619 Laurel St., San Carlos; (650) 486-1479. GustoSanCarlos.com
Downtown Redwood City’s growing dining scene also has an exciting new opening, Aly’s On Main, owned by Michael Mazaferri, a native of Forte dei Marmi in Tuscany. The sustainable, seasonal and locally sourced menu includes meats butchered in-house and ground daily, and pastas are made each morning and afternoon. The lunch and dinner menus vary greatly. In the daytime, nothing on the menu — from a Chinese chicken salad with tamari-red miso dressing to three types of tacos: cajun fish, braised short rib and beef cheeks — is more than $11. At dinner, eclectic small plates are the theme, with the aforementioned housemade spaghetti prepared as a carbonara. Grilled baby carrots are livened up with caraway and saffron yogurt. The restaurant’s signature dish is spicy lamb meatballs with a pomegranate glaze. The largest plates rarely rise above $20. Aly’s dining room in the rear has exposed brick walls and an open kitchen. In the lively bar area up front, patrons can enjoy local craft beer and watch the 49ers. Plus, there’s housemade sangria.
911 Main St., Redwood City; (650) 995-7500, AlyOnMain.com
Just in time for the holiday shopping season — and a nice alternative to countless holiday desserts — comes Pressed Juicery’s fifth Bay Area location inside the Stanford Shopping Center. The Southern California-based juice chain’s lengthy menu goes well beyond green juices that blend kale and spinach. Citrus juices include a zippy apple, lemon, ginger and cayenne option. Those in the mood for a roots-based juice may want to try beets or carrots. A seasonal juice blends yam apple, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.
660 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto; (650) 329-1450, PressedJuicery.com