Bay Area restaurants

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About

I moved to the "silicon valley" (part of the "Bay Area" south of San Francisco) late 2012 and started this page to help me keep track of good restaurants and food options. I'm not a restaurant critic, but I do know what I like and I get frustrated when I forget the names and locations of places I've visited.

Before moving to the United States, I lived in Australia and while doing my PhD in Brisbane I created this page: "Brisbane restaurants" to help me remember good places to eat. Now that I live in the Bay Area I thought I should do the same..... I enjoy sharing this page with friends, but also I find it also helps me decide where to eat when I'm hungry.


Maps:


List of My Favourite Restaurants Discovered

Name Phone Location Type My Evaluation

MOUNTAIN VIEW

Moved here in Nov 2010, so this area should hopefully grow nicely.  :)

Amber India

650-968-7511

2290 El Camino Real
Mountain View + Palo Alto, Santa Row & 2 in SF

Indian
*****

Description: Went with Will and Chessa and really enjoyed - great Indian food and nice atmosphere. Waiter will actually put food on your place - is a good idea to get a garlic nan and steamed rice... one main per person is quite filling.
Open: daily - lunch: 11:30a-2:30p, dinner: 5p-10p
Cost: Mains: ~$9-11

Sura Sushi

(650) 969-7872

2000 West El Camino Real
Mountain View

Sushi
*****

Description: I first went here Jan 2013 and keep going back! Sura sushi really quite nice intimate atmosphere and lighting. Tiny bit on the expensive side, but $10 could still get you an okay sized sushi and service is excellent!  :)
Open: Sun-Wed: 11:30a-2:30p,5:00-9:30p Thu-Sat: 11:30a-2:30p,5:00-10:00 p
Cost: Sushi roll: $10-15, Main meals:$14-20

Masa's Sushi

(650) 941-2117

400 San Antonio Rd
Mountain View

Sushi
***--

Description: Went Nov 2013. Had some great sashimi! Not cheap, but the plates are actually a decent size (looked bigger than the photos), so is worth it. Tried the calimari and wish I'd had a larger bowl of seaweed salad.  :)
Open: Fri-Sat 11:30a-2p,5–9:30p, Sat-Sun: 5–9:30p
Cost: Sushi roll: ~10... $18-25 for combo things.

La Fiesta Restaurant

(650) 968-1364

240 Villa Street
Mountain View

Mexican
****-

Description: Went with Richard... really big good food, and apparently very good margaritas. Has won best mexican restaurant several times in a row.
Open: mon-thur: 11a-2,5-9:30p, fri-sat: 11a-10:30p, sun: 11a-9:30p
Cost: Mains: ~$15 per main

Clarke's Charcoal Broiler

(650) 967-0851

615 West El Camino Real
Mountain View

Ribs and Burgers
****-

Description: Great little diner with character and good service. Went with Richard and ordered baby back ribs dinner (~$16).
Open: mon-thu: 9a-11p, fri: 9a-11p, sat-sun: 8a-9p
Cost: burger: ~$7, dinner: ~14-18

Original Krung Thai

(650) 559-0366

590 Showers Drive. Suite B (and also one San Jose)
Mountain View

Thai
***--

Description: A really nice little place just next to Trader Joe's. Nice setting, good massaman curry.
Open: mon-fri: 11a-3,5-10p, sat-sun: 12p-10p.
Cost: Main: $8-9, plus you'll want 1-2x $2 rice.

Sushi 88 & Ramen

650-948-8388

506 Showers Dr
Mountain View

Sushi
****-

Description: Went there after shopping and tried the AYCE lunch. Was really good - the special sushi with scallops was great! You order 3 at a time until full, but since rice is filling don't expect to get far beyond two rounds! Appetizers were pretty good too, haven't tried any drinks there yet. Restaruant iself has a nice vibe and chill music. :)
Open: mon-wed 11a-2:30,5-9:30, fri: 11a-10p sat: 12-10p, sun: 12-9:30p
Cost: $10 mains, $29 all you can eat lunch (AYCE), $25 AYCE dinner.

Luu Noodles

(650) 497-8888

520 Showers Dr
Mountain View

Chinese Noodle
**---

Description: Not a fancy place by any means, but they they do a nice cheap big noodle soup.
Open: Mon-Sun 9a-9p
Cost: Big noodle soup: ~$6

Franchesca's Bar

(650)965-1162

2135 Old Middlefield Way
Mountain View

Pub
**---

Description: Went with Tomas in Dec 2012 when he visited from the Netherlands. Nice little dive bar, cheap drinks. We got the wings - $22 to feed three. Not bad.
Open: every day: 9a-12a
Cost: $4 per drink... mains ~$8

Bamboo Garden

(650) 967-7334

108 N Rengstorff Ave
Mountain View

Chinese
**---

Description: Yoga instructor recommended, and if you do go the duck that comes in the bamboo container is cool novelty. The pot-stickers were good too, but made the mistake of ordering large duck soup - which was super huge (enough for four people), but not really something I enjoyed. Pretty plain / cafeteria looking inside and a bit crowded, but also popular with Chinese residents of silicon valley, so probably was just an unlucky order!
Open: Mon: Closed, Tue-Sun: 11a–2:30p,5–9:30p
Cost: Mains: ~$10

Michaels At Shoreline

(650) 962-1014

2960 North Shoreline Boulevard
Mountain View

Pub food
***--

Description: Open for lunch only. Food is nothing to rave about but prices are quite reasonable and view is good.
Open: Mon-Fri 7a-3p, Sat-Sun 7:30a-4p
Cost: lunch mains ~$8-12

Chevys Fresh Mex

(650) 691-9955

2116 West El Camino Real
Mountain View

Tex-Mex
****-

Description: Good value for money - had the $12 three course special with a nice Tortilla soup, lovely pork fajitas and deep fried ice-cream. Very much recommend this combo. Definitely not a fancy place, but atmosphere is pretty good too.
Open: Mon-Thu: 11a-10p, Fri-Sat: 11a-11p, Sun: 11a-10p
Cost: Mains: ~$9-15

ViVe Sol

(650) 938-2020

2020 West El Camino Real
Mountain View

Mexican
***--

Description: Beware opening hours. Is also one in Palo Alto. Went in Jan 2012 and got a beef Enchilada and small salad - really very good (seemed pretty authentic). Margarits not bad, although pretty expensive. Was a very popular place (book ahead if you can) and Atmosphere pretty good. Dim lighting, but a small trek outside for the restrooms.
Open: Mon-Fri: 11a-9:30p, Sat-Sun: 5:00-9:30pm
Cost: Mains: ~$9-13

Frankie Johnnie & Luigi Too

(650) 967-5384

939 W El Camino Real
Mountain View

Italian
****-

Description: Really love this place! Beautiful plants are in the main eating area, and I adore the lasagna, but no matter what you order you should plan on a doggie bag. They also have some fun non-alcoholic drinks and deserts. The entree's are not the best Italian I've ever had, but it is pretty darn tasty, and for such generous food portions and a lovely area to eat I think this gets an extra star! Pizzas are huge!
Open: Sun-Thu: 11a–11p, Fri-Sat: 11a–12am
Cost: Mains: ~15-20

Hunan Home's Restaurant

(650) 965-8888

4880 El Camino Real
Los Altos

Chinese
***--

Description: Went in Feb 2013. Pretty authentic Chinese place and full of Chinese. Tried the jellyfish, 8 buns (had liquid in them), some seafood and Mongolian chicken. Tasted like there was a bit of MSG, but pretty good dishes.
Open: Mon-Sun: 11:30a-9:30p.
Cost: Mains: ~$9-13

Bangkok Bistro

(650) 964-3300

580 North Rengstorff Avenue, Suite J
Mountain View

Asian
***--

Description: Went April 2013. Fairly clean, nothing too fancy (not a place you'd reserve at), but definitely order the coconut juice and they'll serve it in a coconut.  :)
Open: Mon-Sat: 11a-2:30p, 4:30-9p, Sun: Closed
Cost: Mains: ~$12

Mi Pueblo Food Center

(650) 967-3630

40 South Rengstorff Avenue
Mountain View

Mexican Fast Food
***--

Description: This little Mexican supermarket has a hole-in-the wall which serves really quite good take-away Mexican dishes. I had the Quesadilla Combo, and it was really very good - quite filling for $6 and a great meal on the go. 95% of their patrons are Mexican families, so you know it's going to be pretty good.  :)
Open: daily: 7a-9:30p... but that's probably just food center.
Cost: take away meal: $4-8


Passage To India

(650) 969-9990

1991 West El Camino Real
Mountain View

Indian Buffet
***--

Description: Really good... went by myself on the way back from shopping and had the buffet lunch. Was a lot of selection... and also do take away (to go). Nice atmosphere too and lots of indian's seem to go there, so you know it's got to be decent food. I believe are several other location, and a separate "Passage to India Bakery" on the same street - which would be an easy mistake to make.
Open: Everyday: 11:30a-2:30p,5-1p
Cost: $15 lunch buffet.

