Charlie Ayers’ Calafia Cafe Opens
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.
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.
It looks like a nice place to eat!
Is the second bowl some kind of bibimbap?
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.
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.
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