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May 20, 2012 02:44 PM

Peninsula commuting todo list (obscenely long...)

I'm about to start commuting to Menlo Park from SF and decided it would be cool to hit a peninsula restaurant once a week. I scoured the Chowhound archives for tips, and came up with the following.

I focused on things that are discussed as superior on the peninsula (e.g., Persian, ramen, Indian), competitive to SF, or caught my eye as noteworthy. This todo list will probably take me a few years, but please let me know if there's anything worth adding or removing.

As of today's date, all the listed places are active businesses. Disclaimer: lots of places are closed on random days, but I still made a loose color coded map for closing time. Note also that I don't list anyplace south of Palo Alto.

BTW, I wish I'd thought of this before the Chow lists / Restaurant database died ...

==== FOOD EVENTS ====================
Edgewood Eats (Palo Alto, tuesday night, several food trucks

Romolo's Cannoli (San Mateo, Italian

==== ASIAN BAKERY / DESSERTS ==========
Bread Basket Bakery (Daly City; Filipino; Pan de Sal
)Anna's (San Mateo)
Sweet Breams (taiyaki, Japanese style soft-serve)

==== SANDWICHES ======================
Woodside Deli (Redwood City)
Cherimoya (Burlingame; banh mi)
La Casita Chilanga (Redwood City, tortas)

==== SEAFOOD =========================
Cooks Seafood (Menlo Park)
Old port Lobster Shack (Redwood city, New England seafood)

==== AMERICAN / PUB ====================
Spederia Pizzaria (San Carlos; NY style pizza)
Rave Burger (San Mateo; buffalo burger)
Creola (San Carlos; New Orleans)
Marvin Gardens (San Carlos; burger and especially fries)
Old port Lobster Shack (Redwood City; New England seafood)
Martin's West (Redwood City; British food, gastropub)
City Pub (Redwood City, burger)
The Refuge (San Carlos; pastrami)
Village Pub (Woodside)
Jack's Prime (San Mateo)
In-N-Out Burger (multiple locations)

==== CALIFORNIA /EUROPEAN ==============
Flea Street Cafe (Menlo Park; California)
Copenhagen Bakery (Burlingame; Danish)
Cafe Grillades (San Bruno; crepes)
Cuisinett (San Carlos; French)
Gourmet Haus (Redwood City; German)
Donato Enoteca (Redwood City, Northern Italian)
Osterio Coppa (San Mateo, Northern Italian)
Evvia (Palo Alto; Greek, lamb chops)
Zibbibo (Palo Alto; pan-Mediterranean)
Iberia (Menlo Park; Spanish; tapas)

==== LATINO ===========================
La Cumbre (San Mateo)
El Metate Taqueria (San Carlos)
Taqueria Gonzalez (Redwood City; birria goat stew & menudo)
Chavez (Redwood city; al pastor)
Taqueria El Grullense (Redwood city; carnitas, adobada, tongue tacos)
Tacos El Grullense E&E (Redwood city; lengua and tripitas burritos and carnitas tacos)

La Casita Chilanga (Redwood City, tortas)

Mihoacan Market (Menlo park; roast chicken)
Los Gemelos (Redwood City; $1 tacos)

El Hueco (Redwood City, ceviche)
Estampas Peruanas (Redwood city, fried fish/chicken, chicha morada and that greenish superhot dip)

Coupa Cafe (Palo Alto)

==== LATIN FUSION / CARRIBEAN ===============
Back A Yard Caribbean American Grill (Menlo Park, Jamaican)
Coconuts (Palo Alto, Jamaican)
Bodeguita del Medio (Palo Alto, mestita)

Kabul Afghan (San Carlos, chicken kebabs)

All Spice (San Mateo)
Tabla Flavors (Foster City, South Indian Dosas. Biryani specials. Goat.)
Darbar (Palo Alto; vindaloo)
Hyderabad House (Palo Alto; great achari gosht and chicken biryani)
Curry up now (San Mateo)

Shalizaar (San Mateo, Persian;

New Kapadokia Restaurant (Redwood City

Tannourine (San Mateo

Orens hummus (Palo Alto


==== CHINESE ===========================

Everyday Beijing (San Mateo; pig ear; noodles)
Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot (San Mateo)

Silver House (San Mateo; steamed fish, razor clames, salt baked fishlings, minced beef with spinach
Silver Lake San Mateo drunken chicken with wood ears, stewed taro w/ roast duck;
Cooking Papa (Foster City;

Hong Kong Flower Lounge (Millbrae
)Koi Palace (Millbrae, dimsum

Crouching tiger (Redwood City, hunan)

Little Shanghai (San Mateo; Yen Du Xien claypot soup with bow tie tofu skin; XLB;
Happy Cafe (San Mateo, Shanghai, XLB and house special chicken are only noteworthy items
)Sunny Shanghai (San Bruno)
Shanghai Dumpling Shop (Millbrae)

Joy Restaurant (Foster City; clay pots, beef in garlic sauce; Mandarin speaking only )

==== JAPANESE ===========================
Mitsunobu (Menlo Park; Seafood Clay Pot Rice)
Hotaru (San Mateo; homestyle Japanese, oyakodon)
Higuma (Redwood City, kara-age (Japanese fried chicken), gyoza, ramen)
Wakuriya (San Mateo; $90!)

