By Elena Kadvany
Mendocino Farms to replace LYFE Kitchen in Palo AltoUploaded: Aug 27, 2018
Southern California-based sandwich chain Mendocino Farms is opening a new location at 167 Hamilton Ave. in downtown Palo Alto, where LYFE Kitchen recently shuttered.
Mendocino Farms did not respond to interview requests. Earlier this month, the company submitted plans to the City of Palo Alto to make modifications to the exterior of the building.
Mendocino Farms will replace LYFE Kitchen on Hamilton Avenue. Palo Alto Weekly file photo.
Husband and wife Mario Del Pero and Ellen Chen opened the first Mendocino Farms in Los Angeles in 2005 with a "vision of an elevated dining experience offering much more than just good food," the company website states.
In a 2016 Los Angeles Times article, the owners described Mendocino Farms as filling an "untapped market between Subway sandwiches and boutique eateries such as Joan's on Third and Dean & DeLuca."
The fast-casual restaurant serves sandwiches and salads using locally sourced ingredients, such as a seasonal BLT with heirloom tomatoes from Scarborough Farm in Oxnard, nitrate-free Applewood smoked bacon, habanero honey, Sir Kensington's mayonnaise and arugula.
A photo of Mendocino Farms' "Not So Fried" Mary's Chicken sandwich -- with roasted free range chicken breast, "krispies," herb aioli, mustard pickle slaw, tomatoes and pickled red onions on toasted ciabatta -- posted on the restaurant's Instagram.
The sandwiches are served on "artisan" bread from two Southern California bakeries and Petits Pains in Burlingame. Mendocino Farms uses Mary’s Free Range chicken from Pitman Family Farms, Creminelli prosciutto (sea salt and heritage-breed pork humanely raised on vegetarian feed without antibiotics and turkey that was raised sans hormones or antibiotics, according to the company website.
The menu includes staples and seasonal dishes that rotate throughout the year. There are several vegan sandwiches and gluten-free options.
Mendocino Farms now operates more than 17 locations in Southern California and four in Northern California, with more on the way in both regions. Locally, there are Mendocino Farms in San Mateo, Campbell, San Jose and San Francisco.
The Palo Alto location will open in 2019, according to the Mendocino Farms website.