Mountain View Voice

- August 23, 2013

The Best of Moutain View 2013

Best of Mountain View 2013

Our readers have spoken, and they've picked the top restaurants, retailers and professionals. Mountain View's best of the best, from chiropractors to dry cleaners, boutiques to bakeries, they're all here. These are your winners, Mountain View, the places you chose for the best service, best products, best food and best places to have fun.

Best of Mountain View contributors

Editor: Andrea Gemmet

Writers: Elize Manoukian, Nick Veronin

Publicity and Logistics: Rachel Palmer, Miranda Chatfield

Photographers: Michelle Le, Veronica Weber

Section Designer: Lili Cao

Designers Linda Atilano, Paul Llewellyn, Shannon Corey, Rosanna Leung, Scott Peterson, Kameron Sawyer

Restaurants

Breakfast

For 21 consecutive years, Hobee's has gobbled up the competition by serving what our readers say is the best breakfast in town. The Mountain View location was the first Hobee's to open up in 1974 before the restaurant's flourishing popularity inspired franchises across Northern California. According to general manager Sergio Gutierrez, the menu standout is the blueberry coffeecake, which he calls a "Hobee's tradition."

2312 Central Expressway, Mountain View

650-968-6050

Chinese

For Chef Chu's owner Larry Chu Sr., family comes first. This kid-friendly restaurant, which has been open on the corner of San Antonio and El Camino for 43 years, is a local staple due to its familiarity with the community, accommodating menu, fresh yet consistent dishes and comfortable atmosphere. "You come in here," says Chu, "and you feel welcome."

1067 North San Antonio Road, Los Altos

650-948-2696

Coffee House

With a central location in the heart of Mountain View and an expansive menu that features drinks and blends from across the globe, Red Rock Coffee is a favorite among the Castro Street commuters, techies and passersby from all walks of life. In addition to their high-quality brews, Red Rock is well known for its community engagement. Between their Saturday coffee tastings, Monday open-mic nights and friendly bar staff, Red Rock Coffee has a whole latte to love.

201 Castro St., Mountain View

650-967-4473

Fine dining

It's the fine details that make all the difference to George Aviet, who for over 30 years has been providing elegant French contemporary cuisine and atmosphere as the owner of Michelin-star rated Chez TJ. Under the new vision of executive chef Jarad Gallagher, recently plucked from Saratoga's famed The Plumed Horse, Chez TJ uses fresh and seasonal ingredients from abroad and the restaurant's own organic backyard garden.

938 Villa St., Mountain View

650-964-7466

Fusion

Whether the restaurant is changing up the plating or experimenting with the menu, Xanh strives to interpret traditional Vietnamese cuisine with a modern twist. Also open for buffet lunch, the restaurant offers family-style, vegetarian or even gluten-free dining during the day as well as a vibrant nightlife after the sun goes down. Xanh also won for best Vietnamese restaurant.

Indian

Mountain View's Amber India wins once again with its traditional North Indian tikkas, curries, biryanis and more, enhanced with flavors such as chilies, saffron and rose water. With popular dishes like butter chicken and chicken tikka masala, Amber's traditional, rich cuisine brings Mountain View diners back for more.

2290 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View. 650-968-7511

150 University Ave., Palo Alto. 650-329-9644

Italian

Frankie, Johnnie and Luigi Too is a family-owned restaurant that has been serving home-style Italian flavors, ambiance and attitude in the Bay Area for decades. Our readers say to try the restaurant's freshly-baked pizzas, or a traditional dish such as penne calabrese for a taste of little Italy.

939 West El Camino Real, Mountain View

650-967-5384

Japanese/Sushi

It's not uncommon to see a line out the door at SushiTomi, but customers swear the fresh fish and food is worth the wait. Some local favorites are the Tomi special roll, which has a choose-your-own-adventure filling, and the salmon and yellowtail nigiri.

635 W Dana St., Mountain View

650-968-3227

Mediterranean

It's a tie: Cascal and Ephesus are our top vote-getters. Cascal is a perennial favorite with readers in a variety of categories. It's Mountain View's go-to place for tapas, the traditional Spanish small plates. Cascal also dishes up heartier fare, like traditional paellas and regional dishes. Ephesus offers Mediterranean fare highlighting traditional Greek and Turkish food served in a rustic style, says restaurant manager Galit Vural, who owns Ephesus with his brother. Moussaka is the signature dish at Ephesus.

