Amami Sushi in San Bruno has been a Peninsula favorite for creative sushi preparations and oyster shooters. Amami San, which has the same proprietors, has taken over the former Yoko’s Japanese Restaurant space in South San Francisco. Both restaurants offer an a la carte menu as well as a 10-nigiri piece, $33 omakase (chef’s choice). On the a la carte side, sushi bar offerings range from sashimi to unique rolls such as the signature Amami Special Roll (eel, cucumber and real crab wrapped inside avocado, drizzled with unagi sauce). A white board lists sushi chefs’ specials, including hard-to-find items such as Santa Barbara uni and seared baby lobster. Classic Japanese dishes (tempura, fried chicken karaage, ramen, teriyaki) round out the menu. Many visitors love the oyster special shot, a one-sip spoonful of oyster, uni, fish eggs and a quail egg. The newly redesigned room has a half-dozen seats at the bar (overlooking sushi chefs) and a spacious dining area (bigger than the one in San Bruno) with wood elements, Japanese art and lanterns.
310 Linden Ave., South San Francisco; (650) 873-1084
Paris Baguette has opened an eighth Bay Area outlet in Millbrae. The Korean-owned bakery and café chain has nearly 2,000 shops around the world. Like its brightly-lit sister locations, the cafe in Millbrae has a central table filled with trays of French pastries (including a croissant-doughnut hybrid), tarts, cakes and breads. At the counter, guests may order coffee, breakfast items, sandwiches and baguette pizzas.
655 Broadway, Millbrae; (650) 697-0406. Parisbaguetteusa.com
The Peninsula is full of coffee shops, but tea-focused shops like the new Puer Tea Center</b> in San Mateo, which sells tea leaves for brewing at home, are a rarity. The wide variety ranges from a jasmine potpourri green tea to a Chinese wuyi rock tea to aged teas, such as a 60-year-old puer black tea from China. Antique tea-making equipment and cups also are for sale. Though the shop does not brew teas or have a café, visitors may taste samples of brewed tea while perusing the selections.
2309 S El Camino Real, San Mateo; (650) 458-7894. Puerteacenter.com
Late-night dining options on the Peninsula are increasing. Martins West, one of Redwood City’s marquee restaurants, recently began 10 to 11:30 p.m. service Thursdays through Sundays with a menu including a lamb burger, cocoa nib-crusted pork loin, cheese and charcuterie plates, a Burger-Beer-Bourbon deal for $25, and, of course, the gastropub’s signature haggis on a stick.
831 Main St., Redwood City; (650) 366-4366. Martinswestgp.com