Just in time for the autumn cooldown comes Bona Restaurant, a new Polish place in Menlo Park, with a menu of rib-sticking classics such as bigos (cabbage and meat stew), flaczki (tripe soup), and zurek (a soup made with soured rye flour). Although it's only been open for about a month, on Sundays it's jammed with Polish speakers hungry for Grandma-style cooking. Barszcz, the Polish version of borscht, a clear red beet soup with meat dumplings, is "excellent with great sweet/sour balance and depth of flavor," says mdg. Flaczki is surprisingly delicious—"sort of like a goulash soup with tripe, but with different seasonings."
krysia gives a Polish thumbs-up to the pickle soup as well as stuffed cabbage, which comes with either a fresh-tasting tomato sauce or a fabulous mushroom one.
"Pierogi had a nice chewy pasta contrasting with the tasty fillings and brown onion garnish," says mdg, who got the sauerkraut/mushroom variety. krysia liked those as well as the meat-filled ones, but Melanie Wong was underwhelmed by the potato-cheese pierogi. She also calls the mushroom soup "awful glop."
The restaurant is nice but not fancy, and family-friendly. It also has a wine list that's mostly Italian, with a few selections from nearby Woodside Vineyard.
Bona Restaurant [Peninsula]
651 Oak Grove Ave, Menlo Park