XANH

(650) 964-1888

110 Castro St
Mountain View

Vietnamese
****-

Description: Fancy place and great lounge area! They do Modern Vietnamese but I ordered the dungeness crab, but for some reason was (pleasantly) surprised to see a full crab put in front of me. I'd go back for that! Actually the other dishes look more filling (even a big crab only has so much meat) - but I do love me some fresh crab!  :)
Open: Mon-Fri 11a–2p,4:30–9p, Sat-Sun: 4:30–10p
Cost: Mains: $12-30 (salad > crab)

Oh My Sushi

(650) 947-9985

2595 California Street
Mountain View

Japanese / Sushi
****-

Description: Quiet little place but fairly nice. Sat at the bar, where they have a train, but actually the train doesn't have any sushi on it - just advertisements. Had the "sister" roll and it was delicious.... actually most of the food was really incredible! Salmon sashimi melts in your mouth.  :)
Open: Unsure
Cost: $12-15 for bento box... ~$16-20 for large sushi roll (12 piece)

Hobee's

(650) 968-6050

2312 Central Expy
Mountain View

Californian
***--

Description: This is a lunch and breakfast chain I'd never heard of, but apparently famous for their blueberry coffeecake and large portions. Indeed it was good. Also good: the hash-browns. I also tried the pancakes, which were okay, but way too filling to finish. Good way to start a Saturday morning.  :)
Open: Everyday: 7a-2:30p
Cost: Mains: ~$8-11

The Boardwalk

(650) 964-7500

4940 El Camino Real
Los Altos

American
***--

Description: Walk in restaurant bar with some decent burgers, good pizzas and pub atmosphere. I feel like that says it all. :)
Open: Mon-Thu: 10:30a–12:30a, Fri-Sat: 10a–1:30p, Sun: Closed
Cost: Burgers: ~$9, Pizzas bit more: $17-27 depending on size.

Pineapple Grill

(650) 938-8100

4926 El Camino Real
Los Altos

Middle East
****-

Description: Went there Aug 2013 and really loved their outdoor seating area with the water feature statue in the middle. Lighting was really nice and food was great too... I had the pineapple grilled kabob and Mojito. The flatbread are great too.
Open: Mon-Sat: 11a–2:30p 4:30–9p, Sun: 11:30a–3p
Cost: Mains: ~$12-14

Shana Thai Restaurant

(650) 940-9990

311 Moffett Blvd
Mountain View

Thai
****-

Description: Went with Matt Dec 2013, really great little place just above Castro street (North of the train tracks). I had the "crying tiger beef" which was a bit less food than I wanted, but appetizers are all great and food quality is high. Really quite nice inside.  :)
Open: Everyday: 11a–3p, 5–10p
Cost: Mains: ~$9-13

Napoletana Pizzeria

(650) 969-4884

1910 W El Camino Real
Mountain View

Pizza
****-

Description: Quiet little place, but great wood-fired pizzas which they can make very quickly (in just a few minutes) in front of you. Went there early Janurary 2014 when I had a hangover (not common for me) and the waitress recommended the "salciccia". Not the cheapest pizza ever but quite delicious and filled me up.  :) Interestingly, is a little tricky to find on Google maps - you have to type "pizzeria" and not "pizza". Doh!
Open: Mon: 5-9p, T: 11a–2p,5–9p
Cost: ~$17 a pizza

Armadillo Willy's Barbecue

(650) 941-2922

1031 N. San Antonio Rd
Mountain View ... also in Cupertino, Dublin, San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale

Texas
***--

Description: I had the BBQ Texas Trinity, which was plenty of meat and the Texas experience I was after. Not the cheapest franchise to eat at, but not a bad experience as far as franchises go.
Open: Sun-Thu: 10a–9p, Fri-Sat: 10a-10p
Cost: ~$20 for one of the big meat meals.

Savor Mexico Taqueria

(650) 917-1306

2595 California St
Mountain View

Mexican
**---

Description: Pretty typical Taqueria. Simple, fast.
Open: Everyday: 9am-9pm
Cost: Mains: ~$10

Chef Chu's

(650) 948-2696

1067 N San Antonio Rd
Mountain View

Chinese
***--

Description: Tried Jan 2014. Very popular place, so can be hard to get a seat... may have to wait quite a while! Pretty good Chinese though, ordered Kung Pao chicken and quite satisfied. Pot-stickers weren't anything too special.
Open: Mon-Thu: 11:30a–9:30p, Fri: 11:30a–10p, Sat: 12–10p, Sun 12–9:30p
Cost: Mains: $12

Dickey's Barbecue Pit, Mountain View

(650) 933-4939

570 N Shoreline Blvd
Mountain View (and many other locations including Sunnyvaleand San Jose)

Barbeque
**---

Description: Went with Nick from work. One of his favorite places, and food was actually pretty good... very much a fast food place, and sadly was an annoying noise with one of their machines, but meat was pretty good. Think I had the "3 meat plate" and chose polish sausage (very good), beef brisket and pulled pork, plus side of mac and cheese, plus the delicious little corn bread that comes with it.
Open: Everyday: 11a–9p
Cost: Meals: ~$11-16 ?

Gochi Japanese Fusion Tapas

(650) 965-8301

1036 Castro St
Mountain View
and another one in Cupertino

Japanese Tapas
*****

Description: Only a small place, but they ambiance is great, and the pizza is honestly one of the best pizzas I've ever had! Maybe the best: order the "Mentai Kinoko" (cod) pizza. I've also tried the crab balls, and "Buta Meshi" clay pot.
Open: Mon-Fri: 11:30a–1:30p,6–10p, Sat: 5:30–9:30pm, Sun: Closed
Cost: Mains: ~15

Tommy Thai

(650) 988-6857

1482 W El Camino Real
Mountain View

Thai
****-

Description: Small place but really lovely. Ordered the Malaysian Curry. Went mid 2014 with Stephanie, but she got sick so we did take away.
Open: Mon-Fri: 11a–9:30p, Sat: 12–10p, Sun: 12–9:30p
Cost: Mains: ~$10


MOUNTAIN VIEW - CASTRO

The fancy-pants area of Mountain View.

Crepevine

(650) 969-6878

300 Castro St
Mountain View

Crepes
****-

Description: Went with my friend Preethi early 2013. Has great savory pancakes / crepes. I had the California from memory - I'd never think to have avacado on a pancake but it was pretty good!  :)
Open: Mon-Thu 7:30a–11p, Fri-Sat 7:30a–12a, Sun closed
Cost: Crepe: ~$10+

Kappo Nami Nami

(650) 964-6990

240 Castro Street
Mountain View

Japanese
****-

Description: Went with Jackie, Jared and a bunch of their friends. Very tasty, refined Japanese food. Not particularly cheap, but with rice there's a few dishes more filing than others. "Beef Dom" was a great one. Might want to ask how big, some fish dishes are really small, but not too bad for sharing. Great atmosphere. Bit dark, but classy.
Open: Tue-Sat 11:30a-2p, Tue-Thu: 6p-10p, Fri-Sat: 6p-11p, Sun: 6p-10p
Cost: Mains: $15+ $$$

Amarin Thai Cuisine

(650) 988-9323

174 Castro Street
Mountain View

Thai
*****

Description: Went with Matt, Jen, Val and Gabe "Marshall".. really lovely atmosphere where you can sit normally (in photos looks like you have to kneel, but no). Not many tables, but food was great!
Open: Mon-Thu: 11a-3p,5-10p, Friday: 11a-3p,5-10:30p, Sat-Sun: 12-3p,4:30-10:30p
Cost: Average per person: ~$22

Cascal

(650) 940-9500

400 Castro Street
Mountain View

Latin
****-

Description: Is a place Adam highly recommended, and I visited Feb 2013. It's a pretty crowded and popular place, so unless you book you'll have trouble getting a seat. Nice atmosphere though, it often plays Latin music and you may even see a couple of people dancing in the crowded bar area. This place is fairly expensive, and so instead of getting a main, a better option is almost to get say 2 tapas (small plates) per person (or 3 for 2 people if not too hungry) and thus get better variety. I remember ordering tried the eggplant something and crab tostadas tapas - both really good.
Open: Mon-Sun: 11:30a-2:30p, 5:30p-10:00p
Cost: Mains: $20-28, Tapas: ~$9-10

Scratch

(650) 237-3132

401 Castro Street
Mountain View

...
PENDING

Description: Went for drinks once. Very fancy looking place.... drinks were pretty expensive, but didn't try the food so will hold off on a rating. Definitely on the pricier side.
Open: Mon-Sat: 11:30a-11p, Sun: 11:30a-9p. Happy hour Mon-Fri: 4-6
Cost: Mains: $18-28

Mediterranean Grill House

(650) 625-9990

650 Castro Street
Mountain View

Kebabs
***--

Description: Not a bad little place for a quick kebab / kebob for lunch. I'm used to really good kebabs (the kind that are wrapped) in Australia and this is about as close as I've found so far in the Bay Area. Very unflashy place, by okay for a quick lunch.
Open: Sun-Thu: 11am-9p, Fri-Sat: 11am-10p
Cost: $7-13

