Bradley's keeps things 'bountiful, friendly, delicious'

Menlo Park is now home to one of the biggest chef names in the Bay Area — or, at least his newest dining concept. Bradley Ogden, founder of the Lark Creek Group, and his son Bryan debuted Bradley’s Fine Diner earlier this year in Houston. Its second restaurant serving “New American Diner” cuisine has now opened right by the Menlo Park Caltrain station. Make no mistake, this not a 1950s soda fountain diner. It’s a 4,000-square-foot diner with the motto “bountiful, friendly, delicious,” following the restaurant name’s BFD theme. Start with beef tartare and anchovy toast, or steamed Pacific clams with garlic sausage in a pilsner beer-bean stew. Main dishes are upscale riffs on diner classics, such as buttermilk fried chicken with crème fraiche whipped potatoes, Grandma’s meatloaf, and steak and potato, with a wood-grilled flat iron and a scallion potato cake. Daily blue plate specials include fish taco Mondays. The interior has an open, industrial feel with exposed ducts overhead and brick walls that contrast with refined wooden tables and leather banquettes, and a 60-seat porch is outside. And don’t worry _ Ogden’s much imitated and celebrated butterscotch pudding has a home in Menlo Park, too.

<p> 1165 Merrill St., Menlo Park; (650) 494-4342. Bradleysfinediner.com

SAN BRUNO

San Bruno’s new Vietnamese restaurant is Pho Do. The namesake noodle soup appears on most tables, often in the traditional beef broth with a variety of different beef cuts that may be added as a side garnish. Chicken pho is also available. On the small menu, crispy spring rolls are a classic appetizer. Lunchtime includes banh mi sandwiches, although they’re served on a Dutch crunch roll instead of the usual baguette.

1230 El Camino Real, San Bruno; (650) 583-8268.

PALO ALTO

Palo Alto workers and others who swarm the California Avenue area each mid-day have the newest lunch option in Beans n’ Bites, which has taken over the former Bolivian cafe, 3G’s. The new owners still serve Bolivian snacks made by the 3G’s owners, but the focus is on a small menu of Chinese street food dumplings and barbecue pork buns. Design-your-own sandwiches, and rice and noodle dishes (such as the classic Szechuan dish dan dan, with spicy garlic minced meat) and ma po tofu, are offered at lunch. The eatery’s “beans” are coffee and espresso drinks, which are served in addition to smoothies.

456 Cambridge Ave., Palo Alto; (650) 473-6511.

THANKSGIVING

Not excited about roasting your own turkey this week? You’re not the only one looking to enjoy Thanksgiving at Peninsula restaurants. Many will be open Thursday, including Three Restaurant & Bar in San Mateo, offering a four-course $43 ($25 for children) dinner from 1 to 6 p.m. Or enjoy a fireplace, harbor views and traditional Italian dishes or Thanksgiving specials (such as turkey meatballs) at Half Moon Bay’s Mezzaluna.

50 E. Third Ave., San Mateo; (650) 344-9444. Threesanmateo.com

459 Prospect Way, Half Moon Bay; (650) 728-8606. Mezzalunabythesea.com

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