Took a friend of mine here for her birthday dinner once, and it was amazing. Amazingly expensive, but also unbelievable exquisite. We did the "cook it yourself" thing, where you get small, select cuts of meat and/or fish, and you get to grill them up right there on the table, as rare or as well done as you want. And this isn't just any old slab of meat, we're talking insane-quality bits of Kobe beef, succulent cuts of pork... Mmm... It was absolutely delicious.
You do pay a premium for it, though.
I've also been to the Juban in Burlingame (on Broadway), which serves lunches. The lunches are also very good (no DIY there), and actually very reasonably priced (lunch specials run about $6-10)... Not sure if the Menlo Park Juban does lunches like the Burlingame one does, though.
PROS: Super-high quality meats, grill-at-your-table fun!
CONS: Decadence doesn't come on the cheap.
Tucked in the back of a large corporate building, I'd originally been here back in '98, when I worked a block away. I remember it being pretty good, and today I confirmed that it hasn't changed a whole lot in 8 years.
Lots of options on the menu, and during the lunch rush (and it will get backed up), there are at least three people working feverishly to get your orders filled. Lots of drink selections (they had YooHoo! Awesome!) including a very complete selection of Odwalla (if you like that kind of thing). Their deli meats are tasty, and my $5.50 sandwich today (The "Johnny Blaze") was well proportioned and tasty.
There's space indoors to eat, but it was gorgeous today, so we sat outside, on the concrete bench/table thingies and enjoyed the weather (under umbrellas, to keep us cool).
If you work in the area, particularly if you're a short walk away (and that encompasses a great many people, I'm sure), this is a great little lunch joint.
PROS: Great selection, decent prices.
CONS: Hard to find if you don't know what you're looking for.
Went here for the first time last weekend, and was pleasantly surprised. The sushi was not the best I've ever had (but then again, I've had some very good sushi), but it was very respectable and definitely in the "above average" category. The prices were very respectable, though, making this a good deal.
I told friends of mine that I'd gone here, and they said they used to come here all the time until the quality went downhill. They hadn't been back since. I'm hopeful that this indicates the quality has been restored. I hope to return soon and see if my experience wasn't just a fluke.
Also a plus, they open for dinner around 4pm, which is a big win on Sundays, when I went, when you really sometimes want to get in an early dinner and don't want to have to wait until 5:30 or so when many other sushi places open.
Update: Went a second time, and found the edamame was fairly cold and not very flavorful. The sushi was still fairly good, and my friend's salmon teriyaki was huge, but my nigiri didn't seem quite as tasty as I've had elsewhere. Downgrading to just "Satisfactory".
My friend and I managed to get a table pretty much immediately at 5:40pm, despite not having any reservations -- although by the time we left, around 7pm, the place had impressively packed in, and I would not be at all surprised if there was a significant wait for people without reservations.
Perhaps because we were so early, and there were so few people there at the time (it really was pretty desolate at 5:30), our service was fairly prompt. I thought there was a bit of a long wait between ordering and my entree, but then I realized I hadn't ordered a salad or anything, while my friend had a salad starter. So that made sense.
The food was really good; I had the Filet Mignon Medallions (or something to that effect) and I very much enjoyed it, although I'm not sure it was worth the $27 sticker price; I've had bigger, exquisite dishes for that price. But it was definitely tasty (not at all disappointed).
All in all, I had a fine experience, although there are other places I'd rather spend $30 a head on.
PROS: Very tasty food, huge wine list, nice decor
CONS: Get exceedingly busy after 6:30, upscale prices.
This Barnes & Noble benefits from being part of the newly refinished "Shops at Tanforan" shopping center. Parking out front tends to be slim pickings, but there is plenty of parking if you take time to look for it (try the garage around the back of the mall, and just make the walk).
It's a very nice, two-story building, with a nice coffee shop inside, but despite its two-story nature, its footprint is fairly small and it's not a very large B&N (especially not compared to the one down in San Mateo on Hillsdale). In particular, I was fairly disappointed in their selection of programming languages books -- though I realize that's a bit of a niche interest.
PROS: Convenient location at 101/280/380 intersection.
