Pausa Bar & Cookery

4.7
778 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Pausa, a bar and cookery in San Mateo, calls for guests to take a recess from life and enjoy a dining experience that transports them to a place of leisure. With a strong focus on modern Italian, our menu will consist of house-made pasta, wood-fired pizza, wood-fired grill, and house-cured meats. Our friendly and knowledgeable team will ensure your pause is a memorable one.

We are now taking reservations!
What 778 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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NB
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service.
Incredible food.
Only complaint was difficultly finding parking.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday event

e
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

We have been to Pausa quite a few times and enjoyed their food. However, this time, the food was actually quite bad, not sure what happened to the restaurant. We ordered 3 pasta, one was overcooked, one was dry, and one was bland. At around $25 each, this is actually very unacceptable. Not sure if I will go back again.

O
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I love their salads and pizza but don’t know about entree (main) .
I order one pasta and meatball and they are okay and not impressed.
However othter factors such staff, atmosphere, and drink manue are great.
If I have to choose a word, The desserts should be more ordinal. It was little too new to me.

GS
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service is excellent as always. This is like my 5th or 6th time dining here

K
Philadelphia
58 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

When I come to SSF for business, I love to dine here...me, a book, and spectacular food, wine and service. It’s my favorite restaurant in the country.

CP
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Loved it - the food was great and our server was wonderful. Hostess was attentive. Flavors were just fabulous. Our only complaint is price-point. It runs pretty expensive for what you get. And they need to increase their gluten free options. Otherwise, we'd be back in a heartbeat.

H
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Generous portions, delicious food & tasty cocktails

w
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We both really liked the music, but it was a bit loud so that we strained to hear each other.

S
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food and wait staff! Will come back again !

G
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

I dine at Pausa around once a month or two. I'm actually quite familiar with their food menu. Unfortunately, I have to say that this has been my least favorite dinner here since I started dining here. The food was quite salt heavy on 3 of the 4 main dishes we ordered. My friend's pizza was unusually soggy in the bottom, as well. My mom's lamb itself was delicious but the vegetables were really salty.

Drinks are lovely as always. The service is great as usual. I was very excited to be taking my best friend and her fiance here as they were visiting me from Hawaii... and they ended up dissatisfied with the food.

I'll still come back again as I've had much better experience before. Just hope this is the only disappointing meal I will have at Pausa from now on!

OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The food was delicious!! The butter lettuce salad was wonderful and the tomato risotto was outstanding!! It was our first time dining at the restaurant and we will definitely return again!! Loved the food!!

w
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Making a reservation through open table, to me, guarantees that my party will not be subject to standing around for a lengthy period of time waiting to be seated. We checked in for a 7:45 reservation at 7:44 and were made to wait over 30 minutes to be seated. We had to stand near the door, there was no place to sit, and when the bar had seats available half way through our wait we were told that those seats were for diners and we had to move.
When we did get seated we were waited on by a very unenthusiastic waiter. His demeanor was grouchy. He did provide us with what we requested by not with a cheerful attitude. The restaurant is beautiful, a little loud, but that shows energy. The food was good.
I would probably not go back as they don't seem customer service oriented.

A
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Outstanding service, waitress checked on our table multiple times even at the restaurant’s full capacity. She even gave our table a complimentary birthday dessert after realizing it had just passed. Will definitely be dining again.

l
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The service was wonderful. The food was tasty. I need to return to try other entrees.

LG
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food with amazing service. Quality is worth the price

TS
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic place to eat!
Start with the service. Waiters are informed and really do a great job of walking you through options. Reminds me of the staff you would find at a Michelin star. When food is delivered, again a wonderful job of explaining what you are about to eat. All first rate

The food is crazy good and true Italian. Make their own cured meats and pasta. And it shows. Started with meat and cheese. Then pasta with duck Ragu. And the desert, almond cake with basil gelato. All were fantastic.