Pho Hoa Noodle Soup

(650) 969-5805

220 Castro Street
Mountain View

Pho
***--

Description: Not bad atmosphere and pho. Went with Preethi and her brother, and not many vegetarian options sadly, but very big portions. I ordered the large, and was no way I could finish it. Also ordered a "avocado smoothie" which was delicious!  :)
Open: (650) 969-5805
Cost: Mon-Fri: 10a-12a, Sat-Sun: 10a-3a

Niji Sushi Japanese Cuisine

(650) 903-9668

743 West Dana Street
Mountain View

Sushi
****-

Description: Went with Adam. Sushi's are little small, but have really good soup like dishes. Is just over the road from Alberto'a and quite nice ambience.  :)
Open: Everyday: 11a-11p
Cost: Mains: $8-10

Casa Lupe

(650) 965-2944

459 Castro St
Mountain View

Mexican
***--

Description: Went with my friend Preethi, Dec 2013. Nice little Mexican place hidden in an alley. Food was about what I expect from Mexican.
Open: Mon-Sat: 11:30a–2:30p, 5–10pm, Sun: 5–10p
Cost: Mains: ~$9

Park Balluchi

(650) 960-1000

288 Castro St
Mountain View

Indian
*****

Description: Went with a good friend Jan 2014 and got the impression they hadn't been opened long. Service was great and the food was good too. The only downside to our evening was actually that our eyes started watering as if someone was cutting onions. I'm sure they've fixed that, so I'll give top stars anyway!
Open: Mon-Fri: 11:30a–3p,5–10p
Cost: ~$10 mains.

Fu Lam Mum

(650) 967-1689

153 Castro St
Mountain View

Dim Sum
***--

Description: Went for the first time early 2014. It was pretty fun - big place with 2 floors, but sadly we were in a rush to iFly, so couldn't relax like we should have. Food isn't excellent, but you go for the dim sum experience.  :)
Open: Mon-Sun: 11a-2:30p,5p–12a
Cost: $15 per head if you order a moderate amount.

Steins Beer Garden and Restaurant

(650) 963-9568

895 Villa St
Mountain View

Beer Garden
***--

Description: I had some friends rave about this place, but I didn't think it was that great. Burgers were good I suppose, although just a piece of cheese on it will cost you $2 extra. They have a good array of beers apparently, but I'm not a huge drinker and although the place is pristine and swarve I can think of other places I'd find more friendly / less pretensious for a beer. Waitress took so long coming to bring our bill we almost considered ommitting a tip.... but never followed though.
Open: Mon-Wed 11a–11p, Fri-Sat: 11a-12a, Sun: 11a-10p
Cost: ~$15 burger

Shiva's Indian Restaurant & Bar

(650) 960-3802

800 California St
Mountain View

Indian
*****

Description: Went with Adam and Les early Jan 2014 - and both the atmosphere and food was great! About the best Indian you'll get in Mountain View. Bit datey, but worth the food!
Open: Sun-Thu: 11:30a-2p,5:30–9:30p, Fri: 11:30a–2p,5:30–10p, Sat: 12–2:30p,5:30–10p
Cost: ~$10 mains.

Asian Box

(650) 584-3947

142 Castro St
Mountain View

Asian
****-

Description: Went in Jan 2014 with my wonderful local yoga group. Quick, healthy and easy meals where you pick a rice/noddle, then spicy chicken/lamb/tofu curry/beef, then add some vegetables and they serve it in a box - even if you're eating there. I had the curry tofu, but next time I'll go with chicken - I don't want to be too healthy. The idea of wasting a box aside, the food is tasty and very affordable, so would definitely go again.  :) The inside of the place is fairly nice too - although seating is a little limited and we were lucky to get the big table at the back to sit the group of us.
Open: Everyday: 11a–9p
Cost: Box: ~$8

Ristorante Don Giovanni

(650) 961-9749

235 Castro St
Mountain View

Italian
***--

Description: Lovely Italian place, but seemed expensive for what you get. The linguine was wonderful but the "vitello ai funghi" the waiter recommended I didn't like that much, and there wasn't much of it for $20. Wonderful setting though.
Open: Mon-Fri: 11am-2:30p, 5–10p, Sat-Sun: 11a–10p
Cost: Mains:$16-25


PALO ALTO

Just up the road from me

Mandarin Gourmet

650-328-8898

420 Ramona Street
Palo Alto

Chinese
****-

Description: Nice place I thought, white place settings. Went for lunch in Oct 2012 and had the "Mandarine beef" which was pretty good, and very well presented. At the time I visited I was still searching for a place to live, and I believe this was the first place I ever ate in Palo Alto.
Open: every day of week: lunch: ~11:30a-2:00p .. dinner: ~5:00p-9:15pm
Cost: Mains ~$12-16 pre-tax, although bit cheaper for lunch on weekdays


Ming's Chinese Cuisine and Bar

(650) 856-7700

1700 Embarcadero Rd
Palo Alto

Chinese / Dim Sum
****-

Description: Discovered while doing a hike around the Palo Alto Baylands Park, starting out the back of the Google campus. Hidden gem off the highway! I didn't realize we had dim sum in the area and although I went for dinner, I'd be excited to go back for lunch for the proper dim sum experience. Egg rolls were good. :)
Open: Everyday: 11a–9:30p
Cost: ~$12 per main.

Patxi's Pizza

(650)473-9999

441 Emerson St
Palo Alto

Pizza
****-

Description: Went with Jackie, Dylan, Steph, Kat and Charles. Had one of the chicago pizzas and was delicious! Even with a booking there was quite a wait, this place is very popular and there are actually several locations around the bay area including SF and Campbell (south San Jose). For this one in Palo Alto there it's a nice atmosphere, fairly narrow (not many tables) and there's a nice little Gelato place right next door.
Open: Su-Mon: 11a-9p, Tue-Sat 11a-10p.
Cost: ~$9 appetizers, $30 largest size pizza (should feed 3 if it's Chicago, or 2 if thin crust)

Terrone Pizza

(650) 847-7577

448 South California Avenue
Palo Alto

Pizza
****-

Description: Went April 2012 and had an amazing time. The venue itself is a little crowded / tight, but out the back is a bit nicer and has a bit more room and gas heaters to keep you warm. Had the Vegetarian pizza and one of the salads. It didn't seem like a huge meal, and yet it filled two of us up and was really quite delicious. Booking ahead recommended!  :)
Open: Mon-Fri: 11:30a-2:30p,5-10pm, Sat: 11a-10p, Sun: 11a-9p
Cost: ~$9 appetizers, ~$15 pizza and mains

Palo Alto Creamery

(650) 323-3131

566 Emerson Street
Palo Alto

Diner
PENDING

Description: Jen took me here Oct 2012, and had a great burger! Also had a great peanut butter cookie with ice-cream. Above the entrance is the word "Penisula" in fancy writing. Don't however, confuse it with the "Peninsula Creamery" which is down the road (900 High Street) and closes early.
Open: Mon-Thu: 7a-10p, Fri: 7a-12a, Sat: 8a-12a, Sun: 8a-10p
Cost: Main: ~$8-12

Madame Tam Asian Bistromore

(650) 330-1920

322 University Avenue
Palo Alto

Asian
***--

Description: Went Jan 2013. Just had tea there, but really nice atmosphere and menu looks great.
Open: Sun-Thu: 11a-10p Fri-Sat 11a-11p
Cost: Mains: ~10-15

Darbar Indian Cuisine

(650) 321-6688

129 Lytton Avenue
Palo Alto

Indian
*****

Description: Really good and affordable Indian place! Atmosphere and service both pretty good and is popular with Stanford students.. will serve as much naan and rice and you need (no extra cost). I believe I had the butter chicken, but I forget!
Open: Sun-Wed: 5-9:30p, Thu-Sat 5-10p
Cost: ~$8-10 main

Green Elephant Gourmet

(650) 494-7391

3950 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto

Burmese and Chinese
***--

Description: Went early 2012. Forgot what I ordered, but was interested in going to a Burmese place (aren't many around my area) and it didn't disappoint. Nice ambiance.
Open: Sun-Thu: 11a-9p, Fri-Sat: 11a-9:30p
Cost: ~$10 mains

La Strada Ristorante Italiano

(650) 324-8300

335 University Avenue
Palo Alto

Italian
***--

Description: Went with Adam and Adolvo before watching my first american football game (Stanford Cardinal vs. San Jose). I ordered lasagna, which was a little smaller than I hoped, but tasted decent. Didn't try their pizza, maybe next time.
Open: Everyday: 11:30a–10p
Cost: Mains: $15-20

Nola

(650) 328-2722

535 Ramona St
Palo Alto

Cajun Restaurant
****-

Description: Trendy restaurant - very popular with Stanford locals and downstairs turns into lively bar at night. Cajun food was actually really impressive too. I forgot what I ate sadly, but it was very tasty.  :)
Open: Mon-Fri: 11:30a–11p, Sat: 12–11p, Sun: 5-9p
Cost: $$

The Old Pro

(650) 326-1446

541 Ramona St
Palo Alto

Bar
***--

Description: Okay, so I haven't actually eaten here... except for some (quite tasty) buffalo wings with my friend Felix.... but this sports bar has some amazing drinks and a mechanical bull - and the bull means I have to write an entry!
Open: Mon: 4p–12a, Tue-Sat: 11a–2a, Sun: 11a-12a
Cost: $$



SAN FRANCISCO

I have a good friend in "Bernal Heights" and he and his gal have have taken me to a couple of amazing places in the city

Thai Idea vegetarian

(415) 826-4639

3221 Mission Street
San Francisco

Thai + Vegetarian
*****

Description: Went with Anna and Graham - beautiful restaurant, amazing food presentation and imitation duck was brilliant.
Open: Mon-Fri: 11a-3p then 5p-10p; Sat-Sun: 12-10p
Cost: all mains only ~$9 !!

