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Issue date: May 31, 2000

What's Cooking: New Asian restaurant opens in Ladera center -- and other restaurant news What's Cooking: New Asian restaurant opens in Ladera center -- and other restaurant news (May 31, 2000)

Despite a low-key opening at Ladera Country Shopper last week, the response to the New Bamboo Asian restaurant "is phenomenal," says partner Eric Guzman. "We didn't even have a sign up, but the news traveled by word of mouth, I guess," he says.

New Bamboo's chef, Yung Le, a graduate of the California Culinary Academy, has developed a menu drawn from her travels throughout Asia. The menu will change seasonally to include a variety of Pacific Rim dishes. Along with such standbys as spring rolls, Chinese chicken salad, and fried rice, there are some interesting dishes such as eggplant saute with Asian sauce, Mi Quang noodles, and salmon stir-fry with green curry.

Ms. Le has also worked as a pastry chef at Left Bank and Straits Cafe, Palo Alto.

Eric Guzman and his partner, Ray Klein of Portola Valley, are both pros in the restaurant business. Mr. Guzman is managing partner of the Tree House on the Stanford campus. Mr. Klein is owner of Mojo in Palo Alto, the Elite Cafe in San Francisco, and chairman of the board of Una Mas Restaurants, Inc.

New Bamboo is located at 3130 Alpine Road, suite 300, site of the former Ladera Pharmacy. It is open for lunch and dinner; telephone 851-1718; fax: 851-2627.

Ridgeside Cafe. Hardie Dunn is the new owner of the Ridgeside Cafe, a couple of doors down from the New Bamboo. Regulars are happy to know the cafe's comfort-food menu remains much the same. The popular tortilla soup is still on the menu, as well as meatloaf and mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and roast chicken. For something different, try the grilled lamb patty pita sandwich with yogurt sauce. There are many fine wines available by the glass. Ridgeside Cafe, located in the Ladera Country Shopper, is open for breakfast lunch and dinner Monday through Friday; dinner only on Saturday and Sunday; telephone, 854-4166.

New look for Una Mas. Dick Hamner's flagship, the Una Mas restaurant at Stanford Shopping Center, has reopened with a new look, a long, sleek bar, and a new name, Una Mas Playa Bar & Grill. Beach-oriented decor with striped banquettes, oak tables and chairs, and textured stonework are intended to create an upscale Baja beach club atmosphere, says Mr. Hamner.

Una Mas now offers complete dinners, in addition to tacos, burritos, combos and tostadas. While Una Mas is always packed at lunch, adding margaritas, rum and tequila drinks, plus a new satellite big screen television, aims toward attracting an evening crowd.

It's been almost nine years since Mr. Hamner, a resident of Portola Valley, opened his first Taqueria Una Mas in San Jose. A few years ago, his company took over the Pollo Rey chain headed by Ray Klein, also of Portola Valley. Mr. Hamner is president and CEO of Una Mas Restaurants, Inc., with headquarters in Sunnyvale.

Una Mas Playa Bar & Grill, Stanford Shopping Center, is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, telephone, 323-8226.

Vintner's Festival. Two weekends of tours, tastings, food, music, and art will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4, and Saturday and Sunday, June 10 and 11, by the Santa Cruz Mountains Windgrowers. Thirty five wineries will be pouring at 27 locations. It's a chance to visit wineries rarely on to the public, take part in vertical tastings, and sample gourmet food from Bay area restaurants. Cost, to include both weekends, is $20.

On June 3 and 4, wineries from the eastern side of the Santa Cruz Mountains, such as Woodside Vineyards, 340 Kings Mountain Road, will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cronin Vineyards of Woodside will be pouring at the same location. "We always team up together," says Woodside Vineyards owner Bob Mullen. Every vineyard plans something special, he says. Woodside Vineyards will have a barbecue lunch available for purchase.

On the second weekend, June 10 and 11, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., wineries from the western side will be featured. The rarely-open McHenry Vineyard in Bonny Doon will serve samples of their 1997 Carneros Pinot Noir, and the new Terrace Restaurant in Soquel will be pouring releases from Soquel Vineyards.

For more information on Vintner's Festival call 831-479-9463, or send $20 per person to Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers, 7605-A, Old Dominion Court, Aptos, Ca 95003. 


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