Best food around Menlo Park/Palo Alto/Atherton
We are new to the area and are looking for some seriously good eats around the Menlo Park/Palo Alto/Atherton areas. We are looking for everything from hole in the wall places to the more expensive places - we just need the quality of food to be good. We are especially big fans of Asian food so Japanese & Chinese restaurant recs would be amazing as well.
Agree with Flea Street Cafe. It doesn't look like much from the street but the space is great inside. The food always a treat. Village Pub in Woodside is a good. They are not innovating over there but the atmosphere is wonderful and food pretty consistent. For more casual fair, we really like Calafia in Palo Alto. There's also a really good cuban place on California street in Palo Alto although the name escapes me.
I think the food at Village Pub is better than "consistent", and is, instead, very good. It doesn't change much, but everything on the menu is the highest quality and the cooks there have a deft touch. It's also a bit of a hike from Atherton - google 10 minutes but that seems too short. The innovative place there is Station One, the next block over.
The cuban place is Bogedita Del Medio. I had always been a fan simply for one dish - the Mastitas - which is slow cooked pork goodness. However, in the recent downturn they scaled the dish back from a wonderful oven-warmed clay pot to a simple little pile of pork, and somehow it doesn't taste as good. I think they really cut back on the ingredient quality, and although I still have a fondness for the place - and cuban food is rare-ish in the bay area - there's places I'll recommend much more highly before a drive all the way to BDM. Even on california street there are several places I like better - the schwarma and falafel place up the block, which is one of the best in the bay area and the best in the peninsula - and cafe brioche, which is a perfect french bistro.
Here are some threads to get you started:
Japanese is fairly strong, what kind of japanese do you like? Check out the Big List (slightly dated now, still a good resource):
Chinese, avoid anything in downtown and try the cluster around Da Sichuan (one north, one south), and if you're willing to drive up to San Mateo (or further) there are a lot more choices
RWC has some bright spots, including Vesta and New Kapadocia and Crouching Tiger.
Da Sichuan - Sichuan food. Esp. like the boiling fish dish (have to like spicy) and the manchurian chicken.
Jin Sho - Pricey sushi decent quality. Good cooked dishes.
Akane - A little less pricey than Jin Sho - not as good with the cooked dishes are more new wave style sauces (ala Nobu).
Evvia Estoria - Good high end Greek
Station One - Good high end Californian
Flea Street Cafe - Good high end Californian
Village Pub - Fancy steak house type atmosphere serves comforting food done well.
Amber India - for quality high-end North Indian food (esp. the rack of lamb Tandoori).