Asian foods in downtown Mountain View - nearly two dozen places to eat and shop.
Asian foods in downtown Mountain View - nearly two dozen
places to eat and shop.
An array of authentic Asian cuisines--from Cantonese, Mandarin, and
Mongolian to Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese--awaits diners in downtown
Mountain View. Within a 4-square-block area around Castro Street,
you'll find 18 Asian restaurants and one bakery; five of the
eateries serve dim sum (Chinese steamed buns, dumplings, and other sweet
and savory bite-size delicacies). Three nearby markets are packed
ceiling-high with all kinds of Asian specialty foods and spices. This
ethnic enclave on the San Francisco Peninsula is an easy detour off U.S.
At first glance, Mountain View seems hardly the place where so many
Asian restaurants would prosper. But the city's Asian population
shot from 5.6 percent in 1970 to 10.6 percent in 1980. As people from
Taiwan and Hong Kong moved (often via San Francisco) to suburban Silicon
Valley, restaurants sprang up to accommodate them.
Walk down the sidewalks of recently spruced-up Castro Street and
you'll see the Asian influence: three martial arts studios, two
Asian furniture stores, two acupuncture clinics, and two video rental
stores offering the latest Hong Kong and Taiwan kung fu thrillers.
Seafood reigns supreme on Castro Street, especially Cantonese
seafood. Chefs often keep live fish and shellfish in tanks in the
restaurant, then steam or fry them with garlic, scallions, and mild
You'll find good quality at most of these restaurants, but
decor is usually minimal. Intense competition, moderate prices, and a
large and discriminating Asian clientele keep the chefs from
Americanizing the cuisine. A lunch or dinner for two (soup, rice, and
two entrees) averages about $15. Set lunches run $3 to $4.15 per
person, dinners $5 to $10 per person. Most restaurants offer special
prices for large groups.
To reach Castro Street from U.S. 101 (Bayshore Freeway), exit west
on Moffett Boulevard and go about 1 mile, crossing Central Expressway,
to Castro Street. There's free 2-hour parking in lots off Hope and
Bryant streets, parallel to and one block on either side of Castro. 18
options for lunch or dinner
We group the restaurants by cuisine and mention their highlights.
Most are open weekdays for both lunch and dinner, and weekends for
dinner--it's best to call for hours. All telephone numbers are
area code 415. The most popular places are packed at lunchtime on
weekdays and on weekend nights. All the restaurants have take-out
Chopsticks Seafood Restaurant, 360 Castro Street; 969-0500. Entrees
run from sauteed conch with Chinese green to shredded roast duck with
jellyfish. Dim sum served 11:30 to 2 on weekends.
Hong Kong Chinese Bakery, 210 Castro; 969-3153. Open 9:30 to 7:30
daily (until 8 Fridays and Saturdays). Exotic delights include Chinese
bride's cake (winter melon cookie) and lotus seed paste moon cake.
It also sells steamed pork buns. Just two small tables.
Kirin Chinese Restaurant, 485 Castro; 965-1059. Four tanks hold
live crab, eels, fish, lobster, and soft-shell turtles, waiting to be
transformed into delectable dishes.
Lotus Garden Chinese Restaurant, 210 Hope Street; 961-3500.
Mui Kiang Restaurant, 895 Villa Street; 969-8232. Elegant,
recently remodeled. Most dishes are Cantonese, but it also features
some saltier Hakka-style cookery. Traditional Hakka dishes include
salt-baked chicken and baked, stuffed oysters. More exotic are sauteed
horseshoe clams with duck feet. Dim sum served weekends 11 to 2.
Pearl River Seafood Restaurant, 246 Castro; 967-1689. Streetfront
review clippings explain why seafood lovers pack in like sardines.
Extensive menu includes braised whole rock cod, steamed prawns in garlic
sauce, and duck with taro in clay pot (one of many country-style pot
Qui Hing Low, 134 Castro; 967-2476.
Yu Fung Seafood Restaurant, 156 Castro; 969-9494. Serves just
about anything that lives in the sea, from abalone to squid. For
dessert, try the baked tapioca pudding. Cantonese and Mandarin
Andy's Chinese Restaurant, 174 Castro; 968-9494. Under new
management, Andy's now offers a dozen kinds of dim sum daily ($1 to
$1.35 per plate).
Cho's Mandarin Dim Sum, 273 Castro; 965-1157. Serves 11
different kinds of dim sum; 30 to 75 cents per item. You can also buy
items frozen for heating up at home.
House of China Restaurant, 102 Castro; 961-7347. Try the dark,
rich duck smoked with camphor wood and tea. Plates and bowls are
plastic, but food is authentic.
House of Yee Restaurant, 160 Castro; 961-9694. You'll find a
more subdued atmosphere than in most Chinese restaurants. For the gan
saw whole fish, the waiter will kindly behead it if you like. Dim sum
served weekends 11 to 2. Mongolian
Colonel Lee's Mongolian Bar-B-Q, 304 Castro; 968-0381.
Mongolian barbecuing with a Taiwanese accent. Choose from a table of
assorted meats (beef, chicken, lamb, pork) and six sauces, then watch
the chef grill it. All-you-can-eat dinner costs $6.55. Japanese
Kyo Restaurant, 867 W. Dana Street; 969-2241. Standard Japanese
Sumi Restaurant, 635 W. Dana; 961-1982. Cozy neighborhood sushi
bar with large clientele of regulars.
Tokyo House Teriyaki Seafood Restaurant, 124 Castro; 968-8519. The
Friday and Saturday sushi special is authentic and economical. Some
other dishes are Americanized.
Yakko Restaurant, 975 W. Dana; 960-0626. Choose from eight kinds
of sushi and five kinds of donburi (one-bowl meals of rice, meat,
Bangkok Spoon, 702 Villa; 968-2038. Sensuous curries, soups. House
specialty is peek gai yud sai (chicken wings stuffed with pork, cabbage,
celery, and onions). Quiet atmosphere. Vietnamese
Mekong Vietnam Restaurant, 288 Castro; 968-2604. Proprietor is a
former vice-premier of the Republic of Vietnam. Try unusual spicy beef
(bo nho) appetizers: beef wrapped in grape leaves with wine sauce.
Asian grocery shopping
Foreign Country Recipes
These three nearby markets stock hard-to-find ingredients for Asian
recipes, including many of those in Sunset's report on Southeast
Asian cuisines (see page 126). The first two also sell Chinese baked
goods and dim sum (fresh and/or frozen).
Dana Oriental Grocery, 743 W. Dana; 969-2034; open 10 to 7 Mondays
through Saturdays, 11 to 6 Sundays. Look here for fresh baked goods,
frozen chicken feet and fish, Japanese teas.
Easy Foods Company, Castro and W. Dana streets; 969-5595; open
10:30 to 6:30 Mondays through Saturdays, noon to 5 Sundays. Fresh
Chinese vegetables, roast duck; rice paper, woks.
SD Oriental Market, 400G Moffett Boulevard (in Moffett Plaza,
2 blocks north of Castro); 964-5080; open 8 to 7 daily. Filipino