What happens to a restaurant after it receives a coveted Michelin star for the first time?
It gets busy, busy, busy.
Such is the case with the charming All Spice in San Mateo, which opened in 2010, and was awarded a Michelin star in 2012.
The award is proudly displayed in the foyer of the 1906 Victorian that houses the restaurant.
The first time I visited the restaurant a few months after it opened, there were a few empty seats here and there in the cozy dining rooms. Now, the place is packed, as evidenced by a recent visit last month, when I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant.
Chef Sachin Chopra, who cut his chops at Amber India in San Jose and Daniel in New York, conceived of All Spice as a tribute to modern Indian cuisine. In the past few years, he’s fine-tuned his vision even more. All Spice has never been about blow-out-your palate spiciness. It’s always been far more subtle. It’s more so now. The fine-dining approach is evident in the artistry of the presentations. The techniques evoke French classicism. The flavors are Californian with measured accents of Indian.