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Pampas -- Palo Alto

Brazilian churrasco. Downtown Palo Alto. Nice space. Any feedback?

Jun 06, 2008
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Pizza Help Please ... (Scottsdale AZ)

Many thanks for all your great suggestions! I'll report back when I make the tour. doc

Apr 21, 2008
doc in Southwest

Pizza Help Please ... (Scottsdale AZ)

Thank you all for your help re Chinese recs in Phx. I am a SF Bay Area hound in Scottsdale for a couple of more weeks. Would love to get a good carryout/delivery Pizza recommendation somewhere nearby (staying at Acoma & Scottsdale Road). No preference for thin/thick crust, just good crust, fresh ingredients. I tried one place last trip on Scottsdale Rd near Shea (NY Pizza????) but was not particularly impressed. Many thanks ....

Apr 20, 2008
doc in Southwest

Chinese in Scottsdale

Many thanks to all. Sounds like Nee House will be my first stop. SF Bay Area has lots of great (esp Asian) restaurants but nothing like two of my local favorites ... Kazmierz & Pasta Brione ... thanks .... doc

Apr 19, 2008
doc in Southwest

Chinese in Scottsdale

Hi ... I'm a SF bay area hound, in phx for about 3 wks .... I need a break from the great mexican and surprisingly Italian food down here -- looking for a good chinese lunch spot in the Scottsdale area ... anything works ... mandarin, szechwan, hakka, hunan ... whatever. Any recs? Much appreciated ...

Apr 17, 2008
doc in Southwest

high school graduation in Palo Alto

All good choices. If the outdoors req is important, Empire Tap Room in downtown Palo Alto has, in my view, the nicest outdoor dining area on the Peninsula. Food is not great, but decent, and would serve your age range well.

Mar 03, 2008
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Miramar Beach Restaurant- Half Moon Bay

I've been to the Miramar several times over the years. It's never mentioned on this site as a destination restaurant, and I tend to agree. The view is great from the window tables, 2nd only to Sam's Chowder House where you can sit outside on the beach. I've always felt the service was good at Mirmar -- much better than Sam's. The food unfortunately has been consisently mediocre ... I usually settle at lunch for the crab or shrimp louis which is not bad. Some things really disappoint, e.g. the calamari steak is a frozen patty -- ridiculous for a HMB restaurant with access to fresh Calamari. All in all there are better places in HMB, I believe.

Feb 27, 2008
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Indulge Asian Buffet -- updates

Lunch is either $7.99 or $8.99, can't recall exactly

Oct 22, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Jeffrey's Hamburgers, Menlo Park

I've been meaning to try this place for a couple of months, due to the long lines I see at the ordering counter when I drive by. Jeffrey's is a Happy Days Diner-style burger place. Pretty typical diner menu with burgers, dogs, fish/chips, fries, onion rings, shakes etc. Loudish 50's and 60's background music although it is always great to hear the original Charles & Inez Fox version of Mockingbird.

I ordered a burger medium rare, fries, rings, large drink. About $11. Logistics are: order at the counter; they will deliver to your numbered table. Something logistically inefficient here as once your food is delivered, you then must then get up and walk across the room to the condiment bar. Condiments included freshly-sliced tomatoes & onions, sauerkraut, various types of pickles, and salsa.

Burger arrived med to med-well (nobody seems to be able to cook a MR burger on the peninsula), fries fairly thick-cut, rings good, but slightly overcooked. I thought the burger was good -- I'd guess 1/4 to 1/3 lb, and it tasted like chuck which I much prefer to sirloin for burgers. Service was efficient -- they seem to have their act together far moreso than the Counter which still can't seem to figure out which tables to deliver which meals to.

All in all, a decent burger place ... I'd give it a B.

Oct 20, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Indulge Asian Buffet -- updates

Indulge is in Belmont, corner of El Camino in Ralston. I have been there 6 or 7 times and have always thought it was a bargain -- I believe $9 for lunch. Just got back again today, and the food/variety was consistently at least decent, and for the money, very good.

Rundown: this place has a sushi area, hot foods area, soup area, and desserts.

Sushi: OK to good ... certainly comparable to the low-mid end of Sushimonsters list. Today, fresh tuna, salmon, shrimp plus requisite rolls. Wasaki has gone thru the blender and is too dense. Fresh ginger and kim chee as well.

Soups: Decent. Kind of a build-your-own approach. 3 different broths including hot & sour, winter melon, and velvet corn. Won tons, green onions etc in separate bins, so it's possible to mix and match.

Hot Foods: Seem to vary in quality with each visit. Today the pork and BBQ chicken were excellent. Fresh veggies ... bok choy and broccoli predictably overcooked. Average pot stickers, sui mei, eggrolls. Low-quality crablegs. Probably 20 other dishes ... some like the tofu and black mushrooms are quite good. All suffer from the standard buffet "not hot enough" problem. Also today, they served a wide variety of tempura vegetables which, if you caught them right out of the kitchen, were excellent -- comparable in quality to the tempura at fuki sushi and actually better than Akane in Los Altos. The tempura dishes at the late lamented Sushi-Ya are my standard here.

