After working as both a Silicon Valley engineer and sushi chef, Tony opened his eponymous restaurant, serving up homestyle favorites such as pulled-pork sandwiches topped with cabbage, barbecued ribs that can be paired with sweet-potato waffle fries, and fried chicken breast on sourdough with a special sauce made of mayonnaise, sesame, and fish egg. Diners can conclude meals with gelato in more than a dozen flavors, including pistachio, strawberry, and mocha chip.
Frankie, Johnnie & Luigi Too! has been a classic Italian eatery since 1956, from the family-style meals and traditional dishes down to the red-checkered tablecloths. The building that houses its original restaurant in Mountain View has been around since the 1920s, and it has vacillated from a speakeasy to a coffee shop to its current state as a friendly Italian restaurant. At each of the company’s five locations, chefs masterfully toss pizza dough in the air to create specialty pies such as the vegetarian fantasy or seafood ecstasy, piled with scallops, shrimp, clams, and high concentrations of euphoria. The intoxicating aromas of garlic and marinara waft through the air as families and friends enjoy meals of house-made meatballs, New York-style Italian sausage, and veal scaloppini.
Aromas of warm brie crowned with fruit chutney and garlic confit, braised lamb shank, and sautéed lemon garlic chili shrimp fill the air at B'zu Café. Servers deliver plates of Mediterranean fare during lunch and dinner, including traditional favorites such as falafel and herb-marinated chicken kebabs and twists on classic dishes such as Zucca's ravioli with butternut squash, lemon cream sauce, and dried cranberries. Behind the full bar, bartenders pour frosty brews, glasses of wine, and shake up cocktails to help train for Yahtzee tournaments.
At Pasta Q, chefs roll out homemade pastas and gnocchi and douse their doughy exteriors with creamy sauces and redolent spices. Eighteen diverse pasta renditions share table space with classic Italian-style meats buffered by roasted potatoes. An eclectic selection of imported Italian wines pair with bites, and homemade desserts ease the burden of spaghetti strands trying to shape themselves into the form of tiramisu. The menu’s Mediterranean flourishes extend to the décor, with its deep-burgundy and mustard-yellow walls punctuated by mosaic-tiled benches and billowy white fabric suspended from the ceiling.
A Japanese izayaka is much like a casual American bar—friends assemble after work to knock back drinks and share small plates that often feature salty finger food. That's what it's like at Bushido Izakaya, where a roster of sake and contemporary small plates recalls Japanese pub food. The executive chef, Isamu Kanai, has forged a menu that declares his mastery of sustainable seafood. Indeed, his expertise is such that his work earned acclaim from the California Academy of Sciences and the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Cooking for Solutions event.
Within Bushido, albacore tuna stars in seared sashimi plates punched up with ponzu sauce and garlic chili oil. A medley of seafood, beef, and bacon sits atop okonomiyaki, a savory pancake akin to pizza. Grilled chicken skewers, braised pork belly with daikon radish, and crispy wings coated in sweet sesame sauce represent for the nonseafood section. All of this changes seasonally along with the decor, which mimics the Japanese landscape by modifying its color scheme and occasionally featuring Mechagodzilla.