Mission Pie

(415)282-1500

2901 Mission St at 25th
San Francisco

Dessert
****-

Description: Went with Anna, Graham & Heather on first SF visit - very popular place that does great pie. Apparently employs ex-cons to prepare food, so expect criminal jokes to persue, but is good reason for its popularity. I had the peach pie - one slice quite filling.
Open: Mon-Fri: 7a-10p, Sat: 8a-10p, Sun 9a-10p
Cost: ~$6-12 from memory

Rosamunde Sausage Grill

(415) 970-9015

2832 Mission St
San Francisco

Sausage / Pub
****-

Description: Went with Anna, Graham & Heather - very unusual/trendy and popular place with strange sausages like rabbit - but all tasted very good.
Open: Mon-Fri 11:30a - ~11p, Sat-Sun 10a-~11p, weekend brunch till 3pm
Cost: mains: ~$7-12 (for 2 sausage plate)

Tommy's Joynt

(415) 775-4216

1101 Geary Blvd
San Francisco

Pub
PENDING

Description: PENDING (recommended by Mason as great big sandwiches so will have to go some time)
Open: Mon-Sun: 10a-2a (very late)
Cost: sandwich: $6 (nice and cheap)

The Front Porch

(415)695-7800

65a 29th Street
San Francisco

Comfort
****-

Description: Went once with Ada and really enjoyed it! Nice atmosphere with candlelight, and although burgers weren't the best, did a great pork rib.
Open: Nightly 5:30-10p
Cost: Mains: ~16-24

The Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant

(415) 386-8439

1000 Great Highway
San Francisco

Fine Dining
****-

Description: Beautiful location overlooking the ocean, and lovely tables. Food was not amazing, but really it's more about the location. When I went we tried the Fish and Chips (okay) and a pasta dish which was a little small, but nice.
Open: Sun-Thu: 9/10am-10pm, Fri-Sat until 8/9am-11pm
Cost: Mains ~$17-32

Alioto's Restaurant

(415) 673-0183

8 Fishermans Wharf
San Francisco

Seafood
***--

Description: Went with the family for late lunch in June 2013. Shared some soup and fried oysters (only 3 on place). Bit expensive, but the view over the wharf was brilliant.
Open: Mon-Sun: 11a-11p
Cost: ~12-38 mains.

Louis' Restaurant

(415) 387-6330

902 Point Lobos Avenue
San Francisco

Hamburger
****-

Description: Went with the family for dinner in June 2013. The burgers they have are pretty good, a tiny bit more than you might pay elsewhere, but the view over the Sutro baths is incredible - that's why it gets 4 stars!!  :)
Open: Every day: 6:30a-9p
Cost: ~$12 burger / sandwich with chips.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

(415) 781-4867

Pier 39 M211
San Francisco

Seafood
***--

Description: Went with Alby, July 2013. Based on the movie and very touristy, but actually I really enjoyed. The food itself was not the best, but I really did admire the the clever ideas they had: #1) each table has a sign "run forest run" or red "stop" which can be flipped to get a servers attention, #2) the plastic cups stack with groves so four can rest on top of one, allowing your waiter/waitress to carry up to 5 cups easily in one hand, #3) on your first time they may pit you against a neighboring table and your waiter ask ~10 forest gump trivia questions (much fun), #4) ping pong bats containing drink list. Silly I know, but these things excited me. The place itself is pretty crowded and so expect to wait and hear the wait staff sing a few happy birthdays. The cool part is it has a view out from pier 39 into the bay, so as for a table near the window. We had ribs and the fisherman basket.... not cheap and really nothing special, but the novelty was the fun part.
Open: Everyday: 11a-10p
Cost: $12-30 (depends if you get a burger or actual seafood).

Pier 23 Cafe

(415) 362-5125

Pier 23
San Francisco

Bar Food
****-

Description: This place is just opposite and faces onto Pier 29 - America's Cup Pavilion. Went July 2013 and it was a really wonderful place because of the view over the water. Food was pretty good too, although forgot what I had - I think the Fish & Chips.
Open: Mon-Sat: 10a-10p, Sun: 10a-8p
Cost: Mains: $12-15.... crab $28

Pizza Orgasmica

(415) 931-5300

3157 Fillmore St
San Francisco

Pizza
**---

Description: Little diner open later... pizza was okay, nothing special and even the small (personal) pizza is not cheap. Is right in the downtown clubbing area of downtown Pacific Heights (San Fran).
Open: Sun-Wed: 11a–11p, Thu: 11a–12a, Fri-Sat: 11a-1a
Cost: Small pizza: $18


Boulevard

(415) 543-6084

1 Mission St
San Francisco

Fine dining
**---

Description: Nice location, but pretty expensive for what you get. Tried the quail but it was very small. Have to dress pretty fancy too.... expect to see lots of older guys with young ladies there!
Open: Mon-Fri: 11:30a–2:15p, 5:30–10:30p Sat: 5:30–10:30p, Sun: 5:30–10:00p
Cost: Mains: $30-40.

Pinecrest Diner

(415) 885-6407

401 Geary Street
San Francisco

Diner
***--

Description: Went with Jackie and Chris (friend from paddling) after a night of dancing at "Ruby Skye". Even at 3am, place was crowded, but luckily we got a seat pretty quickly and the pesto burger I ate hit the spot.  :)
Open: Mon: 12a–2p,6p–12a, Tue-Sun: 24 hours
Cost: Mains: ~$12

Nob Hill Grille

(415) 474-5985

969 Hyde St
San Francisco

Brunch
***--

Description: Went mid Jan 2014 for brunch. Great little place for brunch, not many seats, but not too busy and do good hash.
Open: Mon-Thu 5–10p, Sat-Sun: 8:30a-3p,5-10p
Cost: ~$10 brunch items.

AsiaSF

(415) 255-2742

201 9th St
San Francisco

Asian Fusion Restaurant + Show
*****

Description: For just over $50 per person it might seem expensive, but this isn't just dinner - it's an incredible show! I went with a friend of mine in Jan 2014 on a whim and I'm so glad I did. The place was vibrant, the show was funny and the girls were beautiful. Oh.... just be warned that they were not always girls. All the performers are stunning Asian transvestites but as long as you're comfortable with your sexuality that shouldn't won't bother you at all. Looking around it's interesting to see that 80% of the people that come are girls - and lots of bachelorette parties. The food itself: really great, you 3 courses from several options and all are great - can't really go wrong. After dinner you can go downstairs to dance till late. Venue is amazing and the music is amazing!  :) Make sure you book well ahead to get in.
Open: Wed-Thu: 7:15p–10p, Sat: 5p-1:30a, Sun: 7:15p-10p, Mon-Tue: Closed
Cost: $50 3 course dinner and show.