Desserts: steamed dessert buns, fruit, various jellos, cookies ... nothing special.

Service: A+ .... Service in my experience is usually totally lacking at Asian buffets. Indulge is a very pleasant surprise. The longest a dirty plate say on our table was perhaps 15 seconds. Teapot and water glasses continually refilled. Must have been thanked 45 or 6 times on the way out. Really surprising and a huge plus for me.

On Friday at noon, the place was maybe 2/3 full. I don't get it. Decent food, great service, good pricing. Love to hear others' experiences here.

Oct 19, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Japanese lunch in Menlo Park/PA

Fuki Sushi in Palo Alto is large enough but I cannot picture any private areas -- maybe the tables adjoining the sushi bar; you might call. I have been to Akane in Los Altos twice, but only at the sushi bar -- I seem to recall a private room to the right of the entrance but am not 100% sure. Both are good choices because you'll have a choice of Bento, Tempura dishes, and very good sushi. I think they are both among the Peninsula favorites for sushi on this site.

Sep 24, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Steak options, San Jose area

If you're willing to extend your geography abit and if you're looking for a more traditional steakhouse, you might want to look at Forbes Mill in Los Gatos. The 3 you picked are all good, but don't fit my midwestern view of what a steakhouse should be ...

http://www.forbesmillsteakhouse.com/

Sep 24, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for a good special occasion spot on the Peninsula.

Just picking up on the vibe here, my guess is that the BF is not a Village Pub or J Bentley type . Although both are very good restaurants, both can be a bit stuffy, especially VP which is mostly patronized by Woodside money. My pick from this thread would be La Bodeguita -- the food is good & abit exotic (Cuban), atmostphere is lively, and it seems to be in the right place on the casual/formal spectrum.

Sep 22, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Upscale Chinese Between Palo Alto-San Carlos

Given, the geography restrictions: I think the best bets for "upscale" Chinese might be in palo alto. There are two high-end Chinese restaurants downtown PA with decent food:

Mandarin Gourmet: http://www.mandaringourmet-paloalto.com/
Taipan: http://www.taipanpaloalto.com/

I like Peking Duck on El Camino near CA Ave better than either (duck & fresh seafood are both excellent), but it is not quite as fancy though still a white tablecloth place. I would avoid Mings which is probably the most expensive of the bunch, but the most boring foodwise.

Sep 20, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Izzy's Chop House, San Ramon

I have only been to the San Carlos location, and I think Izzy's is decent value. The prices are the big attraction, e.g. a filet dinner is about $26 vs $35-40 & up at most other steakhouses.

Plusses: Steaks are good, a few of the sides are decent, eg. the creamed spinach. The sole dinner is surprisingly good and inexpensive ($17?). A few of the appetizers, e.g. the oven roasted mussels ala Lulu are very good, most are forgettable.

Minuses: Service can be amateurish. Bread is cold and always somehow tastes stale. Wine list is ok and fairly priced at about 2x retail, but very limited. Most of the sides are poor to mediocre (fries, brocolli, asparagus) and always seem to arrive cold with the entree.

Aug 29, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Half Moon Bay Restaurants

Aug 26, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Student Eats by Stanford

I called the San Mateo store the other day, assuming that it was the same ownership. They were pretty clueless about the opening date .... something like "maybe August, probably early September". Has anyone been to the San Mateo branch? There have been a couple of mentions on this site, but no substantive reviews that I could find.

Aug 18, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Student Eats by Stanford

I think it is a proxy or "we don't know how to run a restaurant next to Palo Alto High School" ... must be tough dealing with all those ghetto kids ...

Aug 16, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Student Eats by Stanford

I think there's a big difference between the old Kirks that used to be located on Califronia Ave and the new one in Town & Country. I had 2 kids in PAHS & as Alan stated, the owners were worse than rude ... in one case they actually threw an offending backpack over a fence. I really don't know what anybody could steal from Kirk's, (condiments?) so I really don't get their "no backpack policy". All that aside, the burgers have gone decidedly downhill since they moved & the "fries" were never particularly good. So I vote no on Kirk's as well ... you're much better off in Town & Country at the sushi place or the Village Cheese House for sandwiches.

Aug 16, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Student Eats by Stanford

I admit to actually liking the flavor of the pork potstickers .... although sometimes you need a hacksaw to get thru the wrappers ...

Aug 16, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Student Eats by Stanford

California Ave is a 5 minute drive, 10 minute bike ride from campus. It has some cheaper options than downtown PA, including: Cho's -- very inexpensive (not great) dim sum, Mediterranean Wraps --cheap & generally well-reviewed wraps, JJ&F -- huge and fairly priced sandwiches, Szechwan Cafe -- full lunches with soup/salad for around $7-$8, and a couple of relatively inexpensive Mexican options including Salsa & the restaurant inside Antonio's nuthouse, .... plus Izzy's bagels, IMO the best on the Peninsula.

