Update: Renovation plans for Menlo Park Malaysian restaurant approved


Menlo Park is one step closer to getting a new Malaysian restaurant.

Plans to convert the former Menlo Hub location at 1029 El Camino Real into a Malaysian restaurant, called Topaz, were approved unanimously Feb. 8 by the Menlo Park Planning Commission, with commissioner Susan Goodhue absent.

Under the plans, the second floor would have a dining area without increasing the total floor area (5,378 square feet) of the building.

The architect's design shows the building's facade will be redone with stucco, accented with black tiles on the lower portion and cedar slat panels on the upper section. There will be a new door and exterior lighting fixtures, and heat lamps so that those waiting outside for a table can stay comfortable, said architect Chris Hall.

At the rear of the restaurant, a new door will be installed and windows will be replaced with a stucco wall.

Elena Kadvany reported on her Peninsula Foodist blog that the site was procured by Kay Tan last June. Ms. Tan owns a similar restaurant in Milpitas, called Banana Leaf, which has a large menu containing Malaysian, Thai, Indian and Chinese cuisine. The restaurant may also serve alcohol, pending approval of a liquor license.

This story has been updated from a previous version.

Parking issue

A previous version of the restaurant's designs added 698 square feet to the floor area of the restaurant. In November, the project's architect, Chris Hall, asked the city to waive the requirement that more parking be provided if floor area is increased.

He argued that Topaz would have fewer seats than the location's predecessor and the new square footage would add kitchen space considered necessary for cooking Malaysian cuisine. Plus, he said, nearby restaurants, such as Applewood Pizza, Trellis, Mama Coco, and Chef Kwan's do not have private parking.

However, the city didn't budge. According to Jim Cogan, the city's economic development and housing manager, the parking rules in the city's downtown specific plan do not differentiate between dining room square footage and kitchen square footage.

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4 people like this
Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 9, 2016 at 1:01 pm


But too bad no space for outdoor dining.

Like this comment
Posted by Mike Keenly
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 9, 2016 at 1:24 pm

Banana Leaf is a great restaurant. I'm looking forward to a similar restaurant in walking distance.

Like this comment
Posted by MPer
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 9, 2016 at 2:05 pm


where would you put an outdoor space for this building? Maybe the middle of ECR? Maybe the back parking lot that is shared with other business? maybe the roof?

1 person likes this
Posted by Sybille
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Feb 9, 2016 at 4:33 pm

I hope that this will be a restaurant that will be nice and quiet so one can actually have a conversation.

Like this comment
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 9, 2016 at 5:40 pm

Second floor?
Parking requirement for additional dining area on second floor?
Where oh where will everyone be parking when the new Malaysian and new dim sum restaurant opens next door? Even with the closure of the previous restaurants parking has gotten worse and worse.

Like this comment
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 9, 2016 at 5:43 pm

Time to build a parking structure on the parking lot behind Walgreens.

4 people like this
Posted by MP Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 10, 2016 at 6:41 am

@whatever, worst case, people might have to walk an extra 100 yards from a parking space. Menlo Park has tons of free parking on evenings and weekends (when restaurants are busiest)

In fact, so much of downtown is given over to parking that maybe we need to rename the city to Menlo Parking. There's nothing to do, but also least there's plenty of parking!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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