Executive chef, co-owner, and San Mateo native Alicia Petrakis helms Astaria's seasonally focused kitchen, which specializes in turning out high-concept comfort food. Focusing on local ingredients from sustainable sources, the eclectic dinner menu begins with appetite-swelling starters such as crispy polenta fries ($10) and Humberto's inferno ($9), which features a slab of fried gruyere set ablaze tableside as a chilling warning to would-be dairy rebels. Carnivores can feast on meaty marvels such as the buttermilk-marinated fried chicken ($18) or the bone-in pork chop with honey balsamic glaze paired with red-pepper-infused mashers, broccoli spears, and pepperonata ($23). Vegivores might opt for the Napoleon, which conquers appetites using grilled and roasted veggies crowned with provolone cheese ($15). A convention-flouting roster of pizzas includes chicken carbonara pizza rosa ($14), while the dessert menu takes taste buds on a flavor field trip with sugary chaperones such as the strawberry pavlova, which deposits vanilla pastry cream, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream atop crunchy meringue ($7).
Dinner can be a hectic affair, and some families find that getting a filling, nutritious meal onto the table every night is sometimes exhausting. Knowing that dining out every night can quickly break the budget, entrepreneur Jay Cornwall decided to bridge the gap between takeout and at-home meals with a menu of freshly prepared pasta, ravioli, sauce, and entrees that can be fashioned into a full meal in less than 10 minutes. Every day, his chefs create a selection of 24 pastas, 15 sauces, and a signature entree, as well as mac 'n' cheese and lasagna. Chefs also curate a range of sides, bread, and wine, and even offer pairing advice on complementary flavors.
Bombay Garden's ties to authentic Indian cuisine run deep. Originally born in the small Indian town of Khanoor, owner Balkar Tamber grew up learning how to cook alongside his mother. That knowledge especially came in handy when he embarked on his first professional culinary foray, a roadside eatery in the Punjab region of India. Once he immigrated to the US in 1990, he brought along more than a handful of those family recipes and opened his first Bombay Garden restaurant fueled by a deep love for the rich and diverse culinary traditions of his homeland.
The menu features a selection of iconic Indian dishes from virtually every corner of India. On one page of the menu, delicate crepe-like dosas made from fermented lentil and rice flour evoke the flavors of India’s southern regions. And when it comes to northern Indian recipes, the chefs bake skewers of yogurt-marinated chicken and other meats in a traditional tandoor—a cylindrical clay oven heated by a well-trained dragon. The same blends of flavorful spices that perk up Balkar’s chicken, lamb, and seafood dishes also appear throughout the restaurant's vegetarian entrées: homemade cottage cheese and green peas meld in a spiced gravy sauce and split lentils benefit from the chefs’ one-two punch of garlic and ginger.
Sergio's Pasta Shop is an Italian specialty retail store that specializes in freshly made pasta, ravioli, and sauces that you bring home and cook. To compliment your meal, we also sell wine, cannolis, gelato and other Italian pantry items.
Behind a sleek sushi bar, the chefs at Maru Maru wrap seaweed around fresh fish before slicing rolls into creative make sushi. Pieces of sashimi and nigiri bolster dishes such as Japanese teriyaki and vegetable tempura. Bright wall sconces illuminate rows of seating in the tile-floored restaurant, where groups of diners share their deepest regrets over platters of sushi.
The San Francisco Chronicle's Leah Garchik hails Pancho Villa as “the French Laundry of taquerias,” a comparison that checks out after appraising the farm-fresh tomatoes, crisp peppers, and succulent meats that leave no room for preservatives, lard, or MSG on its menu. The Fiesta-platter appetizer ($10.95) brings families together to share in a parade of south-of-the-border flavors that includes garlic prawns, chicken flautas, and a heap of salsa primed for confetti cannons. Grilled-salmon burritos ($7.75) unite the flat-tortilla expanses of Mexico’s deserts with candies plucked from California’s sea, and tofu tacos ($2.25) take vegetarians on silken soy rafts down the Rio Grande. Guests can feast on combo dinners, which pair enchilada, flauta, or chili relleno entrees ($11) with traditional sides such as rice, beans, salad, and extra tortillas. Pulpy aguas frescas ($2–$3.50), in handcrafted flavors such as pineapple and tamarind, ensure that parched throats need not pursue second careers as broomstick sanders.
The cooks at Tenka Japanese Restaurant grill squid, deep-fry oysters, and assemble raw orders of sushi with the steady hands of a brain surgeon building a house of cards. Sushi rolls can grow around simple cores of tuna and cucumber or more piquant fillings like spicy mayonnaise, asparagus, or shrimp tempura. For even more robust flavor, the cooks skewer beef after first marinating it in soy sauce and sake, or deep-fry pork cutlets and add them to curry rice.