Unusual savory sandwiches, simply served at moderate prices, are now available, just for Monday lunches, from a classy independent business using the facilities of Cafe Yulong (743 W Dana St off Castro, Mountain View, 650 960 1677). Some of us tried them yesterday (first day of business) and the sandwiches were both interesting and delicious.
Background: If I remember right, James and Miya Pei opened Cafe Yulong late 2002 (it became, by citywide poll, the most popular Chinese restaurant in downtown MV, unusual specialties, very fresh ingredients.) The Peis, who were restaurant veterans, discouraged their offspring from restaurant careers, almost successfully. Youngest son, though, felt the call, trained at CCA, and has worked for a few years in fancy and creative restaurant kitchens around San Francisco. Mondays, starting yesterday, he and associates, a separate business renting (they said) the facilities from the senior Peis (maybe to soften the parents' dismay at their son's career?) offer inventive sandwiches inspired by a style popular in Japan. They call their operation, for now anyway, "Monday." Asking, I was told that the idea was to offer a novel lunch option in an extremely casual format. That it was: minimal service, self-serve utensils and drinks.
Three sandwiches were on the initial menu (it may change), all based on fried cutlets: chicken ($7), tonkatsu (pork cutlet, $7), and ebikatsu (shrimp patty, $8). Each sandwich had a freshly made fried breaded cutlet layered with a vegetable salad and aioli on an Acme torpedo roll, in a basket with interesting fresh pickled vegetables. Side dishes available included French fries (not bad: 1/4 inch square x-section, roughly French bistro style, $2) and "Popcorn" cauliflower (spicy, a big hit at our table: $3). All "finger food." Soft drinks were offered, an array in a tub of ice. Our table of 4 shared all three sandwich types, they looked roughly like something from Burger King but the resemblance ended on first bite. Very fresh, juicy, and flavorfully garnished with the vegetable salad. (All three were close variations on a theme; I slightly preferred the chicken version, but enjoyed all, and plan to return.) The pickled vegetables that came with the sandwiches were varied, unusual, and also delicious. (I bit into a fennel seed that was part of the pickle spices.) True finger food: with the fries and cauliflower "popcorn," our fingers needed cleaning afterwards. Maybe they'll add some disposable towelettes or something for the fingers.
The flyer and menu both warn it's "cash only."
743 W Dana St, Mountain View, CA 94041