by Max Hauser
Agave: A Fiesta del Mar Grill is planned at 194 Castro, former Babbo’s and King of Krung Siam. It’s a new venture of the Casa Feliz group, which owns both Fiesta del Mar restaurants locally and is also part of a larger restaurateur family whose branches operate several distinctive upscale Bay Area Mexican restaurants including La Fiesta (240 Villa), Vive Sol, and Palo Alto Sol.
B’Zu Café is the new name for the former Ristorante Zucca at 186 Castro. Brief remodeling followed an employee buyout and Zucca owner Praveen Singha’s retirement. Such menu changes as occur will be slow, the new managing owner told me; she plans to continue Zucca’s Mediterranean- Greek focus. I stopped by a couple of times after the re-opening and enjoyed a good-value, upscale grilled lunch special.
Café Yulong (743 W. Dana) is due to close by this Newsletter’s publication date, owners James and Miya Pei retiring after nearly 10 years in Old Mountain View. Neighbor comments, including on the OMVNAtalk email list, expressed that the Peis will be sorely missed, and not just Yulong’s cooking, but “friendly atmosphere.” Their children continue the tradition with some contemporary Pacific-Asian specialties in their “Eat on Monday” food truck, see http://eatonmonday.com/.
Morocco’s at 873 Castro, which hosted an OMVNA mixer reception in March, is closing its original, highly successful San Jose location to focus on Mountain View. Owner Sham Essadki told me Old Mountain View’s support has been gratifying, and that several OMV neighbors are now regulars. (Morocco’s also dropped its fixed 15% “service charge,” an experiment since last summer. Essadki said the service charge had been distributed to employees per an incentive plan supplementing the restaurant’s above-average wages and benefits, but that it proved unpopular with customers.)
Nichole’s, the fifth restaurant name at 300 Castro in two years, closed in April. Plans for a Crêpevine restaurant at the site were reported.
Steins Beer Garden and Restaurant is proposed new tenant of 895 Villa (formerly Golden Wok and briefly, Villa 08 Buffet). License-change and City development proposal notices appeared on the building recently.
Workshop Burger Bar & Grill, “coming soon” to 126 Castro for more than a year, posted hiring notices several weeks ago.
Note that Agave, Crêpevine, and Steins would raise the number of operating restaurants in the neighborhood (counting roughly Central to El Camino and Calderon to Shoreline) to 97. I keep an index of Old Mountain View restaurants at http://groups. yahoo.com/group/omvnatalk/files/.