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food + jazz on the peninsula?

bbulkow Mar 3, 2010 11:04 AM

The mention of Central Park Bistro's jazz offerings has me wondering what places have good food and some jazz on the side.

The peninsula is terrible for live music, so I'm always on the lookout for restaurants that have live music. Which usually means jazz; dinner jazz. Spots like this seem to come and go. And I'd like food that's as good as possible.

Range: san mateo through Mountain View.

The only one I know of at the moment is Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park on Friday. They have their expanded dinner menu, great panninis, tight and excellent beer and wine list (very fresh high quality beer). Jazz friday nights.

Central Park Bistro - I like the food there. It's no Martin's West, but it's good food well executed. Seems to do complexity well, and interesting combinations. No music listed on their website, but a report of some.

B street and Vine - SM - very little mention here. How's the food?

jzcool in MP had jazz, now gone. Melinda's or something in PA had jazz, replaced by Scotty's which has no jazz and pretty lousy bar food (stick to the skewers). I remember a sign outside Bella Luna in PA (my vote for best pasta in greater PA), but can't find any info.

Any other leads?

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  1. t
    twolf Mar 3, 2010 11:29 AM

    Astaria in San Mateo has great food and music on Thursday nights.

    1. c
      chuckl Mar 3, 2010 11:54 AM

      may be a bit out of your range, but the bach dancing and dynamite society in princeton has very good jazz on sundays

      3 Replies
      1. re: chuckl
        mdg Mar 3, 2010 01:04 PM

        Also a bit out of your range, but maybe helpful to others searching for jazz in the area, is Viva Los Gatos Neighborhood Eatery. They currently have jazz on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights, and when I've heard them it's been quite good.

        Viva is a restaurant with jazz. Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society is beyond category, but more of a jazz club - with top-name acts - that serves food.


        1. re: mdg
          bbulkow Mar 3, 2010 05:25 PM

          Any news on the food at BDDS? No menu online at all.

          1. re: bbulkow
            Wendy_san Jun 25, 2010 06:10 PM

            Food at BDDS is usually catered. Nothing outstanding, but decent. However, an AMAZING jazz club.

      2. r
        rednails Mar 3, 2010 02:07 PM

        I like B St & Vine, and love their bruschetta. It's a meal in itself. I think the only flavor I haven't like is the one w/tomato, which wasn't very ripe. Their salads are ample, always good. Service can be spotty depending on which server you get and how busy they are.

        Jazz groups seem to be collegiate (read: high school and/or college level) when I've been there, which I don't mind as the parent of a college age musician. I don't know specifically which nights they have jazz. I was there about a month ago, mid week and they weren't busy at all.

        1. c
          ceekskat Mar 3, 2010 04:23 PM

          Have no idea how the food or music is...


          4 Replies
          1. re: ceekskat
            bbulkow Mar 3, 2010 05:12 PM

            Wow! I am glad I asked. Right in my back yard, opened 6 months ago. Right across from Carapaccios - I think that's the spot where a middling thai restaurant was. I will report on the food.

            1. re: ceekskat
              KathyM Mar 7, 2010 02:48 PM

              Music is great. Food is just ok, not bad, not great. But service was a little odd, that is if you have to deal with the owner. My boss made reservation for a group of us. On the day of, 3-4 people dropped out. She called to revise the number of people. The owner/manager berated her about why people would not want to come. Uh, because we're trying to give you an extra table...When I and another coworker showed up 10 minutes early to open time. The door was open (we didn't realized we were early), the manager/owner asked to wait outside, weird...

              1. re: ceekskat
                ceekskat Jun 23, 2010 07:04 PM

                Noticed a sign today stating they have closed...

                1. re: ceekskat
                  bbulkow Jun 24, 2010 01:24 PM

                  Correct. Marq has apparently moved some of his bookings & performances to Oak City Bar and Grill, so they've now got music most nights. Menlo Park's hard: I'm 100% in the target demographic and I wasn't supporting enough.

                  1143 Crane Street, Menlo Park, CA 94025

              2. d
                Deevagal Apr 23, 2010 05:22 PM

                If you don't mind going slightly north of San Mateo try Broadway Grill in Burlingame. Great music, food and service. This Sunday, April 25th 11-2pm, Brunch and JAZZKWEST.
                Also, try Turtle Bay in Foster City. Great food and service too. JAZZKWEST will be there Friday, April 30th 7-10pm. ENJOY!!!!

                Turtle Bay
                981 E Hillsdale Blvd, Foster City, CA 94404

                Broadway Grill
                1400 Broadway Ave, Burlingame, CA 94010

                1. c
                  ceekskat Apr 23, 2010 08:00 PM

                  Oh, completely forgot to post that I saw an ad for jazz at Oak City Bar & Grill in Menlo Park. Looks like Fri & Sat nights...


