Two restaurants are new to the 650 (area code)—and offer ample opportunity for sustenance and multiculti fun—get your napkins ready. There’s meat and lots of it being cooked up in a wild set up at a new BBQ joint in Redwood City. And Millbrae is having something of a meaty moment, and is serving up a spot that celebrates Japanese inspired fare in a relaxing space.
Oh-so friendly staff and humble décor that definitely whispers “hole in the wall” are part of the scene at the new Big Tharman’s BBQ, which is conveniently located inside the J&G Liquor Store in downtown Redwood City. This is strictly a pork ribs, chicken, sausage, and chili beans outfit–meaning, beef brisket fans must look elsewhere for their protein of choice. Tharman's enthusiasts are already hailing the untrimmed pork ribs, and the large combo meals are something of a double meal… if one can even manage to enjoy their saucy ribs next to sides of ooey gooey mac n' cheese and corn bread s-l-o-w-l-y. (Good luck with that!) Big Tharman’s BBQ grill on wheels is actually attached to a wheelchair–a slightly rickety looking invention that seems to work just fine. Customers can nosh at the one table here, and watch the to-go orders go, go, go. 1402 Main St., Redwood City, 650-669-0054.
Tatami rooms are traditionally used for end-of-the-year parties by Japanese folks, for a celebration called a bonenkai. Sure, you can also enjoy tatami time 11 months out of the year for sippin’ and suppin’–as long as you remember to take those shoes off and sit on the washitsu floor. December is not quite here yet, so until then, a sort of red meat celebration is going down at a certain new Millbrae location that has its own tatami room tucked into the restaurant space. Steak and other meaty dishes star at the newly opened Bashamichi Steak & Seafood ,which took over the Wasa Wasa Sushi space adjacent to, of all things, a La Quinta Inn. The bovine delights range from beef tongue and beef tataki to beef rib, and the ribeye steak appears to be of juicy value (may we recommend a stop here on your way to or from the nearby airport?) Lighter fare clocks in with slurp-worthy udon and bento boxes, and the bar is stocked with Kirin, Anchor Steam, sake (Hakkaisan, Dassai) and the increasingly popular Japanese spirit shochu, of the Ikkomon and Iichiko varieties. If eating from a big, juicy steak menu is not of interest, there's always raw seafood items that cover familiar sashimi and sushi territory. 1390 El Camino Real, Millbrae, 650-742-1003.