Calafia in Palo Alto for Fresh & Fun Vegetarian Dishes


Before a theatre production in Palo Alto last month, I met up with vegetarian friends at Calafia in Palo Alto California whose art comes from Chef Charlie Ayers. Formerly with Google, Charlies says that Calafia is the manifestation of his long-term vision to ‘go public’ with the concept he created at Google. It will appeal to a wide range of audiences, from students to busy professionals and parents looking for wholesome, affordable fare for their families.

Below is a sampling of some of the dishes we tried on our somewhat rushed evening as we had seats for a musical waiting for us a few miles down the road.


To give you an idea of some of their dishes, creative appetizers alone include sesame udon noodles with rice wine vinaigrette, black and white sesame seeds, scallions, roasted shiitake mushrooms, tempura fried vegetables, papas con ajo, which are crispy shoestring fries tossed with garlic, parsley, and Calafia spice blend, served with Special Red Sauce and a tofu rojo & black bean tostada, served with chipotle-scented black beans, cabbage, cilantro, red onions, chili-lime vinaigrette, avocado, Wildwood organic firm tofu and a crispy white corn tortilla.

If you’re not a vegetarian or vegan, try the fresh ground duck, shiitake mushrooms, ginger, scallions with sake and sesame oil. It is served with a yummy dipping sauce. While we’re talking duck, the Wolfgang’s Pizza is scrumptious. Imagine a pizza with duck confit, pumpkin-hemp seed pesto, mozzarella and goat cheese.

I tried the grilled flat iron steak marinated in Chinese five spice, watercress, sunflower sprouts, daikon radish, fennel, red miso aioli and crispy shallots (pictured above) although my second choice was their arugula salad served with salmon, warm quinoa pilaf, rice wine vinaigrette, house-made pickled vegetables and wakame. They also have a number of burgers to choose from as well.

An example of one of their pizza dishes.

If you’re not on a diet and want to skip all things healthy, go for the boneless Marin Sun Farms beef short ribs braised in aromatics, port wine and veal stock. It is served with sauteed Spring vegetables and cauliflower puree. While I didn’t try it, the dish sounded delicious.

While we’re talking about no diet dishes. Take a look at this dessert on the menu, but that’s only if you’re not gluten or dairy free, which btw, they have a wide range of choices to choose from. A two thumbs up for this little eatery on El Camino Real.



Town & Country Village Suite 130

855 El Camino Real (at Embarcadero Road)

Palo Alto California

(650) 322-9200

Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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