The chefs at Tava Indian Kitchen know that traditional South Asian cuisine is built upon the artful weaving of complex flavors. At Tava, they invite each of their customers to try their hand at making their own edible masterpiece. Guests customize their meals from start to finish as they shuffle through each step of the ordering process. The kitchen crew can roll tandoori-marinated chicken or slow-roasted grass-fed lamb into a whole-wheat burroti—Tava’s answer to the Mexican burrito and American pillowcases—or toss paneer, made from Indian farmers’ cheese and vegetables, into a salad or rice bowl. Next, feasters choose their sauce; simmering with tomatoes and Indian spices, tikka is light and creamy, while daal, made from lentils, has a more savory finish. Five types of chutney, ranging from mild to “lava” hot, add a spicy kick, easily extinguished by a glass of chai tea or mango lassi.
Siam Orchid weaves fresh organic ingredients into upscale Thai dishes, served in a bright and airy dining room. Rolled lavender napkins and crisp white tablecloths greet patrons as they slide into a high-backed seat and begin perusing a menu of aromatic dishes. Each dish is based on traditional Thai classics, such as the pad thai with river shrimp or complex curries with stewed organic beef, slow-braised New Zealand rack of lamb, or organic sliced chicken breast. Homegrown kaffir lime leaves star in a curried dish of fried prawns, and shrimp, and a crispy taro nest cradles a medley of crispy chicken breast, vegetables, and spicy brown sauce.
The restaurant’s respect for the environment shines in their choice of eco-conscious ingredients, while their décor evokes the natural world with tall arrangements of branches and sprays of flowers painted on violet walls. Gold-striped curtains part over wide picture windows to allow views of the street and of petite tables that sit outside.
The epicurean engineers at Zara Mediterranean Restaurant please palates with a slew of Mediterranean dishes, which beckon hungry stomachs from a mouthwatering menu of authentic Turkish cuisine. Chefs cull appetizers, such as sigara boregi, teeming with feta cheese and fresh parsley flavors, hot from the oven to ignite dinnertime appetites ($5). Lamb shish kebobs skewer marinated lamb between onions and bell peppers, halting hunger with a savory sampling of meat and vegetables ($16). Lamb and beef unite with bell pepper and bask in beyti's savory pools of homemade sauce, yogurt, and melted butter ($14) to excite incisors more easily than a piñata made out of pita bread.
Owned by Turkish native Dino Tekdemir, Anatolian Kitchen skewers juicy meats and veggies to create dishes authentic to the central and eastern regions of Turkey. Curious diners witness the culinary commotion taking place in the open kitchen, the source of many alluring aromas including scents of fresh-made bread, dolma, and kunefe. Mood-lit tables make a comfy spot to munch on dinners such as the Doner kabob—rotisserie-cooked ground lamb and beef ($12.95)—or the Manti, which conceals meaty treasures inside homemade ravioli-style pasta ($13.95). For lunch, intrepid stomachs conquer Alexander’s Favorite—a mighty mix of ground lamb and beef slices over tomato-sauced bread cubes, accompanied by melted butter and yogurt ($12.95). During both lunch and dinner, Anatolian Kitchen's healthy wine and cocktail list allows guests to indulge in spirited celebrations over life's tiny and tasty moments.
The winner of Palo Alto Weekly's Best Breakfast award for more than 20 years, Hobee's remains a Silicon Valley institution where night owls and early birds flock together over generous portions of home-cooked delectables in a cozy, casual atmosphere. Browse the menu for a breakfast of three sweet-potato pancakes ($6.75), any of six hash-brown varieties ($7.97), or the Hi Hat Ommie—a combination of diced ham and jack and cheddar cheeses, with country-style hash browns hidden inside like human dignity inside a San Diego Chicken costume ($9.75). Otherwise, prop up eyelids with a simmering cup of Hobee's famous cinnamon orange tea ($2.35) paired with its equally famous blueberry coffee cake ($2.50). Late arrivals to Hobee's can still tickle their taste buds with a bouquet of options such as the honey-pineapple teriyaki salmon ($10.95), the grilled chicken with tropical fruit salsa ($10.95), or the Very Gouda BBQ burger piled high with caramelized onions, rich barbeque sauce, and a Wisconsin's worth of gouda ($9.25).