Cha Cha Cha

(415) 386-7670

1801 Haight St (+ another 2327 Mission St)
San Francisco

Carribean
*****

Description: Went with Steph, Alex and Tapi (great friends from San Diego) Feb 2014 and was amazing. Is Steph's favorite place. Meals are affordable and atmosphere is great - dark but cosey. We had Cajun Shrimp appetizer - a must - but the Jerk Chicken was also amazing and Seafood main pretty good too. Very highly recommend. Very popular place so be prepared to wait a good 30 minutes or more for a table. If you're lucky some of the unusual stores or bars nearby will still be open, making it easy to pass the time.
Open: Everyday: 11:30a–11p
Cost: Appetizers: ~$9, Mains: ~$16


Lefty O'Doul's Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge

(415) 982-8900

333 Geary St
San Francisco

Bar food
***--

Description: Went Feb 2014 with Alex, Tapi and Steph. Pretty good value. It's cafeteria style you take a tray, chose between a few different options (corned beef was good), plus chose a salad and it's pretty tasty for bar food. Atmosphere is also pretty nice - what you'd expect for an Irish pub - but not too crowded, and great location right near Union Square Park. Later in the night they often have a piano player who does request at the front.
Open: Everyday: 7a–2am
Cost: Mains: ~$13

Ton Kiang Restaurant

(415) 387-8273

5821 Geary Blvd
San Francisco

Yum Cha
***--

Description: Fun little dim sum place Steph showed me. The venue itself isn't spectacular, but the is an upstairs and during lunch they'll carry around some pretty delicious yum-cha classic dishes and the price is pretty affordable. Went for dinner once too... not as fun as dim sum experience of course, but still good.
Open: Everyday: 10a–9p... open a touch later Saturday
Cost: Per person: ~$15 - will get plenty of food

Farmerbrown

(415) 409-3276

25 Mason St
San Francisco

Soul Food / breakfast
*****

Description: A fantastic breakfast/brunch place my friend Alex took us too. It's a hipsters' dream - a industrial-style eatery with all-you-can-eat brunch. Atmosphere is very hip, most drinks come in jam jars and they often have live jazz, although sadly we arrived just a tad early for that. I'm not a fan of grit, but we got buffet (~$20) with plenty of tasty options, but the biscuit and gravy was my favorite since I'm not a fan of grit. You can get a set breakfast for a bit cheaper, but then you'll miss the variety.
Open: Mon: 12–2:30a, Tues-Sat: 5–10p, Sun: 12–2:30a,5–10p
Cost: Mains: ~$12, all you can eat: ~$20

Opaque

(415) 796-6479

689 McAllister St
San Francisco

Fine Dining
*****

Description: This isn't your ordinary restaurant. There is an easy-to-miss entrance then you go down the stairs into a narrow, dimly lit room where you decide what to order. Once you've decided, you'll met your assigned waiter/waitress, who is typically completely blind and asks you to put your hand on her shoulder and along in a chain as they lead you to your table. You are in completely pitch darkness. It's actually almost a little uncomfortable on the eyes, but you eventually get more used to it, and focus hard on who's talking, and being able to coordinate your hands in the dark without knocking over your drink. I knocked mine over *blush* - happens to about 20% of people apparently. The food was delicious, and all the most enjoyable in the dark because you really focus and savor every bite. Some people try cutlery, but I gave up pretty quick and used my hands the whole time (more at their funky website: darkdining.com).

I highly recommend you order the "mystery" for all three courses. They'll ask you if you're alergic to anything and then just randomly chose one of the menu items... and actually, for that reason you might decide not to look at the menu at all - then it will be fun to work out exactly what was on your plate on the way out.  :)

Apparently there are lots of tables, pretty close together actually, and without the visual cue of seeing somone's lips move it can be a bit difficult to focus on one voice. Luckily my friend and I went on a Saturday which was relatively quiet, so the tables right next to us were (apparently) empty.

Booking essential of course. Not cheap, bur you're paying for the experience, and I highly recommend trying it at least once!  :)


PS: Before eating I had to use the restroom so they send me next door to their "sister restaurant" Indigo. It had won a few awards as medium price fine dining, so it confused me it was completely empty, since it looked like a pretty good place to eat, for those who want to see their food. Maybe a place to stop by for a cocktail afterwards if you went on a date.  ;)
Open: Wed-Sat: 6p–9:30p, Sun-Tue: Closed
Cost: Fixed price: $99 three course meal.

BERKLEY / OAKLAND

I have a couple of friends who live in Oakland, but otherwise it's a bit out of the way!

Ethiopia Restaurant

(510)843-1992

2955 Telegraph Ave. at Ashby
Berkeley

Ethiopian
***--

Description: Went with Will and Chessa and quite liked. Ethiopian food is not my favorite type of food, but is very unique and it is fun eating with your fingers! This place was pretty good and the flatbread isn't too sour to dominate the dishes. The mains themselves were very generous in size and wait staff very friendly - it's not five star, but for the price it's a good experience. I recommend trying both the meat and vege combos.
Open: not on website, so may have to call ahead - we went on a wednesday and lot of seats.
Cost: main ~$11

Giovanni Restaurant

(510) 665-7700

2420 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley

Italian
***-

Description: Went with Ricky when he visited, before going to salsa in the city. Really great atmosphere, we sat by a fire, and ordered the Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Fettuccine Primavera. The food wasn't amazing, but the venue was!
Open: Mon-Thu 4p-11p, Fri-Sat: 4p-12a, Sun: 4p-11p
Cost: Mains: ~13-16

Neecha Thai

(510) 451-9419

3236 Grand Avenue
Oakland

Thai
****-

Description: Went with Graham and Anna Feb 2013 after a hike and then walk around Lake Merritt. Ordered something like chicken cashew and really enjoyed. Slightly small meal by American standards, but still good.
Open: Mon-Fri: 11a-3p,5-10p, Sat-Sun: 11a-10p.
Cost: Mains: ~10

Mijori

(510) 465-8854

3260 Grand Ave
Oakland

Sushi
***--

Description: Went with my friend Stephanie for lunch in Dec 2013. Good and affordable sushi. I had the fried seafood plate, which I regret in a way (too much fried stuff), but the rest of it seemed good. Stephanie says she likes the place at night because the owner usually shows up and he's pretty funny and often inebriated and chats to customers.
Open: Mon-Sat: lunch and dinner
Cost: Mains: ~$11

Boot and Shoe Service

(510) 763-2668

3308 Grand Ave
Oakland

Pizza
***--

Description: Went with Stephanie and Wilhelmina, in Oct 2013 just after I helped Stephanie move house - and is one of her favorite places. Very popular place with good pub atmosphere. Food is a little light on, but good quality and pizzas should fill you up. More about atmosphere than food I think.
Open: Mon: Closed, Tue-Fri: 7a–2p, 5:30–10p, Sat-Sun: 8a–2p, 5–10:30p
Cost: Mains: ~$15

SANATA CLARA / FREMONT / SUNNYVALE

I haven't moved here just yet, no naturally this is empty!

Gobi Mongolian BBQ

(408)75-0866

1135 Tasman Dr
Sunnyvale

Mongolian BBQ
**---

Description: Not the prettiest place, but if you've never done mongolian BBQ - they type where you make your own bowl then they cook it on a giant round plate in front of you - then it's pretty cool. I think all these places use the same meats etc, so it's about the same quality as you'd get in a more expensive place.
Open: Mon-Sun: 11am-2:30, 5-9pm
Cost: All you can eat: ~$11

Kaenyama

(510) 683-8800

43785 Boscell Road
Fremont

Teppanyaki & Sushi
****-

Description: Went there by myself when looking for a car, but discovered a hidden gem just behind all the car dealerships. Was nice and quiet at lunch but apparently some night has a dj. For Teppanyaki this place seemed very affordable, and although fairly quick, the guy that cooked at our table was pretty funny and did an onion ring volcano. Food not amazing, but amazing for the price!
Open: ...
Cost: mon-fri: 11a-2:30,5-9:30p ... sat-sun: 12p-3p,3p-10p
lounge hour: fri-sat: 9:30pm-1:30am

Mil's Diner

(408)946-4773

36 South Abbott Avenue
Milpitas

Diner
***--

Description: Went with Tomas (visiting from Netherlands) and Masako in Dec 2012 for a late breakfast. Ordered the french toast which was lovely, and a side of hash brown, which was huge! Nice old school diner feel and very popular.
Open: mon-fri: 5:30a-3p, sat: 6a-3p, sun: 7a-3p
Cost: Mains: $6-10

Hanamaru

(408) 524-5353

675 South Bernardo Avenue
Sunnyvale

Sushi
***--

Description: Visited in Feb 2013 while I was getting my car serviced. The best thing/novelty about this sushi place is that they have little boast going around. Ordered "double happy" which was a lovely cheesy thing, and also grabbed three little dishes off the boats which quickly added up to over $20. Slightly too much garlic perhaps, but not a bad little sushi place on the corner of this small market area.
Open: Mon-Sat: 11:30a-10p, Sun: 11:30a-9:30p
Cost: Sushi to order: ~$10 (not very big though).... tiny boat plates: $3-5

Pho Nam

(408) 737-1086

844 West El Camino Real
Sunnyvale

Pho
**---

Description: Stopped by in a rush once. Interesting "A" shaped building and okay egg rolls, but the food, price and service was nothing special.
Open: Sun-Thu: 10a–8p, Fri-Sat: 10a–9p
Cost: Pho ~12

Faultline Brewing Company

(408) 736-2739

1235 Oakmead Parkway
Sunnyvale

Beer / Comfort
***--

Description: Went March 2013 and we tried the steak and cod. Both were really good quality - the fish with rice was very creamy. Also tried the sampler, which is about 10 little labelled beers which is a great way to try everything and enough to get you slightly tipsy. The beers are all brewed in house and really good.  :)
Open: Mon-Fri: 11:30a-9:30p, Sat-Sun: Closed
Cost: Mains: ~$17-24, Beers: ~$6

