Musings on what Pleasanton lacks in the food department, in no particular order:

  1. A destination restaurant. Sure, there’s plenty of good food in town, but given the demographics it would be nice to have something truly excellent and innovative, the sort of place that might get a Michelin star. (Were any places in the 680 corridor awarded stars in the new edition?) I see why a high-end ownership group and established chef might worry if suburbanites have sufficiently refined palates (or whether city dwellers would brave the long drive), but right now it does not seem like anyone is even trying.
  2. A good market. Pleasanton is a food retailing wasteland. We have the chains, of which Raley’s/Nob Hill is clearly the best, and then there’s Gene’s Fine Foods, which has a good meat and fish department, a decent selection of non-perishables, but not much in the way of prepared foods. And Main Street no longer has a single food market (although the weekly farmer’s market on Angela St. is lovely). While something like Draeger’s might be too much to ask for, it seems like the nearest quality market is Lunardi’s (née Andronico’s) in Danville. While I get to San Francisco weekly (and shop at Bryan’s, Cal-Mart, or Mollie Stone’s) and to the Peninsula from time to time, why isn’t there good shopping right here in town?  How about a Dean & Deluca or even an A.G. Ferrari?
  3. A real Vietnamese restaurant. Most ethnic cuisines are well represented in Pleasanton, but for anything beyond Pho Hoa’s limited menu of pho and bun, you have to hear for Livermore or Fremont. (There was a short-lived place called Saigon on Santa Rita Rd. in the pace formerly occupied by Blessings, but it’s now a Korean restaurant that I haven’t tried yet.)
  4. A Greek restaurant. It seems that there’s an Italian restaurant on every corner in the Bay Area, but precious few Greek places. After Bert’s Hofbrau on Main St. closed, the papered-over windows had a liquor license application notice for something with a Greek name (Agora Bistro?)