Aug 16, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Room with a sense of privacy on the Peninsula?

You might look at the Parkside Grille in Portola Valley. Secluded spot, easy access from 280, decent food, very friendly servers, small private room, mediterranean-ish menu.

Aug 16, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Italian restaurant in Mountain View

Don Giovannis on Castro in Mt View? I haven't eaten here for a couple of years, but I believe it can accommodate your group and as I recall from my one or two meals, the food was decent. It also always seems relatively crowded. Appreciate any more recent feedback. http://www.dongiovannis.com/index.html

Aug 12, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Romantic Italian- Need help!!

Sounds like Acquerello ...

http://www.acquerello.com/

Aug 11, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Palo Alto Hot Spots-What did I miss?

It kind of depends on what you mean by "hot spot". For good food, your list above is good although I don't think the tapas place has much of a following on this site & Sol is a decent Mexican restaurant, but there are lots better in Davis and Sacramento. 23 y/olds tend to hang at less foody but more lively places like Miyake, Old Pro, and Nolas downtown. A good compromise might be La Bodeguita del Medio on California Avenue ... good cuban food + a very lively atmosphere and a very cool cuban folksinger on most weekends.

Aug 07, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

best breakfast in palo alto

I feel like a broken record on this one, but I like Dinah's Poolside Restaurant on El Camino, just S. of Charleston. Selling points for me are: 1) indoor & outdoor seating, 2) Excellent, fluffy, build-your-own omelettes with 10-15 ingredient choices, 3) real eggwhite omelettes (vs Hobee's etc which use the fake stuff, 4) real OJ, 5) country fried potatoes with nice pieces of bell pepper and onion -- you need to specify this, the standard potatoes are ore-ida-like hashbrowns. 6) family-owned. Service can be a little spotty, but it has improved. I've never gotten any hound feedback on this place; interested in other opinions.

Aug 02, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Palo Alto lunch: $25/person, near Univ Ave @ 101

I love the Village Cheese House . I'm with you -- for my money, I think it consistently serves the best cold sandwiches on the peninsula. I like the turkey -- as with everything else, it's freshly cut for your sandwich. Somehow they also always seem to have very fresh sandwich rolls -- which cannot be said for some of the more popular sandwich options like Piazzas. The store is fun as well, and they do a remarkable job of choosing good inexpensive wines to sell. Only drawback is that they have no system for people waiting to order; I've never understood why they just don't put in a number machine. When it's crowded, ordering can be an ordeal. I'd also like to see them get more adventurous with their cheeses; 10-15 years ago, they had a monopoly on some of the more unusual cheeses. Now any grocery store in the area covers everything they sell, and places like the Milk Pail and Ferry Bldg have a much, much wider selection. Great sandwiches though in huge portions.

Jul 31, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Palo Alto lunch: $25/person, near Univ Ave @ 101

OK ... let me try again. There was one mention of Osteria on Hamilton Ave downtown earlier in the thread, but upon quick glance, it doesn't appear that you have been there for lunch. It is far & away my favorite Italian restaurant on the Peninsula and far better than Bella Luna, Riacce, Spalti, etc in my view. I'm with you on La Strada -- it seems to be a board favorite, but I just don't get it. I've had amateurish service the 2 or 3 times I have been there, and maybe it's just me, but I find the menu incredibly limited, i.e. instead of trying to decide between 2 or 3 interesting dishes, I find myself struggling to find one that I like. Osteria is abit more "old school", but the pasta dishes are good, and they have a Calamari steak at lunchtime that is terrific. A bit of advice -- the tables are ridiculously close together, but there are some comfortable larger tables in the back of the room. They don't appear to have a website, but here's an article that should give you a flavor for it:
http://www.metroactive.com/papers/met...

Jul 23, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Palo Alto lunch: $25/person, near Univ Ave @ 101

You've done a great job of covering Palo Alto ... I've lived here for 25 years & can't think of a lot of places you have missed. Since you seem to be stretching boundaries abit and since you are right near 101, you are about a 10 minute drive from the Old Port Lobster Shack in Redwood City. They serve authentic Maine food ... all flown in from the east coast -- Ipswich Clams, Lobster Rolls, Real Chowdah, etc ... Might be a nice change from all the ethnic meals: $25/person is just about right: http://www.oplobster.com/

Jul 23, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area

Meeting Friend SJ area -- need Steak and Seafood Place

Don't know about your driving & $$$ requirments but Sundance in Palo Alto would fit the bill otherwise. Good steaks, good prime rib, and surprisingly good fish ... have a look:
http://sundancethesteakhouse.com/

Jul 18, 2007
doc in San Francisco Bay Area