Peninsula Dining Update: A Taste of Morocco in San Mateo
After nearly a three-year run, French/Moroccan bistro Café Tradition decided to change its name to Fassia. With the new name came a Moroccan menu and Moorish décor overhaul. The chef remains Jean-Roger Rafael, who was born in France, while his wife, Morocco-born Drissia, remains in charge of the front of the house. Menu items include grilled lamb merguez sausage and B'stilla Fassia, duck wrapped in phyllo dough then dusted with sugar, cinnamon, and almonds. A wide range of tagines and couscous plates round out the main courses, all around $20. 123 W. 25th Ave., San Mateo; (650) 345-2233.
Mike Koozmin/The S.F. Examiner Just one of the many Moroccan dishes at San Mateo's new Fassia.
The owners of Alana's Café in Burlingame and Redwood City announced that they have taken over the giant 5,000-square-foot space in Burlingame formerly housing the Hola Cantina and Restaurant. Sixto's Cantina, an authentic Mexican concept with a hacienda-style atmosphere, will be opening later in the fall. A full bar, patio, and sidewalk seating are all in the plans. The idea comes from the runaway success of the Wednesday night Mexican dinner series that the owners have been running at Alana's Café. 1448 Burlingame Ave., Burlingame.
Meanwhile, Palo Alto's largest and oldest restaurant has announced major changes beginning at the start of next year. Ming's, a local legend since 1956 known for its dim sum power lunches and 200 plus items on the menu, announced that it will be down-sizing from 500 seats to just 150. Taking over much of the venue will be a Staybridge Suites extended stay hotel. The new Ming's also plans to be more dinner-focused because of the surge in local companies offering free lunches to employees. 1700 Embarcadero Dr., Palo Alto; (650) 856-7700.
The six-month-old Beach Monkey Café in Pacifica is now serving dinner after starting out with only breakfast and lunch. The initial menu includes pasta and a few appetizers and salads, but sandwiches are the main focus, like a chicken banh mi and a Cubano with pork, white cheddar, and homemade pickles. There are both homemade chocolate chip cookies and homemade blondies for dessert, with the latter thrown in a "dirty blonde" sundae. Plus, there's free wi-fi and outdoor seating. Adobe Plaza Shopping Center, 986 Linda Mar Blvd., Pacifica; (650) 738-5920.
The Rendezvous Café is now fueling Redwood Shores with its new café inside the Sobrato Center for Nonprofits. Breakfast features pastries, fruit, and bagels. Sandwiches and salads are on offer mid-day, along with lunch specials, such as a recent dish of pork loin with figs. 350 Twin Dolphin Dr., Redwood Shores; (510) 605-7501.