For our morning meeting, Chris and I convened at Joanie's. It's on California Avenue in Palo Alto, a low-key part of town that hasn't fundamentally changed over the decades. Joanie clearly knows her breakfasts. This is the spot for hearty breakfasts. Ben and I both tried the brioche French toast with fruit. The bread was thick and gooey in the middle, crunchy on the outside. My strawberries were very fresh, firm, and sweet. In a fit of guilt, I also ordered some oatmeal, which was excellent. It seems to have been made with milk because it really didn't need any extra cream.
Trev, Jan, and Karem took me to a wonderful evening at West End Grill located, appropriately enough, in the West End. The restaurant still has its old tin ceiling festooned with stained glass chandeliers. I was too hungry to take a picture of our appetizers: crab cakes and bleu cheese tarts. The crab cakes had just a bit of heat to them, something you don't always find in a crab cake but which worked very well. The bleu cheese tarts lived up to their intriguing premise, rich and tangy. This is my caprese salad. The mozzarella, tomato, and basil were all outstanding. The balsamic vinegar had been very well aged, giving it a thick consistency. My main course was tuna, perfectly prepared to a medium well. The tuna left just enough room for a chocolate lava cake paired with decaf coffee. The cake was rich and moist. I kept scraping my plate to be sure I retrieved all of the chocolate.