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5 Spots for Small Plates

Anh-Minh Le, Anna Medina, Laura Ness | July 15, 2016 | Story Restaurants

Read more from the Best Restaurants Issue here.

Kemuri Japanese Barú
Sliders and fries, anyone? With a Japanese bent, that is. Kemuri’s version—unagi sandwiched between crispy rice buns ($15), and house-cut potatoes that come in nori shio or umami flavors ($6)—are just a couple of the many temptations on the menu. You’ll want to come back again and again to try as many of the creative dishes here as possible, including the avocado risotto ($10), yaki oni-Benedict ($7) and oxtail udon ($14). The industrial cool bar is the perfect spot to imbibe a shochu cocktail, sake or Japanese whiskey. 2616 Broadway, Redwood City, 650.257.7653

Although the pizzas are the main attraction here—who knew sausage and honey was such a great pie combination?—the small plates are also a good reason to endure a wait for a table at this popular place. It’s hard to go wrong here, whether you opt for the beet salad ($12), pork meatballs ($12.50), burrata plate ($12) or breadcrumb-topped cauliower ($8). There are usually a number of specials, and if the avocado toast with a pistachio pesto is on the menu, do yourself a favor and order it. Desserts include chocolate-chip and walnut biscotti ($6) made by one of the owner’s mothers. 2022 Broadway, Redwood City, 650.362.5052,

The variety of tapas on CasCal’s menu reflects a swath of bold flavors that encompasses the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America. The small plates range from Spanish-inspired dishes like pescado Marbella ($13) and pollo Andalucía ($11) to Argentinian-style beef empanadas ($13) and Cuban gorditas ($10.50). Regardless of the tapas you choose, the combination is sure to pair well with a pitcher of housemade sangria ($28). And if you’ve never had a horchata tini ($9) before, here’s your chance! 400 Castro St., Mountain View, 650.940.9500

Limón Rotisserie
Fourteen years after opening its first location in San Francisco, the folks behind Limón are bringing their talents (and Peruvian-inspired dishes) south. The Burlingame offshoot is expected to open any day now, allowing Silicon Valley-ites to indulge in Limón’s beloved rotisserie chicken ($10.95 to $24.95 for quarter to whole sizes, with two sides), ceviches ($10.95 to $16.95) and empanadas ($8.95). The small plates offer something for every palate, from crispy chicken or seafood to sauteed mushrooms to marinated and grilled beef tongue. The beverage menu includes handcrafted cocktails and nonalcoholic choices—perfect for a family outing. 1101 Burlingame Ave., Burlingame

Joya means jewel in Spanish—and it’s a name befitting a restaurant that boasts inventive tapas, each a unique jewel of its own. There’s an elegance to the way that pan-Latin flavors are fused in dishes like the pink taro and spinach croquetas with piquillo, manchego cheese and black garlic aioli ($9) and the chicken anticuchos with pineapple, Seville orange barbecue and Fresno pepper relish ($10). There are also familiar items with a twist, such as the corn dogs made with chorizo ($9) and deep-fried Oreos ($9). Complement your tapas (or larger entrees) with featured wines from Spain, Argentina and Chile. 339 University Ave., Palo Alto, 650.853.9800

Originally published in the July issue of Silicon Valley

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