Bon Chon Chicken

(408) 720-8689

572 E El Camino Real
Sunnyvale

Chicken
****-

Description: Went Nov 2013. Fun place with very tasty chicken. Forgot what I ordered, but some type of half-and-half fried chicken and was delicious. :)
Open: Mon: 11:30a–9p, Tue: Closed, Wed-Thu: 11:30a–10p, Fri-Sat: 11:30a–10:30p, Sun: 11:30a–9p
Cost: Mains: ~$12

Rok Bistro

(408) 733-7651

124 S Murphy Ave
Sunnyvale

Hot rock
***--

Description: If you've never eaten off a hot rock before, try it! This place is pretty good - you can try wild game and the ambiance of the place is great. Not cheap however - but definitely worth doing. The fondue is a lot of fun... wish we'd left room for the desert fondue. :) Are a couple of good deals for parties of two.
Open: Sun-Tue: 5:30-10p, Wed-Thu: 11:30a–2pm,5:30-10p, Fri-Sat: 11:30a–2pm,5:30-11p
Cost: $40-50 per person

Dish Dash

(408) 774-1889

190 S Murphy Ave
Sunnyvale

Middle Eastern
***--

Description: Fairly nice spot in Sunnyvale with extended seating behind the bar. Not bad ambience, and very filling means - one appetizer and the "King of Kebabs" was more than I could eat. Went with all my work colleages in April 2014 to celebrate the launch of time machine, and would go again if I was in the mood for Middle Eastern food.  :)
Open: Mon-Thu: 11a–2:30p,5–9:30p, Fri-Sat: 11a–2:30p,5–10p, Sun: Closed
Cost: Mains: ~16-18


MID WEST BAY

San Mateo etc

Little China Kitchen

650-348-3890

215 East 3rd Avenue
San Mateo

Chinese
**---

Description: Narrow, but fairly nice atmosphere. Food is not great - high MSG and Chinese cafeteria taste - but not bad. The place in San Mateo I should have checked out: Tenka Japanese Restaurant.
Open: Mon-Thu: 11a-9:30p, Fri: 11a-10p, Sat: 11a-10p, Sun 12-9:30p
Cost: Mains: ~$9

Thai Idea Vegetarian

(650)349-7890

215 1457 Beach Park Boulevard
San Mateo

Thai Vegetarian
****-

Description: Same menu as the one in the city: see "Thai Idea". Went will Will and Chessa March 2013. One appetizer and three mains was heaps of food, but a single fried banana with coconut ice cream was a great desert to finish on. Location is just next to the bay.
Open: Mon-Fri: 11a-3p, 5-9:30p, Sat-Sun: 12-9:30p
Cost: Mains: ~$9-11

All Spice

(650)627-4303

1602 South El Camino Real
San Mateo

Indian Fusion
*****

Description: Went with Alby and his uncle and aunt, John and Pai-Pai July 2013. This place has a Michelin Star and the food was incredible... also surprising is that the food wasn't overly priced (for a place with a star!). The place itself is a hidden jewel-box Victorian house with relatively few tables but a nice little homely atmosphere. Not surprisingly it's very popular so you may need to book at week in advance! The appetizers were very light but also incredibly tasty and I had the wild boar (fairly filling) - but really it looked like everything was a winner.
Open: Tue-Sat 5-9:30p, Sun-Mon: closed
Cost: Appetizers: ~$8-14, main courses: ~$22-30

Shalizaar Restaurant

(650) 596-9000

300 El Camino Real
Belmont

Persian
****-

Description: Went early 2013 with Kimee. One of my first Persian restaurants, and food didn't disappoint. Lovely jasmine rice and ordered the meat platter type dish. Forgot what it was called but was good. Was a great atomosphere, and lots of persians eating there, which I guess is a good sign.
Open: Everyday: 11a–10p
Cost: Mains: $15-20

Arya Global Cuisine

(650) 367-4939

885 Middlefield Rd
Redwood City and have another in Cupertino

Persian
****-

Description: Went Jan 2014 with Preethi. Had a vegetarian pizza, which seems odd for a Persian place, but was great. Hummus and the appetizers we got were very tasty and atmosphere was great - highly recommend. Apparently there's belly dancing there sometimes, but not on the day we went unfortunately.
Open: Sun-Fri 11:30a–9:30p, Sat: 11:30a–11:30p
Cost: Mains: ~$14

SAN JOSE

Haven't been to many places here yet

Aquis

(408) 374-2784

201 East Campbell Avenue
Campbell

Mexican / Tex Mex
****-

Description: Went there with Adam and Adolfo. Great atmosphere and crowd. Also liked the way they have cooked version of the specials on display and is easy to order up front. I had one of the specials (chicken picatta) and was great. Also have a location in [Cupertino]. After that we had some great deserts down the road at Cafe Campbell which was really nice.
Open: mon-wed: 11a-9p, thu-fri: 11am-9:30p, sat: 10a-9:30p, sun: 9:30a-9p
Cost: Mains: ~$9-11

Cafe Campbell

(408) 429-8671

360 East Campbell Avenue
Campbell

Cafe / Dinner
****-

Description: Nice little cafe that serves Gelato, but also does a nice dinner. Went there for the first time with Adam and Adolfo and second time ordered pork and linguini. Nice intimate setting, and staff friendly.
Open: Mon: closed, Tue-Wed: 10a-9:30p, Thu: 10a-10p, Fri: 10a-10:30p, Sat: 8am-10:30p, Sun: 8a-9p
Cost: Mains: ~$8-18

Bella Saratoga

(408) 741-5115

14503 Big Basin Way
Saratoga

Fine dining
***--

Description: Lovely little place near "Villa Montalvo" with white tablecloths, intimate and a little pricey but not too bad. Went for late lunch and service was great. Went there for lunch I ate the mussels/clams in garlic sauce as an appetizer, which was delicious (they have some great seafood optiosn) and pasta as main.
Open: Sun-Thur 11:30a-9:30p, Fri-Sat. 11a-10p... Sun brunch 10:30a-2p
Cost: Mains: ~$15-30

Hong's Gourmet

(408) 867-2554

14510 State Route 9
Saratoga

Chinese
*****

Description: Went early Jan and was the nicest guy who served us! Was a really clean, beautiful restaurant and the food was great. Decent portions (not huge) and two of us managed to eat tea cooked duck (bit dry but great), and massaman, plus spring rolls and soup. Fantastic place I thought - especially for the price. Will definitely go again.
Open: Mon-Thu: 11a-9:30p, Fri: 11a-10p, Sat: 12-10p, Sun: 12-9:30p
Cost: Mains: $9-14

Alice's Restaurant

(650) 851-0303

17288 Skyline Boulevard
Woodside

Comfort food
***--

Description: Really nice little place. I went with Graham after a hike in the Windy Hills Open Space Preserve and had the ribs. Tiny bit pricy, but really beautiful place surrounded by coast redwood trees and located at a road intersection near some great hiking.
Open: Everyday: 8:30a-9p
Cost: ~$9-10 for burger, more for proper dinner. ($20 for ribs)

Vino Vino

(408) 703-2333

87 North San Pedro Street #105
San Jose

Wine bar
****-

Description: Had just an appetizer and a beer, but was really cool little rustic place with high wooden tables (the kind with with stools), lots of beers a giant teddy bear on the wall for some unknown reason. Parking was really difficult - that's just San Jose downtown for you - ended up paying for parking $10, but that's okay and in some parking you can get validated.
Open: Mon-Tue, Sun 11:30a-9p, Wed 11:30a-10p, Thu 11:30a-11p, Fri-Sat 11:30a-1a
Cost: Beers ~$5. Panini: ~$8-9

The Boiling Crab

(408) 532-6147

1631 East Capitol Expressway #101 & nearby one 71 Curtner Avenue.
San Jose

Cajun Seafood
***--

Description: Went March 2013 on a Saturday at noon - just as they opened and already was a huge line. This franchise is incredibly popular with the Asians population (<20% of staff and customers where white I think) and waiting >3 hrs is not unheard of, and they don't do reservation so be very careful when you arrive and have a backup plan. Don't trust their estimated wait times. It's popularity is the novelty of ordering a pound of crab (~14/lb) / lobster (~18/lb) / or shrimp (~$10/lb) served in a plastic bag filled with garlic Cajun sauce. Your table is covered with plastic butchers paper, and you get a plastic bib plus tools to open the crab... expect to get your hands and table very messy! We ordered 1 pound shrimp, 1/2 pound sausage ($8/lb), catfish with chips (not served in a bag, but fries pretty ordinary) and 2 corns, and somehow the two of us finished all that. We ordered just the mild and I'm glad we didn't go any spicier, because already it was pretty overwhelming... I'd almost suggest ordering one of your bags without the sauce, because there is plenty of sauce in one. Ended up ~$20 per person, not too bad, but be warned the seafood itself isn't incredible. Fun experience to try (if you are prepared to line up), but are there are probably better and far less crowded seafood places around.
Open: Mon-Fri: 3-10p, Sat-Sun: 12-10p
Cost: Depends on season... but shrimp, oyster, crab lobster vary between ~10-20/pound and the dishes with chips are ~10.

