Palo Alto, Calif.
Silicon Valley grows up.
Influenced by Japanese cuisine, elevated by Northern California’s bounty and nurtured by tremendous wealth, San Francisco has long had an exciting restaurant scene. But neighboring Silicon Valley suffered from the stuck-in-college tastes of many of its residents. Increasingly, that’s no longer the case, and Bird Dog is an excellent example of the VC and tech hub’s newly sophisticated palate. Chef Robbie Wilson trained in France and honed his skills at Craft in New York, the French Laundry in Napa and Matsuhisa Aspen. At Bird Dog, he’s cooking up delectable plates from salmon with burnt cucumber, to pork katsu with smoked banana, to a pine-smoked unagi sandwich. Even the drinks are intriguing: They include a sugar snap fizz made with yuzu and orange bitters.
Contact: 420 Ramona St., 650.656.8180, birddogpa.com
Cost: $16 to $28 for entrées
The Classic: Tamarine