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.
A joint venture by AOL and Stanford Student Enterprises, Ground Up satisfies hard-to-please palates with painstakingly crafted cups of local, artisanal coffee from the Blue Bottle Coffee Company. All of Blue Bottle Coffee's beans are organically grown without pesticides and are shipped to suppliers within 48 hours of roasting, ensuring each drink is fresh, flavorful, and free of boring stories about its brief success on Star Search. Because they hold their drinks to such a high standard, Ground Up’s staff take care to prepare each brewed potion with the extra time needed to make every sip exceptional, providing patrons an opportunity to warm up their mouths on a full menu of flaky croissants, fresh sandwiches, and Strauss organic ice creams.:m]]
In the days before baguettes were popularized as day-old jousting batons, the dignified breadform was utilized as a sandwich vessel. To preserve the antiquity of the baguette, the friendly bakers at Cocola fetch them straight from the oven on a daily basis and build graspable sandwiches of the highest quality, such as the albacore tuna nicoise (with a lemon vinaigrette, $9.90) and the hearty grilled eggplant (with fresh veggies, mozzarella, and an olive oil and balsamic blend, $9.90). A sandwich is an intelligent way to get the hunger ball rolling down the hill until it crashes into an array of sweet menu treats. Indulge in tri-colored mousse cups ($4.60) and whipped and stacked hazelnut cakes ($4.60), or nourish your petite palate with pear tarts ($2.80) or bite-sized tiramisu ($3.10).
The philosophy at Jazen Tea is pretty straightforward—use fresh ingredients to create refreshing and healthy drinks. Every day, the staffers brew their teas from high-quality Taiwanese leaves and infuse the concoctions with fresh fruits, never using powdered mixes. Inside the colorful shops, they also serve up fresh-fruit smoothies topped with housemade whipped cream and other invigorating elixirs, such as the Treat-N-Sip, a blend of iced milk, caramel, honey boba, and egg pudding.
Garlic is a key player in the kitchen of Garlic Catering and Restaurant. Cooks chop the pungent cloves to mix into creamy hummus, lending the dip a mouthwatering bite. But the eatery's cooks let other flavors shine in their Turkish cuisine, too?mint leaves star in their red lentil soup, for instance, and rich tahini tempers savory gyros. When it's time for dessert, diners get a choice of two baklava varieties: one with pistachios, and one with walnuts.
Lotus Indian Express, which recently celebrated its grand opening, transports the ancient cuisine of India to the 21st century. Inside the chartreuse dining room, sleek, minimal barstools and chairs gather around tables where visitors chow on swiftly prepared, healthy meals. Diners customize these meals, choosing one side and one, two, or three entrees, such as tender goat curry with rice, palak paneer with biryani, or chicken tikka masala and shrimp curry with salad.