Charlie Ayers’ Calafia Cafe Opens

Inside Calafia Cafe & Market A Go Go. (Photo courtesy of Ben Mayorga)

The long-awaited debut restaurant by the former executive chef of Google has opened for business at Palo Alto’s Town & Country Village.

Calafia Cafe & Market A Go Go is the brainchild of Charlie Ayers, one-time private chef to the Grateful Dead. Although the cafe is open, the market  — with its planned salad bar, rotisserie chicken, and pre-cooked meals to reheat at home — won’t open its doors until February.

The eclectic, global menu of the casual eatery emphasizes fresh, healthy, local, and sustainable. You’ll find everything from brown rice sushi ($9) to Crouching Chicken Pizza (Five-spice chicken, tiger sauce, mushrooms, white sesame seeds, and greens; $9), Chinese Chicken Salad ($7.50), Lacquered Beef Short Ribs ($16), and Vegan Sticky Buns with Maple Syrup ($7).

Carafes of house-filtered still or carbonated water are set on the tables. Lumber from a 1910 Pennsylvania barn was reclaimed for the ceiling. A chandelier of 66 recycled milk bottles graces the front dining area. Other custom table lamps are constructed from a found gas can and dairy can; and counters are made from recycled paper put under immense pressure to create a hard, dense surface.

Pizza -- Charlie Ayers' way. (Photo courtesy of Chris Schmauch)

The cafe and bar are open daily, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Happy Hour, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily, will feature select wines, beers, and appetizers at a discount.

To read my previous story on Ayers, click here.

Fiery BBQ Pork Rice Bowl (Photo courtesy of Chris Schmauch)

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Date: Tuesday, 20. January 2009 5:04
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Chefs, Enticing Events, General, Going Green and Sustainable, Google/Tech/Corporate Cafes, Health/Nutrition, Pizza, Restaurants

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  1. 1

    It looks like a nice place to eat!



  2. 2

    Is the second bowl some kind of bibimbap?

  3. 3

    Charlie likes to add his own interpretation to global dishes. I didn’t get a chance to try the Fiery BBQ Pork Bowl at the friends-family private party over the weekend. But it could be considered a new-style bibimbap, I suppose. The shortribs are killer. Fall-off-the-bone tender and ever so bodaciously beefy tasting. The veggies in the “daily tempura” get high marks for their notable fresh-picked flavor, too.

  4. 4

    The pizza looks incredibly delicious. I’m a big pizza fan and wondering what other ideas Ayers has for his pies. I can picture grabbing a slice right now.

  5. 5

    […] second sous chef hired at Google by the search engine giant’s famous original executive chef, Charlie Ayers. It was Desimone who designed the layout for the kitchens at Google in Mountain View, and who did […]

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