Mountain View Voice “Best of” 2013 Ballot

Mountain View Voice is once again doing their yearly “Best of” 2013 survey of local businesses powered by the people of Mountain View. The Voice is a community newspaper published every Friday and available inside few of the local Mountain View businesses. Also online here: http://www.mv-voice.com/

The “Best of” 2013 voting page is located here: http://www.mv-voice.com/best_of/voting/form.php and all votes need to be submitted by July 7, 2013.

This ballot sparked an internal review of the places my wife and I love in Mountain View. After casting my vote I thought I should also throw it up here to help any newbies to Mountain View. Not just what place but also why so you can understand deeper why these places rock.

The Best of Mountain View, 2013

Zagat (Google’s) score

I have included  Zagat (Google’s) score for each place inc a link to their Google Profile so you can read the reviews and make up your own mind. “The ratings are on a 30-point scale, made up of ratings for defined areas including food, decor, service, and cost. (30 is the highest rating on the scale and 1 is the lowest)” wiki

Using the categories featured in The Voice Ballot, here are my favorite in no particular order. Note that most of these places are on Castro Street or in one of the side streets from Castro Street. Castro Street is basically downtown Mountain View.

BEST COFFEE HOUSE (INDEPENDENT) – Red Rock Coffee Company

Red Rock

Address: 201 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041
Hours: Saturday hours 8:00 am–11:00 pm
http://www.redrockcoffee.org/ Google Plus / Zagat 21/30

I blogged about Red Rock in the past on The Road to Silicon Valley. 3 years later and I am still a regular at Red Rock. In my opinion, this is the best place for coffee. From great service to the quality & consistency in coffee and immediately drinkable. Think about that one for a second. How many coffee places can you think of which serve coffee that is immediately drinkable? A good coffee is part beans (materials) and part preparation. Most places over heat during preparation thus killing the taste. Red Rock always makes it perfectly good and ready to drink without burning your tongue.

BEST FINE DINING RESTAURANT – Chez Tj

Chez TJ

Address: 938 Villa St, Mountain View, CA 94041
Hours: Saturday hours 5:30 pm–9:30 pm
http://www.cheztj.com/ Google Plus / Zagat 24/30

Chez TJ Food
Fine dining at it’s best and it has 1 Michelin star on it’s shoulders. Serves French and California cuisine in a converted Victorian house. The restaurant is laid out across multiple rooms inside the converted Victorian house giving it a very posh feel. The food is outstanding. We had their 7 coarse meal with wine pairing and walked away with our bellies full. Well satisfied with the service, quality & presentation of the food. But expect to pay a bit ($500-$700 for 2) for such fine dining.

BEST THAI RESTAURANT – Amarin Thai

Amarin Thai

Address: 174 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041
Hours: Saturday hours 12:00 pm–3:30 pm, 4:30 pm–10:30 pm
http://www.amarinthaicuisine.com/ Google Plus / Zagat 22/30

My favorite Thai place. Also the only place where I get the same meal over and over and over again because it is outstanding and consistent in taste. Sweet & sour chicken with white rice. There aren’t many Thai places which make this meal as consistent and good tasting as Amarin Thai. For take away / “to go”, the meals are prepared really fast (under 10 mins) and they wont break your piggy bank at $10 to $15 per meal.

BEST SUSHI/JAPANESE RESTAURANT – Sushi Tomi

Sushi Tomi

Address: 1051 E Main St, Tustin, CA 92780
Hours: For lunch and dinner after 5pm except Sunday
http://www.sushitomi.com/ Google Plus / Zagat 21/30

Susi Tomi

Every since being introduced to this place 4 years ago I have been hooked. The sushi is outstanding. I mean outstanding. If you are a fan of sushi you will know what good fresh quality sushi tastes like. This place has it. And their popularity for good sushi is seen when you go and dine in. The lines of people outside are a dead give away of the high demand. This is the place for sushi in Mountain View at a very good price. I am a fan of their dinner combination special – teriyaki salmon, salad, sashimi (salmon & tuna), rice and miso soup all for $18.

