Openings + Preview

Openings on the Peninsula This Month

By Julissa James and Katie Sweeney

Kasa Indian Eatery is heading south and finding its roots. Building on the success of two wildly popular San Francisco locations, the vibrant Indian resto lands in Redwood City this month. For Kasa’s founder, Anamika Khanna, a British expat who spent her first 18 years in the United States at home in Redwood City, the new location was almost preordained: “I have a strong emotional connection here, and this has a lot to do with choosing Redwood City.”

Kasa Indian Eatery 2086 Broadway, Redwood City

Photo by Toni Zernik

Kasa will be serving up the same traditional Indian fare as the flag-ship San Francisco locations, with surprises coming later down the line — think biryanis and chaat on the weekends. For starters, diners can look forward to the full-of-flavor classics served on Khanna’s original menu: Chicken tikka masala, lamb curry, aloo gobi, saag paneer and more. Most dishes can be requested gluten-free and vegan for folks with dietary restrictions.

For Khanna, the simplicity of a thoughtful, homemade Indian meal is everything. She shared some of her absolute favorites off Kasa’s menu with us: Dal and rice with a side of kachumbar salad and shimla mirch aloo (stewed vegetables and poblano peppers in a kati roll). But nothing beats her all-time top pick. “My absolute favorite thing is the chai,” she says. “Even when I don’t feel like getting out of bed and going to work on the rare occasion, the chai lures me there.” The restaurant refers to their take on the traditional spiced tea as “the famous Kasa chai.”

More than anything, Khanna wants this new location to become a Redwood City gathering place where people can celebrate all of the beautiful aspects of Indian culture. “[It will be] a space that the community can start to take ownership of — it’s their local Indian restaurant,” she says. “[It’s] somewhere Indians can come to be proud of their heritage and showcase their culture … It’s a space where we as Americans get to join together and celebrate diversity through food.”

The Park James 1400 El Camino Real, Menlo Park

Photo by David Dugan Livingston

Over the past couple of years, upscale boutique hotels have been popping up in Silicon Valley. The latest property to join the likes of The Epiphany, Clement and Nia? The Park James, with 61 rooms outfitted in an earth tone color palette, Frette bedding, Momo toiletries and tech-forward elements like in-room tablets (which control the temperature and lighting) and digital entry pads. Some of the amenities at the pet-friendly hotel include a fitness center, large outdoor patio, a 1,200-square-foot meeting space and curated in-room comforts. The Park James is home to a new restaurant, Oak + Violet, an all-day eatery named after Menlo Park’s official tree and flower. The restaurant is helmed by chef Mike Gadd, who is crafting a menu that will highlight local, organic and seasonal California cuisine.

Salt & Straw 1309 Burlingame Ave., Burlingame, and 250 University Ave., Palo Alto

Photo by Patricia Chang

The scoop shop that’s taken the Bay Area by storm one ice cream flavor at a time? Salt & Straw. Founded in 2011 by cousins and Portland, Ore., natives Kim and Tyler Malek, Salt & Straw quickly became a beloved local producer. The Maleks opened in Burlingame in October, and the Palo Alto location is set to debut this month. Tyler Malek is known for his innovative flavor combinations that incorporate local ingredients — the mint chocolate chip is made with Tcho chocolate, while the coffee ice cream uses Sightless beans. There is even a flavor that uses Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam cheese. Sweet-tooths can look forward to a rotating menu of seasonal scoops.

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