                  The City Bar & Grill
                  300 Almaden Blvd, San Jose, CA 95110

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: ceekskat
                    bbulkow Apr 24, 2010 10:29 AM

                    I was in there a month ago and heard the same thing. I believe they host a fairly large band on some mondays (San Mateo College Jazz Band or something - an 18 piece). There was a decent combo in the corner when I was there most of the night.

                    The food was generally disappointing, that is, the food was decent and edible in every way but had no real spark and minimal to average flavor. I've had meals at Oak City I've been happy with, but usually at lunch when my expectations are lower. For a similar menu and vibe I prefer Left Bank within 100 yards (the "good left bank").

                    1. re: bbulkow
                      ceekskat Apr 24, 2010 04:59 PM

                      That's too bad about the food at Oak City. Would really love a great "American" restaurant in the hood. Guess Bentley's is always there...

                      Also, it seems these days we frequent Donato Enoteca in RWC more than Left Bank as our "neighborhood" restaurant even though it's 10 min. further. Really enjoy their pasta dishes.

                      Donato Enoteca
                      1041 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City, CA 94063

                      1. re: ceekskat
                        bbulkow Apr 24, 2010 09:09 PM

                        I keep meaning to try Donato. Whenever I'm within 2 blocks of Martin's West I gravitate there. Soon, soon.

                  2. p
                    peppatty Apr 24, 2010 01:00 PM

                    Piacere in San Carlos has jazz. There website has the schedule. Food is good, not stellar. I like B street, they have a very rich cream of artichoke soup, and I really like the bruchetta, the fig is my favorite. I've also heard jazz in Redwood City by the movie theater. I think the place is called Citrine, food was also good, but not stellar.

                    727 Laurel Street, San Carlos, CA 94070

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: peppatty
                      Shane Greenwood Apr 25, 2010 08:38 AM

                      I've tried Piacere for the music and found that the band is usually too loud for the space. They tend to have an amplified band with a singer in a smallish bar area. I can hear the band from a few blocks away, when you're in the room with them it's impossible to talk. Food is okay though.

                      727 Laurel Street, San Carlos, CA 94070

                    2. Shane Greenwood Apr 25, 2010 08:36 AM

                      Mythos in San Carlos has live jazz on Saturday nights. Food is great.

                      Mythos Restaurant - San Carlos
                      1201 San Carlos Avenue, San Carlos, CA 94070

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Shane Greenwood
                        tomatoaday Jun 24, 2010 02:32 PM

                        Check their web site, I think they have it at least jazz at least 3 nights. I have been only once, in the last month or so, and thought the food was ok to very good but the service was pretty scattered and rushed. Maybe a missing employee, maybe how it always is, I don't know. I liked the risotto balls but not the soup, the mussels were good, good quality and well cooked steak but awful sides (oily zucchini, dry eggplant and cold potatoes.) Table bread skimpy, cold and plain, why bother?

                        1. re: tomatoaday
                          Shane Greenwood Jun 24, 2010 06:35 PM

                          I think they expanded the music since my last post. I was there during the week recently and they had a duo playing downstairs. I've been 5 times now and haven't had any problems with the food or service. To use Bauer's litmus test for the top 100 restaurants, it isn't worth driving to, but if you're in the area it's one of the better options.

                      2. m
                        mdg Jun 24, 2010 10:11 PM

                        Milan Pizza in Mountain View has added a jazz jam on Wednesday nights. This is a regular lunch place for me for their good sandwiches. I'm usually busy on those evenings so I haven't gone to a jazz jam yet, nor have I had any of the dinner entrees.


                        Milan Pizza Restaurant
                        1724 Miramonte Ave, Mountain View, CA 94040

                        1. r
                          rednails Jun 25, 2010 02:48 PM

                          I passed by Turtle Bay in Foster City the other night and they had a jazz combo. I haven't eaten there in a few years so I can't comment on the food.

                          Turtle Bay
                          981 E Hillsdale Blvd, Foster City, CA 94404

                          1. w
                            Wendy_san Jun 25, 2010 06:12 PM

                            Cetrella and Pasta Moon in Half Moon Bay have live jazz many nights. Two of the top restaurants on the coastside.

                            845 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

                            Pasta Moon
                            315 Main St., Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

                            1. bbulkow Jun 28, 2010 09:38 PM

                              The answer to this question is Angelica's Bistro in RWC. Jazz there is very, very good - what I would call "true jazz" - but the food is overpriced and mediocre. The beer menu is where its at, with a well curated list of belgians and west coast. Beer floats. Crepe was OK, Ruben was flat - both were overpriced. Funky place with three main seating areas - the main room, a bistro area, and a rear garden. Two stages. And Tea Service with scones and tea sandwiches tuesday through saturday.

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