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By Elena Kadvany

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About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

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Flights to replace Shiva's in Mountain View

Uploaded: Jul 17, 2018
At Flights, good things come in threes.

In fact, every dish comes in three. Order French fries and you'll get truffle, garlic and sweet potato. Meatballs? Look for a plate of Swedish lingonberries, Italian marinara and pineapple teriyaki meatballs. Want a martini to chase it all down? Expect one cucumber, one Gibson and one dirty.

Flights owner Alex Hult opened the first tapas-style restaurant in Campbell last year, then in Los Gatos and Burlingame and now, in downtown Mountain View. Hult has taken over 800 California St. #100, where Indian restaurant Shiva's recently closed.

Flights will open this fall at the corner of California and Castro streets in Mountain View. Photo by Elena Kadvany.

Hult is a former professional hockey and poker player from Sweden, where his mother ran several restaurants. He opened his first restaurant in 2013: Hult's Restaurant, which served upscale Swedish-California cuisine. He closed Hult's and turned it into a Flights restaurant earlier this year.

At Hult's, he noticed more and more customers sharing appetizers as their meals rather than entrees. This, combined with his own observations of our increasingly busy lives and an alluring cocktail flight on his honeymoon in Hawaii, gelled into the idea for a restaurant that would encourage a shared experience.

"Basically it's a gimmicky thing that gives people a reason to talk to each other and laugh about it," Hurt said. "It creates a reaction. It forces people to interact with each other."

At Flights, everything comes as three appetizer-sized servings. "Order one get all three," the menu reads.

A meatballs trio served at Flights. Photo courtesy Flights.

The menu is focused on comfort food: hot dogs, pizza, tacos, grilled cheese, salads, sliders. Desserts include cast-iron cookies, ice cream, beignets and pie.

The Mountain View restaurant will have the same menu as the other locations.

Flights serves lunch, dinner and brunch. The restaurants do not take reservations; seating is first come, first served.

Hult hopes to be open in Mountain View by late September.

He's also negotiating to open inside a hotel on the Las Vegas strip and said he plans to turn Flights into a national franchise, with locations in major cities and airports.

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 +   2 people like this
Posted by Eric, a resident of another community,
on Jul 17, 2018 at 12:47 pm

The Mall-ification of Castro St continues.... thanks to idiotic decisions by our city council

 +   22 people like this
Posted by Diner, a resident of another community,
on Jul 18, 2018 at 9:17 am

@Eric, one independently owned restaurant closed and now anther independently owned restaurant is opening in the same location. How is that "mall-ification"? and why are you blaming the city council?

 +  Like this comment
Posted by @Diner, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Jul 18, 2018 at 1:06 pm

Haters must hate, they must voice some perceived negative whether it actually exists or not, and even if it just comes out as some misguided "Pshhh...gubment" type post. It's a bit like turrets.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by resident, a resident of Woodside: other,
on Jul 19, 2018 at 12:07 am

Really hard to believe that he can pay downtown Mountain View rent for this huge space with a menu of "hot dogs, pizza, tacos, grilled cheese, salads, sliders".

 +  Like this comment
Posted by PEG, a resident of North Whisman,
on Jul 19, 2018 at 2:49 pm

PEG is a registered user.

We have eaten at the Los Gatos location and were not impressed.
The food was only so-so and the service was totally lacking.
We enjoyed the "Hults" Restaurant before this change was made
and we are not interested in "Flights" in the least.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Novelera, a resident of Midtown,
on Jul 20, 2018 at 10:21 am

Novelera is a registered user.

Beignets? I'm in. Of course, there won't have the atmosphere of Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, but I love beignets!

 +   2 people like this
Posted by Eater, a resident of another community,
on Jul 20, 2018 at 12:40 pm

Novelera, you took for granted that this restaurant uses the word beignet in the special, slightly confusing way New Orleans does (for what the rest of the US originally called a drop cake or dough nut -- before the circle shape became popular for "dough nuts"). But the restaurant's founder came from Europe. The basic meaning of beignet in French cooking is a fritter (aka tempura), that's how the word is used worldwide (and in French cooking and cookbooks even in the US). So in this situation it could mean either.

Besides which, I don't get what is so special about doughnuts that happen to be cooked in a different shape (and I've tried them in New Orleans, many times), it almost implies an obsession for sheer novelty.

 +   2 people like this
Posted by Ron, a resident of Waverly Park,
on Jul 23, 2018 at 9:41 am

@Eater: Do you even hear yourself? You sound so arrogant. You must be a blast at parties- "This chip, which I have tried many times you know, would be called a crisp elsewhere. How do you people enjoy these!?"

Lots of cultures have their preferred version of fried dough. Get over it.

 +   2 people like this
Posted by Ron, a resident of Waverly Park,
on Jul 23, 2018 at 9:44 am

Something new to try. Shivas was fine. It was ... there. Decent enough Indian food but with a host staff that seemed generally annoyed to assist you. I gave up after the second time. Some people may not like change, but the new place at least sounds different than the same old thing.

 +   4 people like this
Posted by Eater, a resident of another community,
on Jul 23, 2018 at 11:38 am

@Ron: Do you know that online written communication misses many of the cues that help people understand each other in person? So it is common for readers to project their own assumptions about motive, tone, etc. when they read something online, and then respond to those projections. It's how flame wars usually start.

There is a sort of petty snobbery about New Orleans beignets. Petty, because some people boast they've been to New Orleans to get them, but don't know that when Americans understand the word at all, they can understand it in two different meanings. So, at parties in fact, I've heard people do that, hold forth about beignets at Café-du-Monde (always Café-du-Monde, the tourist place, never anywhere else in New Orleans). Then other Americans ask what those beignets were filled with, but the first people don't understand the question. Sorry if a little clarification was unwelcome.

 +   2 people like this
Posted by Nope, not helping the cause, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Jul 23, 2018 at 2:05 pm

Should have quit while behind instead of reinforcing Ron's opinion.

 +   2 people like this
Posted by Eater, a resident of another community,
on Jul 25, 2018 at 4:59 pm

No, the last troll comment is off-target, again. I had no expectation of influencing Ron's opinion, or any like it. Just as the opinions of negative commenters to this blog (who habitually disdain businesses they've never tried) are unlikely to be influenced by facts. There's ambiguity in the word "beignet" today, and the Louisiana variant is a hyped form of doughnut. If Ron, or "Nope, ..." or the cryptic other troll who was deleted (if all those are even more than one person) has a problem with those facts, or chooses to read them in some jaundiced way, the problem is strictly theirs.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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