After a nearly three-year run, French-Moroccan bistro Café Tradition has decided to change its name to Fassia. With the new name came a Moroccan menu and Moorish decor 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. The menu includes grilled lamb merguez sausage or briouat, and the B'stilla Fassia, savory duck breast 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.
The owners of Alana's Café in Burlingame and Redwood City announced 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 works. The idea comes from the runaway success of the Wednesday night Mexican dinner series that the owners have been running at Alana's Café.
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 downsizing 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.
The 6-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, such as 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.
The Rendezvous Café is now fueling Redwood Shores with its new cafe inside the Sobrato Center for Nonprofits. Breakfast features pastries, fruit and bagels. Sandwiches and salads are on offer midday, along with lunch specials such as a recent dish of pork loin with figs.