Mountain View recs
I'm on a work assignment for two weeks in Mountain View and I'm looking for reasonably priced (sub $25) restaurants where a woman can eat alone without feeling terribly self-conscious of that fact. Any recommendations? Any and all cuisines are fine, though I have a bias towards healthy food. I'm open to recs in Mountain View and places that are a short, easily navigable drive away. Thanks...
I claim no expertise re which restaurants might be welcoming for a woman dining alone, but Mountain View is full of casual restaurants that would seem to be "comfortable". There are probably 25 Asian restaurants on or very near the main downtown street (Castro Street); Amarin Thai and Cafe Yulong seem to get some play on this board, although neither has knocked my socks off. There is a decent Mediterranean place on Castro (Zucca) as well as a couple of OK Continental restaurants. You're also a short drive from a great salad place (Country Gourmet) and reputably the best Indian restaurant in the Bay Area (Amber India). All in all, I think you've picked a good place for a work assignment.
If you do a search, you should find my recent op on Mountain View, which will tell you where not to go. It's been a while, but in the past there were some great Chinese restaurants and there seem to be some good tacquerias. You might consider driving up to Redwood City? to Old Port Lobster Shack. I didn't think about it until after my spur-of-the-moment visit to MV, but I wished I had just gone to OPLS instead.
How about carnitas at Taqueria La Bamba http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
or ramen at Maruichi.
If you know anyone that works at Google, hit them up for an invite, they have some new cafes open.
Could also try a sandwich from Ditmers (lots of mentions on the board).
I'm guessing you're thinking more about dinner than lunch. fyi - Dittmer's is only open during the day.
I live in Mountain View and have dined out alone quite a bit as my husband occasionally travels for work. I enjoy Amarin Thai (on Castro) - if it's a warm night, eat outside. Zucca (Castro St.) is good, but sometimes uneven. Nonetheless, nice unintimitated solo dining atmosphere (I usually eat at the bar here when alone). Both Fiesta del Mar (Dana St right off Castro) and Vive Sol (on El Camino near Rengstorff) are sit-down and serve Puebla style Mex and very friendly. Cascal (Castro at California) offers a festive environment, though the food isn't authentic Spanish. As for Country Gourmet, I did not enjoy either the atmosphere or the crappy breakfast I had there. I hear the Sunnyvale CG is much better. Old Port Lobster Shack in Redwood City is really good if you feel like driving up there. If you like sushi, I'd recommend Masa's on San Antonio or Hanamaru on El Camino @ Bernardo in Sunnyvale. Also second the Cafe Yulong mention.
I didn't realize there were Puebla-style Mexican restaurants in the area. What do you recommend there that best showcases that regional cuisine?
I second the suggestion to wangle an invite to Google. It's not so much that the food is good, as that the whole concept of food service at Google is mindboggling.