58 South Bay Accent CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: COURTESY OF THE CHOCOLATE GARAGE; RON HORII; SHUTTERSTOCK; SALLY FREEMAN 6 FOOD AND DRINK SAVORY SURPRISES • MITSUWA MARKETPLACE, 675 SARATOGA AVE., SAN JO SE • MERCADO LA T ORRE, 6 14 E. E VELYN AVE., SUNNYVALE Some of the best-kept eating secrets are food stands tucked away inside local markets. Take Santouka, the ramen restaurant inside Mitsuwa Marketplace, where there’s always a line of customers waiting patiently for the noodle-and-broth goodness. Longtime devotees swear it’s the best ramen in the South Bay, worth the wait and cash-only policy. For authentic south of the border fare, try the burrito bar inside Mercado La Torre in Sunnyvale. Fans contend it offers the best burritos around, filled with homemade refried beans, rice and salsa. 3 FOOD AND DRINK THE CHOCOLATE GARAGE • 6 54 GILMAN A VE., PALO ALTO Some make a pilgrimage to the Hewlett-Packard Garage in Palo Alto, but others take a tastier trek to the Chocolate Garage a few blocks away. Owner Sunita de Tourreil is on a mission to revolutionize how people enjoy chocolate—through tastings of small batch, bean-to-bar, responsibly made products. She calls it “Happy Chocolate.” The tiny tasting room is only open for limited hours on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings, or by appointment. 4 SINGULAR SHOPPING THE BOOK-GO-ROUND • 144 10 O AK ST., SARATOGA Located in the original Saratoga Village Library on a side street at the edge of the town, this appropriately musty, used bookstore is staffed by volunteers and packed with all sorts of treasures—children’s books, hardto find classics, records, DVDs and signed collectible titles. The impressive stock is arranged in 55 category sections. Special sales and book auctions are regularly held, but the prices are always “friendly,” which usually means dirt cheap. 5 OUT AND AB OUT SHOUP PARK • 400 UNIVERSITY A VE., LOS ALTOS Pronounced like “shout” with a “p,” this refreshing green and wooded oasis is tucked away at the end of a long driveway. The secluded, 4-acre park is filled with majestic oaks and redwoods, and Adobe Creek winds its way along the back edge of the space. Most visitors are from the surrounding neighborhood and walk to the park, so parking is plentiful. And local kids romp in two play areas away from traffic.
South Bay Accent - Oct/Nov 2014
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