I met friends for lunch today at Cafe Brioche in Palo Alto (California Ave., just east of El Camino Real). Very pleasant spot -- it's a small space with tiled floor and interesting murals on the wall vaguely reminscent of old French advertising posters. It has a tiny bar in one corner with stools for two or three people to sip wine or be served a meal.
I had a very good "salade provencale" -- a classic salade nicoise, except with a delicious chunk of grilled halibut instead of tuna. Nicely dressed greens, tiny halved new potatoes, hardboiled egg, green beans, excellent anchovies and nicoise olives. One friend had a delicious roast lamb sandwich on a crispy baguette, and the other had a daily special -- chicken ravioli in a sun-dried tomatoey cream sauce. Both seemed very happy with their choices.
Then we had a chocolate-walnut torte and a wedge of tangy lemon tart with creme anglaise (base was a bit soggy).
The place was jammed, with a huddle of people waiting for tables, but the staff were nothing but pleasant, unhurried and attentive.