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Food hall forage: What we ate at State Street Market in Los Altos

Uploaded: Sep 23, 2021
Kumamoto oysters, margherita flatbread, Tin Pot Creamery ice cream and more

By Sara Hayden

State Street Market is now open in Los Altos. Anticipation has run high with the arrival of the area's own food hall that will ultimately have 20,000 square feet dedicated to a mix of food vendors, a restaurant, a speakeasy and a teaching kitchen.

State Street Market in Los Altos opened in September. (Photo by Sara Hayden)

The State Street Market team is working hard to get everything fully up and running, starting with service from a limited number of eateries. Dining there? We snagged a table during opening week. Here's what to expect…

Check out what's open
When we came for lunch, food and drink options were available from Banks & Braes, Murdoch's, Grains & Greens, Ostro and Tin Pot Creamery. Each eatery has a special menu for the opening.

"I envision a place for people of all ages to spend time together, eat and enjoy the community," says Los Altos Community Investments principal Anne Wojcicki. State Street Market offers indoor and outdoor spaces for people to gather. (Photo courtesy of Los Altos Community Investments)

Others will follow, including Bao Bei by Meichih and Michael Kim and El Alto by Traci Des Jardins. In the future, some retail options will also be available so you can take a taste of the market home with you.

Come early to dine outside
The day we visited, State Street Market opened at 11 a.m., and traffic picked up for lunch for a lively atmosphere.

Takeout is available, but one of the most promising draws of the market is the opportunity to enjoy the physical space and gather with others. That was one of the sources of inspiration for the project developed by Los Altos Community Investments.

"One of the reasons why we created the State Street Market is because I love the Los Altos community," LACI principal (and 23andMe's CEO) Anne Wojcicki said in a prepared statement. "I envision a place for people of all ages to spend time together, eat, and enjoy the community."

The indoor hall isn't open to the public at this time, but tables are available outdoors, a nice option to enjoy the architecture outside. Design firm Gensler redesigned the space that used to house a food market, taking cues from the property's original designer with the idea that architecture can transform everyday life.

Red brick, wooden furniture, wrought iron details, and colorful tiles with pops of blue, yellow and white make for a bright, sunny space during the day. Ropes of lights and heat lamps lend warmth to the evening.

Bring your phone
To reduce physical contact during the COVID-19 pandemic, many dining establishments have moved away from paper menus. State Street Market is one of them. To place an order, you may need to use a smartphone.

At the market, scan a QR code on posted signs. From a single website, you can order food and drinks from any of the open eateries and bar in one transaction. If you run into a technical bug and need help, the team is at the ready to help guide you through. After the team has prepared your order, they'll bring it to your table.

Keep an eye out for the self-serve area
Napkins, cups, water and to-go boxes are available near the outdoor seating area. Grab what you need on your way to your table.

Find Tin Pot Creamery ice cream at State Street Market in Los Altos. During the market's opening week, this scoop of Cookie Monster ice cream came with cookie dough bites, cookie crumbles and candy "eye balls." (Photo by Sara Hayden)

Eat, drink and be merry
Digging in is one of the best parts. Here's a snapshot of what we ate from the vendors that were open when we visited during opening week. Be sure to check out their hours and menus for the most up-to-date options.

Beverages: State Street Market's beverage menu includes draft beers, wines by the glass or carafe, coconut water, kombucha and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails. The In Season Crafted Non-Alcoholic Cocktail has ice-cold pomegranate shrub, cardamom and orange juice. With a fresh slice of citrus, it has a fine fizz that makes the orange sing next to the tartness of the pomegranate.

Margherita flatbread, topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil from Banks & Braes. It was one of several eateries that was up and running for State Street Market's opening week. More will open soon. (Photo by Sara Hayden)

Banks & Braes: At Banks & Braes, find flatbreads, burgers, roasted chicken and mussels. We opted for a margherita flatbread, lured by the simplicity of a tomato's tang and basil's herbal aroma on sweet mozzarella.

Murdoch's: Named after Prohibition-era bootlegger Steven Murdoch from Los Altos, this eatery has small shareable plates like olives, corn nuts, kettle chips and fries, mac and cheese and fresh vegetables and salads. Served with a vegetable and fruit cup, meals for kids are also available, including a gluten-free mac and cheese option.

A cheese grazing board from Murdoch's at State Street Market featuring selections from Cowgirl Creamery, nuts and dried fruits. (Photo by Sara Hayden)

For something bigger to share around the table, go for a "grazing board," available with vegetable, meat and cheese options. The latter features cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery including Mount Tam, Red Hawk, Chimney Rock and Wagon Wheel cheeses as well as crunchy, rich walnuts, bright, crisp slices of bell peppers, plump raisins, dried figs and softly floral honey.

Grains & Greens: This restaurant showcases produce from area farms in salads, grain bowls, wraps and smoothies. In the Madras Curry Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea bowl, mint raita adds bright freshness and golden raisins add sweetness to crunchy chickpeas and cucumber, tender cauliflower and quinoa.

Oysters on the half shell from Ostro at State Street Market in Los Altos. (Photo by Sara Hayden)

Ostro: This is a purveyor of sustainable seafood and wines. On the opening menu, Ostro had a selection of three oysters. Served on crushed ice, each oyster has a ripple of tender meat. The Kumamoto is exceptionally creamy; the Marin Miyagi and Hama Hama have a soft saltiness reminiscent of sea breeze. Enjoy straight off the shell, or add lemon, champagne mignonette or cocktail sauce.

Tin Pot Creamery: This ice cream shop has Los Altos roots, launched in founder Becky Sunseri's kitchen. The market's Tin Pot outpost scooped vanilla bean and rich chocolate during opening week. We went for the intriguingly named "Cookie Monster" flavor. Topping it off with a waffle cone for extra crunch, we enjoyed its playful presentation — candy eye balls, cookie dough bites, cookie crumbles and all.

State Street Market // 170 State Street, Los Altos

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Posted by Green Gables, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Sep 23, 2021 at 7:02 pm

Green Gables is a registered user.

A VERY limited menu. We went up the street to Los Alto Pho restaurant which was VERY GOOD. It was crowded as was the LIMITED MENU restaurant.

Posted by IheartPA, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Sep 24, 2021 at 1:44 pm

IheartPA is a registered user.

I tried it out this weekend and easily snagged a table around 11:45 before it got super busy. Menu is limited, but the food is pretty good. They have an online unique ordering system which unfortunately was super buggy, so the server had to take our order the old fashioned way. I will probably go back after a few more merchants open.

Posted by John+Sack, a resident of Barron Park,
on Sep 24, 2021 at 8:04 pm

John+Sack is a registered user.

We had the same experience as IheartPA: good food, but the online ordering was so buggy that they eventually gave us paper menus and took our orders by hand.

The food was quite good, which is essential to success.

But the one thing I wonder about is that because we ordered from two different restaurants (the food court concept lets you do that, which is cool), our orders came out at very different times. My spouse's Impossible Burger came out 10 minutes before my flatbread pizza. I don't think that's ok unless a group is ordering family style. So I wonder how they can fix that. I hope they can.

We'll go back, but will let them debug the ordering system for a while.

Posted by John Smith, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Sep 30, 2021 at 1:55 am

John Smith is a registered user.

Very well explained about food and love all the receipt.

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