Cascal, 400 Castro St., Mountain View

650-940-9500

Ephesus, 185 Castro St., Mountain View

650-625-8155

Mexican

As its name, which translates to "party of the sea", would suggest, Fiesta Del Mar is famous for its camarones, or shrimp dishes. With a menu that boasts over 200 types of tequila and a website that allows for online takeout orders, this longtime Mountain View favorite has taken the title of Best Mexican Restaurant for its 14th year in a row.

1005 North Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View

650-965-9354

New Restaurant

According to the restaurant's creator Frank Klein, Asian Box aspires to stay true to the ingredients and flavors of Vietnamese street food in combination with the Bay Area philosophy of sustainably and responsibly farmed food. Between one meal's base, entree, add-ons and sides, customers have thousands of combinations to choose from in order to build their perfect meal. Asian Box also won for best Take-Out.

142 Castro St., Mountain View

650-584-3947

Patio/Outdoor Dining

Even the most selective palate finds a home at Steins, where the 30-tap beer offerings and ever-changing menu has established the restaurant and bar as a standout in its first year. Coming up is an Oktoberfest celebration that Steins is hosting this year in partnership with the city of Mountain View. Other special events include their tap-takeovers, specialty beer dinners or Meet the Brewer events. Our readers also tapped Steins as the winner in the Best Bar category.

895 Villa St., Mountain View

650-963-9568

Place for a Business Lunch

Scheduling lunch with a client? Scratch is a favorite among the Mountain View business community for all-American comfort food and drinks served in a sophisticated, professional setting. While some frequent Scratch for the fresh oysters served at its raw bar or weekend brunch, manager Michael Kloth says that the menu favorite is definitely the fried chicken plate, which he believes exemplifies the restaurant's motto of "simple food done well."

401 Castro St., Mountain View

650-237-3132

Seafood

Scott's Seafood opened its Mountain View installation just over a year ago, and it has been a hit with our readers ever since. Notable for its 4:30-6:30 p.m. happy hour — even on weekends — the restaurant features a diverse menu of surf, turf and everything in between. Popular menu items include the seafood saute and the Australian lobster tail, which receives rave reviews for its flavor and affordability.

420 Castro St., Mountain View

650-966-8124

Thai

For more than a decade, Amarin Thai has won the hearts of Mountain View gastronomes with its beautiful decor and authentic cuisine that recall the spices and sauces of Thailand. While owner Supawan Pimsakul notes that the Pad Thai is a favorite among customers, those willing to explore beyond the traditional noodle dish will find an range of options on the vast and vegetarian-friendly menu.

174-176 Castro St., Mountain View

650-988-9323

Vegetarian

Don't be fooled by the meat references on the menu at Garden Fresh: this hidden gem of the local vegetarian community uses tofu, soy and other substitutes to recreate popular Chinese dishes with a vegan twist. The "duck", which is actually composed of shiitake mushrooms, is a favorite among Garden Fresh customers — carnivores and herbivores alike.

1245 West El Camino Real, Mountain View

650-254-1688

Food & Drink

Best Bagel

Downtown's undisputed bagel champion has never been afraid to transcend the traditional. In addition to the usual bagel comforts, like the hot crust, the fresh lox, the gooey cream cheese, House of Bagels features plenty of zestier, sexier ingredients, including pesto and jalapeno. It's not just bagels, either. The University Avenue establishment also offers a broad and doughy selection of delectable offerings, from tuna sandwiches and turkey hot dogs to piroshki and spanikopita.

1712 Miramonte Ave., Mountain View, 650-694-4888.

526 University Ave., Palo Alto, 650-322-5189

Bakery

There's a reason why Le Boulanger's sourdough wins awards in and out of Mountain View. Says manager Julian Hawawini, a day doesn't go by without freshly baked bread. With 40 varieties of bread and pastries, the restaurant offers customers a lot of options, which are clearly a hit with our readers.

650 Castro St., Mountain View

650-961-1787

BBQ

Year after year, Mountain View residents have looked to Armadillo Willy's for the "tenderest, tastiest barbeque this side of Texas." To achieve the famous smoky flavor, the meats on the menu are slow-cooked up to 18 hours —using only the heat of a real oak and hickory fire.

