Cheap eats for lunch | August 10, 2012 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

Eating Out - August 10, 2012

Cheap eats for lunch

Four standout spots for lunch under $8

by Dean McArdle

The Palo Alto-Mountain View area has a vibrant dining scene, but it's not exactly known for cheap bites to eat. While there are restaurants with Michelin stars and richly stocked wine cellars, few offer menus teeming with single-digit prices.

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Posted by registered user, Max Hauser, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Thanks for a good look at these worthy restaurants. I was surprised at the offhand opening remark though: "The Palo Alto-Mountain View area has a vibrant dining scene, but it's not exactly known for cheap bites to eat." 30 years ago it was good cheap restaurants that first brought me to downtown MV, and their number has grown radically since. "Michelin stars and richly stocked wine cellars" are numerically quite rare compared to inexpensive local restaurants.

In the downtown MV area, Hunan Chili (102 Castro, Sichuanese), Morocco's (873 Castro), Totoro (841 Villa, Korean), Kirin (485 Castro, Cantonese), Chef Zhao Bistro (400 Moffett, Sichuanese, opened July), and Tommy Thai (1482 W. ECR, Cambodian/Thai, opened in February) all serve interesting lunch specials for $7-$8 including extras (soup and salad, or at Hunan Chili, soup, spring roll, and dessert). Hunan Chili even appeared on a CBS TV segment about Bay Area "bargain" restaurants.

El Calderon (699 Calderon, Salvadorean), Best Bite (1414 W. ECR, Persian), Sushi Tei (1036 Castro), and Mario's Pizza & Italian Restaurant (861 Leong Dr.) are examples of other unique, independent restaurants offering remarkable values; El Calderon and Mario's are both many decades old; Mario's is especially known for extras, like a fancy bread basket and chocolate cake, that come with its inexpensive lunch specials.

Besides those 10 examples, below are 33 other restaurants just in the Castro St area where I've found notably good values, especially at lunch. Taken from a neighborhood restaurant index for downtown MV: Web Link

Amarin (174 Castro, Thai)
Bangkok Spoon (702 Villa, Thai)
Barracuda (124 Castro, Japanese)
Bushido (156 Castro, Japanese small plates)
B'Zu Café (186 Castro, Mediterranean)
Chef Liu (236 Castro, Taiwanese)
Clarke's (615 W ECR, Hamburgers etc.)
Dana Street Roasting Co. 744 W Dana (Sandwiches, soups)
Ephesus (185 Castro, Greek/Turkish)
Fu Lam Mum (155 Castro, Dim Sum)
Gyros House (212 Castro, Mediterranean)
Hangen Szechuan (134 Castro)
Hong Kong Bistro (147 Castro)
Le Boulanger (650 Castro, sandwiches)
Maru Ichi, (368 Castro, Ramen)
Mediterranean Grill House (650 Castro)
Neto Caffe & Bakery (135 Castro, Mediterranean)
Niji Sushi (743 W Dana)
Pho Garden (246 Castro)
Pho Hoa (220 Castro)
Pho To Chau (853 Villa)
Queen House (273 Castro, Taiwanese)
Ryowa (859 Villa, Ramen)
Shalala (698 W Dana, Ramen)
Shana Thai (311 Moffett)
Steakout (383 Castro, Grass-fed hamburgers)
Sushi Tomi (635 W Dana)
Taqueria La Bamba (152 Castro, Salvadorean)
Taqueria Los Charros (854 W Dana, Mexican & breakfasts)
Tied House (954 Villa)
Workshop Burger Bar & Grill (126 Castro)
Yakko (975 W Dana, Sushi)
Zpizza (146 Castro)

Posted by Judy, a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Chef Xiu in mountain view Has the Best Mongolian Beef ever!