Dishes of salmon tartare and bacon-fried rice glide through the dining room of The Red Crane, as if imitating the flight of the restaurant's namesake. They land atop crisp white tablecloths, which cover tables dotted with glowing tea candles. In the kitchen, chefs prepare other contemporary renditions of classic Asian cuisine, using traditional recipes to create teriyaki sauce and enhancing other dishes with modern design principles. Brimming with tuna, salmon, hamachi, and three types of vegetables, the chefs' signature rainbow ceviche is more colorful than a sunset during a paintball tournament.
Forget the days of using crêpes as tea cozies and pogs. Today's Groupon finds a new use for them—food. For $7, you get $15 worth of quality crêpes and treats at Bonjour Crepe Company in Cupertino. These francophone foodstuffs are served inside an accurate simulacrum of a French café, making it a great place to wear your beret, introduce your wife to your various mistresses, and ruefully observe how le mort adds a deliciously bittersweet edge to even the most sugary crêpe.
Having already served more than 1 billion buffalo wings, Wingstop perpetuates its fast-growing poultry franchise by smothering its fried wings in nine succulent sauces. The taste-bud-tickling menu fills stomachs’ chicken-shaped holes with a variety of edibles, including made-to-order wings tossed with hawaiian, teriyaki, and hickory-smoked barbecue tastes. An order of 10 wings ($6.99) tempts tongues in regular, boneless, or bionic flocks, and creamy portions of homemade coleslaw ($1.99) and potato salad ($1.99) act as rich proxies between meaty mouthfuls. The 10-wing combo ($9.49) sates individual eaters with up to two flavors and one dip, fries, a 20-ounce drink, and a semipermanent saucy moustache. The savory aroma of the 35-piece family pack ($26.49) fills a minivan or oversize Flexible Flyer with wafts of wings swathed in as many as three sauce flavors and accompanied by three dips (ranch, blue cheese, or honey-mustard). Supplemental crispy veggie sticks settle overspiced tongues, and the large basket of fries fuels families with an arrangement of freshly culled tuber blossoms.
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).
A stable of cooks inside Bombay Oven's kitchen synthesizes spices in authentic, finely crafted Indian dishes. While perusing the dinner menu, kick-start your appetite with the Jazzy chops, lamb chops marinated in ginger, garlic, and papaya and fired in a tandoor oven ($11). A plate of fresh tiger-prawn curry ($18) or chicken vindaloo ($13) can be cast in the leading role for carnivores, while veggie moile ($11) or aloo gobhi ($11) cater to herbivores and those with diets less meaty than a novel written by a kindergartner. Crisp, white linens serve as a blank canvas for artfully plated dishes that arrive in gourmet fashion, complemented by contemporary dinnerware and ornamental garnishes.
Since 1984, Fontana’s has dished out heaping helpings of Italian fare fused with Californian and Mediterranean influences. This canola-championing eatery boasts dinner and lunch menus packed with from-scratch pasta and seafood dishes backed up by a steady stream of homemade desserts. Accent any meal with a suitable selection from the expansive wine list, which features homegrown California nectars along with Italian-born blends of grown-up grape juice. Diners can slurp spaghetti fountain-side on the luscious patio or discuss the cultural ramifications of the painting Dogs Playing Poker by the cozy light of a flickering fireplace in the elegant dining room.