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About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

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Asian-fusion restaurant headed to Menlo Park

Uploaded: Jun 16, 2015
Banana Leaf, an Asian-fusion restaurant in Milpitas, has snagged the former Menlo Hub location in Menlo Park for a second location.

The owners of Banana Leaf did not respond to requests for comment, but City of Menlo Park Economic Development Manager Jim Cogan confirmed the restaurant is moving in to 1029 El Camino Real. The space, next door to Su Hong's sit-down restaurant, has sat vacant for more than a year after Menlo Hub's owner fell behind on rent and was eventually evicted.

Banana Leaf's website describes its "heritage" as a "delightful" mix of Malaysian, Thai, Indian and Chinese. A large menu ranges from roti prata and tuna sashimi to curry dishes, banana leaf-wrapped seabass, 10 kinds of noodle dishes and Singaporean black pepper crab (a cool $38.50).

For more on the Milpitas joint, check out now-Palo Alto Weekly reviewer Sheila Himmel's write-up in the San Jose Mercury News in 2000: Banana Leaf's cuisine has familiar ring. According to the review, owner Kay Yim is a Malaysian of ethnic Chinese descent who left a career in high-tech sales and marketing to open the restaurant.

Stay tuned for more details and an opening date.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Mike Keenly, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park,
on Jun 16, 2015 at 11:27 am

Banana Leaf is an excellent restaurant, and always packed over the lunch hour. I'm looking forward to them coming to Menlo Park.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by whatever, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jun 17, 2015 at 8:50 am

Pray tell what's "cool" about a $38.50 dish.

BTW any news on the old Su Hong space? It's been vacant for years too.

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Jun 17, 2015 at 9:04 am

The word "cool" has several definitions. One is for informal usage concerning amount. Here is that definition from the dictionary on my computer:

3 (a cool ??) informal used to emphasize a specified quantity or amount, especially of money: "a cool $15,000 to buy the franchise."

As for Su Hong, there is probably no news about the property which would explain why there's nothing being reported on it. There would only be news/rumor if a potential renter spoke up about the location and/or the landlord started speaking about it. Until then, any sort of speculation is pure folly.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by whatever, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jun 17, 2015 at 2:34 pm

That was so cool of you to provide the dictionary definition.

BTW sometimes there's no news because no one has inquired. A phone call to the Su Hong ECR office elicited the following response to the question "...the restaurant closed for remodeling three years ago, are there any plans to reopen?" - The answer "not in the near future."

Perhaps the El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan is bearing on Su Hong's decision of whether to remodel/reopen, sell the property (if they own it) or wait for other ECR projects to move forward. The "SW A" block of which they are part does allow for a three story building on the site. But of course that's just speculation, which as you insist is pure folly.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by lindol, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Sep 29, 2015 at 10:20 am

If it's a "cool $38.50" in Milpitis, it'll be a whopping $51.50 in Menlo Park.

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