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Renjie Wong

Austintatiously Southern

This past weekend I was in Austin, Texas, for a mid-quarter jaunt. I picked Austin as my vacation destination on the sole basis of its phenomenal food scene: one of my friends told me there were lots of tacos to be had. Incidentally, that same friend later decided not to join us. We would no longer be on talking terms, if not for how truly explosive our dining experiences were.

This grill is on fire

Saving you the hassle of scrambling for a dinner venue for tonight, we give the low-down on Palo Alto’s best Valentine’s Day menu. We’ve all been on that one Valentine’s dinner from hell. You know the one: tacky decor, middling food, overpriced wine and — worst of all — the rude waiter, sick from serving roomfuls of doe-eyed couples all night. At best, it is the worst date you and your valentine will have; at worst, it is your last.

Evvia: Palo Alto’s Greek infusion

The octapodaki tou yiorgou ($13.75) requires octopus to be braised in a wine and vinegar stock for precisely 80 minutes, before resting for up to a day; each order is then char-grilled over a mesquite flame in a lemon-oregano olive oil dressing. The octopus’ smoky flavor, intensified in crispy bits of carcinogenic ambrosia, pairs perfectly with the rich 2010 Sigalas Assyrtiko Santorini ($11 per glass), whose fine sea salt finish transports you to the rocky Aegean coastline.

Ciao Bello, Piemonte

After roughing it out on the frigid streets of the Upper East Side, I was thoroughly looking forward to being pampered by a coddling cavalcade of la cucina della nonna, but suffice to say, insect legs do not an haute cuisine garnish make.

In defense of tobacco

In our October 4 issue, The Daily published an opinions piece arguing that Stanford ran afoul of the Santa Clara Public Health Department, but does smoking really deserve to be kicked in the butt?

On squeamishness

“He was a bold man who first ate an oyster,” once wrote Jonathan Swift. Yet, in our grocery store society, it seems like that adventurousness has all but vanished.

Best Of: Silicon Valley Restaurant Week

We scoped out the restaurants of Silicon Valley Restaurant Week 2013 and couldn’t decide on just one recommendation. As per tradition, participating Bay Area restaurants will offer a discounted prix-fixe menu from Oct. 16-23. Here are our two top picks for joints to hit up for discount -- but still gourmet -- dining.

The Daily’s Pick for Italian: La Strada

With so many similarities between Italy and California – the balmy Mediterranean climes, the drop-dead gorgeous people, the ridiculous real estate prices – it is no wonder that Italian restaurants are dime-a-dozen in Palo Alto. Few, however, manage to balance authenticity with affordability, the same way University Avenue gem La Strada does.

Oscar fashion: The hits and misses

Once, when I was little, I met a dog at the neighborhood playground with the strangest, most bulgy eyes I’d ever seen. “Don’t keep staring at them,” cautioned my mother in her infinite wisdom, “or they’ll come out and get you.” Watching Anne Hathaway on the Oscars red carpet last Sunday, the piece of maternal advice resurfaced from the depths of my memory. As the pointy bodice of Hathaway’s NSFW pink satin Prada column gown stared back into the abyss of my soul, I wondered what could ever cause the normally elegant star to overlook a faux pas as glaringly obvious as this.

An open letter to Stanford fall weather

Hey. Let me start off by saying how much I love you. Like, obsessed. I come from the relentlessly-tropical Singapore — one degree north of the equator — and so you are to me what Facebook is to a never-ending Thinking Matters discussion: blissful relief. I mean, even Katy Perry sang about you and your greener grass, and she only sings truth.

Fall Fashion Fever

Dressing well makes acing your finals a whole lot easier. Here, we examine the best ways to navigate the articles, colors and textures of a well-assembled autumnal wardrobe.
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