Hola! Mexican Restaurant & Cantina fills its patrons with authentic Mexican food cooked up on mesquite grills and crafted with fresh ingredients. Start lunch with a tostada salad ($7.45), and follow it with a crab enchilada ($8.95) or sope, a corn masa pillow plumped with your choice of meat or cheese and topped with the likely leafy suspects ($8.65). Dinner diners can begin with three quesadillas fritas—corn turnovers filled with cheese, potatoes, and bell peppers ($7.25)—followed by the house specialty, arroz con pollo, a dish of sautéed boneless chicken breast drenched with chile-tomato sauce and served atop Mexican rice ($13.25), then molded into the shape of guests' auras. The bar at each location offers plenty of wines and more than 100 specialty tequilas, which can be conjured into margarita classicas ($8.25) or real fruit margaritas ($8.75) made with strawberry, mango, pineapple, and more, crafted to meet your blood-alcohol level's recommended daily serving of fermented agave juice.
Each pasta entree at Caprino's Restaurant begins as a mound of fresh dough. From there, chefs turn it into linguine and spaghetti and tuck butternut squash into ravioli pockets. The stuff that goes on top is also house-made, naturally: meatballs, garlic-basil cream, olive-oil/chardonnay sauce.
Pasta may reign supreme, but the menu also holds other hearty entrees, including grilled-to-order rib eye, prosciutto pizza, and chicken marsala. Sunday brunch even departs from this Italian template a bit, adding southwest-inspired dishes and catfish and grits to red-white-and-green-flecked sandwiches and scrambles.
Caprino's handsome, wood-accented dining room is equally welcoming to adults and adults-in-training. There's a full bar and, naturally, a deep wine list, split about evenly between Italy and California. But there's also a kids' menu with fun options such as mini burgers and a "dirty mashed potato" topped with bacon, cheese, and, eventually, tiny fingerprints.
The Van's has earned the admiration of diners and drinkers since 1947, though its historic teahouse structure dates even farther back?to 1915 when constructed to house a portion of the Japanese Exhibition at the Panama Pacific International Exposition. The restaurant's dining rooms offer panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay, complemented by rich, ethnic-inspired eats and select wines. The restaurant's bar area boasts the original wallpaper from 1915, as well as historic photographs showing the Peninsula.
The winner of Palo Alto Weekly's Best Breakfast award for more than 20 years, Hobee's remains a Silicon Valley institution where night owls and early birds flock together over generous portions of home-cooked delectables in a cozy, casual atmosphere. Browse the menu for a breakfast of three sweet-potato pancakes ($6.75), any of six hash-brown varieties ($7.97), or the Hi Hat Ommie—a combination of diced ham and jack and cheddar cheeses, with country-style hash browns hidden inside like human dignity inside a San Diego Chicken costume ($9.75). Otherwise, prop up eyelids with a simmering cup of Hobee's famous cinnamon orange tea ($2.35) paired with its equally famous blueberry coffee cake ($2.50). Late arrivals to Hobee's can still tickle their taste buds with a bouquet of options such as the honey-pineapple teriyaki salmon ($10.95), the grilled chicken with tropical fruit salsa ($10.95), or the Very Gouda BBQ burger piled high with caramelized onions, rich barbeque sauce, and a Wisconsin's worth of gouda ($9.25).
Taking its name from the Italian word for "lively," Vivace Ristorante embraces the vibrant character of classic Mediterranean cooking. The menu focuses on the cuisines of two regions?Tuscany and Piedmont?in particular, allowing traditional recipes and fresh, seasonal ingredients to give dishes character.
This dedication is evident in dishes such the ricotta- and spinach-stuffed manicotti?served straight from a wood-fired oven?and the specialty risotto that changes daily, much like the order of the colors in the rainbow. Along with a diverse assortment of Tuscan and Piedmontese bottles, the six-page wine list also features a large number of choices from Californian producers. This commitment to local viticulture has helped Vivace Ristorante earn an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator every year for more than a decade.
The glass-enclosed wine cellar's floor-to-ceiling cedar racks aren't the only elegant sights within Vivace Ristorante's dining room. With its burgundy-hued walls, stone fireplace, and crisp white linens draped across each table, the restaurant surrounds tables in a refined yet inviting setting. An open kitchen reinforces this homey character, allowing diners to watch as the cooks prepare each meal without ever resorting to magic spells.