“Hueco” translates roughly to “little cave,” a tribute to the Peruvian hole-in-the-wall restaurants that serve ceviche and charcoal-roasted meats at any hour of the day. El Hueco attempts to capture the feeling of a hangout in the little mountainous country with traditional dishes crafted by lauded chef Jaime Laos. “Laos,” the San Jose Mercury News noted in an article, “has come a long way since his grandmother taught him to cook in a one-faucet house they shared with eight others in Lima.” He now creates a full menu of traditional small plates and entrees, which rely heavily upon the seafood, South American chilies, and sweet potatoes that make up the bulk of Peruvian cuisine.
From the steaming vats of beef stew cooked in a corn-beer sauce to the pan-fried chicken cooked in a blend of porto butter and chocolate, Laos introduces clients to the ancient flavors of Peru. Guests experience how Peruvian chefs prepare mixed vegetables and quinoa. The soft grain was cultivated by Incans hundreds of years ago, but is now becoming popular in North American health-food stores and slapstick movies about people falling into vats of different things. After bowls of ceviche, traditional desserts at the eatery pair root vegetables with a splash of sweet molasses.
At Little India Restaurant, authenticity permeates the food, art, and music. Owned by the Baidwan and Malhotra families and staffed with northern India–trained chefs, the restaurant is a multiyear winner of numerous prizes, including CityVoter's award for Best Indian cuisine. Chefs grill meats over mesquite charcoal in the tandoori oven, and season curries with onion, garlic, and ginger. Handcrafted mint-cilantro and tamarind chutneys create opportunities for 11 types of bread to sneak toward unsuspecting droplets of spice-filled sauce, whereas potatoes soften the heat quotient of fiery vindaloos. Within the dining room, calming sitar music fills the air and larger-than-life paintings of food-based revelry decorate the walls and come to life at tables.
The chefs at Buri Tara Thai Cuisine draw culinary inspiration from regions across Thailand when crafting dishes such as panang curry and bangkok duck. They intersperse local and sustainable veggies and meats into their courses whenever possible, melding pan-fried Thai rice noodles with bean sprouts and ground peanuts in the familiar pad thai, and salmon green curry with bamboo shoots and basil. The menu also includes vegetarian options for non-meaters or werewolves trying to change their ways.
Seafood traverses the menu at DeCarlo's Place, sizzling on bread, inside tacos, or tossed on top of salads. Inside the colorful eatery, a walkup counter dispenses heaping baskets of half-pound cheeseburgers or fish 'n' chips to tables, alongside shrimp Louie salads or piping hot bowls of new england clam chowder. A selection of sodas, beer, and wine keeps mouths refreshed and less likely to hang open during rainstorms.
Crafting each plate from organic ingredients and local produce, Red Lantern's chefs whip up a parade of palate-pleasing dishes from Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, and other Southeast Asian nations for lunch and dinner. Start with a porcine offering of adobong pinoy, adobo-sauce draped pork short ribs ($11), or slurp a bowl of aromatic soto kudus, chicken soup with tofu and a one-two punch of fresh bean sprouts and chilies ($7). A full fleet of regional wines accentuate meticulously designed plates such as pepes udang, a helping of sambal-chili and coconut-milk marinated prawns wrapped in banana leaf ($20), as well as the cambogee beef, wok-tossed cubes of beef tenderloin flavored with a Thai trifecta of lemongrass, galangal, and lime ($24). The martabak unites a Singaporean griddlecake with long-lost twins of spiced lamb and mango chutney ($10), while humans of the vegetarian persuasion can happily feast upon dishes such as the adobo eggplant tossed in a wok with garlic and lemongrass ($8).
Celebrate the first anniversary of New Year's Eve 2010 in high style at the Sofitel Hotel in Redwood City, hosted by 98.1 KISS FM's Renel, Morris Knight, and Tony Sandoval. Put sole to parquet as DJ Knuckles showers the crowd with infectious tunes, or enjoy the melodious offerings of the Kool Katz Band while sipping a glass of complimentary champagne in the Bay Bar, which overlooks a tranquil lagoon. Mark midnight with a balloon drop, champagne toast, and party favors. Those with a New Year's resolution to avoid all potentially embarrassing situations can enjoy one last hoorah with karaoke in the Veranda Room.