Italian. $$. A small space with a large menu, sporting the traditionals that have been mainstays at local eateries. Appetizers and salads are the best bets. 820 Santa Cruz Ave, Menlo Park, CA. Lunch 11:30am-2:30pm, dinner 4:30-10pm, daily. 650.323.3665.
Flea Street Cafe
New American. $$$$. Carefully crafted, impeccably chosen food featuring seasonal local produce and Niman Ranch meats. Entrees are spectacular, generous, and pricey, while the atmosphere is casual and eclectic. Beer, wine. Closed Mon. 3607 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA. 650.854.1226.
Le Pot au Feu
Country French. $$$. An easygoing place where diners feel comfortable ordering a one-course or a five-course meal. Wine and beer. Closed Mon. 1149 El Camino, Menlo Park, CA. 650.322.4343.
Grandma's French. $$$. Wise country fare combined with metropolitan savoir faire and a dash of Gallic attitude make the Left Bank a hit. Full bar. 635 Santa Cruz Ave, Menlo Park, CA. 650.473.6543. Book a table online.
New American. $$$$. Blending European glamour with fresh California ingredients, this glitzy new Santa Cruz Ave. star offers up sophisticated New American food with a French accent. Wine, beer. 898 Santa Cruz Ave, Menlo Park, CA. Dinner Tues-Sat from 6pm. 650.324.9092. Book a table online.
Trattoria Buon Gusto
Southern Italian. $$. Matriarch Palma Costa performs pasta magic in this neighborhood treasure trove of earthy flavors and warm service. Casual. Beer, wine. Closed Mon. 651-H Maloney Lane, Menlo Park, CA. 650.328.2778.
California bistro $$. Vida exudes atmosphere, from its smart bar and procession of enormous cylindrical chandeliers--very Brasilia 1965--to its blackboard menu of wines and specials. Impeccably authentic bistro dishes and welcoming prices are spun through Bay Area culinary consciousness to create regional homey French cuisine. Closed Mon. 641 Santa Cruz Ave, Menlo Park, CA. 650.462.1686