It's already been a busy year on the local food-and-drink beat, with high turnover and the departure of some longtime businesses -- but also the return of one and the promise of exciting new projects on the horizon. We've got the details on the eateries that have closed, opened and are headed to the Midpeninsula this year.
Rose International Market, Mountain View
February marked the much-anticipated return of Rose International Market. The longtime Persian market reopened after closing temporarily in 2015 while an apartment complex was built at the corner of Castro Street and El Camino Real. The renovated market is larger and updated but carries the same specialty grocery items, fresh produce and prepared foods that have made it a local favorite for decades. The kitchen, led by Rose Market's longtime Iranian chef, is again churning out kebabs, koubideh, khoresh (stews), tahdig (crispy-bottomed rice), wraps, salads and other dishes.
801 W. El Camino Real, Suite B, Mountain View; rosemarketcatering.com
Superhot Hot Pot & Korean BBQ, Mountain View
The menu at Superhot Hot Pot & Korean BBQ, as the name suggests, is extensive. Udon, ramen and biang biang noodles. Beef tripe, popcorn chicken and spicy lamb. Quail egg, raw egg. Chinese donuts. Bean curd knots. Tom yum soup. Beef bulgogi. For $29.95 per person, you can get all-you-can-eat hot pot, Korean BBQ and dim sum. The restaurant limits meals to 90 minutes and charges $10 per person for every additional half hour. No leftovers allowed.
210 Hope St., Mountain View; 650-963-9819
Boba Guys, Palo Alto
There's been a line out the door at Boba Guys since the moment it quietly soft opened at Town & Country Village in January. It's the 15th location for the San Francisco-born Boba Guys, whose popular milk tea is made in small batches using real tea leaves instead of powders, with Straus Family Creamery organic milk and a housemade, all-natural sweetener. The typical Boba Guys menu is available in Palo Alto, such as the best-selling strawberry matcha latte with matcha, milk and a housemade strawberry purée. Customers can build their own drinks to their preferences, from type of tea and milk (including oat milk) to sweetness level. Boba Guys also serves pastries and some food, including Hong Kong milk toast.
855 El Camino Real #120, Palo Alto; bobaguys.com
Taro San Noodle Bar, Palo Alto
Taro San Japanese Noodle Bar opened at Stanford Shopping Center in January, channeling the art of udon-making in the heart of Silicon Valley. The restaurant serves three types of fresh udon noodles custom made on a specialty machine from Japan. Beyond a traditional beef udon, the noodles are served in nontraditional ways: one with a ramen-like chicken paitan broth and another with a vegan broth made from shiitake stock, vegetable stock and miso. Tsukemen, traditionally served with ramen noodles and a dipping broth, comes instead with udon, duck breast and a rich fish dipping broth. Owner Jerome Ito, a former sushi chef who also runs Go Fish Poke Bar, plans to open more Taro San locations in the future.
717 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto; tarosanudon.com
Roost House, Palo Alto
Frank Klein, co-founder and now former CEO of fast-casual chain Asian Box, is onto a new venture: a chicken restaurant in downtown Palo Alto. Klein opened Roost House earlier this year, which he described as a "neighborhood chicken restaurant that offers massive amounts of veggie alternatives, some on-trend dietary dishes and amazing beer, wine and ciders." Dishes include fried chicken sandwiches, wings and pickled vegetables.
461 Emerson St., Palo Alto; roosthousepa.com
Belcampo Meat Co., Palo Alto
Hyper-sustainable meat company Belcampo has closed its Palo Alto and San Francisco locations to make way for its first commissary kitchen and a major new project in San Mateo. The outpost at Town & Country Village closed on March 2. The company plans to open the commissary kitchen in San Francisco this spring, then a 7,000-square-foot restaurant at Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo this summer. The shift will allow Belcampo to focus on growing other parts of its business: e-commerce, food delivery and "large-format premier dining experiences," the company said in a release. Belcampo opened in Palo Alto in 2014, part of a retail expansion push in Northern and Southern California.
Simply Sandwiches, Palo Alto
Simply Sandwiches, the affordable, pocket-sized sandwich shop off California Avenue, has closed. Sand Hill Property Company owns the building Simply Sandwiches was located in at the corner of California and Ash Street, where the Hotel California is. Matt Larson, director of public affairs for Sand Hill, said the Simply Sandwiches owner informed the company "earlier in February that they intended to leave. The shop closed its doors at the end of last month." The owner had been on a month-to-month lease, Larson said. The longtime, original owners of the 250-square-foot sandwich shop, Rob and Jeannie Wimmel, sold the business and retired in 2014. They bought the shop from friends in 1985, when each of the menu's five sandwiches cost $2.25.
