We are heading to Redwood Shores for the first time next week (Tues-Thurs).....we understand that its about a 30 minute drive to SF from RWS.....To paint a quick picture - we are travelling from Minneapols (so we miss good seafood)....and moved to MPLS from NYC.
What is recommended in RWS?
If we made the drive to SF, are there any hot spots in SF that might be easier to get into mid-week?
(Asian flavors, fine dining ...we just need a starting point) (and I'll scour Chow for old posts)
I'll be very interested to see if there are any responses. I'm a mid-peninsula denizen and have been a daily reader of this board for years, and never seen any restaurant in RWS even mentioned. Foster City, San Mateo, and Redwood City are all very close by with good options, along with the many wonderful options in San Francisco.
Good seafood... one fun, close option might be Old Port Lobster Shack in Redwood City.
Old Port Lobster Shack
851 Veterans Blvd, Redwood City, CA 94063
I would not recommend that you drive into the city (SF). Driving and parking in the city is hassle enough for locals who know where they're going. From Redwood Shores you can easily take caltrain from the Belmont station or BART from the Milbrae station.
As for good seafood on the peninsula, I haven't been there in quite a while, but Sushi Sam's in San Mateo was usually a good bet, if I couldn't make it to the city.
218 E 3rd Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401
The selection of restaurants in Redwood Shores is pretty slim and I can only think two places where I would eat, Mistral and Hotel Sofitel. I like Mistral, but as much for the ambience as the food. I haven't eaten at the Sofitel in years, but they always did a pretty good job with their food.
I work back to back with Mistral, so we eat lunch there semi-often. It's good, but crowded: recommend reservations. I don't know about dinners, but it seemed pretty crowded then too when our office did Christmastime dinner there. the food is tasty, but not especially different or creative. But it is California style, so it might be different from what you are used to.
370 Bridge Parkway, Redwood City, CA 94065
Ike's Place is suppose to out there in RWS. If it were me I'd drive into RWC and get some tacos somewhere.
I live 5 minutes south of RWS and have never had a meal there, but you can find a lot of great food nearby..... Just search the board for recent threads about San Mateo or Redwood City (there have been a lot). I agree that Sushi Sam's is a good choice if you are looking for good, affordable, sushi. You will also find a lot of great options for tacos, Chinese, and Japanese (there are some really high end places if you are wanting to spend the money) . There are even some fine dining, Michelin Starred places down here as well...
Also, I disagree about not driving into the city. If you are a confident city driver, you will be fine. Just be careful about the traffic (you will want to go in before 4pm or after 7pm) because, opposite of many metro areas, a lot of people live in the city and work on the peninsula.
If you are into farmers markets, the San Carlos one is Thursday night and is really cute. It has the most strawberry vendors of any market I've been to. You can easily fill up on samples if you are not careful (which can be bad if you have dinner plans).
I agree about driving because taking the train can be a pain if you don't plan ahead and know what you are doing. If you miss a train, you will likely have to wait an hour for the next, so you'd better be familiar with where the stations are and how to get to them. Plus the trip between Belmont and 4th & Townsend is 40-50 minutes. Add the time to get to the actual destination plus the time waiting at the station (you want to get there early so you don't miss the train) and it can be a very time-consuming trip. Trains work a lot better for commuters with a regular schedule than for people unfamiliar with the area.
I strongly recommend San Mateo (about a 10 minute drive), 3rd and 4th and surrounding streets are lined with lots of asian restaurants and also many others. Hotaru has good sushi as well as cooked food, not as much variety as Sushi Sams but much cheaper.
Little Shanghai on 25th is a hole in the wall with great food - I had there lunch fish - I think it was in a spicy sauce and was incredibly fresh flounder and only cost around $7 (with soup and rice) and their shrimp is always fresh and not overcooked.
17 E 25th Ave, San Mateo, CA 94403
218 E 3rd Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401