Singlebarrel

(408) 792-7356

43 West San Salvador Street
San Jose

Mexican
PENDING

Description: Going to visit with Matt and Amanda hopefully.
Open:  ?
Cost: Mains: ?

Bo Town

(408) 295-2125

409 South 2nd Street
San Jose

Chinese
***--

Description: Went with Matt and Amanda, pretty good food I thought. Nothing amazing, but pretty good atmosphere and Chinese. We had the sizzling seafood and beef and broccoli.
Open: Mon-Sun 11a-10p
Cost: Mains ~$9-10

Kabul Afghan Cuisine

(408) 245-4350

833 W El Camino Real
Sunnyvale

Afghan
****-

Description: Went Nov 2013 and I really liked this place! Nothing pretensions, booking not really required, but food was great! I had the Mantu (dumplings) and Sabsi Challaw (lamb spinach and white rice).
Open: Everyday: 11:30a-2p, 5:30-10p
Cost: Mains: ~$11

Blue Line Pizza

(408) 378-2800

415 East Campbell Avenue
Campbell
... and apparently one at 146 Castro Street, Mountain View and Burlinggame (near San Mateo)

Pizza
****-

Description: Nice location, and good pizza. Went with Adolfo and Adam July 2013 and I think we ordered the largo chicken pesto pizza plus on of their little salads and it did a pretty good job of filling all 3 of us. Next time would be keen to try a deep dish pizza.
Open: Every day: 11:30a-10p
Cost: ~$24 for large pizza (feeds 2)

Thai Delight

408-996-0940

20916 Homestead Rd
Cupertino

Thai
****-

Description: Lovely place I went with an Indian friend. Very nice atmosphere (lovely tables) and can't remember what we ordered, but it was all pretty good and not too spicy. Ordered too much so had left overs afterwards.
Open: Daily: 11a-2:30p,5p-10p
Cost: Mains: $8-14

Mezcal

(408) 283-9595

West San Fernando Street
San Jose

Mexican
***--

Description: Went with Matt because he really wanted to try eating grasshoppers, for which this place is known. The tiny little crickets were a little more bitter than I expected, but fun to try.... and the rest of the food pretty good. Not the best Mexican food ever, but I'd go again. We sat inside, but their large "outside area" (which is totally under cover) seemed nice too.  :)
Open: Mon: 11:30a–9p, Tue-Thu: 11:30a–10p, Fri: 11:30a–11:30p, Sat: 4:00–11:30p, Sun: closed
Cost: Mains: $9-12

Los Cubanos Restaurant

(408) 279-0134

22 N Almaden Ave
San Jose

Cuban
***--

Description: Cuban is very simple food, so got a steak sandwich and beef - both very basic with fried plantain bananas on the side. Not my favorite style of food, but place was not bad.
Open: Mon: Closed, Tue-Thu: 11a–2:30p,5–9p, Fri: 11a –2:30p, 5–10p, Sat: 11a–10p, Sun: 12–8p
Cost: Mains: ~$11

The Improv, San Jose

(408) 280-7475

62 S Second St
San Jose

Comedy Restaurant
****-

Description: Ordered prime rib, and was *okay* but hey - you go there for the comedy. We watched Rob Schneider and I thought he was great. Awesome venue - just be sure to arrive way early to try getting close to the stage. As part of the dinner deals you have to order two items... some people eat before and get two drinks, but dinner isn't that expensive, so I figured may as well order dinner and one of their drinks where you can keep the souvenir glass.
Open: Select times (usually starts 7 or 9) - see website for shows.
Cost: Main: $15-30, show: $30 from memory.

Original Joe’s Restaurant

(408) 292-7030

301 S 1st St
San Jose

Italian
*****

Description: Went with Steph, early 2014. Amazing place! Waitors dress in suits and portions are huge. We had meatball sandwich and Lasagna (highly recommend) - probably really only needed one between us. Even the cup of soup we had was pretty big. Amazing service and food!
Open: Sun-Thu: 11a–11p, Fri-Sat: 11a-12a
Cost: Mains ~$15


Oriental Sushi Buffet

(408) 985-9988

780 S Winchester Blvd
San Jose

Asian seafood buffet
****-

Description: All you can eat seafood! What more should I say? Oh yes, place doesn't have great ambience, but who cares about that when you have so much sushi and seafood before you.... not the best seafood but good enough for me!  :-P
Open: Everyday: 11a–3p,5–9p
Cost: All you can eat ~$18 from memory

Isabella's Restaurant

(408) 248-7378

700 S Winchester Blvd
San Jose

South American
****-

Description: Pretty vibrant place - bright colors everywhere, just below Santana Row. A please to eat there. Little bit on the pricey side, but the food is worth it.
Open: Mon-Sat: 11a–11p, Sun: 2–8p
Cost: Mains: ~14-21

SAN JOSE - LOS GATOS

Down south.

Main Street Burgers

(408) 354-1881

20 S Santa Cruz Ave
Los Gatos

American Restaurant
**---

Description: Fun little burger joint.
Open: Sun-Thur: 11a-8:30p, Fri-Sat: 11a-9p
Cost: burger ~$8-10

Hanna

(408) 884-8309

133 North Santa Cruz Avenue
Los Gatos

Vietnamese
***--

Description: With was a very nice restaurant in Los Gatos Adam took me too. Pretty sure we had the stir-fried shanghai noodles and Vietnamese chicken salad - the latter particularly good. Little on the expensive side, but still a good little place with good atmosphere and wonderful service by our waitress, Arianna. After lunch we breifly went to Los Gatos Music in the Park (Civic Center Lawn), which seemed fun, but very crowded and we only had time to stay 10 minutes.
Open: Every day: 11a-3p, 5p-10p
Cost: $18 mains.

Andale Patio

(408) 395-8997

21 N Santa Cruz Ave
Los Gatos

Mexian
***--

Description: Went with Adam and Adolfo, Dec 2013. Had the shrimp quesadilla and was excellent. Is right next to the "Great Bear Coffee", which is great for coffee.
Open: Mon-Fri: 11a–10p, Sat: 9a-10p, Sun: 9a-9p
Cost: Mains: ~$10


A Bellagio Italian Restaurant

(408) 370-7705

33 S Central Ave
Campbell

Italian
****-

Description: Not really cheap, but really truly beautiful restaurant with wonderful high wooden ceiling. The meal themselves looked small, on account of a huge plate, but were actually very filling, so had left overs after a delicious appetizer. Had the "Strudeline Verdure", Fettuccine Bolegnese and Rack of Lamb (just 3 pieces, but delicious). Our waitress was Australian, which seemed unlikely!
Open: Mon-Fri: 11:30a–2:30p, 5–10p, Sat: 5–10p, Sun: 5–9p
Cost: Mains: ~$17-34

Lanna Thai

(408) 626-7718

2043 Camden Ave
San Jose

Thai
****-

Description: Went with Adam and other for his mum's birthday party. Some of our friends, Jo and Les have pretty discriminating taste, but even they loved the food. I ordered the massaman curry, but we all shared family style and all the dishes we excellent - the fish/eggplant especially.

Ambiance was crazy good too - wonderful wooden tables and flowers. I would definitely go again (if I'm in the area). Great quality for the price - and was nothing actually spicy. Purists may be disappointed that it's not "real"/spicy Thai, but even they would agree that it's delicious. Oh, Adam paid for our whole table of about 12 people - I should slap him being too generous.  :)
Open: Mon-Fri: 11a–3p,5–10p, Sat: 12–10p, Sun: 4-10p
Cost: ~$9-16 mains.


SAN JOSE - SANTANA ROW

The fancy upmarket area of San Jose.

Consuelo Mexican Bistro

(408) 260-7082

377 Santana Row #1125
San Jose / Santana Row

Mexican
***--

Description: Went with Matt and Amanda... was pretty nice, but maybe a little expensive for what you got. I ordered pulled pork without really looking / asking and my dish was *just* pulled pork. Luckily they had little taco shells they served for free (instead of bread) and I borrowed some of Amanda and Matt's dishes to build tacos.
Open: Sun-Tue: 11:30a-9p, Wed-Thu: 11:30a-10p, Fri-Sat: 11:30a-11p
Cost: Mains: $14-22

Amber Indian

(408) 248-5400

377 Santana Row #1140
San Jose / Santana Row"Ž

Indian
****-

Description: Bit different to the one in Mountain View. Little more expensive, but the "dessert platter" is to die for (might have to ask for specially)!
Open: Mon-Fri: 11:30a-2:30p, 5:30-10:30p, Sat-Sun: 12p-3, 5:30-10p
Cost: Mains: $20+

Straits Restaurant

(408) 246-6320

333 Santana Row (+ one in Market Street SF and Burlingame)
San Jose

Classy
****-

Description: Visited early 2014. Atomosphere is really funky - just went for dinner, but bar there looked like a good crowd. Food wasn't too overpriced and really good too. Had Tamarind beef and basil chicken (really good).
Open: Mon-Wed: 11a–10p, Thu-Sat: 11a–12a, Sun: 11a-11p
Cost: Mains: $14-26

Yard House San Jose

(408) 241-9273

300 Santana Row #101
San Jose

Beer Garden
***--

Description: Went early 2014. Can't book for small groups and is very crowded, but if you can wait for 30-60 minutes then the food is actually pretty good. Tried the Jambalaya and Chicken Garlic noodles. I'm sure the beer is good, but didn't drink any myself.
Open: Everyday: 11a-12a
Cost: Mains: ~$11-14

PLEASANTON

East side of the bay.


