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Recommendation for small group dining in Palo Alto?

Some colleagues will be in town this week, and we're planning
to get together for a group meal, most likely in Palo Alto.
I live in San Francisco, and haven't eaten more than a handful
of dinners on the peninsula. Think I ate at the Palo Alto Straits Cafe once many years ago... but that's it.

Anyway, we'll be dining as a group of 5 or 6, and I'm looking for good recommendations. Criteria is pretty broad, but I'm thinking:

- Not insanely expensive... maybe no more than $60 - $70
per person when all is done.

- Not anything too overtly trendy. Would prefer a place
with excellent food and comfortable ambiance rather than
a bustling meat market of loud voices and colorful drinks.

- Any ethnicity is fine, as long as it's good. Though I think
we should probably avoid Indian (which is eaten often for
lunch), and pure sushi (though a Japanese restaurant with
a variety of items could work well)

- Nothing super-fancy or ultra-casual.
We're aiming for pleasant ambiance,
though would prefer a notch above shorts and sandals
(e.g. something a little slicker than a brew pub).

Many thanks for any suggestions!

J.

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    1. re: Maya

      Could be good, though I'm seeing some mixed reviews. How is the
      noise level?

      Also, the last time we went out with this group, we ate
      and Brigitte's in Santa Clara (though I think that's closed now...).
      Could feel like French overload, even though technically that Brigitte's meal was many months ago.

      J.

      1. re: grubber4

        Huge second here. This place has never disappointed.

      2. I would go to Evvia for excellent greek food. Tamarine, depending on the night, can attract the trendy crowd.

        1 Reply
        1. re: KathyM

          i second both evvia and tamarine for a group dinner especially if it's with coworkers.

          you could also try st. michael's alley which would probably be quieter. http://www.stmikes.com/ it's one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants.

        2. Just booked reservations for dinner tomorrow at Tamarine.
          Any specific dishes worth trying?

          (I see the recs at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/357365 , but
          am always up for additional feedback).

          Many thanks to all!
          J.

          3 Replies
              1. re: jflesh

                Cinnamon Prawns
                Lunar Duck
                Clay Pot Cod
                were all great as of mid-December. The cod was the big hit with our group.

              2. We love The Mandarin Gourmet in Palo Alto. Consistently great. It is even an annual family tradition to go on Christmas eve. Chicken in lettuce cups, prawns and honeyed walnuts, mushoo pork ... yum.