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San Mateo "date" places

Hey all,

Looking for some date places in and around San Mateo... all sorts of food welcome. Key is that is has to be nice enough for a date... doesnt have to be *overly* romantic, just good ambience/decor. (so no hole in the walls, much as I do love them personally) I'm a newbie to Peninsula dining, so appreciate all the help I can get.

The only place I've been to so far is Spiedo. (also been to Vigonier, Hotaru, and Nipa-Pon, but those were with friends...)

Any other recommendations? In particular, any ethnic places that are still nice enough for a date? (Chinese? Thai? Japanese?) Please list, thanks!

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  1. I'll list a few, but with the caveat that I haven't been to the first 2 in awhile. They should still be good:

    Cappellini's, on B Street/1st (Italian)
    Central Park Bistro, on 4th
    Astaria, on 3rd (Mediterranean)

    The ultimate date spot is probably the Bella Vista, on Skyline. I haven't been there since 1988, and won't go back (for personal reasons). I don't recall if the food was any good (it was that kind of night). Nice view, tho.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rednails

      I second Capellini's and also would suggest Viognier and 231 Ellsworth.

    2. Lure. I've only been once, but I keep meaning to get back there. Good food. Good date night vibe.

      1 Reply
      1. re: san carlos girl

        I second Lure. Great vibe, lovely food, it would be my first choice for an upscale, somewhat trendy date place in San Mateo.

      2. OP seemed particulary interested in chinese/thai/japanese.

        All with excellent food. Based on what it sounds like you are looking for, the first of the three would be best:

        Chinese: Chef Wai on 4th Ave., white tablecloth Cantonese

        Thai: Thai Satay on 4th Ave. is no hole in the wall, but nor is the decor anything special. All I could think of for Thai.

        Japanese: Himawari on 2nd Ave. has a modern, bright ambiance - nicer than most of the Japanese places in town. Note though, it's a Ramen shop. _Excellent_ ramen. Depends on your date, I guess, whether ramen is appropriate "date food". I'd certainly have considered marrying someone who took me for good ramen, in my single days.

        1. If you want a place quiet enough for a real conversation, try Liquid. food's good, decor is, um, interesting, and it's quiet. Japanese fusion.
          For great food, Sirayvah. it's pretty. it's organic. Thai. In San Carlos.
          I second 231 Ellsworth, but it's quite expensive.
          Bogie's often has a strolling violinist, but they once told us to go away (no reservation, and we were just two women....no, they didn't say that, but we think that's what it was.)

          2 Replies
          1. re: Kim Cooper

            Liquid Sushi on El Camino? If you're into sushi, DO NOT go there. If you want a sushi spot that is quiet enough to have a decent conversation while also having an authentic sushi experience, go to Yuzu on 37th Ave. near El Camino (a block south of Hillsdale Mall). It's better than a hole in the wall in terms of decor, but still stark and understated that is typical of good restos in Tokyo. Sushi/sashimi are stellar (they are the sister resto of Sakae in Burlingame, which is considered by many to be one of the top sushi restos in NorCal).

            Chef Wai is comparable to higher-quality Guangdong-style restos I've been to in HK & Shenzhen. Good food, but is generally busy, so a good place to take someone who wants a spot with "energy".

            If you need a cool and hip spot, then Lure is the equal of anything you'd find in San Francisco in terms of decor and ambience.

            1. re: Eugene Park

              When we've had sushi at Liquid, it's been fine. we usually go for other stuff however, and that's very tasty.

          2. thanks for the suggestions. will def try chef wai's and the others. keep them coming if there are more!