There are always many changes in downtown San Mateo, especially on its core B Street, but the latest mystery is what happened to one of the amigos? Tres Amigos shut down after 25 years last January, and has since been replaced by Pacific Catch Fresh Fish Grill. Across the street, however, a new taqueria has opened called Dos Amigos. That, apparently, is the reincarnation of Tres Amigos, but with one less amigo. So those looking for their carnitas fix won’t have to go very far from where they once went on B Street.
Pacific Catch officially opened this month and it looks fantastic. Last Saturday, the place was packed at dinnertime and there seemed to be a lot of interest from passersby (myself included). It has a wide selection of seafood options (one would hope) including Hawaiian poke, ceviche and Pacific Island-themed entrees. The look of it is refined and seems to be a nice upgrade to the plaza right by the movie theater.
In the same area, but down the block, the folks who brought us Curry Up Now have decided to open a bar within the Indian street food restaurants cozy confines. So now you can get a libation with your sexy fries, holy moly fried ravioli and naughty naan. The new tavern is called Mortar & Pestle (after those things you use to crush spices and other things that need to be crushed) and features such creations as Indian-inspired rum old-fashioned with housemade garam masala syrup and a Sri Lankan coconut arrack. Small bites are available at the bar.
And word is that Tomatina (a casual but modern Italian restaurant originally founded by celebrity chef Michael Chiarello, he of Yountville’s Bottega Restaurant fame) is opening up on the corner of Fourth Avenue and B Street. Estimated time of opening is around May, according to the San Rafael-based chain’s reps.
Another addition in the B Street core is the soon-to-arrive Cream, which features ice cream sandwiches. It already has locations in Palo Alto, Berkeley and Walnut Creek and people reportedly line up for it. Since it’s set to be pretty close to TPumps and Old Town Sushi, which already have their fair share of street lineups, seems like the western sidewalks of B Street will be pretty crowded. Let’s just hope the ice cream goes in customers’ mouths and not the sidewalk.
Bambu, a dessert place with fancy Asian-inspired tea drinks, is also upping B Street’s game with its selection of fresh and innovative offerings.
Another new business, though not food-related is Roosters by Yougurtouille, which opened just this week. It’s officially called Roosters Men’s Grooming Center, a classic American barbershop (yet with modern hair care services) for men and boys.
And don’t forget places like 31st Union, which has been open for about a year and half now, with a locavore-inspired menu that always pleases. Maybe you were put off by the constant crowds there when it first opened, but it seems to have a little more space nowadays but the menu remains solid. Though it’s a block of the B Street core, it’s included in this breakdown because it’s just the kind of place downtown needed when it opened.
And that’s my B Street report. Always changing, always interesting. Now about that lost amigo ... .
Jon Mays is the editor in chief of the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jon on Twitter @jonmays.