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Asa Restaurant opens in Los Altos

Uploaded: Aug 24, 2017
Asa Restaurant, a new Los Altos eatery from the owner of a longtime Saratoga restaurant, will open for dinner tonight, Aug. 24.

Owner Andrew Welch said the 242 State St. restaurant soft opened on Wednesday and will open for dinner at 5 p.m. on Thursday.

Welch also owns The Basin in Saratoga, which he opened in 1999. The Basin's head chef, Steven Vu, will head the Asa kitchen.

In a previous interview, Welch said his new venture would be similar in products and philosophy to The Basin (all meat and seafood are sustainably sourced and broken down in house, and local produce is delivered daily), but with a different menu. He described his culinary style as "American by default with lots of Spanish and Italian influences."

Asa's dinner menu is split into three sections: primer, segundo and tercer grado. Under "primer grado" are appetizers like duck-fat roasted baby potatoes with house aioli, paellas, a sustainable raw fish of the day and jamón ibérico sliced to order, among other dishes.

"Segundo grado" includes salads and the third section, entrees. Entrees range from handmade pasta to 24-hour brined duck breast, New York steak and scallops.

Asa serves beer and wine as well as cocktails, from the restaurant's take on a gin and tonic to "The Spaniard" with Tito's vodka, olive brine, chorizo and manchego cheese.

The State Street building is unusual, with a 16-by-10-foot, floor-to-ceiling window that can be rolled up to open the space onto the street. It was designed by architect Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig in Seattle.


A photo of Asa taken earlier this year. Photo by Elena Kadvany.

It took many months to renovate the interior of the space, including building out a new kitchen. Welch had hoped to be open almost nine months ago.

“There was a lot to do to make it all happen and we are still highly motivated and so pleased to be in that space in Los Altos,” Welch said Thursday.

Asa, which Welch named for his young, first son, "was conceived and created in the entrepreneurial spirit of Silicon Valley; a belief that given a positive workplace, and a commitment to excellence, people of diverse talents can gather together and build a better product," the restaurant website states. "We invite you to experience a taste of why we love to live and work in Northern California."

Asa is taking reservations online. The restaurant is open for dinner only this week, starting at 5 p.m. Next week, Asa will open at 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. He hopes to add lunch service at a future date.

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