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Jun 4, 2009 08:19 PM

Dinner suggestions San Carlos area

My in-laws are coming to town tomorrow night and I'd like some suggestions for dinner. They probably want something fairly light, no Chinese. Thanks!

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  1. Have you tried Istanbul yet? Menu appears to have lots of options to keep the meal light.

    1. Piacere Ristorante is worth looking into. They are a little pricey but you didn't specify a budget range. You can check out the menu here: My only caution about this place is the bar area is very loud because they usually have a band that overpowers the space. But the dining room is very nice and they have some sidewalk seating as well.

      For a less expensive option with some lighter choices and more casual vibe, check out Pilita, which is Med/Turkish.

      A lot of people like Town in San Carlos as well. They are a meat & potatoes, American place. I find the dining room too loud and the food too expensive and lacking in some basic execution like seasoning. But again, some people swear by this place.

      Lastly, Refuge is arguably the best quality food in San Carlos so it's worth mentioning. You might not find enough lighter options since they specialize in meat (pastrami in particular). But it's worth looking at their menu to see if it fits your needs.

      The Refuge
      963 Laurel St, San Carlos, CA 94070

      Pilita Grill
      680 Laurel St, San Carlos, CA 94070

      716 Laurel Street, San Carlos, CA 94070

      727 Laurel Street, San Carlos, CA 94070

      1 Reply
      1. re: Shane Greenwood

        Lastly, Refuge.
        Well played Shane.
        Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
        Samuel Johnson 4/7/1775

      2. We went the 888 ristorante italiano. We had the fried calamari. Very good, not greasy, very crispy. We also had a fried squash blossom appetizer. They got the produce from the Thursday farmers market so that was really nice. The blossom was good, a little greasy, but it still had a little crunch. I had the fillet of sole and it was nice, nothing to get too excited over, but it was comfort food, pan fried very basic, with nice fresh vegetables and mashed potatoes. The in-laws were very happy with their meal.
        Haven't tried any of the Turkish choices in the area yet.

        1. Ever tried Kabul Afghan Cuisine at 135 El Camino Real in San Carlos? It's not a fancy place, but the kabobs and rice are the best around. Lots of menu choices and not very expensive. In a funky strip mall off the El Camino.

          5 Replies
          1. re: JENNYBEEAY

            Just had dinner @ Kabul in San Carlos on way to SFO -- excellent meal. Started with the Mantoo (lamb dumplings with yogurt and stewed vegetable sauce), which were delicious, and then had the Kabab-e-murgh (chicken) and Gulpi challow (cumin-scented beef & cauliflower stew), with a side order of sweet, meltingly tender Kadu (pumpkin with meat sauce). Be sure to ask for some of the herbal/tart green hot sauce to spoon over. Great place.

            Kabul Afghan Cuisine
            135 El Camino Real, San Carlos, CA 94070

            1. re: JENNYBEEAY

              Although the cuisines (Turkish vs Afghan) are different, there are enough similarities between the menus for me to recommend Pilita over Kabul. A more casual option to either is Mediterranean Fusion on San Carlos Ave in downtown San Carlos -- it isn't much to look at but their kebabs are extremely tasty, and everything is well-priced. Another good Mediterranean option very nearby is Shalizaar in Belmont.

              I'm rather fond of Kaya Korean BBQ in the same shopping center as Kabul. It's a bit more expensive than the South Bay Korean restos, but it's more upscale in decor than most and the food quality is quite good. May not fit "light', though.

              If you don't mind going to downtown Redwood City, my husband is a HUGE fan of Martin West, an impressive Scottish gastropub. Lots of small plates to nibble on, a great selection of Belgian (and other) beers, decent wine list.

              1. re: PekoePeony

                I liked a recent meal at Pilita too. Lots of variety on the menu, well cooked and balanced dishes. I'd rather go there than Kabul, although sometimes you just need a big skewer of meat. Pilita reminds me of Silan in Menlo Park, which is better because of the hot bread & oven.

                1. re: PekoePeony

                  I've been to Pilita twice and Istanbul twice. I prefer the Turkish ("Mediterranean") cooking at Istanbul.

                  Istanbul Restaurant
                  1201 Laurel Street, San Carlos, CA 94070

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Anyone been to Creola lately? I used to like it a lot.

              2. And for dessert - Cowabunga Creamery in San Carlos has some great ice cream with a nice casual vibe. And those ice cream pies to take home. Mmmmm.