Food & Drink in Los Altos

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Sunlight pours through the large windows of Maltby's Restaurant, illuminating the wood accents and English-pub-inspired decor that populates the restaurant’s spacious bar and dining room. But, even as the interior screams "authentic pub," the menu slyly mouths "eclectic cuisine." While traditional pub dishes such as fish 'n' chips and beer-battered onion rings comfort tongues with familiar flavors, other dishes work with less predictable tastes. Beds of fries welcome dashes of gourmet ingredients, including grilled jalapeños, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, and sea salt infused with chipotle and truffle oil. All-natural Niman Ranch beef patties cozy up to buns in each of the pub’s burgers, and large salads sport only locally sourced, organic leafy greens. The restaurant's tavern specials mix it up by serving steaming plates of barbecue baby back ribs and spicy risotto jambalaya, whereas the weekend brunch menu pairs classic English and American breakfast platters with tequila sunrises, bloody marys, and Pimm’s Cups.

101 Plz N
Los Altos,
CA
US

The robust dinner menu at Ristorante Il Porcino showcases the chefs' passion for natural ingredients and authentic Italian cuisine. Save fruit from the ignominious demise of being tossed at a clown with the prosciutto melone, which pairs fresh-cut melon, thin slices of prosciutto, parmesan cheese, and balsamic vinegar ($7.95). Pasta plates such as the vegetarian-friendly ravioli alla crema di noci tuck spinach and ricotta inside pillows of homemade ravioli beneath a blanket by a walnut cream sauce ($10.95). Meat-seeking mouths can nosh on the vitello de la casa ($13.95), with prosciutto and fresh mozzarella cheese nuzzled alongside hefty sautéed veal medallions opulently torn from rappers’ necklaces. Walls lined with shelves of wine selections surround patrons with vine-grown meal-pairing options.

242 State St
Los Altos,
CA
US

The ancient Greeks gave us many things, but one of the most edible is the pancake. Thus it’s no surprise that in the many centuries since its inception, most countries have put their own spin on it. When Les Highet and Erma Hueneke were developing The Original Pancake House in 1953, they asked women around the world to share their favorite recipes. Though their first location has since expanded into a nationwide family of restaurants, the menu is loyal to the recipes submitted 60 years ago. In fact, they’re the signature dishes: the dutch baby is an airy version dusted with powdered sugar, and the apple pancake is baked in an oven beneath fruit slices and a cinnamon-sugar glaze. The menu has since expanded to include omelets studded with sugar-cured ham or fresh mushrooms—all served with three buttermilk pancakes, of course. Like a swimming pool filled with margarita mix, lunch selections introduce an unexpected Mexican flair, igniting palates with dishes such as steak fajitas with bell peppers and jalapeños.

420 S San Antonio Rd
Los Altos,
CA
US

Diego Abeloos of the Los Altos Town Crier scribed an article about Village Kebab that sums up the eatery. He explained how after investing more than a decade owning an Italian restaurant, Aziz Dogan decided he’d be better off sticking with what he knows. The native Turk now presides over Village Kebab, a Mediterranean-style eatery where diners can dig in to wraps, tabbouleh, and of course, kebabs. Dishes are prepared by Nilgun Boyar Dizon, a European-trained chef who looks to use organic ingredients whenever possible. Abeloos went on to detail her variety of desserts, from traditional baklava to an interpretation of the arabian concoction künefe, which entangles a sweet cheese in thin angel-hair pasta.

233 State St
Los Altos,
CA
US

Ristorante Bella Vita's chefs carefully craft Italian cuisine to emulate that of their homeland, authenticating meals by baking thin-crust pizzas in brick ovens and dousing gnocchi in homemade pesto sauce. And the food isn’t the only feast the restaurant provides: the space itself, which includes an ample patio and robust, private event-ready wine cellar, gives diners plenty to feast their eyes on with sumptuous Renaissance-style sculpture, painting, and architectural details. In the lounge, every table is adorned with hand-painted tile mosaics that pop against the hand-brushed images of the Italian countryside. Rounding out the space, the private wine cellar—complete with brick archways and towering stacks of fine wines—also boasts a water heater that hisses out Venetian love songs on command.

376 1st St
Los Altos,
CA
US

Meals from across Mexico have filled Estrellita Restaurant's menu since 1958. Veracruz-style tilapia fillets, topped with an herb-laced tomato sauce, join Vallarta-style tostadas, whose crispy corn tortillas don chicken, guacamole, salsa fresca, and sour cream. Chicken also marinates in Oaxacan spices or simmers in house-made mole sauce, whose intricate recipe includes more than 38 ingredients. Behind the bar, hand-squeezed lime and lemon juices flavor margaritas garnished with salt and slices of lime. For dessert, the kitchen whips up flan from a family recipe passed down by osmosis.

971 N San Antonio Rd
Los Altos,
CA
US

Los Altos Scene