Fri08012014

News

"Brown is the new green," says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spending nearl...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Special Sections

Long live the lawn: Los Altos native offers drought-resistant strategies

Long live the lawn: Los Altos native offers drought-resistant strategies


Bill Steiner’s grass is green, left, even amid the drought. He followed Max Todd’s water and maintainence instructions after having his lawn aerated, Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Green lawns are not necessarily on the endangered list during the d...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

DR. ALFRED HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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French delights emerge from Beausejour


What really defines a French restaurant is not the service or the décor, but the food. Beauséjour Restaurant Francais in Los Altos serves French classics such as carre d'agneau, canard a' l'orange and ris de veau maison in the finest culinary tradition.

William and Anh Yee have operated Beauséjour in the same location since 1986. William as the chef brings passion and flair to the cuisine. Anh greets customers and ensures discrete and professional service.

Although Beauséjour specializes in classic French dishes, it has modified recipes to reflect contemporary California tastes by reducing the use of butter and cream sauces.

"Food is prepared in more of a healthy style. People ask for steamed vegetables and broiled fish," William said. "People ask for no salt, and that is no problem. The menu is changed four times a year and features items the customers request."

Other changes have occurred over the 16 years since Beauséjour opened.

"The economy was better when we opened, the food cost less and the rent was much lower in those days," William said. "We had a piano bar, but those are passé now."

One very evident difference is the type of alcohol which complements meals. When the Yees opened, diners typically ordered a cocktail before and during dinner. Today, wine has replaced the cocktail.

"Women used to drink white zinfandel or rosé wines. Now they prefer chardonnay," Anh said.

The current menu features frog's legs, escargots, scampi and a great Caesar salad. But I have been searching for onion soup the way I like it for years. Beauséjour's soup a l'oignon gratinee is a treasure.

Bite-sized onions, not overcooked; a good brown broth, not overpowered by salt; crowned by a crusty cheese and baked with submerged croutons recalled my memories with its flavor. Every French household has its own interpretation, and every French restaurant diner has his or her personal favorite; and I like the Beauséjour combination.

Recently, I had the pleasure of enjoying dinner for eight in one of the smaller banquet rooms where different entrées were served, including duck, sweetbreads and lamb.

The ris de veau maison, veal sweetbreads, are served with puff pastry, carrots and champignons. They can be sautéed, braised, poached, grilled or fried. A la carte, $17.95.

William ensures a crisp outer skin without sacrificing the inner moisture for his canard a' l'orange or duck by scoring it before baking to the requested medium or medium rare. A la carte, $20.95.

The carre d'agneau, lamb, is served with scalloped potato, asparagus and roasted garlic sauce. A la carte, $23.95.

The soufflé grand marnier furnishes a feast for the senses. It must be ordered when you sit down to be ready for dessert, but it's worth the wait and the reasonable $8.95 price.

William admitted he watches food programs on television. "I watch what foods they focus on. I like the Iron Chef. Never met him, but I will someday," said William. "I really don't have the time, but we joined the Asian Chef Association in San Francisco."

Many of the Yee's customers are middle-aged or older; but there is a trend for couples in their 30s choosing Beauséjour for special occasions.

The restaurant flourished during the '80s when it was the favorite of the new breed of executives from companies like Apple, Intel and Tandem; now they tend to be from H-P, Synopsys and Loral.

"We still have diplomats and ambassadors come in with their bodyguards," Anh said.

Beauséjour offers an executive lunch, with a choice of pasta, chicken, salad or ravioli, for under $10.

The sunset, or early bird two-course dinner is $16.95 and includes six different entrée items and salad or soup du jour.

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