Cho's Mandarin Dim Sum, Los Altos
After nearly four decades in business, Cho's Mandarin Dim Sum closed for good in late January. The owners of the longtime, unassuming dim sum spot moved to Los Altos in 2015 after receiving a 60-day notice from their landlord in Palo Alto, which sparked outrage in the community and even a petition to save the hole-in-the-wall restaurant. "After 39 long years of serving the community his beloved food, Cho is finally moving on with his retirement," a Facebook post announcing the final closure reads. "There are no immediate plans for reopening in the near future."
Honcho Bar, Los Altos
After three years of serving beer, wine and low-proof cocktails in downtown Los Altos, Honcho Bar shuttered in February. Owner Rod Newman declined to comment on the reasons for the closure but cited the "cost of doing business in the Bay Area." A veteran of the food and drink industries, he opened Honcho in 2016 to create a "gathering space for people to work or get to know each other or share a meal or just have happy hour," he said at the time.
Ludwig's German Table, Mountain View
The owners of Ludwig's German Table in San Jose are bringing their traditional German restaurant and biergarten concept to downtown Mountain View this summer, taking over the former Bierhaus space on Castro Street. The Mountain View location will be more casual than the San Jose restaurant, "focused on an authentic German beer garden," co-owner and Hamburg native Nicole Jacobi said. Along with drinks, there will be food that draws on Jacobi's roots and family recipes: imported pretzels, sausage salad, and German meats and cheeses.
383 Castro St., Mountain View; ludwigssj.com
Telefèric Barcelona, Palo Alto
The owners of Telefèric Barcelona, who run three well-known restaurants in Barcelona, Spain, and a fourth in Walnut Creek, are opening a new location at Town & Country Village this year. Telefèric is currently renovating the former Calafia Cafe space, which includes a next-door market that will be stocked with Spanish wines, cheese, cured meats and other imported products. The restaurant serves Spanish tapas, pintxos and paella.
855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto; telefericbarcelona.com
Oren's Hummus Express, Palo Alto
More news for Town & Country Village patrons: Popular Israeli restaurant Oren's Hummus is opening a new "express" outpost there in April. This will be the first of several Oren's Hummus Express locations in the Bay Area that will focus on quick, grab-and-go service. The 855-square-foot space at the back of the shopping center (the former home of Fast Tony's Chicken) will be open seven days a week with a counter where customers can order hot items made for pickup as well as to-go orders. Look for Oren's creamy hummus, rice bowls, pita sandwiches and more.
855 El Camino Real Suite #162, Palo Alto; orenshummus.com
Mendocino Farms, Palo Alto
Southern California-based sandwich chain Mendocino Farms is set to open on April 25 at 11 a.m. in downtown Palo Alto, according to the company's website. The fast-casual restaurant, which took over the former LYFE Kitchen space, serves sandwiches and salads using locally sourced ingredients as well as vegan sandwiches, gluten-free options and seasonal dishes that rotate throughout the year. Mendocino Farms operates more than 17 locations in Southern California and four in Northern California, with more on the way in both regions.
167 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto; mendocinofarms.com/palo-alto
Mountain Mike's, Menlo Park
The space that was for decades home to Applewood Pizza in Menlo Park will soon serve pizza again. A franchisee for Mountain Mike's Pizza is opening an outpost there this summer, according to Samantha Wilson of Powerhouse Communications, which handles media for Mountain Mike's. This will be the third location for Janet Moscini and her son Brian, who own Mountain Mike's franchises in Campbell and San Carlos. Applewood closed in early 2019, much to the dismay of many longtime customers.
1001 El Camino Real, Menlo Park; mountainmikespizza.com
Petit Bakery Co., Los Altos
The owner of Petit Bakery Co., a gluten-free baking company that makes fusion pastries like mochi madeleines, is opening her first brick-and-mortar bakery this summer in downtown Los Altos at the former site of Cho's Mandarin Dim Sum. Everything Petit Bakery Co. serves will be gluten-free, from cakes and cupcakes to muffins. The bakery will also offer paleo, vegan and dairy-free desserts, plus coffee, tea, dairy-free lattes and boba.
209 1st St., Los Altos; petitbakery.co