Esssential eats between South SF and Mountain View.

Refuge is also in Menlo Park and worthy of a visit. Pastrami sandwich, skip the Reuben, too much stuff obscures the meat.

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Okay, so Refuge is somewhere I need to try soon.

I never thought to actually buy anything in Copenhagen Bakery, though I’ve eaten breakfast there. Might go there right now since its so close to me.

Stick to Copenhagen’s specialties, like the Sarah Berhardt. Croissants and more American looking things don’t look particularly good.

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I like Dumpling Garden in Mtn View. They have the boiled/fried dumplings (jiaozi), XLB, and the “folded hands” wontons.

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Just a bit further South and there are some very good Indian Places in Sunnyvale:
Ugadi 950 W El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087Vegetarian from Andhra Pradesh Family run very homey cooking(if you are from Andra!)
AappaKadai 1105 W El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087 Nonveg from Chennai spicy and good.
Madras Café 1177 W El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087 Great Dosas and other Tiffin Items

I tried a cheese danish and an almond-pastry based chocolate covered debbie-snack cake giant bon-bon looking thing. I didn’t find it remarkable. The danish was downright bad. I’ll try the Sarah Berhardt which I was eyeing.

Are the cakes better?

Caveat: I am more familiar with the eats around the southern tip of the Peninsula than the rest of the Peninsula.

Ramen Nagi in Palo Alto

Xiao long baos at Panda Dumpling in San Carlos

Kemuri for Japanese in Redwood City

Madamoiselle Collete for French pastries in Menlo Park

Just buy some freshly wrapped and not-yet-frozen dumpling at Dumpling City in Palo Alto, bring them home, and boil them. They have a B&M restaurant- Dumpling Garden in Mountain View, but I haven’t been.

Tai Pan for dimsum if you are that far south. My last experience was poor but the meals before that were good. There was a positive report after my poor meal. I am not familiar with dimsums around SSF/ Millbrae, etc.

Napoletana Pizzeria in Mountain View for neapolitan pizzas.

I am not aware of any real good Vietnamese in this stretch of the Peninsula.

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Great. Thanks. I have to give these all a try.

Note, I don’t know if these are considered essentials but just some recommendations.

Mmmm if you’re around grand in South San Francisco,

there’s Mom’s tofu house if you want Korean. Its been a while, but Ben Tre’s around for Vietnamese (there’s another location in Milbrae). I don’t think Grand Palace’s dim sum was all that great (I liked their dinner more) but there’s that newly opened H.L. Peninsula (near the Business Costco) for lunch/dinner if you want Cantonese (Pricey though).

If you want like congee and the likes, there’s Hing Leung (Ichi Ramen in English) in San Bruno. Further down there’s Fat Wong’s Kitchen for similar sorts of cuisine (Cash Only)

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Dumpling Garden is a second restaurant by the people who did Dumpling Depot in Sunnyvale. My dinner group has been to both, and the staff at Dumpling Garden recognized us :slight_smile:

In the same strip mall is Hobee’s coffee shop, a small local chain. This one’s open for breakfast and lunch but not dinner; before Caltrain moved the nearby train station, I’d commonly grab a coffee and coffee cake to eat on my commute to the city.

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Definitely a second for Chef Zhao Bistro and Refuge. Fey Szechuan in Menlo Park is also good.

Jonathan’s Fish and Chips in Menlo Park is a Louisiana-style seafood place, usually have half a dozen kinds of fish you can get fried, broiled, etc. Fried okra to die for. Hush puppies and other Southern stuff to go with it. Check their hours because they’re not open late most days. Decor is “formica and paper plates”.

Rustic House Oyster Bar and Grill in Los Altos is the opposite end of the formality and price scales for seafood from Jonathan’s. Opened recently, and we’ve been there a couple of times and liked it.

Noodle Talk is a Hunan place in Los Altos (corner of El Camino and San Antonio.) Decent Pho place around the corner from it. Across the street are Chef Chu’s Chinese, Armadillo Willy’s BBQ, Esther’s German Bakery (has German food and a beer garden as well as pastries and breads), and Estrellita’s Mexican, all of which I’d recommend.

Veggie Garden in Mountain View is a vegan Asian fusion place. Some fake-meat dishes, some veggie dishes, all good. Non-veggie friends like to go there.

Zareen’s Pakistani has two branches - the original near Google, and California Ave. in Palo Alto. Both extremely good, but extremely crowded (both because of location and food quality; you’ll have better luck getting a seat at the Palo Alto one.)

Ramen places I’ve liked:
Dohatsuten Ramen on San Antonio in Palo Alto.
Shalala in downtown Mountain View is a ramen and other Japanese non-sushi place. Good, but crowded.
Ryowa is good classic ramen, but seating is either counter or 2-person tables, so it’s great for single or couple but doesn’t work for groups.

Italian - Caffe Riace in Palo Alto has an outdoor courtyard with lots of random artwork that’s great fun to eat at in appropriate weather. (Local microclimate tends to be a bit too cool at night, and while there’s indoor seating, that’s not the point of this place.)
Patxi’s Pizza in Palo Alto has good deep-dish Chicago-style pizza, and there’s a gelato place next door and art-house movie house across the street.

Because you said “South SF to Mountain View”, I don’t have recommendations for Korean or Indian - there are concentrations of each along El Camino in Sunnyvale to Santa Clara. (SGD Tofu House Korean has a branch in Palo Alto - good food, but tends to be crowded and echoey.)

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I’ve now had two very good dinners at Grand Palace in the last month, the first with about 6 adults, the second for about 12 adults plus kids. Caveat: both times we brought our own freshly caught fish for them to cook (rockfish, lingcod and halibut).

They typically do the fish 3 ways: first, they bring out the bones and difficult-to-cut meaty bits with a delicious, rich stock; second, they braise it with mushrooms; third, either fried or something in the ballpark of the steamed traditional ginger/scallion prep. They rounded out the menu with spot prawns, peking duck, geoduck, and Dungeness crab in salted egg batter along with an egg tofu dish and the usual simply prepared greens. No dish was less than good.

Do you have any particular favorite dishes at Noodle Talk?

You’re lucky to have Esther’s down there. I didn’t realize they had a beer garden! I’ve liked their stuff at farmers markets (they sell their pretzels at a few stores in SF, but they’re much better fresh).

Yeah! I find dinner to be pretty good. I don’t know if the wintermelon soup promotion is still going on, but that thing was tasty.

Ben Tre is always my go-to, but I’d really like to find something even better for pho and bun bo hue.
I tried Mom’s tofu and that’s a good value like BCD Tofu House, the tofu is excellent.

I guess we can call it a beer garden. Though when I think of beer garden I usually think of larger spaces. I just call Esther’s the little outdoor space with a few tables between the back entrance and the shop.

Country Sun, the market in Palo Alto also carries selected Esther’s pastries.

I’d like to know that too. I normally just go to San Jose and Milpitas if I want the good ones. But if there are good ones close by I certainly won’t mind.

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There is a branch of SGD Tofu in Palo Alto called So Gong Dong Tofu House. The tofu bowl is comfy and tasty to me. I don’t know if its essential, however.

Went back and had a whipped cream frosting cake with fruit filling. Decent and light, but not better than those similar cakes that you get at a Taiwanese bakery. Then I had the Sarah Bernhardt and that was really good. I’m actually still thinking about going back today to have another one.

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Oh I forgot one restaurant- Mediterranean Delite in San Carlos. Don’t miss their falafels, which was made from chickpeas from scratch instead of from flour.

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Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, Yuanyang County, Yunnan
Credit: inkelv1122, Flickr