Love At First Bite

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Love At First Bite

SPONTANEOUS DATES are fun. Spontaneous dates on Valentines Day are…stressful, to say the least. Haven't thought of anywhere to take your sweetheart(s) for the most romantic day of the year? Don't worry, you haven't earned the worst-special-friend-of-the-year award just yet. Instead of settling for a hasty last minute reservation at the Cheesecake Factory, try some of our favourite restaurants in the area that still have a couple tables for two (or more) available. 


You do you — MP Mongolian BBQ ($) 

Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you can’t treat yo-self. Maybe you're not sold on this whole mushy-gushy holiday, or you think it's a government conspiracy plot to commercialize intimate relationships for the sake of…god knows what. Fear not, MP Mongolian BBQ in Menlo Park embraces your current disdain for hearts and romance, and invites you to indulge in a Mix-and-Match-Theatrically-Prepared-All-You-Can-Eat-Stove-Top-Stir-Fry! Boy that was a mouthful—but so are the delightfully self-seasoned meats, veggies, noodles you can eat there.

Added bonus: don’t even bother dressing up. Not only is this place super casual, but also, wearing some sort of elastic waistband is definitely the move to accommodate for seconds…and hell, thirds. Who even needs to look sexy when you’re already getting bang for your buck at $14 per person? Did I mention they also have Egg Rolls and Chicken Katsu? At barely a mile away from campus you could probably Lyft there faster than it would take to order Dominoes. 

"OMG! You like Kygo too?!" — Delfina Pizzeria ($$)

You prefer a bouquet of rosemary to actual roses, 'cuz you’re chill like that. Your date likes that about you. In fact, it’s a double date, because the more the merrier. Split a couple inventive pizza pies at this trendy quintessential Bay Area staple, down on Emerson Street in Downtown Palo Alto. The inside is artsy and very SF, but if you want to be able to talk at a normal volume, ask to be seated in the gorgeous heated outdoor patio. Then, order a fresh and minty vodka Mio Mao, the perfect drink to help you play it cool while you sit across from that hottie. The hip cocktails are tasty and the wait staff will card you, so beware…

Now comes the hard part…what to order?! The bright and citrusy Tricolore Salad made with endive, fennel and parmesan, paired with the messy sausage ’n’ pepper Salsicca pizza are a combo made in cielo. The 4 Formaggi isn’t a bad option for vegetarians either—I mean, what’s Valentines without a little bit of cheesy fun?

 

50 Shades of Fishy — Odori Sushi ($$)

It’s pals night out, and y’all are feeling sassy and classy. This cute semi-upscale Japanese sushi spot is an ideal pre-movie dinner spot with nice comfy group-accommodating booths, the tastiest sushi rolls, and sippable sake boxes. When dining at Odori, it would serve you well to pair the mild and sweet unfiltered Nigori Sake drink with a lightly fried Agedashi Tofu appetizer and the Cherry Blossom or Lion King Roll. The atmosphere is friendly and the lighting is fabulous, so dress-up, take pictures, and feel free to let your (well-fed) “inner goddess” sashay to your hearts content. 

 

Go Big or Go Home—Portola Valley Lobster Shack ($$$)

If you prefer french fries over flowers, but still want to make your affection known, you need to check out this hidden gem. Nestled in the charming campy Ladera shopping center in Portola Valley (read: that forested area you pass on the way to the I-280) is the tastiest seafood restaurant in the South Bay. The place is the ultimate oxymoron—bougie yet laid-back, hokey yet homey—sporting a boathouse theme complete with wood plant benches and nautical decor reminiscent of a real-life Krusty Krab Restaurant. But, skip the Krabby Patty (actual menu item) and instead opt for a double trouble of their signature Lobster Rolls for you and your date to share. It’s not cheap but it’s guaranteed to impress.

Choose from two types—the Maine Lobster Roll, mixed with mayo, chives, salt, and pepper, or the Naked Lobster Roll, plain with drawn butter and mayo on the side, both served in a fluffy buttered toast with medium-cut fries and coleslaw on the side.

Insider tip? The lobster meat comes cold in both, but try asking for The Naked with the lobster warmed-up. You won’t regret it. 


Love can be hot, cold, fun, tough, fleeting, fulfilling, fantastic, everything and more. All those can pretty much be applied to food too. But something that food nor love should never be, is bland and boring. Even if you're not that serious with the person you're seeing, or happy to spend the night hanging with friends, reserve a table and make a little time to indulge and have a great night.

 

By: Roxy Reaves

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I Moustache You To Brunch: PASTIS

PASTIS--

This cozy little French Bistro located on California Avenue is a unique brunch spot that you don’t want to miss. The moment you walk in you will feel like in Paris, with the little tables, their matching tablecloths and the vast collection of wines.

But let’s get down to business, the food! Their brunch menu is not particularly extensive, however they have dishes that will make you think about brunch the whole week. Their eggs benedict are a must. They are perfectly runny, and their hollandaise is just right. Not too creamy, not too salty. If you want my advice, ask for the benedict with smocked salmon. It’s the perfect start of the day. If you are feeling more European cravings, I recommend their Croque Monsieur or their Sandwich au Confit du canard. You won’t regret trying them. However, if you are more a sweet tooth type of person, the French toast is the dish you are looking for. Their toast is fluffy and smooth, and the warm Nutella that comes with it makes it the perfect dish.

Pastis is also open on a daily basis for lunch and dinner, with daily specialties. My favorite on the menu: their mussels. They serve them with different sauces and a portion of pommes frites. They are probably the best mussels I have had, even better than those in Paris!  

*Reservation needed for Brunch

http://www.pastispaloalto.com

 

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Every Day I'm Trufflin'

TERUN--

The truffle fever is here. Everyone is starting to become obsessed with these extravagant funguses so hard to find. The place to go in Palo Alto: Terun. Terun is a fairly new Italian restaurant located in California Avenue, which will leave you wanting more. Their menu is perfect for sharing; trust me you will want to try everything!

For appetizers there is nothing better than starting with their Burrata cheese with the Foccacia. After that, get excited. The truffle is coming. Their San Daniele and Porcini pizzas both have truffle oil, and they will leave you speechless. Hands down the best pizzas in Palo Alto. However, if you are feeling more like homemade pasta, their Cavatelli and their Gnocchi are a safe bet. They are not the usual tomato based pasta dishes; they have a lot more to offer. And finally, desert. You cannot leave Terun without trying their salted caramel ice cream with olive oil and sea salt. I know the combination may sound scary, but just try it. It will change the way you think about ice cream for ever!

Bon Appetite!

*Reservation recommended for dinner

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Something Fancy, Something New

St. Michael’s--

Stopped by this upscale downtown restaurant for a fun birthday celebration, and it was the perfect place to don your closet’s best and have a great time. The entrees are more than worth the splurge, but sharing appetizers and desserts works just as well. You can’t make a “wrong” choice, but don’t pass on the bruschetta or the caramelized banana bread pudding. Thank us later.

Pro tip: make a reservation in advance for larger parties.

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An Alternative To FLOMINDIAN

DARBAR--

If Indian food at FloMo is the highlight of your week, you might become a new Darbar regular. Baskets of naan and bowls of rice accompany orders of tandoori, vindaloo, and biriani of all types. The huge portions make it perfect for sharing with friends (though I had a hard time parting with my chana masala). The best parts? Vegetarian options galore and the most amazing mango lassi.

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