1031 North San Antonio Road, Los Altos

650-941-2922

Burger

Clarke's Charcoal Broiler is famous for "good service and good food," owner James Blach says. The burgers weigh 1/3 of a pound and are cooked over charcoal, which makes for an authentic grilled taste. Along with their condiment bar stocked with fresh produce and an old-school feel, Clarke's has been satisfying Mountain View's burger cravings for years.

615 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View

650-967-0851

Burrito

While hidden in the back of a small grocery store, don't let appearances fool you: La Costena is first and foremost in the burrito-making business. Whether you choose corn or flour tortillas, refried or black beans, carnitas or veggies, salsa or guacamole is up to you, but the freshness and quality is a Mountain View standard. Besides holding the title of best burrito for several years running, La Costena Custom Burritos has another claim to fame: a Guinness book record for Biggest Burrito that weighed in at a whopping 4,456.3 pounds.

2078 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View

650-967-0507

Deli

For over 40 years, Erik's Deli has been serving the Bay Area its trademarked "sandwiches with character." Many frequent the Charleston Road franchise for its fusion of antique Erik's atmosphere with a modern design and open floor plan, as well as fresh-baked goods, warm service and quality food.

2424 Charleston Road, Mountain View

650-969-2900

Ice Cream Store

Repeat winner Gelato Classico dishes out its Italian-style ice cream in a rich and wide selection of flavors, from tiramisu to cr่me brulee. Fresh, fruity sorbetto is also on offer. It's not unusual to see a line out the door, even on week nights, so clearly, the creamy treat is worth the wait.

241 Castro St., Mountain View

650-969-2900

Noodle Place

Mountain View's favorite noodle house, Ramen House Ryowa, takes its name from its most popular dish: Ryowa noodles. These Japanese-style ramen noodles are dished up in flavorful broth, garnished with with cha siu barbeque pork, seaweed and a boiled egg. Butter-corn ramen is a local favorite. Other treats include crispy gyoza, fried chicken and kimchi.

859 Villa St., Mountain View

650-965-8829

Pearl Tea

Fans of Verde Tea say no one makes the frothy, East Asian beverage like Verde. The cafe serves pearl milk tea in flavors from peach to red bean. The pearls — plump tapioca balls at the bottom of each drink — are a reader favorite.

852 Villa St., Mountain View

650-210-9986

Pizza

Amici's East Coast Pizzeria is a downtown favorite for its authentic thin, crisp-crust pizzas oven-baked right next to an open flame. Marketing director Richard Allum says that Amici's is the best because it strives to make your experience the best it can be. Amici's also has a variety of salads and pasta dishes so that there's something on the menu for everyone.

790 Castro St., Mountain View

650-961-6666

Produce

Rain or shine, the Mountain View Farmers Market brings an expansive selection of organic produce, baked goods and fresh flowers to the Bay Area patrons. Because the market is year round, the 80-plus farmers and food producers selling their wares provide Mountain View with the very best produce in season. Catch the market Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the best seasonal fruits and veggies.

600 W. Evelyn Ave. (Caltrain parking lot), Mountain View

800-806-3276

Small Grocery Store

The Milk Pail has always been a favorite for its local produce, baked goods, and food along with a user-friendly website that features recipes and cheerful messages from owner Steve Rasmussen. Make sure to check out the Milk Pail's huge selection of rare and artisanal cheeses from across the globe, sold at competitive prices. 2585 California St., Mountain View

650-941-2505

Services

Acupuncture

What's on point about Mountain View's best acupuncture spot? Peninsula Acupuncture says it brings modern training and perfected technique to one of the most ancient forms of medicine. Fans of the licensed acupuncturist and herbalist Ted Ray praise his soothing technique and ability to bring relief from a wide variety of troubles.

2500 Hospital Dr., Mountain View

650-564-9002

Auto Body Repair

Since 1979, the experienced professionals, welcoming customer service and commitment to environmental sustainability at family owned FCC Collision has brought car owners back for more, and has won the auto body repair shop the title of Best Auto Repair four years running. According to owner Adam Piper, over 40 percent of customers come back again and again or are referred by friends.