Sushi Sam's (San Mateo, stick with placard specials & white board, sit at sushi bar, omakase, skip hot menu items)
Naomi Sushi (Menlo Park; omakase)

Yuzu (San Mateo, izakaya sushi)

Himawari (San Mateo; clam butter)
Izakaya Mai (San Mateo, Nagasaki style champon ramen)
Ramen Dojo (San Mateo)
Santa Ramen (San Mateo; Kurobota pork belly)

==== ASIAN-OTHER ===========================
Mingalaba (Burlingame)
Little Yangon (Daly City)

Ongpin Noodles (South SF)
Patio Filipino (San Bruno)
Tselogs (Daly City; late night Fri/Sat and breakfast)

Myung Dong Tofu House (San Mateo)

Cherimoya (Burlingame; banh mi)
Tamarine (Palo Alto; ha long bay soup)

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  1. Thanks for gathering things in one place. As an eastbayer who rarely gets over to that corridor and when I do always wishes there were a better way to search what might be of interest I really appreciate it. I notice you have Daly City places on your list, so I though I'd mention one that caught my eye, though I've never been there--Jonathan Kauffman's review of the Brazilian Pamonha caught my attention

    1 Reply
    1. re:

      Nice call. I had a sneaking suspicion that Kauffman recently mentioned something in Daly City that I wanted to check out. A search revealed it to be House of Silvanas, but glad to know about Pamonha!

      I actually didn't use Daly City as a search term when I assembled this list, so I'll make an update later in the week.

    2. Chinese/Sichuan: Da Sichuan Bistro (Palo Alto). In my experience, flavor profiles are bolder and more authentic than Crouching Tiger. One of the (I think) owners of CT told me they will dial it up to "normal" spicy if you ask, but their default is dialed back.

      Sakae Sushi in Burlingame is still, I think, the best sushi around, although my search is far less extensive than Sushi Monster (and I haven't been to Yuzu, their sister restaurant which is on your list). Great white board. The meal I had there a few weeks ago was fantastic -- it's as good as it ever was, I think. Prices to match quality, though. I'd still frequent Sushi Sam's more often for the value.

      1. Tabla Flavors is now closed - replaced by Paradise, which was a grave disappointment on a trip about 9 months ago.

        I wouldn't bother with both back a yard and coconuts. I think they share lineage.

        Los Gemelos in RWC! Jin Sho in PA.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bbulkow

          Thanks for the tip about Table Flavors--- their (Foster City) website and their yelp page are still up, but I recall having difficulty finding them on google.

          BTW, your favorites make up a good chunk of this list. Thanks!

        2. Great list!

          For sandwiches I would add:
          Draegers Market (San Mateo: Wagu Pastrami)
          Ravioli House (San Mateo: pulled pork)
          Little Lucca's (Burlingame: big & cheap)
          Bonne Sante (Burlingame: burgers too)

          Also for Chinese Shanghai you could add:
          Shanghai Dumpling Shop (Millbrae: SF Shanghai Dumpling House extension for great XLB)
          and at Sunny Shanghai in San Bruno be sure to order the dan-dan noodles - best ever!

          Also of interest is Korean
          BART Grocery & BBQ (Daly City: Kimchee fried rice)

          Fil-Am BBQ (Daly City: Chicken & pork bbq'ed skewers)

          La Tapatia Mexicatessen (South San Francisco: super carnitas burrito)

          Lastly, I would add:
          Woodchuck BBQ (Redwood City – giant beef rib)

          2 Replies
          1. re: Civil Bear

            Great list guys. I live in Redwood City and I'm learning a lot. I 2nd the large Woodchuck's beef rib. Very tender. Reminds me a lot of getting a prime rib w/o the fancy restaurant prices.

            1. re: Civil Bear

              +1 on Draeger's wagyu pastrami. The SO adores it. Note that they only have it sometimes, so call ahead to be sure.

            2. I agree with other posters, great list! I would note that Kabul is now also located in Burlingame, directly across the street from the train station. I've not eaten at that location but have enjoyed what I've eaten at the San Carlos one. Had a great lamb dish (twice) but don't remember the exact name (it did have spinach).

              I would also add B Street and Vine (downtown San Mateo) to that list. Great bruschetta (most people order it), salads, panini and best of all--dessert panini. Good list of wines by the glass too tho I'm not a wine expert at all. And if you have the time, do a restaurant crawl on B Street (downtown San Mateo) apart from what else is on your list. In a 4 block stretch, there are over 25 restaurants/eateries with just about any cuisine you want (except for a proper deli).

              I noticed you didn't include any breakfast places. I would recommend
              Nini's - Bayswater Ave, San Mateo,
              Crepevine - Burlingame Ave, Burlingame
              Chrystie's, California Drive, Burlingame

              For burgers, consider
              Johnnies - B Street, San Mateo

              Please let us know where you go, what you've liked and enjoy.

              4 Replies
              1. re: alwayshungrygal

                Thanks for the breakfast recs--- I left them out b/c my goal is to get to work as quickly as possible in the morning, but I could imagine making a culinary detour if there's an accident or something.

                1. re: hyperbowler

                  Crepevine is good for lunch/dinner as well. Order at the counter and it's delivered to your table. They also have a location somewhere in SF but I can't remember right now. Huge portions on salads, and their egg dishes (served with green salad and potatoes) are comfort food all day long.

                  1. re: alwayshungrygal

                    Crepevine has numerous locations scattered around the bay in SF, North Bay, East Bay, Penninsula

                    It's your typical "chalkboard creperie" (aka Squat & Gobble, Crepes on Cole, etc.) with good prices, large portions, OK food.

                2. re: alwayshungrygal

                  Another terrific breakfast place is Main St Cafe in RWC. And try their rhubarb crisp if it's a special. They have an outside patio, too.