Handles Gastropub

(925) 399-6690

855 Main Street
Pleasanton

Pub
***--

Description: Went mid 2013.... great location and the outside seating area is really nice. I forgot what I ordered, but they got it wrong twice. Probably a steak or something, and I remember it was good but not reflective of the price. Beers on tap seemed pretty good. Had a great day that day though, so it gets 3 stars anyway! Was a wedding going on just behind the pub's parking lot.
Open: Mon: 3–10p, Tue: 11:30a–10p, Wed-Thu: 11:30a–10p, Fri-Sat: 11:30a–1a, Sun: 10a–9p
Cost: $14-25

Dean's Cafe

(925) 846-4222

620 Main Street
Pleasanton

Breakfast
***--

Description: Went mid 2013. Good breakfast! I had some type of hash brown thingy.... good eating.  :)
Open: Mon-Sat: 6:30a-2:30p
Cost: Mains $15?

Blue Agave Club

(925) 417-1224

625 Main St
Pleasanton

Mexican
**---

Description: Pretty good mexican but seems on the expensive for what you get. I felt the food nothing to write home about I thought, but I'm not a good judge for Mexican food. Atmosphere seemed good, and there's one in Mountain View but really I'd be going for the atmosphere not the food.
Open: Mon-Thu: 10a–8p, Fri-Sat: 10a-9pm, Sun: Closed.
Cost: Mains: ~17-25

WALNUT CREEK / CONCORD

Way east side of the bay.

Stanford's Restaurant & Bar

(925) 944-0895

1300 S Main St
Walnut Creek

Steakhouse
*****

Description: Wonderful atmosphere - on the "datey side", but great. I'm pretty sure I did have steak and it was delicious... bit slow to come out, but because of the atmosphere it didn't matter!
Open: Sun-Thu 11a–11p, Sat-Sun 11a-12a
Cost: Mains: $10-30 (salad - steak)

I Love Teriyaki & Sushi

(925) 680-0888

1950 Salvio St
Concord

Japanese
**---

Description: Food was okay - Bento box pretty big. Best part is there is an amazing little horror themed golf course called "Ghost Golf" on the other side of the road.
Open: Wed-Mon: 11a–10p, Tue: Closed
Cost: Mains: ~$10

SANTA CRUZ

Not as fancy a place as it sounds, but still has some good eating.  :)

Red Restaurant and Bar

(831) 425-1913

200 Locust Street
Santa Cruz

Comfort
*****

Description: Beautiful place to eat! Was recommended by my friend Adam and has a very cool dark red lighting and lounge feel. Food was pretty good too - had the linguine. Went in Aug 2013 and host was lots of fun. Definitely want to go again!  :)
They serve a bit of everything, the only tricky thing is they aren't yet on Google Maps, so tricky to find!
Open: Everyday 3p-1:30a
Cost: Mains: ~$15


Kiantis Pizza & Pasta Bar

(831) 469-4400

1100 Pacific Ave
Santa Cruz

Mediterranean
***--

Description: Went with my friend Adam, and the bruschetta we got was ordinary (tomatoes were hard), but was nice enough location. Pizza was okay. Adam didn't like it, but I thought the location on the main strip of Santa Cruz was great and I'd be prepared to give the food a second chance.  :)
Open: Everyday: 11a–10p
Cost: Mains: ~$12-16

HALF MOON BAY

Shiny.

Navio

(650) 712-7040

1 Miramontes Point Rd
Half Moon Bay

American Restaurant
****-

Description: Very fancy place inside the "Ritz Carlton" which does jazz on many nights. :)
Every Thursday, they have a burger and beer special while listening to local jazz artists in The Conservatory Lounge. I had the Angus-style burger (which came with a beer) and was amazing!
Open: daily: 6:30a-9p
Cost: $24 per person (burger deal).

Chez Shea

(650) 560-9234

408 Main Street
Half Moon Bay

Mexican
***--

Description: Went in Feb 2013 on a visit to Half Moon Bay via the "92" (San Mateo Rd) and passing lots of interesting vineyards, Lemos farm (for kids) and places with metal animals which I'd love to explore. Restarant itself was pretty small, but the omlet brunch options are pretty tasty.
Open: Mon: 11:30p-12a, Tue: 12a-3p, Wed-Thu: 11:30a-3p, Fri: 11:30p-12a, Sat: 12a-3p,5-8:30p, Sun: 10a-8:30p
Cost: Mains ~$10-14

OTHER

For other places.  :)

Dutch Goose

(650) 854-3245

3567 Alameda De Las Pulgas
Menlo Park

Burger / bar
***--

Description: Went with a date early 2013, lovely girl and bar has lots of character. Are famous for their deviled eggs (recommend you order 1 serve) and also had a stirloin burger which was pretty decent. Good old fashion pub with a pool table and seems like a good place to hang out with mates.  :)
Open: Sun-Tue 11a-12a, Wed-Fri 11a-2a
Cost: Mains ~$10, beer ~$5

LAKE TAHOE

For the beautiful lake on the border!  :)

Stateline Brewery & Restaurant

(530) 542-9000

4118 Lake Tahoe Blvd
South Lake Tahoe

Bar
****-

Description: Went with Graham in April 2014. Great restaurant in Tahoe... had just a pizza and salad, but look liked lots of people were ordering a pretty cool desert with sparklers that shot into the air.  :)
Open: Sun-Thu: 11a–9p, Fri-Sat: 11a–10p
Cost: Mains: ~$16


FiRE+iCE

(530) 542-6650

4100 Lake Tahoe Blvd
South Lake Tahoe

Asian Grill
*****

Description: Amazing place! Went with Stephanie in 2014 and it's an all you can eat grill with Asian inspired options.... including lots of seafood! Really, really enjoyed eating there - very fun venue!  :) Went to Whiskey Dicks after for some drinks and hip hop event. Next time hope to go to Chart House Stateline as its sunset views over the lake are supposed to be incredible. On the way leaving Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill in Folsom was notable for it's guitar shaped bar.
Open: Everyday: 11:30a–3:30p,4–9:30p
Cost: All you can eat: $20 (I think?)


Riva Grill On the Lake

(530) 542-2600

900 Ski Run Blvd
South Lake Tahoe

Fine Dining
****-

Description: Didn't have dinner, but had the seafood Bisque and it was to die for! Views beautiful too, if you can sit near the window and look out onto the Tahoe Queen paddle boat. Needing to get valet parking from afternoon onwards was a total pain - parked next door instead because they were too slow.
Open: Everyday: 10:30a–11:30p
Cost: $$


NEW ENTRIES

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TODO(anoske): Add:

  • Smoking Pig BBQ, San Jose, **--- > nice diner style meat.
  • Morocco's Restaurant, Mountain View, ***** > eat the potato appetizer... food amazing... schedule: Mon: magic, Tue: live jazz, Wed: belly dancing, Thu: live guitar, Fri: surprise entertainers, Sat: belly dancing, Sun: dinner shows or music
  • The Fish Hopper, Monterey, ****- > bit $, but classy and view of ocean. tried pasta after spear fishing.
  • Change: "Sura Sushi" - is moving to sunnyvale  :(



Cafe's/coffee I've tried


Cafe's/coffee I want to try


Wineries

  • The Wine Club - 953 Harrison St, San Francisco + one in Santa Clara and Santa Ana. Has 11 wines $10 tasting (very good value). Went in Jan 2012 bought a $20 "Hexamer" which was a nice smokey white. We tried lots of good sweet wines too.

Bars

  • Water Bar - 399 The Embarcadero, San Francisco. Had some wine and oysters there. Bit pricy, but very fancy place and with a nice atmosphere and big cylindrical fish tanks. Apparently the view upstairs (of the bridge and bay) is great, so hopefully I'll get to try dinner there one day.
  • The Slanted Door - 1 Sausalito - San Francisco Ferry Bldg #3, San Francisco. Went Aug 2013. Location is great.... very swanky place. Drinks are ~$12 each, so you do pay for the atmosphere.


Ice-cream


See Also

  • Food options - a list of different food/restaurant/cuisine types if you are ever undecided or in the mood for something different.

Links

  • Google Maps "San Jose restaurants" - good way to see everything, although no ratings.
  • Andrew K's San Francisco Restaurant Map - one of my co-workers has a great map of his favorite restaurants in the city. I'm hoping to check some of these out next time I visit the city. I've been thinking of creating my own map soon (of the places I've visited in the bay area), and this motivates me to do so soon.  :)
  • more links to come soon I hope!