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Apr 14, 2009 04:18 PM

Quiet (for conversation) casual dinner in Burlingame/San Mateo

I need some help in finding a restaurant in the Burlingame/San Mateo area that is quiet enough for conversation with a friend who is hard of hearing. Nothing fancy (it's not a date) but casual, reasonable and quiet enough that we can talk and hear each other. Thanks for any recommendations.

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  1. Stella Alpina in Burlingame. Very nice, good quality Italian and quite quiet.

    1. Liquid, in San Mateo, on El Camino at 92. It's Japanese Fusion. Tasty, pretty, and quiet.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Kim Cooper

        I remember Liquid getting an awful review from Sushi Monster. I've never ventured in.

        I've thought up and down the list of restaurants in that area without good effect.

        Like, I think of Shanghai (f)East or Nippa-pon, but then I think the tables are a little close together. Neither play music, the food is rocking and casual, but if you had a loud party near you it would be loud. At everyday beijing, the tables are farther apart, but the room is harsh and echo-y (I know echos and ambient noise is hard on hearing).

        So maybe you're better off someplace with fairly awful food where no one else goes.

        I've occasionally done business lunches at Left Bank not because the food is good (it's somewhere between average and mediocre these days IMHO) but because no one eats at the bar tables, so you've got that half of the restaurant to yourself. Quiet as a grave. Now, that's lunch, should be more people in the bar dinner-time.

        I also thought of Kingfish, just because the tables are pretty far apart. The food is nothing to write home about, and overpriced for what you get.

        Although - what about Fish Market? The prices there are actually reasonable, and it's quite staid.

        Pretty vague request, all considered. Hope this helps.

        1. re: bbulkow

          I've been eating at the San Mateo outpost of The Fish Market since 1982 and while the quality remains fairly high, the price/portion ratio continues to widen. I had lunch there on April 4 and had the grilled Mahi-Mahi and if there was four ounces of fish on the plate, I'd be surprised; it was ~$14 with the two sides.

          I think the Left Bank in Menlo Park is much better than its San Mateo sibling.

          Fish Market
          1855 S Norfolk St, San Mateo, CA 94403

          Left Bank Brasserie
          1100 Park Pl, San Mateo, CA

      2. Central Park Bistro in San Mateo is good and didn't seem too loud when we went there.

        Hotaru would be a better option for Japanese and sushi than Liquid.

        Hotaru Japanese Restaurant
        33 E 3rd Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401

        Central Park Bistro
        181 East 4th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94401

        1 Reply
        1. re: Shane Greenwood

          The last time I was at Central Park Bistro (OK, 3 years ago) they had live jazz. Excuse me, LOUD live jazz. Definitely call ahead; otherwise, a good choice.

          Lil Biscuit House might work too, but again, call ahead.

        2. I'm going to repeat myself, with emphasis: if quiet is what you want, Liquid is the quietest restaurant around. We like the food too, but you didn't ask for great food, you asked for quiet. It might be a bit expensive for what you want.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Kim Cooper

            This being Chowhound, people will always comment on the chow since we all assume that an interest in quality food is implied in every post by virtue of even coming to this site in the first place. I think the problem with Liquid is the location. It happens to be in an area with a large Japanese community and therefore with a lot of authentic, quality Japanese sushi restaurants. In another town, Liquid might be the best sushi place, but in San Mateo there are better choices for your chow.

            1. re: Shane Greenwood

              but it's not a "sushi place". It's a Japanese fusion place that also has some sushi.