Thanks for all the posts on restaurants in Silicon Valley. My lady and I have been systematically trying recommendations for the last six months (after researching all the posts), with a spotty record—mostly misses, very few hits. It’s hard to filter out all the noise, since a restaurant rarely or never has a menu full of great dishes. Even a tasting menu at the French Laundry or El Bulli is littered with hits and misses for a discerning palate. In an effort to “quiet the monkeys” I have a request for recommendations that would really help picky newcomers, like us: please post in rank order, the five (or fewer) best spots to eat with the specific best thing(s) to order.
For alignment, here are some of our favorites that have been recommended by the hounds:
1. Iberia in Menlo Park for patatas bravas--fried potatoes with a garlic sauce. (Other things that are good there off the small tapas menu: pork skewers, bacon wrapped dates, gazpacho, and their tempranillo red wine.)
2. Shanghai Family Restaurant in Mountain View for their thick Shanghai fried noodles. (Scallion pancakes, pot stickers are also good.)
3. El Grullense in Redwood City for carnitas tacos.
4. Jonathan’s in Menlo Park for fried chicken and fried catfish (you can order them together; eat them with the hot sauce). (Other sides/items were not good that we’ve tried.)
5. Amber India in Mountain View for butter chicken (part of the buffet).
In response to posts (like the list above), it would be great to get the collected wisdom of the local hounds by noting items that might be “better.” For instance, someone might post, “I think the carnitas tacos at El Grullense are OK, but they are better at....” Please only post the items you think are truly great and worth revisiting (fewer than five is fine, but we’d like to start with just five per person to force quality over quantity of recommendations).
For humoring this rather rigid request, we’ll report back when we’ve tried out the items and restaurants—in ranked/stacked order. I’ll also post under my own post here with our current findings to date.