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Yummy Bay Area eateries which are closed, sadly

There are quite a few restaurants I miss because they are no longer open. Sniff. Since this article is derived from my old 1.0 site, it provides a historical perspective. After all, the previous cooks or owners might have opened newer places!

Chef Wang’s. Mountain View, CA. Some places advertise freshly pulled noodles. The likely result is a pathetic pile of rubbery starch strips. Not here. Lovely, evenly shaped noodles in a gentle soup, noodles crisped in Hong Kong style chow mein. Update: Lucy’s Café now open: Must investigate! Update #2: Lucy’s Café closed on 13 February 2007. Dang, I never had a chance to try it.

Iris’ Taquería. Los Baños, CA. This place had the best fish tacos, ever. Yes, in the middle of the vast San Joaquin Valley they somehow had fresh fish (perhaps fish farms close by?). Delicious catfish and snapper. Even the tortillas were homemade. Their jamaica (an agua fresca made from hibiscus flowers) was very quenching. The chile relleno was well made, too: not doughy, not overly soaked in sauce (topped with sautéed veggies). And their prices barely made a dent in the pocketbook!

Kim’s. Downtown Mountain View, CA. The first Vietnamese restaurant I fell in love with. This is where I was introduced to that iced coffee delicacy, cà phê sữa. It was a bustling place, so the waiters were sometimes harried. They had a hundred and one types of phở (including the chicken variety, phở gà) and bún. And lots other stuff. And a separate vegetarian menu.

Late for the Train. Menlo Park, CA. Kind of expensive, but had wonderful blintzes, sandwiches and brunch specials. Best time was Saturday, after 11am, when their menu expanded. Their cream of garlic soup was amazing —I’ve been searching for an equivalent recipe for years.

Mei Long. Mountain View, CA. Upscale Chinese food served Western style. That is, everyone had their own order to themselves, instead of shared family style. There were also some nice European influences to the food preparation. The appetizers were excellent; the sweet and sour sauce was homemade, not the usual fluorescent goop. The Chilean seabass (I confess!) and chicken ambrosial dishes were great. Rather formal setting, but the service remained excellent when my friends and I appeared in jeans.

Mermaid. Berkeley, CA. This wonderful Cambodian restaurant no longer exists, afaik. The fish soups and dishes with pumpkin were delicate and flavorful.

La Pablonita. Downtown Mountain View, CA. Incredible chicken fajitas. They came with a strong red sauce which I’ve yet to experience elsewhere. Sadly, this place closed in mid-1998.

Tien Fu. Downtown Mountain View, CA. This place had excellent mu-shu. Also had delightfully crispy onion pancakes that came with a thick, salty peanut sauce. Even their basic tea had nice, jasmine aroma.

Vietnam Restaurant. Downtown Menlo Park, CA. Often when I came in they’d place a small bowl in front of me, containing chicken broth, a few strands of chicken and bean thread. Quite comforting. I liked how they made bánh xèo, a crispy Saigon crêpe filled with bean sprouts, onions and shrimp. Their chicken saté was great, but one needed to make sure to order the one described as “BBQ kebab,” and not the “chicken satea.” The latter was very different, and no where as good as the former! The chicken salad was tasty, too. Sad as I was to see this place go, a yummy Mexican restaurant has opened in its place, Café del Sol.


  1. Trish B wrote:

    Did this restaurant move to another location? It was our favorite years ago and we’re coming back to the area.
    Thanks! Trish

    Wednesday, 31 August 2016 at 7:09 pm | Permalink
  2. sairuh wrote:

    Hi Trish! Which restaurant are you referring to?

    Friday, 2 September 2016 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

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