CONS: Smallish B&N, limits selection for niche interests.
I used to go here constantly, when I lived in the area. It was a great store to be close to. I was primarily a roleplayer/cardplayer/wargamer, and much of the stock was focused on more 'traditional' hobbies, such as modelling and R/C vehicles. Despite that, their selection of RPG materials and trading cards was very good, and the staff was always very happy to help, and special orders weren't a problem.
This was a very dangerous store to live a block away from!
PROS: Wide array of hobby supplies.
CONS: Small inventory for any given hobby.
This Taco Bell isn't particularly good, though it's not bad, either. The big win for this Taco Bell is that it's right on the beach! Yes, you can waddle out of the freezing surf, walk up the steps, order from the outside window (no sandy feet or dripping wetsuits inside, please!) and get some hot tacos or a cold drink right there. There are a few benches outside, too, so you can continue to drip while you eat.
If the cold Pacifica winds have caught up to you, take a seat inside, and warm up a bit with a tasty quesadilla...
It is, though, in the end, just a Taco Bell. This is not "really" Mexican food, but I still think it's fairly tasty, especially for the price. You simply can't beat the location, though.
PROS: Right on the beach!
CONS: It's only a so-so Taco Bell.
Tam's, in the Safeway shopping plaza, is some seriously good food. And lots of it. We ordered two dishes, the Mandarin Beef and the "Four Happiness", and we got enough food for four people. With potstickers for an appetizer, a pineapple juice and a Tsingtao beer, plus the obligatory white rice, the bill still came out at only about $40.
And it was really tasty, I particularly liked the Mandarin Beef. I just wish these guys delivered, but I drive past them on the way home, and they do take out, hmm...
The restaurant is fairly spacious, and seating is readily available (we went on a Sunday night before, night before Labor Day, and it was busier than I've ever seen it, and yet still had plenty of tables available). Forks and chopsticks are provided as a standard place setting. There's a small bar, and their menu includes several mixed drinks (I can remember seeing pina coladas and strawberry daquiris listed). Parking is plentiful in the plaza's parking lot, and access from Rte 1 is very easy.
The restaurant is so understated on the end of the strip mall, I keep forgetting it's there -- but everytime I go, I always wonder why I don't go more often!
PROS: Large portions, fair prices, plenty o' parking
CONS: No delivery
I live up on the other end of town, and the Safeway there (on Manor Drive) is really old, outdated, and fairly tiny, with little selection in many cases. I ended up down the other side of town with a friend of mine, and ran into this Safeway for a loaf of pugliese bread to take with us to a dinner with friends. Wow, it was like night and day. This place is huge, very modern, and is layed out a lot like the nice big Safeways in Redwood City. It was also exceedingly crowded, but that may have had more to do with the fact it was a Saturday afternoon of a three-day weekend (Labor Day) and lots of people were stocking up for BBQs...
If you've got the option to drive the extra 10-15 minutes down Rte 1 from the north end of Pacifica, this is the Safeway to go to. Oh, how I wish the one most convenient to me was this good.
PROS: Huge store, lots of selection, on-site bakery
CONS: Parking lot seemed a little small and traffic-laden, for a strip mall.
Max's seems to have lost some of its luster lately. It used to be a really great place for "American food", particularly since so many places on the peninsula are ethnically themed. Here was a great place for a meatloaf dinner, or a really good burger. I remember being here and always having really good food, but lately, I've been more and more disappointed. Maybe my tastes have simply matured, having been exposed to so many really really good places in the meantime...
Their sandwiches are still really good (mmm... Reubens), and their burgers aren't bad, but I've been disappointed with their other offerings lately; I recently had the BBQ beef brisket, and it really tasted like deli roast beef with a ton of BBQ sauce on it. It was sliced too thin, and didn't have any sense that the flavor was anything but superficial.
On the other hand, I highly recommend the giant chocolate-covered coconut macaroons. Get one to go, they keep in the fridge fairly well, and you can nibble on one for days... (if you have any sense of self control, that is...)
PROS: Strip mall location provides easy access, lots of parking.
CONS: Food has become unremarkable, aside from a few exceptions.