Palo Alto's Tam Tam to close, but owners hope to reopen elsewhere | Peninsula Foodist | Elena Kadvany | Almanac Online |

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By Elena Kadvany

Palo Alto's Tam Tam to close, but owners hope to reopen elsewhere

Uploaded: Nov 13, 2020

The owners of Tamarine announced that their more casual Vietnamese spinoff Tam Tam, opened in downtown Palo Alto last fall, will be closing this weekend.

Tanya Hartley and Tammy Huynh decided to not renew their lease at 140 University Ave., they wrote in an Instagram post. Tam Tam's last day will be this Sunday, Nov. 15.

Tam Tam's banh xeo, or moon crepes, filled with shrimp, pork, jicama, bean sprouts and mung beans. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

The sisters and co-owners opened Tam Tam last September, wanting to bring a more casual, less expensive and "strictly Vietnamese" restaurant to the area. The large corner space has seen numerous restaurants come and go over the years. Before Tam Tam, the space was occupied by Opa Authentic Greek Cuisine, Palo Alto Grill, the short-lived alkymists and Miyake.

Hartley said the coronavirus shutdown has been hard for the relatively new restaurant, which initially shifted to takeout only in the spring and then resumed outdoor and indoor dining more recently — though with only two outdoor tables. Reopening the dining room didn't help much, Hartley said, because Tam Tam hadn't been open long enough pre-pandemic to develop an established customer base.

"COVID made it hard for our future in Palo Alto," Hartley said.

Tam Tam opened in 2019 in the space previously occupied by Opa Mediterranean restaurant on the western end of University Avenue. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

They're hoping to find a new space for Tam Tam in the area, Hartley said. In the meantime, they plan to offer a few Tam Tam dishes down the street at Tamarine, which is open for indoor and outdoor dining.

The sisters are also still planning to open a fast-casual Vietnamese eatery in Mountain View.