Crepevine may be a first-time winner, but it certainly is not new to the restaurant scene. With 10 locations scattered all over the Bay Area, this creperie caters to readers who crave breakfast at any time of the day. Open from 7:30 a.m. to as late as midnight on Friday and Saturday, Crepevine dishes up sweet and savory crepes, with a menu featuring international flavor combinations, ranging from the Jamaican crepe filled with bananas and a caramel rum sauce to the Indian-inspired Bombay crepe, stuffed with vegetables and chicken or shrimp in a spicy curry sauce. Other menu options include omelets, sandwiches, eggs Benedict and pancakes.
300 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-969-6878. crepevine.com
Longtime favorite of Silicon Valley leaders including Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, former Intel CEO Craig Barrett and the late Steve Jobs, Chef Chu's is a staple of the Bay Area's abundant Chinese cuisine offerings. Chef and owner Lawrence Chu and son Larry Chu Jr. have established a celebrated restaurant that caters to both simple and adventurous palates. The menu includes classic fare from multiple regions in China, such as the spicy Sichuan ma por tofu and Cantonese barbecued pork buns. For more unusual dishes, try the mao tai quail flambÈ, which is a whole quail simmered in aromatic soy sauce and flambÈed in Mao Tai liquor before serving.
1067 N. San Antonio Road, Los Altos; 650-948-2696. chefchu.com
Coffee House (Independent)
Non-profit Red Rock Coffee wins again. The popularity of its community-focused events and "fantastic third-wave coffee and specialty drinks with a side of culture and community" keep its customers coming, said general manager Jean Boulanger. Popular drinks include the gingery chai, loose-leaf teas and the classic cappuccino, which is made with beans sourced from San Francisco-based roaster Four Barrel. Red Rock frequently hosts local artists and musicians for live events. "We offer two floors of seating to accommodate business meetings, Kids' Story Hour, knitting groups, a book club, coffee-tasting events, free live music three nights a week and a weekly open-mic night," Boulanger said.
201 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-967-4473. redrockcoffee.org
From the outside, Chez TJ may look like a quaint little home, but the French cuisine that awaits its guests on the inside certainly goes beyond the repertoire of the typical home cook. Executive head chef Jarad Gallagher focuses heavily on making fresh, seasonal ingredients the center of attention. According to Gallagher, the seasonal menu, which is updated on a regular basis, features produce that is either grown in Chez TJ's newly remodeled garden or within a 100-mile radius of the restaurant. It's also Mountain View's only restaurant awarded a Michelin star.
938 Villa St., Mountain View; 650-964-7466. cheztj.com
Sophistication is key at Xanh (pronounced "sun"), where the sleek chrome furnishings and blue, back-lit bar create a modern dining atmosphere. Our readers voted it the best fusion and the best Vietnamese restaurant. The Vietnamese-inspired menu features a blend of Eastern and Western flavors. Customers favorites include the shaking beef, a tender, garlicky filet mignon on top of a mountain of leafy greens, the Vietnamese tacos and kamikaze chicken wings served in a spicy tamarind sauce.
110 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-964-1888. xanhrestaurant.com
Amber India may be moving to Los Altos later this summer, but customers don't need to worry about losing its expansive menu of traditional Indian cuisine. According to owner Vijay Bist, the restaurant will move across the street to 4926 W. El Camino Real at the end of July, but will continue to serve its popular items, which include the butter chicken, yogurt-marinated rack of lamb, sea bass tikka and baingan bharta, which is a baked, mashed eggplant dish.
2290 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-968-7511. amber-india.com
Ristorante Don Giovanni is known as a go-to establishment for all types of events, from local tech firms' meetings and banquets to graduation parties and wedding rehearsals, says founder and owner John Akkaya. Some of the restaurant's most frequently ordered items on its classic Italian menu include the spaghetti Bolognese, grilled rack of lamb, and pollo ripieno — an oven-roasted chicken breast stuffed with herbs, creamy ricotta cheese and roasted sweet peppers.
