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Jan 23, 2009 02:17 PM

Any Palo Alto DAT reports?

I want to learn if any of the local places are doing a nice job. Some of the reports from the City have been encouraging and I hope to see that Chowhounds have enjoyed our smaller version in the 'burbs. I'd like to make a plan after I get your reports.

Thanks in advance.

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    1. re: bbulkow

      Hi and thanks. I hope for some "advice" so I can pick a spot for Monday night.

      1. re: anyhow

        I've been wanting to try Mantra but only before 6:30 for the happy hour special when ALL food is half off. (It's a much better deal than the DAT prix fixe).

        If you try any of the restaurants please let us know. I've been considering Lavanda and Junnoon.

        1. re: katya

          I tried to get into Mantra last week but all the seats in the bar were taken. Moral of the story: get there early or you might be shut out before 6:30pm.

        2. re: anyhow

          Not related to DAT but I just saw today on Osteria's website, they are offering a four course dinner on Monday nights for $24.

      2. Thanks for your input. I had wanted to find a surprisingly positive, even excited, review of any of the PA spots.

        I think I will go back to Osteria soon. I appreciate their reliable high standards especially when so many new places don't impress me with their "flash" and IMHO undeserved high prices.

        Tonight, I went into Menlo Park and enjoyed another meal at Sultana, a Turkish restaurant that is family-run, friendly and consistently good. And good value.

        It's difficult for me to get to the city on worknights, but I surely envy those who can choose from so many, and varied, restaurants. Palo Alto had 7 participating restaurants, SF had 127, LA had 173.

        Again, thanks -- at least CH feels like a community, with spirit.

        1149 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025

        2 Replies
        1. re: anyhow

          The offerings seem pretty slim - 8 restaurants isn't much.

          Levanda - I'm looking forward to levanda. I've had desert at the bar twice, and the deserts were excellent. Unfortunatly it looks like a Large Plate kind of place, so we just have to wait for it to come up on Restaurant Roulette - GF greatly prefers small plates.

          Three Seasons, Bistro A'asie - these two are on our regular restaurant rotation because they have small plates. We had a few plates at 3 seasons just tonight, in fact. We miss the mussels, always the favorite, now gone. I call them good solid food - asian fusion food like mom used to make. I don't get excited about them, but I do eat there often.

          Kan Zeman - everyone loves Zan Keman. The food is great, although when I'm in the mood for what they do, I slide over to California Ave and catch Med Delight. So I don't eat there more than once a year at best - and they have large plates, a minus.

          Junoon - I've only had lunch here and evening drinks here, but I've liked what I had.

          Mantra - Had a full dinner meal, and really liked it. Tastes were bright, menu was inventive.

          MacArthur Park - the 'new chef' thing has me curious, and I would like to stop by. I ate there about 6 months ago, and found the food mediocre but the atmosphere exceptional. Obviously they've decided to improve the food - good for them.

          If your faves are Sultana and Osteria, and you haven't been to Kan Zeman, I would put that at the top of the list. Second I'd put Mantra, third levande, fourth Bistro D'asie. But whatever, right? The DAT concept is to get people out to places they might not otherwise go....

          Regarding prices - I know I'm undergoing some serious pullback. I'm still happy to spend $60 for two if it's a good meal, but I think of how I get full & tasty & leftovers for $40, and think twice. Hello, Darbar!

          1. re: anyhow

            We had rude service and meh food at Osteria on a very busy night. We felt like the waiter was throwing the food onto the table, also he kept bumping my DC on his way to serving other tables. PA food is expensive, so Osteria feels almost like a deal, but it can be very disappointing I think. We can muster the energy to go back. I felt like they were "coasting"- they have something that works for their crowd so they don't have to try. I did laugh at our leftovers. They just ball them up in a wad of foil.

            I've heard that Mantra at half price is great- I think their cocktails might be half price for happy hour as well.

            PA DAT I think had many more participants previously.

            The only meals at nicer PA places that I've felt are worth it have been Evvia and La Strada. Tamarine is good, but I'd rather drive to Milpitas for Vung Tau II.

            Three Seasons was OK, I guess. It just felt concepty. I kind of like how they do fresh rolls as if they were maki at a crazy sushi place. They are fun to try and aren't heavy at all.