177 E. Evelyn Ave., Mountain View

650-965-1440

Auto Repair

The reason Larry's AutoWorks was voted best auto repair shop is quite simple: "We're the best," owner Larry Moore says. He says that his customers always tell him that they keep coming back because Moore and his team are straight-shooters. If it isn't broken or if it doesn't make sense to fix, Moore will tell his customers just that. "We take care of cars," he acknowledges, "but what we really take care of is car owners."

2526 Leghorn St., Mountain View

650-968-5202

Chiropractor

When your back is out of whack, those in know in Mountain View say there is no better place to go than Chiropractic Performance Center. Lucy Osgood, owner and chiropractor, said she thinks her business won because she is a good listener. "I really take the time and sit down with people," she said — "trying to figure out what their life is like." Getting to know the whole person helps her make sure each adjustment she makes is tailored for the individual, she says.

357 Castro St. #6, Mountain View

650-798-9050

Dentist

What does the best dentist in Mountain View get? A little plaque. Smiles Dental is once again a favorite of Mountain View residents. Dr. William Hall attributes the business' success to its friendly, caring staff as well as the customer service staff's attention to detail.

100 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View

650-967-8899

Dry Cleaners

To go green with your clean, our readers picked Green & Fresh Cleaners, Mountain View's favorite eco-friendly garment and fabric-care cleaning company. Their 100 percent PERC-free dry-cleaning process saves your stained clothes and makes the world a brighter place.

580 N. Rengstorff Ave., Mountain View

650-967-9064

Green Business

To recycle a beloved book, or to just pick up a good read, BookBuyers has been serving Mountain View's book-fiends as not just a green business, but also as the largest used-book store on the Peninsula. Browse their Modern Library section for classic literature finds, or venture Behind the Rainbow Curtain to explore their incredible collection of fiction, nonfiction and graphic novel book esoterica.

317 Castro St., Mountain View

650-968-7323

Gym

It's fun to work out at the YMCA — at least that's what readers of the Voice think. And Elaine Glissmeyer, executive director of the El Camino Y, said it makes sense. "I think it has to do with our mission," she said, reflecting on why the organization was voted No. 1. "We're here to strengthen our community by providing a high quality of life and inspiring people to develop their full potential in spirit, mind and body." It is also our readers' top pick for best Fitness Classes, maybe because it offers more than 160 fitness classes each week — include Yoga, Pilates, cross-fit, boxing, and tai chi — all in an "inclusive family environment."

2400 Grant Rd., Mountain View

650-969-9622

Hair Salon

A six-time winner of best hair salon in Mountain View, Allure wows its clients by staying on the cutting edge. Owner Alisa Barnhart says the staff's passion is what makes the shop unique, and a repeat winner with our readers. The salon offers a variety of hair treatments, including perms and coloring, as well as facials, nail treatments and spray tanning.

888 Villa St., Mountain View

650-938-8777

Hotel

With a central location on El Camino Real and full buffet breakfast every morning, it's no wonder that residents of Mountain View often recommend the Hilton Garden Inn as the best accommodations for visiting friends and relatives, says General Manager Garrett Ritter. For the traveling business professional, the Garden Inn also offers a number of useful and complimentary amenities, such as a 24/7-business center, spacious meeting rooms, Wi-Fi and on-site catering.

840 E El Camino Real, Mountain View

650-964-1700

Manicure

If you're looking to treat yourself, spend an afternoon at Gorgeous Nails and Skin Care, a two-time winner of best manicure in Mountain View. Manager Nancy Nguyen also cites the nail salon's cleanliness and thorough sanitization methods, but customers swear by the prices and hot stone massages.

821 Castro St., Mountain View

650-428-1807

Massage

A loyal customer base is the reason Happy Feet Foot Spa was voted best in the massage category by Voice readers, according to owner David Bertelsen. It also helps that they are only one of a few foot spas in the city that specializes in foot massage only. Their expertise makes them the go-to shop in Mountain View to soothe your barking dogs.

858 Villa St., Mountain View

650-969-7600

Oil Change

Are engine problems burning you out? Dean's Automotive has well-trained employees and specialized automotive service and repair facilities to get your car running like it was the first time you drove it off the lot. Since 1963, the auto repair shop has been providing Mountain View quality car care, backed up by a 24-month/24,000-mile guarantee on parts and labor.

2037 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View

650-961-0302

Personal Trainer

Find your balance with Stafford Fitness, which specializes in personal training with Stephanie Stafford. She offers one-on-one injury management for endurance athletes, weight loss, and general wellness/stress management.