235 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-961-9749. dongiovannis.com
Readers continue to share the love for Cascal, which won in two categories this year, for best Mediterranean restaurant and best happy hour. The menu offers a culinary tour across Spain and Latin America, including saffron-spiced Spanish paella and fresh Peruvian ceviche. The tapas menu of small plates includes flaky Argentinian beef empanadas, Cuban black bean soup and Mexico City-style braised short ribs. Every weekday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. is happy hour, which spreads outdoors to the bustling patio. During happy hour, most drinks are offered at about half price, including all specialty cocktails and select wines. Additionally, the happy hour menu features select items from the tapas menu at reduced prices, like the popular Brazilian shrimp and rice croquettas. Cascal hosts live music every Friday and Saturday night.
400 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-940-9500. cascalrestaurant.com
Repeat winner Fiesta Del Mar remains
1005 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View; 650-965-9354. fiestadelmar.com
Family-owned Morocco's Restaurant embraces its motto, "Enjoy the magic," with a bevy of exotic culinary and live entertainment offerings. The extensive menu includes authentic Moroccan tagines, Mediterranean kebabs and its signature green lentil salad. The Express Lunch menu guarantees customers will receive their dishes within 10 minutes after ordering, for those who can't linger over their lunch break. Every night of the week features different guest performances, such as table-side magic shows, belly dancing and live acoustic guitar.
873 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-968-1502. moroccosrestaurant.com
In business for less than a year, La PanotiQ has clearly made a good first impression on
331 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-691-9486. lapanotiq.com
La PanotiQ See Best New Restaurant
Place for a Business Lunch
With its elegant setting, menu of simple-yet-refined American classics and convenient downtown location, Scratch has something to offer every guest. The lunch menu features comfort food revamped for fine dining, with dishes like green chili, rotisserie chicken pizza and a grilled cheese sandwich served on buttery brioche. Its diversity of offerings aims to appeal to a wide demographic.
401 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-237-3132. scratchmtnview.com
First-time winner Pacific Catch has won over readers with its Pan-Pacific seafood menu. Traditional fare includes a variety of fresh Hawaiian poke and fish-and-chips, along with fusion offerings like wasabi rice bowls and a changing "daily catch" menu. Dedicated to providing "high quality seafood with a unique perspective," readers clearly think there's nothing fishy about Pacific Catch's seafood-focused menu featuring a variety of cooking techniques and ingredients.
545 San Antonio Road, Mountain View; 650-941-1810. pacificcatch.com
With its classic Japanese menu, Sushi Tomi focuses on producing menu standards with the utmost quality. You'll find all the traditional dishes here, like the chirashi bowl, filled with delicate sushi rice and colorful, expertly sliced pieces of fresh fish. Nigiri and seaweed-wrapped maki rolls are also popular with our readers. Or opt for the menu's many non-sushi items, such as teriyaki salmon, shrimp tempura and fried potato croquettes.
635 W. Dana St., Mountain View; 650-968-3227. sushitomi.com
With its opulent gold wall decor and vibrant orchid bouquets, Amarin Thai aims to create "the most authentic Thai experience, without the 15-hour flight and the hot, humid weather." The menu's special section, "The Vegetarian Paradise," dishes up flavorful, protein-packed vegetarian options like the "meatloaf" made of lentils, soy protein and assorted vegetables served in a sweet basil and red curry sauce. Meat-lovers will also be pleased with the numerous beef, pork, poultry and seafood specialties like classic pad see ew and massaman curry.
174-176 Castro St., Mountain View; 650-988-9323. amarinthaicuisine.com
Vegans and vegetarians alike have plenty to choose from at Garden Fresh, which specializes in Chinese vegan cuisine prepared with no animal products, MSG, trans-fats or high-fructose corn syrup. In addition to an abundance of vegetable-based recipes like the stuffed Chinese cabbage deluxe, packed with shiitake mushroom, carrot and water chestnuts, the menu includes soy-based meat alternatives including tofu, yuba and soy protein.
1245 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650-254-1688. gardenfresh.us
Xanh See Best Fusion