Palo Alto dinner around $20/entree
Hi, Bay Area hounds. I'll be in Palo Alto next week with a couple of university colleagues, and we need a nice dinner, not too much of a "scene," in the neighborhood of $20/entree. We went to Tamarine a couple of years ago and loved it, but if there's anything new and interesting, please suggest!
For that price range, I think I would try the California Avenue area ... lots of choices, easy parking:
Cafe Brioche ... good French bistro, very fair food & wine prices
La Boguedita del Medio ... Cuban, ok food, great atmosphere
Palo Alto Sol ... Mexican, very good soups, mole, interesting seafood dishes
Peking Duck ... (on El Camino ... just north of California) ... good duck, very fresh seafood
ummm...Cafe Brioche has duck with peppercorn sauce and mussels & fries for under 20 dollars. btw, if you want to be in Downtown Palo Alto Taipan (new restaurant) might be a good choice for $20/entree - the ambience is quite nice and they have lots of small appetizer plates that are easy to share
I enjoy Kan Zeman for Syrian. Menlo Park has some options and is close to campus (a short 20 minute walk over the bike bridge if you don't have a car). Left Bank has standard french fare, Shiok Singaporian food.
Tamarine is more expensive than most of the suggestions above and more than $20 per person so probably will end up with a different type of restaurant. 3 Seasons is less expensive fusion like Tamarine (although folks tend to like Tamarine better).
I agree with the choices above except Nola. That place is a scene with a capital S.
There are not too many "good" places in Palo Alto with entrees for $20 or under. I haven't been to Mango Cafe (now Mango Carribean) for over a year now but I think it would fit your criteria of casual, fun, good food and inexpensive. Be forewarned though, they are operating on island time.
I would also add Straits for Singaporean which will fit your budget requirement. The restaurant is nice and the food is excellent. Bistro Elan is also good Cal/French but will be more than $20/entree.