1235 Pear Ave., Suite 101, Mountain View

650-269-6936

Pet Care

With almost 50 years in the pet-health game, it's no wonder readers chose Adobe Animal Hospital as winner of this year's best veterinarian. Its host of more than 20 vets, 24/7 urgent and emergency care, a pharmacy, and a policy of constantly having a vet staffed for around-the-clock intensive care, readers are purring, yelping and chirping for its impeccable care. 4470 El Camino Real, Los Altos; 650-948-9661.

Shoe Repair

This year's winner, A Minute Man Shoe Service has been serving Mountain View for over 50 years, making a name for owner and cobbler Marco Azuela one shoe at a time. The small business also offers repairs for luggage and bags, key copying as well as sales of custom-made boots, bags, belts and jackets, all on display along the store's walls.

738 Villa St., Mountain View

650-968-0358

Yoga

Ready to embark on your yoga journey? Yoga is Youthfulness has been guiding Mountain View residents through the doorway of transcendence for over a decade, and is well known in the community for the studio's professionalism, ambiance and affordability. Yoga is Youthfulness offers free summer lunchtime yoga sessions held in Pioneer Park every Friday from 12 to 1 p.m.

590 Castro St., Mountain View

650-964-5277

Retail

Bike Shop

Walk or ride in to The Off Ramp's conveniently placed Mountain View location and see why our readers chose The Off Ramp as their favorite place for a tune-up. Recently, says General Manager Recner Lugardo, the store has redirected to a more commuter-oriented focus, encouraging less driving and more riding with their staff's great service and an increased selection of commuter bikes.

2320 El Camino Real, Mountain View

650-968-297

Book Store

As the oldest independent book store in the west, Books Inc. just gets better with age. Check out their Mountain View store's many author events, book clubs and their huge selection of books and magazines, or stop by the cafe upstairs for a cup of coffee and a bite.

301 Castro St., Mountain View

650-428-1234

Boutique

For the second year in a row, Therapy's wide range of clothing styles has found fans of all ages. The Mountain View outlet of the chain of boutique stores draws customers in with a unique blend of men's and women's clothing, accessories and home decor items. Fans praise the friendly, helpful customer service. Readers also voted it the best place to find Unusual Gifts.

250 Castro St., Mountain View

650-691-1186

Florist

Sashay Floral wins again this year for the creativity and design aesthetic of its bouquets and arrangements. A small florist shop, Sashay mostly caters to weddings and corporate events, but they will also do deliveries of its fresh floral creation. "People don't just pick up a bouquet and go, it's design work," says co-owner Poppie Rodriguez.

www.sashayfloral.com

650-787-3671

Hardware Store

It may be part of a chain, but this local branch of the well-established home and garden supply store feels like a neighborhood hardware store to readers. From its friendly and knowledgeable staff to its supply of hardware, paints and plants, Orchard Supply Hardware is a repeat winner. It is also known for its appliance selection and the variety of plants available in the nursery.

2555 Charleston Road, Mountain View

650-691-2000

Home Furnishings

With its vibrant furniture and exotic decor from around the globe, Cost Plus World Market appeals to world travelers and homebodies alike. It is the go-to place for great finds at bargain prices, including kitchen, dining, and gardening utensils.

1910 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View

650-961-6066

Fun Stuff

Park

Regardless of age, Cuesta Park offers something for everyone. Babysitters, parents and kids alike all seem to adore the playgrounds and expansive fields for their room to run around and play. Those looking for physical activity can make use of the tennis, volleyball and bocce courts, as well as the number of paths for running and walking. Even those looking for peace of mind will find it in the shade under one of the park's many trees, or on a quiet park bench. The park is also the site of some of the city's summer concerts and outdoor movies. Cuesta also won with readers as the best place in town for a playdate.

615 Cuesta Dr., Mountain View

650-903-6326

Place for Live Music

Shoreline Amphitheatre helps put Mountain View on the map, and won again as the best place in town to hear live music. The amphitheater has a capacity of 22,500, with 16,000 general admission seats on the lawn. Shoreline is winding down the summer with events such as Rock The Bells, The Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival and Depeche Mode, and thousands of other shows that fans do not want to miss.

1 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View

650-967-3000

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