Steak tartare toast at Flea Street Cafe.
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T-bone-style halibut at The Sea.
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The White Elephant Butter Paper Dosa at Rasa.
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Ricotta gnocchi at Zola.
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Flea Street Cafe
Move over, avocado toast. It’s steak tartare toast that gets all the glory here. Chef Charlie Parker handchops dry-aged eye of round from Marin Sun Farms, dresses it in brined green peppercorn aioli, and piles it on top of housemade ciabatta suffused with green garlic and charred spring onions. Pickled asparagus, chervil blossoms and a flourish of pecorino come along for the ride. 3607 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park
For a flaky and delicate halibut entree, chef YuMin Lin employs a special technique to cut the fish into T-bone portions. The accompaniments, including peas and roasted bell peppers, give the fillets a natural seasoning of sweetness. The shimeji mushrooms impart an earthy note, while chunks of crispy polenta lend a wonderful texture to the plate. 4269 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
The White Elephant Butter Paper Dosa can’t help but command attention. After all, it spans 2 feet in length, overtaking the plate it arrives on. Golden, crisp and delicate, it’s loosely rolled with a sprinkle of smoky gunpowder dust. Tear off a piece to scoop up the accompanying spiced masala potatoes and sambar, plus coconut-cilantro and tomato chutneys. 209 Park Road, Burlingame
While chef-owner Guillaume Bienamé’s menu changes seasonally, the ricotta gnocchi is a constant at his French eatery. A moat of brown butter—filled with crispy pasta pillows, mushrooms and green onions—surrounds a Glaum Ranch slow egg. Break the yolk, mix everything together and enjoy. Take the dish up another notch by opting for Périgord truffles. 565 Bryant St., Palo Alto
Originally published in the July/August issue of Silicon Valley