From the arrival of a popular Korean barbecue chain to new additions at State Street Market, these restaurants are awaiting your visit.
New eateries have opened across the Peninsula over the past few weeks, specializing in a wide variety of cuisines. Santa Clara has landed the first local outpost of the popular Korean barbecue restaurant Baekjeong, while a new taqueria has replaced a longtime Portola Valley eatery. Palo Alto’s California Avenue has gained a new tapas restaurant and bar, while its downtown area is now home to a Sunnyvale Turkish restaurant’s second location. In Los Altos, State Street Market has gained two new vendors.
Sekoya, Palo Alto: Steve Ugur, co-owner of San Mateo Italian restaurant Pausa Bar & Cookery, has opened a new restaurant on California Avenue. The restaurant’s soft opening was in early August, officially opening Tuesday, Aug. 15. Sekoya’s chef de cuisine Jason Johnson’s prior experience includes stints at Chez TJ, Wayfare Tavern and Quince, according to a press release. The menu focuses on California-inspired small plates, with offerings ranging from Thai snapper crudo and housemade parker house rolls to skewers, prime bone-in ribeye for two and caviar service. Erik Rivera, former bar manager of San Jose’s Dry Creek Grill, created Sekoya’s drink menu, which features specialty cocktails such as the Sekoya Slushy, a vodka-based drink with hints of honeydew melon, as well as a wine and beer list.
The restaurant’s name pays homage to the California native Sequoia tree and is also the Turkish word for redwood, a nod to Ugur’s Turkish roots, according to the press release. There are natural, wooden accents throughout the space, including a “tree table” reserved for special dining experiences. Both indoor and outdoor seating options are available, including patio dining, communal tables, bar and lounge seating and the terrace for private events.
Baekjeong, Santa Clara: Popular Korean barbecue restaurant chain Baekjeong, Korean for “butcher,” opened its first location in Los Angeles in 2012, expanding to seven locations throughout California and New York. Baekjeong opens its first Peninsula location at Westfield Valley Fair today (Aug. 16).
Offerings include a wide selection of Korean eats, from bibimbap and kimchi stew to nearly 20 different cuts of meat such as short rib, pork belly and ribeye. The drinks menu includes a large wine list, including Korean wines, plus beer, mocktails and cocktails like the Dwaenjang Old Fashioned (fermented soy-infused Kikori whiskey, Angostura bitters, Benedictine and jalapenos). If you want to snag a reservation, the next available one as of press time is Sept. 19.
Meyhouse, Palo Alto: Meyhouse started as a Sunnyvale pop-up before it landed a brick-and-mortar location in the same city. Now the Turkish eatery has expanded to downtown Palo Alto, offering a more refined and contemporary approach than its Sunnyvale outpost. The restaurant’s name references Istanbul meyhane cuisine, deriving from the Farsi words mey and khāneh, which translate to wine and house. Meal service at Meyhouse is designed to be leisurely and shareable; the menu includes a selection of cold and hot mezes, such as oven-fried eggplant and grilled octopus as well as fresh fish cooked to order and live-fired meats. The expectation is that diners start with cold dishes before moving to cooked items.
Along with serving raki, the national drink of Turkey made with thrice-distilled grapes, drink offerings include the Pepper and Flower cocktail made with a tequila-mescal blend, peppers and marigold amaro. Seasonal cocktails will be available as well.
To create a live music ambiance, Meyhouse includes a music venue designed in collaboration with SFJAZZ to help bring various international performers to the restaurant.
Jalisco’s Grill, Portola Valley: The small town of Portola Valley rarely sees changes in its limited restaurant scene. For the most part, the family-owned restaurants in town have been operating for decades and remain in the neighborhood due to their loyal customer base of Portola Valley residents. But the recent closure of a nearly 50-year-old cafe made room for a new casual eatery to take its place.
The restaurant space at the corner of Alpine and Portola roads formerly belonged to Portola Cafe Deli Pizza Burgers, which closed in July. The family-run cafe and Portola Valley staple opened in 1976 and was known for its expansive breakfast and lunch offerings including pizza, burgers, sandwiches, wraps and coffee drinks. Jalisco’s Grill opened in its place in late July, offering casual Mexican fare.
Jalisco’s Grill has a small menu featuring burritos, tortas, quesadillas, huaraches and gorditas. Breakfast offerings include chilaquiles, breakfast burritos and huevos a la Mexicana. Horchata and agua de jamaica, a hibiscus tea, are on the drinks menu.
Jalisco’s Grill, 3 Portola Road, Portola Valley; 650-863-8412.
State Street Market 2.0, Los Altos: Los Altos’s State Street Market relaunched in the spring, unveiling a new lineup of food vendors including burger spot Konjoe,Orenchi Ramen, Little Sky Bakery and The Penny Ice Creamery. Earlier this month the food hall announced the addition of two more vendors: The Good Salad and Bibo’s NY Pizza. The Good Salad, an eatery specializing in customizable salads, opened its first location in 2021 in Santa Clara and opened in this month inside State Street Market. The salad spot also plans to open in Palo Alto later this year.
San Jose-based Bibo’s NY Pizza, a pizzeria committed to bringing East Coast-style pizza to the Bay Area, will also land in Los Altos at the end of this month, serving traditional pizza slices, wings, calzones, cannolis and more.