865 Middlefield Road, Redwood City; (650) 369-5323. GreenLeafBistro.com
In Menlo Park there’s a new destination for regional Mexican cuisine. It’s Mama Coco Cocina Mexicana in the former Mex To Go space. Named for one of the owner’s grandmothers, the restaurant has many dishes that come from recipes that Mama Coco herself would cook in Mexico City. That means the capital city’s vibrant flavors are everywhere on the menu, from the guacamole and empanadas to start, followed by salmon Veracruzano and tacos filled with al pastor pork and pineapple. Though huarache is found at street carts all over Mexico City, this is one of the few Peninsula spots to enjoy the dish, where masa is curved into a sandal-shaped tortilla and topped with cactus, onions, cheese and a salsa verde. Cochinita pibil, a suckling pig specialty of the Yucatan, is among the large plates offered with chicken mole. Salads include mango-jicama and one with kale, avocado and a tamarind-ginger vinaigrette. There is a patio area for outdoor dining that includes a kids’ play area and the casual inside room has turquoise walls featuring artistic images of Spanish words. Margaritas are of course a popular beverage choice at Mama Coco, closely followed by sangria. Vanilla flan tempts for the sweet finish.
1081 El Camino Real, Menlo Park; (650) 272-6634. No website.
Half Moon Bay
Attention Peninsula craft beer fans, next Sunday afternoon, Aug. 17, from noon to 3 p.m. is Half Moon Bay Brewing Company’s Mid-Summer BEERbecue at its heated outdoor Mavericks Beer Garden. Tickets for $25 each (beers are extra) get two grilled in-house beer-marinated meats and summery sides like corn on the cob and grilled seasonal vegetables. Brewmaster James Costa will be on hand to discuss what to pair with the barbecue. First come first served, no reservations.
390 Capistrano Road, Half Moon Bay; (650) 728-2739. HMBBrewingCo.com