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May 13, 2008 01:29 PM

Menlo Park good eats?

I did a "Menlo Park" search but didn't turn up anything exactly on point. I'm going to be visiting a relative in Menlo Park for a few days before heading into SF and wanted to arrive armed with the knowledge of the good local restaurants. Is there a general consensus on the top 5 or top 10 amongst the ChowHounds? Price is not a factor.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations!

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  1. If price is not a factor and you like Japanese food, try Kaygetsu. Their Kaiseki dinner is an amazing experience. The place is small, so make sure to get reservations.

    1 Reply
    1. re: gummieworm

      I second Kaygetsu. I think if you go after 8:15 T-Th it's $55 (It's on the website somewhere). If you like Japanese food, it's a great deal.

    2. Does it have to be right in Menlo Park or can it be nearby towns like Palo Alto, Redwood City and San Carlos?

      Could you be more specific about what you are looking for ... I'm guessing from your price is no factor you are looking for upscale restaurants rather than mom and pops.

      An easier way to track down Menlo Park reports is through the Places Database. There are usually links to websites and links to reports about these restaurants.

      Of the more than 30 listed above, Back a Yard would probably be the top food-wise, but it is very casual carribean by a well-regarded chef.

      Menlo Park is an area I'm mostly familiar with from reading the board, so based on that some places with favorable comments that are more upscale

      - Iberia - Spanish tapas
      - Flea Street Cafe - California Cuisine
      - Duck Club - American (new)

      3 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        Thank you for the great info! Yes, it can be nearby towns as well. I'm not opposed to mom and pops, if that's what's good eats!!

        1. re: rworange

          Be sure to read the posts about Iberia if you plan on going. It is a quirky place when comes to service. There are not a lot of positive reviews.

          1. re: Shane Greenwood

            I really like Iberia. I almost didn't try it b/c of the reviews here. I haven't had any experience with bad service and I've been here about 6 times in the last 3 months.

        2. My two favorites are Carpaccio for excellent Italian and Naomi sushi.

          1120 Crane St, Menlo Park, CA 94025

          Naomi Sushi
          1328 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025

          1. In nearby Palo Alto on California Ave, fun burgers ( and sweet potato fries!) at The Counter, down the street is Cafe Brioche, small and bustling french. Lavanda on University Ave and Evvia nearby for Greek food ( but make reservations now since it always seems full!) - it's a crowded room and loud but o well. Went to a very quiet Bistro 428 (I may have the number wrong - it's a few doors up from Evvia) and had a lovely dinner, but very few people were there. I think it is a relatively new restaurant and maybe the word isn't out yet??Have heard good things about 2 places but have not been: Junoon in Palo Alto on University Ave, and Marche in Menlo Park on Santa Cruz Ave-- the latter quite expensive. The Left Bank in Menlo Park on Santa Cruz Ave.has a lot of energy in a big, loud room, but the food is ordinary. Everybody heads to Cafe Borrone on the corner of El Camino at Santa Cruz in Menlo Park for a casual lunch sitting outside, very good breakfasts too ( blueberry scones to die for), and dinner ( same menu as for lunch) on at least some nights (weekends?not sure about when it's open for dinner, so check). They have a limited selection of wine and beer.

            1. Second everything jersey girl said especially the blueberry scones at Cafe Borrone (I prefer the mini). In addition, there's Sultana Turkish Kitchen in Menlo Park. I love their combo appetizer, adena kabob, & lamb chop shish (tiny marinated lamb cubes on skewer, really moist & flavorful).

              There's also sushi monster's list for sushi with a few in Menlo Park...

              Mexican in nearby Redwood City...

              Other eats in nearby Palo Alto...

              4 Replies
              1. re: ceekskat

                I found Sultana pretty blah. Nothing bad about the food, and the room is attractive, but New Kapadokia in neighboring Redwood City is much better if you want Turkish.

                New Kapadokia Restaurant
                2399 Broadway Street, Redwood City, CA 94063

                1149 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Here's my review for New Kap...depends on what one orders/prefers I guess. New Kap is smaller, cuter, charming, etc...


                  What do you order there?

                  I have to admit, I haven't had the appetizer combo at Sultana in a while but my husband & I absolutely loved it when we ordered some time ago. Compared to that, the babaganous at New Kap was a disappointment. Just had both of the above mentioned kebobs at Sultana for Mother's day. I, yes I, hadn't made reservations for Sunday; therefore, I was dialing furiously for ressies at various places at 5:00 p.m:-) My other thought was Ristorante Casablanca but we decided to stay in the neighborhood.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Haven't tried New Kapadokia so can't compare, but had dinner @ Sultana this week and yumm. The combo appetizer was totally fab, great range of flavors -- loved the chick-pea salad and a red creamy yummy dip that's a bit spicy and garlic-y. Fresh warm bread... I am salivating!
                    - My friend had chicken kabobs where were a bit bland.
                    - I had these flat kabobs of ground lamb+beef wrapped around a mix of spinach and fresh pomegranate w a sauce combining pomegranate juice and something a bit creamy... it was completely, outrageously good!

                    Went to Evvia tonight, was good but not "all that"... wish I'd gone back to Sultana!

                    I also LOVE Tamarine - incredible mix of flavors, fresh, zingy, great space - it's now my "#1 by far" in the area.

                    Tamarine Restaurant
                    546 University Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94301

                    1. re: eqjosh

                      I've been to Sultana twice. You must try New Kapadokia.

                      Here's my Sultana review below. It sounds like the red creamy dip was ezme. I didn't like Sultana's version, but if you like ezme you must try New Kap's. The food at New Kap is across the board excellent. The appetizers brought out at the beginning of the meal are amazing, and I often craft my meal out of them. I dream about the sigare borek. Also outstanding: their house bread, ezme, beef kofte (5 mini hamburgers), beef wrapped in lavash house special, stuffed eggplant (with meat), and their baklava. I'm not a lamb person but my mom loves their lamb chops (my parents request a visit there when they're in town) and my friend love their lamb kebobs. This is all in addition to their lentil soup (a must order) and red lentil kofte.

                      Mixed Meats & Mixed Review of Menlo Park's Sultana

                      New Kapadokia Restaurant
                      2399 Broadway Street, Redwood City, CA 94063