Though Go Go Gyro is a relatively recent arrival in Los Altos, its recipes are firmly rooted in tradition. Here, the chefs churn out flaky baklava, savory gyro pitas, and rich béchemel-laced pastistio. Their authentic spread of hummus, spicy feta dip, zesty cucumber salad, and buttery stuffed grape leaves has won over droves of loyal customers and garnered awards from the Palo Alto Weekly and Mountain View Voice. Feasts with phyllo-dough tyropitas and housemade greek yogurt unfold within the casual eatery or on the restaurant's sunny patio, graced by live musicians who serenade diners with their personal theme songs.
In many larger U.S. cities, it's not uncommon these days to spot an eatery selling boba or pearl tea?blends of tea, milk, fruit juice, and flavored syrups that buoy marble-size spheres of chewy tapioca. On the West Coast, at least, Tapioca Express is partly to thank for that trend. Wayne Lin founded the growing chain of drink and snack shops in 1999, starting with simple versions of the Taiwanese delicacy and then systematically designing and testing new flavors?such as coconut pineapple and vanilla cookie?in a state-of-the-art flavor collider.
Today, the menu tallies more than 100 different kinds of drinks, including yogurt and fresh-fruit smoothies, creamy coffee drinks, and tea-based slushies. Snack choices may be a little easier: favorites from the concise, pan-Asian menu include crispy chicken, steamed buns, and tempura.
Castro Street eatery Honeycreek serves up specialty desserts, traditional Taiwanese cuisine, cocktails, and tea in an elegant lounge setting. Seated in plush purple chairs, guests can savor specialties such as pork pot-stickers or Hainan-style noodle soup made with chilled, poached free-range chicken and aromatic spiced stock. There are more than 200 types of specialty drinks, including milk teas with bursting boba. Finish your meal with the house specialty, melt-in-your mouth shaved snow in flavors such as green tea or chocolate.
At Drybar, a pair of scissors or hair-coloring foil is nowhere to be found. That?s because the business?s founder, Alli Webb, opened the shop strictly for blowouts after her in-home business skyrocketed. Featured extensively in the media, each of the more than 25 white-hued, airy shops revolves around a center bar where customers sit for around 45 minutes as stylists blow-dry, straighten, and curl their hair. From a menu booklet, clients select a cocktail-themed hairstyle, such as The Mai Tai, which imparts beachy waves, and The Manhattan, which streamlines locks with a sleek finish that mimics the straight lines of downtown New York and can be outfitted with a tiny doorman who hails cabs for you. The staff at Drybar also crafts updos, travels on location for an additional fee, offers high-end products and tools available for purchase, and tallies bar tabs so that customers can pay for multiple blowouts at once.
When they’re not blending imported leaves into 120 tea varieties, the tea gurus at Tea Time lead tasting classes that empower sippers to explore the 3,000-year-old beverage’s origins, aromas, and health benefits. The classes reflect Tea Time’s mission to make its tea room a welcoming community hub. In the shop’s “sniffing corner,” staff members help customers sift through 150 glass jars of tealeaves in search of their ideal blend. Free WiFi, bamboo tables, and a menu of French-style pastries and English-style sandwiches furnish tranquil afternoons, and a slew of teatime accessories line solid oak shelves.
Tucked away in the kitchen of each Paris Baguette, bakers trained in French techniques craft buttery, flaky croissants and tart crusts, and their success at this has earned attention from the likes of the New York Times. In addition to pastries and sweets such as mocha rice balls, the bakers knead bread for their namesake baguettes and yeasty creations that hold an Asian twist, such as red-bean-paste-filled donuts. The experts also create fondant-cloaked cakes that venture beyond classic flavors into green tea, cappuccino, and sweet potato, delighting partygoers bored of the same laminated sheet cake that makes its appearance at each year’s birthday celebration.
To wash down these treats, patrons sip cups of java or more exotic drinks such as wheatgrass and black-sesame lattes, persimmon smoothies, and bubble tea. At lunchtime, many locations layer sandwiches, filling hungry stomachs with croque monsieurs and baguettes stuffed with chicken and pesto.