A taste of Spain, by the Pacific, at Seville Tapas 

click to enlarge Gabriel & Daniel’s Mexican Grill - COURTESY PHOTO
  • courtesy photo
  • Gabriel & Daniel’s Mexican Grill
The Half Moon Bay-area restaurant scene now has an exciting Spanish tapas flair thanks to Seville Tapas. Dinner might not be served in the Princeton-by-the-Sea restaurant at 11 p.m. like in the real Seville (it closes at 9 p.m.), but the tastes certainly will transport you to the Mediterranean coast thanks to classics such as gazpacho and meatballs in sherry sauce. Many of the tapas are also offered as larger “raciones,” or portions, allowing diners just to have a snack of jamon Ibérico, a large plate to share, or a meal of tortilla Española (in Spain, that’s a traditional potato-and-egg tart like an omelette). You’ll also find meat platters featuring Spain’s coveted hams and chorizo, as well as over 50 choices of “pepitos,” or mini-sandwiches served on small baguettes. The restaurant’s freshly painted, bright-red exterior is hard to miss, and there’s an outdoor patio that is perfect for an afternoon glass of Cava with tapas. Of course, sangria and various wine bottles from Rioja are available for the complete Spanish experience — by the Pacific. Seville also offers many of its tapas and imported goods from Spain to go for customers (perfect for a beach picnic).

450 Capistrano Road, Half Moon Bay; (650) 563-4181, SevilleTapas.com.

San Mateo

A popular, family-run Mexican restaurant in Burlingame now has expanded to a second outpost. Hillsdale Shopping Mall shoppers now can visit Gabriel & Daniel’s Mexican Grill at one of the mall’s food courts before continuing to the next store. Fajitas, burritos, tacos and quesadillas are the menu anchors, complemented by a small group of soups, salads and appetizers. More substantial specialties are highlighted by the Rosi’s Special with a choice of chicken or steak joined by serrano peppers, mushrooms, corn, sour cream, cheese, salsa and guacamole. Nothing tops $12, and portions are quite generous. Gabriel & Daniel’s can be considered “slow” fast food since a little extra prep time goes into the preparations and artistic presentations, where salsa and sour cream become almost a sort of painting. It’s impressive.

60 31st Ave. (inside Hillsdale mall), San Mateo; (650) 315-2530, GabrielyDaniel.com

San Carlos

Kamakshi’s Kitchen recently re-opened for business in San Carlos after running as a small cafe and mostly a catering business in San Mateo. Here you’ll find the South Indian home-style cooking of chef-owner Veena Kallingal. That includes breakfast items like an idli plate with assorted spreads. Then for lunch and dinner, the menu revolves around classic street food snacks called chaat. They include the pav bhaji that the restaurant describes as miniature Indian sloppy Joes, or platters that often feature dosas (similar to crepes) and vegetable curries called sambar. A helpful dictionary for the menu is on hand to explain the various dishes and their spice levels. With spicy or nonspicy dishes, there’s the always refreshing mango lassi or soothing masala chai to drink. Along with the restaurant, the catering business has resumed, complemented by a food club and cooking classes.

601 Old Country Road, San Carlos; (650) 401-6564, KamakshisKitchen.com

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