Just a wonderful experience and I can’t wait to return and share with friends

DW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great except entrees seemingly came out a bit slow and sure enough my $40 dollar steak came out looking like it was prepared medium rare (like I asked) but sat in the window too long so it came out dried out. Almost a perfect meal.

OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 5

Charcuterie, you can choose from the menu section and it was very creative. Its cocktail menus were good too. But overall the food was so salty.

B
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing service and great food. We were there recently for my daughter's birthday and they had printed "happy birthday" on our menus with her name on it. She was so impressed :) They kids love the pizza there and so do we. The cocktails are great as well. The main course menu could be a little bigger with a couple more options, but whatever they have is great. We have been there many times and there hasnt been anything that we didnt like so far. Will keep going back :)

N
Central Coast
23 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

Love this restaurant, but tonight not so much. Service was slow, and waitress was annoying. She just had one of those fake sounding voices that just ruins a meal. Made me upset, which in turn upset my partner. The food was very good, wine average. I had lamb porterhouse. The quality of the meat was outstanding, cooked perfectly with nice seasoning and flavor. I’ll be back, hopefully with a different waitress!

FW
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 3

we are at 5:00pm ( our table is at 5:45pm ) so we set at the bar, we are reseveration for 3 People, i later ask if we can sit at the back of the dining area ( below our reservation ) , the hostess told me " we are very busy and dont think they can do that ) I dont think is to much to ask to sit at the back, because they have table for 3 both at the back and front. the server Carlos was very good and courteous. Food and Bars are both good.

GA
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience with family including our 2 and 5 year old!

CP
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Service was amazing but the food was just average. My companion had the duck pasta and it was barely warm. I had the halibut which was completely over cooked. I’ve been to Pausa several times and have not had this experience before.

N
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A beautiful Italian restaurant in the neighborhood.

R
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just outstanding!

The salads were delicious (my wife had mixed greens) and the bresola (sliced dried beef) was also very good. My wife ordered a 1.5” thick pork chop that was perfectly cooked (sou-vide then grilled). I had a pasta with mushrooms, fava beans, and a cheese (pecorino), also perfectly done.

c
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service. They initially had my
order wrong but corrected it fast, and brought
us a free dessert to compensate.

d
San Francisco
49 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Probably the best Italian food around, but there is not much great competition. A little overpriced, but mostly very good food.

P
San Francisco
48 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Pausa did not disappoint. Although we didn't know what you expect, the entire group of six were tickled with happiness. We had a vegetarian in our group and he enjoy all the meals we shared except for the meat dishes. We thoroughly enjoyed every part of our meal, from beginning to end. The staff and our waiter, made sure we wanted for nothing. I can't wait to return. To say we had a favorite dish, we can't, because it was all very well and good! Thank you for delivering happy meals and faces to our humble group of foodies.

U
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Graduation

Report
OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were well taken care of !!!

NA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a FABULOUS dinner. Our waitress Cynthia was amazing - super knowledgable and friendly - and made perfect recommendations! The meat/cheese board, pasta, wine... everything was wonderful. You really cannot go wrong with this place!

MM
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had a great time. The waitress was outstanding she knew her menu and she was super attentive and anticipated our needs.

BP
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A perfect date night spot! Loved the modern atmosphere.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food, service and atmosphere are all top notch. No complaints and the food is my favorite Italian in Bay area

OT
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Colleague moving.

OT
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The food was very good but the noise level was so high, it made understanding/hearing what your table mates or servers said impossible. The acoustics of the restaurant leaves a lot to be desired! Also the techno beat of their selected music added an annoying overwhelming “pulse” to the atmosphere.

t
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious and the service was great! They checked on us but never made us feel like we needed to leave!

OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 4

The cheese plate and salad were really good but the pasta was not seasoned properly and just not put together

AS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing service by our funny and educated waiter. The food was awesome and so was the amazing wine list! Had a Lambrusco on a nice warm day. Hit the spot.

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