Some like Amelia's for the pupusas. Very casual however, but seems popular to some. (a bit heavy however so good on a cold night)
Middle Eastern...Tarboosh for a hopping spot on weekends...New Kapadokia...and very soon yet ANOTHER Middle Eastern spot which we heard rumoured just spent millions renovating. May be a stretch but peeking through curtains, it does look like a "wow."
Thai in downtown RWC, Bangkok Bay (Broadway & El Camino)...or Etrawan, close-by.
Fun reviews here on Bangkok Bay.
I used to not like their Pad Thai compared to some spots butLOVE some of their dishes, including their Vegetarian Mushroom/Coconut Soup...and their dessert, Thai Pancake. Don't miss trying this delicacy! ;-) (and the fresh coconut juice they offer some days in the shell
)Both Thai spots good for varying dishes.
Btw, a Vietnamese place is opening soon, just across from these, near City Pub. (but in late Oct I think)
Mexican? Some like and some don't Milagros on Middlefield and Main St. Lively though w/a cool atmosphere/lights.
There's also two others on Broadway, one next to City Pub, which is more garlic fries/burgers/sandwiches. (and a nice place to hang out w/its fireplace & beer on tap)
The Mexican one next to it is called Mexquite, I think. Only tried it once for lunch, so others can tell you if decent for dinner.
Italian spots? Vino Santo Bistro...gotta try their polenta appetizer! To die for.
Sicialano's...old school, with many devotees.
But again, old-style Italian so don't go if into 'trendy'. ;-)
Less than 2 miles from Sofitel , there is Mistral which is decent but does get noisy and food takes a while to arrive with crowd http://www.mistraldining.com/
Further south near the woodside exit, there is an Italian Restaurant Arrivederci and a steak house in a pretty pleasant setting by the bay
You can use a 2-for-1 coupon from http://pizazz.paloaltoonline.com/site...
On the west side in San Carlos, there is my fav
thai restaurant Siamese Kitchen :) on Laurel and then there is San Remo Pizzeria on San Carlos avenue.
I think there's a bus or a shuttle bus that makes the short hop from Redwood Shores to the San Carlos Caltrain station on El Camino Real. From there you're one block from San Carlos' main drag, Laurel Street. There's a decent thin-crust pizza almost across the street from the train station. Also several Italian places of varying degrees dressiness, a Thai restaurant, a couple of Japanese sushi bars--none of which I've tried. Among the places I do like are Laurel Street Cafe for crepes, soup and salad, and the Mediterranean bistro two doors down, which makes its own potato chips! (Tell them if you don't want your chips doused in vinegar.)
In that case, Sirayvah may fit the bill. It bills itself as "organic Thai", and you'll find several favorable threads on the board, if you search.
It's not your typical Thai restaurant--it's kind of westernized, but not in a bad way. The setting is very comfortable and serene, and the ingredients are first-rate. The noodle dishes are probably the most authentically Thai, and are very good. The khao pad poo (like a pad thai with crabmeat) is one of my favorites, as is the prawn and scallop dish cooked with garlic and pepper.
Sirayvah, 366 El Camino Real, (650) 6371500.
Thai Time on El Camino, San Carlos is okay. I do like the Snappy Snapper and the Thai Pancakes for dessert. Call me crazy but I crave PEI mussels and butternut squash ravioli (appetizers) as dinner at Pasta Pomodoro (local chain) in Redwood City, corner of El Camino and Whipple. Everything else is okay. We regularly go to Sai's on Laurel/Cherry San Carlos for the beef pho 'cause it's the only one nearby. Quality varies, I like the claypot caramel catfish, but they don't give very much for the price. Ganko on Cherry btwn El and Laurel is good for sushi. Very tiny place but very fresh sushi. If you really want Chinese, Joy Palace (Cantonese)in San Mateo. Everything else is the area is not so good.
In the Sofitel you are actually in Redwood Shores. So Foster City is closer than Redwood City actually. If you like authentic Chinese, go to Joy on Beach Park Blvd. in Foster City. Just over the canal from you:. I think there is also a Malaysian restaurant I haven't been to near you. It is in the mall near the Pacific Athletic club.
www.pizzanpipes.com (Pav Bhaji, Tandoori Veggies & Tandoori Chicken Pizza) (Redwood City, CA 94063 (650) 365-6543
www.newkapadokia.com (Same stuff is cheaper at Lunch) 2399 Broadway St (@ Winslow) Redwood City, CA 94063 (650) 368-5500
www.tarboosh.com Tarboosh 837 Jefferson St. Redwood City, CA 94062 650-474-2667
My brother and I tried New Kapadokia for dinner on Thursday night. We liked the ezme very much and the cold zucchini/eggplant/green onion appetizer too. Okay lentil soup or a very good tomato and cucumber salad comes with the choice of entree.
Both of us were impressed by the tiny manti, little four-cornered dumplings filled with a smidgen of coarse-ground lamb. A bit doughy, we liked the chewiness. William noticed that they were all different sizes and commented, "wow, someone made each of those by hand."
I wasn't as taken by the beyti kebab. It reminded me too much of pigs in a blanket and had a warmed over taste.
Image of manti and beyti kebab -