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Jun 13, 2007 04:49 PM

Where to Take Dad for Father's Day in the South Bay?

I need a good place to take Dad out to dinner for Father's Day.

It needs to be in the South Bay (northern boundaries - Palo Alto and Fremont; southern - South San Jose). Preferably not too loud. And the food can't be "ethnic" (European is okay but no Asian or Latin American food). Oh yeah, and I'm not rich so the entrees need be under $20/person.


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  1. what about La Strada in Palo Alto? I'd like to read a report if you end up here.

    1. The Empire Tap Room on Emerson in Palo Alto might be a good choice. Basic food, not fussy, but I haven't been there since last year so I don't have any comments about how it is now. I believe that the entrees are under $20. The patio is great too - a little hidden gem. Here's a review:

      1. why not take pops out for brunch/lunch instead of dinner? if price is a concern you'll get more 'restaurant' at that price point.


        los gatos cafe - los gatos
        cup & saucer - almaden
        stacks - menlo park or campbell
        the original pancake house - west san jose or los altos


        chelokababi - sunnyvale, persian kebabs
        kan zeman - palo alto
        il forniao - palo alto
        that new italian joint in saratoga, next to rose market
        vero - palo alto

        1. Thanks for all the great suggestions! The Empire Tap Room seems like a good "Dad joint" to keep in mind for future visits. Unfortunately, brunch wasn't an option this time because Pops needed to be home at noon to watch the U.S. Open.

          We ended up going to Pastaria in Los Gatos (partly because I wanted to take him on a driving tour of Los Gatos), which is a little loud for Dad, but it worked. I'm a fan of their lobster ravioli and butternut squash ravioli while the boyfriend religiously orders their spaghetti with meat sauce. My mom loved their sausage lasagna on a previous visit so she ordered it again (I agree that it's the best dish there). Pops loved his $16 (high for Pastaria) wine sauce linguine with clams, scallops, mussels, and shrimp special.

          Other restaurants winners with my parents were Pedro's in Santa Clara (I think doing well sometimes is just based on ease of parking and having tables far apart from other tables) and Pluto's. Patxi's only did okay by my parents (they hated the tomato basil vinaigrette and thought the pizza was just okay after they didn't follow orders and got a thin crust). It was hard to keep them away from the Milpitas chain restaurant jungle during their visit since their motel was in the heart of it, but thankfully they mostly stayed away. ('Why are we driving to <fill in the blank> when there's a Red Lobster down the street?" Ugh!)