BEST SUSHI/JAPANESE RESTAURANT – Shabuway

Shabuway

Address: 180 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041
Hours: Lunch & Dinner weekdays and most hours on Weekends
http://www.shabuway.com/test/ Google Plus / Zagat 20/30
shabuway_food_1 shabuway_food_2

If you are after a light dinner meal for a reasonable price (around $20 per head) which is also healthy then this is the place for you. Order the Koby lean beef plate which comes with a side of greens. You basically cook it all yourself in a hot-pot. Tastes great and is also a great experience. No reservations so get there early so you can get a table without waiting. Otherwise this place fills up pretty fast.

BEST GYM – 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport

24hr Fitness Super Sport

Address: 2535 California Street Mountain View, CA 94040
Hours: 24 hours 7 days a week
http://www.24hourfitness.com/FindClubDetail.mvc?clubid=814

This is nearly identical to Fitness First in Australia but much larger with more amenities. I think this may be where the idea for Fitness First came from 😉 As the name suggest this is a 24 hour gym. So you can go there anytime. I have trained as late as 2am before and it’s pretty damn quiet. This gym is usually packed before 8pm with a sweet time being 9pm (if you code you know this time is ok). After a good workout there is a pool, steam room, sauna and spa available to relax in. I find the steam room to be great after a good weights session. The only down side is that the steam room turns off after midnight.

BEST AUTO REPAIR – The Car Doctor

The Car Doctor

Address: 2235 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View, CA 94043
Hours: 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday only
http://www.the-cardoctor.com/ Google Plus / Zagat 28/30

This is the BEST car shop I have ever had the pleasure dealing with. Most car mechanics are known for ripping customers off with phony car issues especially when a woman brings the car. Gary & Chris (owners) are the exception and are superb lads! I am comfortable sending my wife with the car to get it serviced there knowing she will be looked after and not ripped off. Everything is explained to detail so you know what needs fixing or servicing. The communication & trust here is the key to an amazing customer service from The Car Doctor.

BEST ICE CREAM/FROZEN YOGURT – Gelato Classico

Gelato Classico

Address: 241B Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041
Hours: 11am to 11pm 7 days a week
Google Plus / Zagat 21/30

Gelato Classico

I am addicted to this place. Their Gelatos are simply outstanding! My favorite is Tiramisu and it even has small bread/biscuits inside it. From the warm “welcome” of the owner to the yummy Gelatos, this is the place for Ice Cream in Mountain View. Actually I am yet to find a better ice cream shop outside Mountain View. The lines in the evening can get overwhelming spilling outside the shop down to the businesses next door. Sometimes the wait can be as long as 30 minutes but it is damn worth it! Get the medium size cup coz the small is not enough and you will be left wanting more!

BEST PIZZA – Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria

Amici's East Coast Pizza

Address: 790 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041
Hours: 11am to 10pm Weekdays and till 11pm Weekends
http://www.amicis.com/ Google Plus / Zagat 21/30

I have been having a damn hard time finding a great pizza place in Silicon Valley. Most places suck when compared to the many great pizza places in Sydney, Australia. What is going on?? Tell me if you have found a kickass pizza place in the valley. Now Amici’s is the best in Mountain View. Their thin crust pizzas are easy on the belly (no dough to bloat you up) and tastes great, especially their Amici’s Combo (my fav). Price ($30 for large) is a tad above what I’d like to pay but ok to pay every now and then.

BEST BOOKSTORE – East-West Bookshop

East-West Bookshop

Address: 324 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041
Hours: 11am to 10pm Weekdays and till 11pm/8pm Weekends
http://www.eastwest.com/ Google Plus / Zagat 22/30

This is a place of Zen. From the vast array of books on topics of the mind to self-help to meditation to yoga to meditation bowls (metal & crystal). This place will make you feel at peace. If I ever need to calm my mind down I walk into this shop and the good energy here works wonders. There is also a large man-made water feature where you can sit in front and read a book. Every week you will also find all sort of spiritual folks running events in the back room.

Meditation Bowl
Some fun inside East-West Bookshop with the Meditation Bowl

Author: Ernest W. Semerda

Veryfi cofounder (#YC W17 cohort) ~ mobile automation software designed for the construction workforce. GSDfaster founder ~ be more productive. Follow me on Twitter: @ernestsemerda