This was my fourth trip to Elephant Bar in Cupertino. It is a very popular multicuisine restaurant in Cupertino. As I discovered recently it is a reasonably big chain although I have never been to any other branch but the one in Cupertino. Employees of a certain fruit company fill up its big premises almost all the time. Weekend night trips to the place is impossible without a reservation. With this background, lets jump right in to my most recent trip and how the food stood up to the rest of the town.
I was there for a business lunch with two others on a weekday afternoon- the crowd was minimal and we were able to get seats without any wait. I started off with a Green Tea Ginger Spritzer. I have a thing for ginger drinks (I could write a post on it someday) and love green tea. So the combination was a match made in heaven. It tasted just as good. It came in a huge glass and survived till the end of the meal and admirably so.
For the main course, there were lots to choose from and none. Let me explain. Elephant Bar carries little by the way of vegetarian fare on their menu. But given how extensive their menu is and how willing they are to substitute vegetarian options for you, there are a lot of choices. My typical preference is their Pad Thai but I was in the mood for a burger and went with their Jalapeno burger with a Gardenburger in place of the beef pattie. I chose sweet potato fries as my free side to go with the burger. Burger and fries are like strawberries and cream and nachos and jalapenos. They are just meant to be consumed together. The order came in relatively quickly. The sweet potato fries were fantastic. The burger was what I expected- gardenburger taste with some spice thanks to the jalapenos on top and some nice veggies to finish it off.
The dessert menu was inviting but I was full and I had the rest of the afternoon to finish up a lot of work. So I passed on the dessert.
For those inclined,here is the nutritional info on their dishes.
Ambience: 5/5. I love the place for its unique look. There are as the name goes, elephant idols and elephantine stuff everywhere. The place feels like a safari in itself. There are old travel suitcases. African photos and memorabilia. Giraffe busts and what not.
Service: 4/5. On a slow Monday afternoon, service was quick. Other times, it has been slower.
Food: 4/5. I give it a 4 for a reason. The menu is extensive. So there is definitely something for everyone to like. But the large menu makes it hard to excel in any one item. My burger was good- not great. I am sure a carnivore would have found more flavor with his beef pattie but the replacement Gardenburger was commonplace enough not to standout. On the other hand, the green tea spritzer was an inspired drink.
Price: 4/5. The place is not cheap. Think, TGI/Chili’s fare- slightly more expensive. Not too pricey though.
Overall: 4/5. Definitely worth a trip to sample their fare. Stay for the dessert if you can and order the sweet potato fries