Restaurants

Post image for Park James Hotel hosts grand opening party

The scene was electric in more ways than one at the Park James Hotel in Menlo Park last Thursday night (Nov. 1) where 500 invited guests had gathered to sip, nibble and listen to the sounds of The English Beat (yes, that ’80s band).

While managed by broughtonHOTELS, the father/son duo who developed the hotel, Jim and Jeff Pollock, have deep local ties, as chronicled in this July InMenlo post. Both were on hand to welcome their guests and celebrate all the people who contributed to making the hotel a reality.

“This property is uniquely designed for Menlo Park,” said Jeff. “It’s  a place to see old friends and meet new friends.”

There are a number of nods to Menlo Park’s Irish roots scattered around the hotel, including beautiful Connemara marble tables in the dining room and restrooms labeled in Gaelic. Keeping the Irish theme going, Menlo Park Mayor Peter Ohtaki presented Jeff with a hurling stick, a wooden stick used in the Irish sports of hurling and camogie.

Menlo Park itself is paid tribute. The restaurant Oak + Violet is named for the city’s tree and flower. And one of the signature cocktails is called El Camino, although the main ingredient, El Silencia mezcal, is more south of the border.

The crowd was quick to the dance floor when The English Beat started to play shortly after 8:00 pm. And Jeff, a skilled keyboardist, joined the band for its opening number.

The Park James is located at the corner of Glenwood and El Camino. Its 61 rooms range in price from $400 to $700 during the week and $199 to $279 on Saturday and Sunday. Oak + Violet serves lunch, brunch and dinner; the O+V Courtyard, which is pet friendly as is the hotel, features an outdoor bar and a small plates menu.

Pictured above left to right is Weston Spiegl, GM Park James Hotel; Rosser Edwards, Project Manager on behalf of Developer/Pollock Financial Group; Jim Pollock, Chairman, Pollock Financial Group; Jeff Pollock, Sr. Vice President, Marketing/Real Estate, Pollock Financial Group, Larry Broughton, Founder & CEO, broughtonHotels. Photo courtesy of Park James Hotel as is photo of seafood on ice

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Greg Alden brings a second generation perspective to the Woodside Hotel Group

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Many residents are undoubtedly familiar with  the Stanford Park Hotel. What may surprise them is that the hotel is one of 10  independent luxury hotels owned and/or managed by the Woodside Hotel Group, which was founded locally 46 years ago. Today, the Menlo Park-based company is run by Greg Alden, whose parents first got into […]

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Getting a first look at Park James Hotel O+V’s patio courtyard – and taste testing its food and drink options

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The Park James Hotel in Menlo Park is now open as is the lovely patio bar, O+V Courtyard, from 5:00 to 11:00 pm daily. Oak + Violet restaurant, featuring California farm-to-fork cuisine, will be open for dinner starting Monday, October 8. Breakfast, lunch, and brunch to follow in the weeks ahead. There is free valet parking […]

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Madera wins Wine Spectator Award under the stewardship of Paul Mekis

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“The cellar has grown a bit,” Madera restaurant director of wine Paul Mekis told us when we caught up with him recently after first profiling him in 2014. The reason for our return visit: Madera, located in the Rosewood Sand Hill hotel in Menlo Park, received the Grand Award from Wine Spectator this year, one […]

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Events Manager Tiana Wong is operator of Cafe Wisteria at the Allied Arts Guild

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In the decade that Tiana Wong has been Events Manager at the Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park, she’s seen half a dozen cafes come and go on the property. “I observed what worked and what didn’t,” she said matter of factly. So when the space became available again at the beginning of the year, […]

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Much anticipated Camper opens in Menlo Park

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Chef-Partner Greg Kuzia-Carmel had just returned from the Palo Alto farmers market when we encountered him last Saturday at his new restaurant, Camper, which officially opens Labor Day weekend in Menlo Park. But if you go to OpenTable you’ll discover a few reservations available starting today and over the next few days (at least as […]

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New chef comes to Mademoiselle Colette in downtown Menlo Park

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Nicolas Agraz is the new Executive Chef at Mademoiselle Colette in downtown Menlo Park, bringing many years of experience with the renowned top chefs in Paris, namely Pierre Hermé, Christophe Michalak as well as Christophe Vasseur (chef at the bakery “Du Pain et Des Idées” that serves the restaurant Alain Ducasse at Plaza Athénée). Leveraging his passion for amazing pastries and fine Parisian gastronomy, […]

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Revisiting Round Table Pizza just shy of its 60th anniversary

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Two national businesses that our town of Menlo Park spawned are still alive and well. One was incorporated in 1998 and first set-up in a garage of a newly-purchased home at 232 Santa Margarita. Now headquartered in Mountain View, Google is part of everyday life. The other began in a California Water Service building on […]

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Spotted: LB Steak sign coming down

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We were in downtown Menlo Park early today and came upon a worker taking down the LB Steak sign. We asked, “When is the new sign going up?” as this is the site for the much anticipated Camper featuring  chef Greg Kuzia-Carmel. He answered, “Mid-August.” Footnote: we got the “L”.

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Bastille Day comes to Menlo Park at two [almost] next-door restaurants

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What was happening on the rest of Santa Cruz Avenue on Saturday, July 14, we are not sure. Because the place to celebrate Bastille Day was at the almost next-door neighbor restaurants, Left Bank and Vida. The star-spangled, winged woman on stilts paraded around both restaurants, going up the sidewalk and then walking down SCA […]

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Sunday Suppers are attractive offering at Left Bank Menlo Park this summer

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Editor’s note: This is one in an occasional series spotlighting special features of local restaurants that may not be obvious or well-known. As part of Left Bank Menlo Park’s 20th anniversary celebration, the restaurant is serving Sunday Suppers now through the end of September. The suppers are particularly attractive when dining outdoors on warm summer evenings. […]

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