Santana Row

Located in the south of Silicon Valley, Santana Row is an “urban neighborhood” with European flair. From its sidewalk cafes, to boutique stories, to art galleries, to famous brand names, Santana Row has become an upscale vicinity in the Valley.

Its Mediterranean style of villas reminded me of Barcelona. I enjoy walking on the stone-paved pedestrian street, sitting in the sidewalk cafes, listening to the live music, and watching people going by. In the nights, people are drawn to it by its very cozy and seductive ambience. Men and women are dressed up in the most fashionable way you can ever see in this Valley. It’s like in a totally different world.

Living in Silicon Valley has its pluses and minuses. We have enough open space, nature and hiking trails, shopping malls with department stores; what we don’t have is a sophisticated urban life. Palo Alto downtown is the closest urbanity we can get without going to San Francisco.

Santana Row made a difference. It has 18 restaurants with a variety of international cuisines and 70 brand name shops including my favorite stores Gucci, BCBG Max Azria, and Z Gallery, etc.

The restaurants there are indeed amazing. Not only the food is superior, they can fake you as if you were in Europe! Left Bank Bistro, an authentic Parisian-style brasserie, was reminiscent of Fouquet’s on Champs-Elysees (not quite the same magnitude). Maggiano’s Little Italy, serving lavish family style Southern Italian cuisine, made me feel like I was in Florence again! On weekends, you can’t even get in without two-week advanced reservation.

I only wish there were more Santana Rows in the Bay Area!

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