely hot. Anyone wanting a blended drink is out of luck. In response to my request for a blended margarita, the waitress proudly announced that they did not have a blender on premises.

The atmosphere was one of cold, impersonal, but cordial efficiency. Despite the abundance of wait staff, it was as though we were feasting off an assembly line controlled by a speed freak.

Beware: If you want time to enjoy a cocktail and hors d'oeuvre before the main course, order them separately. With our entree arriving only a minute or so after the "chips and dip" we felt rushed and unattended to.

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Thank traveladdict2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2017

The executive chef is from Jalisco state in Mexico and he's cooked for several higher-end restaurants in San Francisco and Sausalito. This is not your usual Mexican restaurant. The sauces are refined and everything was tasty, though expensive. Because I go to Mexico to take cooking classes, I wanted to check out Playa.

Five of us went for lunch today. The chicken tortilla soup was delicious but ridiculously priced at $14. The soup is likely thickened (with tortillas) and has more of a tomato base than most tortilla soups. The soup may have been passed through a food mill which mashes and sieves the ingredients. It's topped with chicken, tortilla strips.

We also had the watermelon salad with beets, grapes, snap peas, feta cheese and micro-greens. Lightly dressed. Excellent salad. The cod tacos were very good (two small tacos per order for $13) and again, it's the sauces that made the dish. The other two people in my party ordered the machaca huevos rancheros and the quesadilla with squash blossoms and roasted mushroom.

The kill bill margarita was very good, but at $13, I should have put the money towards an appetizer instead.

Portions are on the small side. This is a restaurant that caters to the Mill Valley, up-scale crowd. With drinks and 20% tip, it was $29/person for lunch. The restaurant design is lovely...and upscale.

We do plan to go back for dinner and share plates, hopefully sitting out on the back patio. Our plan is to order the whole spit roasted organic chicken ($32), some side dishes and perhaps one or two traditional dishes. (Walking by at night, the restaurant is busy and filled with "beautiful people." LOL)

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Thank DianeDB83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2017 via mobile

Just down from the Sequoia Theatre, this newish Mexican Fusion relaxed restaurant adds a splash to downtown Mill Valley. They even built a new redwood walkway directly from parking lot behind its outdoor patio.

The food is consistently delicious, farm to table. Clean, fresh, innovated, pleasant, welcoming, and great local watching.

A welcome renovation, if you can call it that so simply, of the old Champagne Bakery...missed.

Thank KathieVee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2017

We've eaten here now three times and I wish I liked it more.
This review is based on the food only, I can tell there is a nice bar scene, but I don't drink tequila, so I can't comment on their drinks.
The food is OK to good - the flavors are authentic, but there is so much that's problematic:

The Bay Area has a lot really great cheap taquerias, so you had better be transcendent if you are going to be as expensive as Playa. Playa is not transcendent, but it is expensive - 2 orders of tacos (4 total), chips and salsas, 2 aqua frescas came to over $50 with tip.

Only one tortilla per taco? Really? Every food truck gives you two.

The fish tacos were OK, but the cabbage slaw was limp, so there was no contrast of textures.

For some reason, the vegetarian menudo uses garbanzo beans instead of hominy. It tastes OK, but it would taste better with hominy. Don't know why they make that choice. (you also lose the funk when you substitute mushrooms for tripe, but the texture was OK and that worked).

The agua frescas should be better.

It's really noisy. At night, you can't hear your dinner companions. At lunch, they have the music turned up so loud, it might as well be dinner.

I'm not sure about the service. One night we arrived 15 minutes early for a reservation and were told we would have to wait at the bar, although I counted at least 5 empty tables for 2. The hostess wasn't very pleasant about it, either.

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Thank Bandol-Lovers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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