OAKLAND BOUTIQUE EXPANDS ... Oakland's McMullen Boutique has expanded into Palo Alto. The women's luxury apparel store opened in the former Intermix space at Town & Country Village on Sept. 14. This is the second store fashion retailer Sherri McMullen has opened since launching her flagship boutique in Oakland in 2007. McMullen, whose shop features emerging designers from around the world, said she decided to open the Palo Alto store after seeing a growing clientele from the Silicon Valley, according to a press release. Named one of the top boutiques in the country by Women's Wear Daily, McMullen has become well known for its commitment to supporting African and African American apparel and home decor designers who have limited resources. Sherri McMullen is actively involved in the Bay Area, regularly holding fundraisers for organizations focusing on women, children and the arts. — L.T.
TAMARINE SPINOFF OPENS ...
Banh khot, bo luc lac, goi ga and other traditional Vietnamese dishes are on the menu at Tam Tam, which opened Sept. 23, in downtown Palo Alto. Tam Tam (140 University Ave.) comes from the owners of Tamarine, the more upscale Vietnamese restaurant located at the other end of University Avenue. It's an attempt to be more casual, less expensive and "strictly Vietnamese" (no fusion dishes), co-owner Tanya Hartley said in a previous interview. She has run Tamarine with her sister Tammy Huynh since 2002. Both were born in Vietnam; their family is from from Vung Tau, a fishing village in South Vietnam. The menu describes Tam Tam as "a regional Vietnamese restaurant created to introduce our guests to the heart and soul of traditional Vietnamese cooking." The menu identifies which region of Vietnam each dish comes from. Banh khot, crispy coconut rice flour pancakes stuffed with crab meat, uni and scallions, is from the South, while ca chien, fried whole branzino topped with sauteed onions, bell peppers, pineapple, dill, celery and tamarind sauce, is from the North. Tam Tam serves a Northern-style pho with slices of beef tenderloin and brisket and fried breadsticks on the side. Starters range in price from $8 to $12 and entrees, $19 to $28. Tam Tam will be open from 5-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The restaurant will open for lunch (11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) starting Monday, Sept. 30. They hope to prove that "you don't have to go to downtown San Jose or East side San Jose to have real Vietnamese food," Hartley said. —E.K.
Compiled by the Weekly staff; this week written by Kate Bradshaw, Elena Kadvany and Linda Taaffe. Got leads on interesting and news-worthy retail developments? The Weekly will check them out. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.