For those with New Year’s resolutions to have a healthier diet, Bare Bowls in Palo Alto is emphasizing nutritious bowls. At the heart of the menu are açai bowls, filled with the purée of the purple berry often referred to as a super fruit for its healing and anti-oxidant benefits. Açai bowls all include granola and sliced bananas on top. Toppings and add-ins include the “Unplugged” with a garnish of cacao nibs and roasted almonds, or the “Omni Green” with leafy greens and avocado blended into the puree, then topped with hemp seeds. Dairy-free smoothies are also offered. Note: Bare Bowls is open only during the daytime.
530 Emerson St., Palo Alto; (650) 272-6885. Barebowls.com
Though the name suggests raw fish, Bigfin Bistro in Redwood City offers a wide array of Japanese specialties, including the expected sushi and sashimi. Start with small bites, such as agedashi tofu and grilled chicken wings, before delving into ramen or a bento box sampler with chicken teriyaki and shrimp and vegetable tempura. Fish may be ordered in sushi combinations or a la carte. Among the specialty rolls is the Cherry Blossom, stuffed with avocado and salmon and wrapped with tuna. A grand party boat has more than two dozen pieces of sashimi and sushi for $50. Bigfin, in a space that used to be All Seasons Sushi, is owned by a former employee of All Seasons. The renovated blue room has stone floors and a bamboo-backed sushi counter.
2432 Broadway, Redwood City; (650) 298-9899. Bigfinbistro.com
With more than a dozen cafes between the South Bay and South San Francisco, the rapidly growing Philz Coffee is waking up San Mateo, offering popular blends ranging from the delicate light-roast Greater Alarm to the dark-roast Tantalizing Turkish with mint leaves. As it is at all Philz locations, every cup of coffee (or tea) is made to order in the company’s newest outpost. The San Mateo cafe – with an industrial-meets-modern design, hardwood floors, brick walls and exposed ceiling ducts – also is its largest location.
113 South B St., San Mateo; (650) 931-1770. Philzcoffee.com
New Year’s Eve
Several Peninsula destinations are nice places to ring in 2015. On the coast, Beach Monkey Cafe in Pacifica welcomes midnight Eastern and Pacific time with a three-course organic dinner complete with a Champagne toast and unlimited beer and wine during two seatings. Nearby, Puerto 27 presents “Carnival Rio Puerto 27” at 9 p.m. with an $85 three-course dinner, live music and Brazilian dancers until 1 a.m. Seiya in San Carlos offers a special $85 omakase menu and Tamarine in Palo Alto also has an exclusive four-course, prix-fixe $85 per diner menu for the evening.
986 Linda Mar Blvd., Pacifica; (650) 738-5920. Beachmonkeycafe.com
525 Crespi Dr., Pacifica; (650) 733-7343. Puerto27.com
741 Laurel St., San Carlos; (650) 508-8888. Seiyasushi.com
546 University Ave., Palo Alto; (650) 325-8500. Tamarinerestaurant.com