The Beat on Your Eats: New American

Words by Johanna Harlow

Words by Johanna Harlow

New American restaurants worthy of flagging.

farm house belmont


Tucked within a 1936 building in a charming residential area near Twin Pines Park, Farm House exudes neighborly charm. Though the brick-walled interior is certainly cozy, enjoy warmer weather from its spacious backyard patio, brightened with cheery orange chairs. The menu ranges from the tried-and-true to the truly adventuresome. So while the comfort food crowd can opt for buttermilk fried chicken, daring diners can sink their teeth into gator bites with jalapeno and Cajun aioli. Also open for brunch on the weekends, the restaurant serves a standout French toast with coconut cream, caramelized bananas and toasted coconut on thickly sliced bread. Wash it all down with a cup of French press-brewed coffee. 1301 6th Avenue. Open Wednesday through Sunday.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Greg Kuzia-Carmel


Menlo Park

Organic and local is the name of the game at Camper, a California-influenced restaurant with a seasonal menu that sources from top-notch farms on the Peninsula and Central Valley. Seeking recommendations? Try the handmade agnolotti—little stuffed pasta pillows that might contain toasted walnuts, morel mushrooms and Carmody cheese one month, then sweet corn from Portola Valley’s Webb Ranch the next. In all honesty, whether you opt for the suckling pig with grilled asparagus and a charred tomatillo salsa verde or Calrose rice with garlic chive kimchi, mushrooms and spicy yuzu citron, you’re sure to be a happy camper. For dessert, the restaurant’s s’mores are a staple—evoking nostalgic memories of campfire gatherings while completely reinventing this classic. Think toasted graham cracker shells filled with creamy Guittard chocolate and a meringue topping toasted to golden perfection. 898 Santa Cruz Avenue. Open Monday through Saturday.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Umay Isik

west park bistro

San Carlos

Make yourself comfortable. The huge funky light fixtures, earthy tones and inviting patio suits West Park Bistro’s motto to serve “feel good” food. Before selecting your drink, wander over to the restaurant’s wine racks and peruse its extensive 300+ bottle collection. Since they specialize in California vintages, keep it local with a cab from Paso Robles or a zin from Napa. As for the meal, meat lovers will appreciate the succulent Berkshire pork chops and filet mignon with chianti butter, while vegetarian and gluten-free diners are equally indulged with curry roasted cauliflower, butternut squash gnocchi and pistachio-crusted goat cheese with truffle honey on crisp crostini. 788 Laurel Street. Open daily.