Tablecloths, fine china, and finger sandwiches speak of refinement during high tea or tea parties at Lisa’s Tea Treasures Menlo Park. During afternoon tea services, guests sip a selection of 23 loose-leaf teas—such as strawberry darjeeling, lemon mint, and Winter Solstice—and nibble on scones and sandwiches inspired by the food of Europe’s culinary capitals. The menu lists bites from Greece, Italy, and France, including Chicken Parisian croissants, salmon mousse, and cucumber-mint cream cheese. A fresh scone with devonshire cream completes any tea party, and evoke thoughts of England other than your recurring dream of building a cricket pitch in your backyard. In addition to the fine fare, the tearoom itself oozes class with delicate trinkets on display, floral wallpaper, and small chandeliers gently lighting the space.
Singaporean cuisine claims a diverse culinary genealogy. With influences from China, Malay, and India, it's no wonder Shiok! Singapore Kitchen's menu boasts dishes ranging from beef samosas and chicken satay to Singapore pepper crab and vermicelli noodles tossed with curry. This history and tradition is embodied by the restaurant’s name: exclamations of the Singaporean term “shiok!” can often be heard ringing around the table at the conclusion of an enjoyable meal.
From-Scratch Caribbean Cuisine | Southern Barbecue | Addictive Jerk Chicken | Corn Festivals
Who's in the Kitchen? Chef-owner Robert Simpson’s techniques and recipes are the foundations for both Back a Yard locations: the one in downtown San Jose, and the original in Menlo Park. He began cooking at age 6 alongside his grandmother in Jamaica, and he went on to receive his formal training at the Culinary Institute of America.
Plantain: very popular in Caribbean dishes, these starchy fruits are a slightly larger cousin of the banana and must be cooked before serving.
Corn festivals: sweet, fritter-like treats made of cornmeal. They're deep-fried and often served with something more savory, especially fish.
Culture Lesson: "Back a Yard" isn't a typo. It's a term that means, quite simply, "back home." It refers to the spirit and welcoming nature of life in Jamaica.
At Menlo Hub, both food and art find a place on the menu. The modern restaurant's walls are blanketed in original contemporary paintings, and on some nights, the dining space reverberates with music from live bands and solo musicians. But even on nights with performances, the main attraction is always found in the kitchen. Here, chefs design casual American dishes sprinkled with elements of Mediterranean cooking.
The menus focus on simple steaks and seafood, complemented by organic produce sourced from nearby sustainable farms. The artfully plated dishes include California sea bass, New York steaks with gorgonzola demi-glace, and eggplant-wrapped lamb shanks. While most visitors sample the cuisine in the airy main dining space, private groups eat in a secluded room warmed by a corner fireplace.
At the lively bar, flat-screen TVs broadcast sporting events as bartenders mix fruit-infused martinis and pour a range of California wines, which are made from grapes that are just thankful that they never became California raisins.
With more than 700 locations, Jamba Juice proves to the masses that nutrition can be speedy and delicious. Since the beginning, the company’s product philosophy has revolved around choosing whole fruits and other natural ingredients over artificial flavorings, sweeteners, and preservatives. The menu is completely free of high-fructose corn syrup and trans fats, and it offers additional accommodations for vegan and gluten-free diets. Blended drinks dominate the menu, with options including fruit refreshers—made with naturally hydrating, electrolytic coconut water—and pre-boosted smoothies that can fill nutritional gaps with infusions of protein, immunity boosters, or antioxidants that neutralize accidentally swallowed pool water. The drink list also includes organic house-blend coffee and Mighty Leaf teas flavored with hibiscus flowers or peppermint. For those with heartier appetites, steel-cut oats steep in soymilk before being enhanced with toppings such as apples, cinnamon, and brown-sugar crumble. The lunch hour presents a trio of california flatbreads, each packing only about 320–420 calories, which can be pleasantly capped off with cups of Whirl’ns frozen yogurt.
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.