Palo Alto Needs the Kitchen

I've said it to their publicist and I'll say it to all of you too: Palo Alto needs a restaurant like Boulder's The Kitchen. Why, you may wonder, do we really need another restaurant? Actually, you're probably not wondering that, since Palo Alto and the Peninsula in general have a dearth of good places to eat. OK, so what makes it so different from what we already have? Well, for starters, the fact that everything is local and/or organic where possible and all of the food is great, yet nothing on the menu is over $30 (most entrees are actually priced in the high teens to low twenties); that it's one of America's most greenly operated restaurants; and that this neighborhood hangout is always open and you can always seem to get a seat. While a few dishes I've tried have only been good, the average level of the rustic, casual cuisine is much higher. It's the sort of food many of us would like to make at home, but don't have the time or skill to manage. Nothing in my neighborhood compares to the fresh, light menu, and where you can find good food it tends to be richer, more expensive, and require a reservation a few days in advance. Of course it's a different story if we're willing to drive to the City or beyond, but then it's not really our casual neighborhood place.If you know of a place at least a little like the Kitchen on the Peninsula, please let me know. (The closest comparables I know in the Bay Area are Pilar in Napa and Bar Tartine in SF, if it was easier to get a seat.) Or, if you've been thinking of opening a place like this, please get going! And Kimbal and Hugo, if you ever decide to branch out in California, I'll be your first and frequent customer!The Kitchen1039 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO303.544.5973Open 7 days a week.

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Explanation of ratings

Attire: Casual-stylish. You could wear anything in, but you'll probably see someone you know and the Boulder population tends to be fit and chic when they're not climbing mountains or holding a lotus position.