Los Altos restaurants take different approaches to stay in business in wake of region-wide order

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Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pompeii customers eat lunch at the downtown Los Altos restaurant March 13 – before the county suspended on-site dining.

Updated March 24 at 12 p.m.

The Town Crier will update this story and our lists of Los Altos and Mountain View businesses and their operating status as we find out more information.

We have added a handful of new restaurants since the original article ran. We have also included additional services being offered by previously mentioned eateries.

The Town Crier is checking in on businesses across town impacted by the county's shelter-in-place order announced Monday (March 16) due to the novel coronavirus. This is the second part of the series; it focuses on restaurants.  

Data collected by the Town Crier shows that most restaurants in Los Altos remain open — just not in the ways many of them envisioned.

However, seven downtown eateries have shut down for now: Amandine, Aldo Los Altos, Bluestone Lane, Bumble, Fiesta Vallarta, Sweet Diplomacy and Tre Monti.

Fiesta Vallarta on State Street has no signs posted about being closed, but the restaurant was dark Wednesday afternoon (March 18). The restaurant's website and Facebook page did not reveal anything, either. As of March 24, the website had been taken down.

A call to Aldo Los Altos this week went to voicemail: “Thanks for the love and support during this crazy time we are all enduring,” the voice on the message said. “In light of the current situation with COVID-19, we are forced to close for the next few weeks. We hope to see you in April.”

An Italian by birth, Tre Monti owner and chef Mattia Galiano watched his country suffer from the virus before it exploded in the United States. Before the six-county order to shelter in place was issued this week, he shut down his Main Street restaurant, Los Altos Chamber of Commerce president Kim Mosley told the Los Altos City Council at its special meeting March 17.

Bumble’s website reflects that the owners chose to shut down on March 14, prior to the shelter in place order. Amandine closed following the order, and on its Facebook page has posted its Apple Music playlist that often plays through the bar.

“Please enjoy our playlist as you wash your hands and sanitize all surfaces,” the bar’s team jokes.

Sweet Diplomacy owner Melody Hu posted an emotional tribute to her shop’s closure on Instagram, describing the decision as difficult. Technically, because Sweet Diplomacy sells food and drinks, it could be considered an essential service allowed to operate during the order.

“I think of our team, I want to keep them on the payroll, God knows that's important for many. But then I think of them and their families and friends, I think of every friendly face we see, many came to support us in the past few days,” Hu wrote. “Today I can make a decision that will have an impact tomorrow. We will close all operations until a brighter day.”

To-go/takeout only

Other local restaurants are trying to make a go of it during uncertain times.

Rustic House Oyster Bar & Grill is only providing to-go service at this time, and from a reduced takeout menu. The Main Street restaurant is offering free cheesy garlic bread with every phone or online order. Servers will deliver orders to customers' cars.

Dittmer’s Gourmet Meat & Wurst-Haus on El Camino Real alerted regulars through Facebook that its sandwich bar is closed for safety purposes and store hours have been reduced to 9-4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays this month.

Cetrella has changed its hours of operation to 4-7 p.m. daily, offering a takeout service for dinner only. Customers can call the First Street restaurant to place an order for scheduled pickup. Dedicated spots behind the restaurant are available for curbside hand-off. Gift cards to the restaurant are available.

Pompeii co-owner Norma Gutierrez said March 17 she had been working with the restaurant’s website designer all day trying to get online payments up to date so that in the coming days, people could order online from a limited menu. Until that’s up and running, patrons are welcome to give their credit card information over the phone or pay when the server brings the check out to the car upon arrival.

Hours for service at the State Street eatery are still being determined — the owners are weighing either a noon to 8 p.m. schedule or only during their peak hours in that window — so they advise customers to call ahead. Gutierrez has placed tables between the host stand and the entry to ensure social distancing.

Sumika, a Japanese restaurant on State Street, is cooking food for takeout for short time during its typical restaurant hours, according to its Instagram.

“If you want to stay safe but also still want your Oyako dons and kushiyaki, we’ve got you covered!” the post reads. “Stay safe and wash your hands!”

Urfa Bistro owner Zubi Dugyu said that at least for the next few weeks, the Meditteranean restaurant will function as takeout only. He and his staff will be in the restaurant 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. to take phone orders. The menu will be limited for now, Dugyu said. Customers can also get the food delivered through the DoorDash and GrubHub apps.

Akane Japanese Restaurant on Third Street is only open for takeout orders until further notice, management said on the restaurant’s Facebook page. Orders can be placed from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4:30-7:30 p.m.

Red Berry Coffee Bar on Main Street remains open but only for takeout 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily, according to the coffee shop’s Instagram page.

Los Altos Grill on Third Street is solely offering takeout, encouraging patrons to “enjoy a meal from them at home.” A ChowNow link is being created for the restaurant’s regulars.

State of Mind Public House and Pizzeria March 15 officially switched to takeout only. The restaurant’s new hours are 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, an attempt to “do their best to stay open for employees and the community,” said chef and co-owner Lars Smith.

Pickup and delivery

Opa! Los Altos offers curbside pickup at its Main Street location through its website and delivery through the DoorDash, GrubHub and UberEats apps.

Teaspoon Los Altos is facilitating to-go orders at its El Camino Real shop, and its offerings are available for delivery on the DoorDash and UberEats apps through the “temporary shelter in place,” according to its Instagram page.

American Italian Delicatessen offers takeout and delivery at its Main Street shop 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. Orders can be placed by calling the deli.

In addition to its delivery option through DoorDash, LeBoulanger on Main Street is serves takeout to those willing to order online 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

For a limited time, Chef Chu is offering curbside pickup in addition to delivery through DoorDash, Postmates and Grubhub. The service, which debuted March 18, dedicates five spots in the back of the restaurant at San Antonio and El Camino Real for customers to park in after ordering ahead. Servers bring the food straight from the kitchen to the customer, mindful that it is one less point of contact than delivery.

Armadillo Willy’s can be picked up curbside from its North San Antonio Road restaurant or ordered through the DoorDash and Caviar delivery apps. Beer and wine are available for pick up as well.

La Scala owner Jan Unlu told the Town Crier that as of March 17, his Italian restaurant on First Street is offering both curbside pickup and delivery services, and hopes to install a drive-up window so that people can remain in their cars.

“We have the space,” Unlu said.

For now, customers will need to call to order and then pick up their food.

Lulu’s on Main Street isoffering its Mexican Food via carryout and delivery, according to a post on the chain’s social channels March 17. Lulu’s is also on DoorDash, Postmates and Uber Eats.

Tin Pot Creamery on First Street serves its treats 1-7 p.m., but only through pickup and delivery orders on DoorDash. The shop continues to offer nationwide shipping, the ice cream shop's representatives announced on Instagram last week.

The Post’s Vickie Breslin told the Town Crier after the original publication of this article that the restaurant has added a small takeout and delivery service on top of its normal curbside pickup. Patrons can select cocktail kits, draft beers and bottles of wine on Breslin's website to accompany their entrees. The Post is offering gift certificate sales, 50% of which will go to helping her staff bounce back. Breslin gave her staff care packages after the dining room closed Sunday (March 15). 

Related: Los Altos Chamber: Let’s all help to support our local restaurants

Mountain View Chamber: Restaurants are open and need your support

The Town Crier is working with the city of Los Altos, the Los Altos Village Association, the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce and Los Altos Property Owners Downtown to cover more about businesses. If you know of a restaurant that is offering curbside pickup, takeout or delivery services, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view that we can share that information with our community. If you have an inspiring story about how a business owner or owners are taking care of their staff during this challenging time, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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