State Street Market is slated to open before the end of the summer bringing to downtown Los Altos a foodies gathering place of sorts that includes a teaching kitchen, a restaurant and a 20,000-square-foot food hall dedicated to showcasing local talent and developing new culinary concepts.
"The aim is to create a community gathering space where people will connect with friends, family and food," Robert Hindman, managing director of State Street developer Los Altos Community Investment, stated in an email.
The food-hall lineup at 170 State St. includes Tin Pot Creamery, which founder Becky Sunseri first launched from her home kitchen in Los Altos; Cowgirl Creamery of Point Reyes; and Anchor restaurant (and speakeasy) El Alto (scheduled to open in the fall), which was developed by Traci Des Jardins, who has been twice recognized as a James Beard Award winner.
In the restaurant space at State Street Market will be Băo Bèi — the latest concept from Michelin-starred chefs Meichih and Michael Kim, who formerly led the kitchen at Maum in Palo Alto. The restaurant's name, Băo Bèi, which means "treasured one" is in part inspired by the couple's son, Meichih said.
"'Băo Bèi' is what I like to call our son ... a term of endearment. Our son is kind of our muse because he's multicultural, being Asian American," Meichih said.
The Kims describe the restaurant as a co-mingling of Korean and Tawianese flavors. Băo Bèi will feature noodle dishes, seasonal banchan and other dishes that incorporate Taiwanese and Korean herbs and spices, such as white pepper, cilantro, black vinegar, fried shallots, sesame oil and gojuchang.
"The whole idea behind (Băo Bèi) was behind our cultural identities. ... Michael being Korean and me having Taiwanese parents," Meichih said. "It's the co-mingling of the flavors, bringing them together in our concept."
The Kims also plan to serve beverages that complement the food, including a selection of Taiwanese and Korean beers, mandarin sodas and makgeolli (a milky Korean alcoholic beverage).
While food and drink are a serious focus for the Kims, who've cooked in top restaurants across the country, State Street Marekt brings an additional appeal, Meichih said.
"The big draw was the community aspect," Meichih said. "Given how the pandemic forced us to stay indoors, I think we lost touch with connecting and that feeling of being around others."
Meichih said they hope to provide a space where people from different generations can come together time and time again, and try different foods to suit the appetites of the day.
"There's a big variety," she said. "It'll make you keep going back."
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