Turn Bar & Grill, coming soon to Los Altos | Peninsula Foodist | Elena Kadvany | Almanac Online |

Local Blogs

Peninsula Foodist

By Elena Kadvany

E-mail Elena Kadvany

About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

View all posts from Elena Kadvany

Turn Bar & Grill, coming soon to Los Altos

Uploaded: Jun 1, 2015
Two lifelong Los Altos residents, one who has long dreamed of opening his own restaurant, are behind Turn Bar & Grill, a casual, modern American restaurant opening in downtown Los Altos this month.

Jim and Julie Otis were both born and raised in Los Altos. Later in life, when they first met, Jim was working as a bartender at The Crow's Nest Restaurant in Santa Cruz. But his family business was elsewhere (publishing), so working in the restaurant world took a backseat.

Now, with their children grown and out of the house, the couple is finally pursuing Jim's dream. They snagged the large corner space at 295 Main St. (the former home of AG Ferrari Italian Foods) in October and found numerous investors to back the project, including the president and CEO of Intero Real Estate, Gino Blefari (who is also a Los Altos resident).

The restaurant is named for the couple's personal turn, or change in direction, but also for diners.

"This is definitely a change in the direction of his career," Julie said of her husband. "But for our customers it means it's an opportunity to switch gears and relax from a hectic day, meet with friends and have fun."

Julie said the concept behind Turn is "taking modern classics and reinventing them." There is, of course, an emphasis on farm to table, and all produce, meat, seafood and cheeses are locally sourced. Menu items will look like Alaskan halibut with roasted corn, tomato and roasted pepper puree; grilled Angus t-bone steak with an egg on top and sautéed spinach; braised short ribs, a Niman Ranch beef burger and a modern wedge salad.

Turn will also have a full bar. Juices for cocktails will all be made in house, Julie said. Enjoy Turn's "spa water" (gin, lemon and lime) or a sparkling white peach martini outside along Main Street, where there will be patio seating.

And most notably, perhaps, for Los Altos diners, the restaurant will stay open until 11 p.m., Monday through Sunday.

"We've heard a big complaint that after 9 o' clock nobody serves dinner. Where do you go? We're going to hopefully wake up the sleepy town," Julie said.

Turn's executive chef is Tom Lucero, a graduate of the California Culinary Academy with 30-plus years of experience at restaurants like McCormick & Schmicks, The Cheesecake Factory, YardHouse, Ruby Restaurant group and Black Angus Steakhouse in Los Altos.

Julie said they're aiming to open the week of June 15, with a soft opening the week before. They'll start with dinner and then add lunch, as well as weekend brunch.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by RW, a resident of another community,
on Jun 1, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Turn and Cetrella are going to finally give some dining competition to Los Altos Grill. Without a reservation, the wait at LAG is often upwards of 60 minutes. I'm so glad to hear that people will get some alternatives in Los Altos. Although, no corkage fee at LAG is pretty hard to beat.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Dave Thompson, a resident of East Palo Alto,
on Jul 1, 2015 at 12:19 pm

A new bar like this is going to be great for the area. I've been looking for a new place to try and Turn seems like the perfect place to try out. Most restaurants are only open till the latest 10 PM so staying open till 11 is going to definitely give this place a leg up on the competition. Web Link

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Follow this blogger (Receive an email when blogger makes a new post)


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Chocolate + Tahini Ice Box Pie
By Laura Stec | 0 comments | 1,238 views

Love is a Verb
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 809 views


Meet the winners!

The results are in. Check out The Almanac readers' favorite foods, services and fun stuff in the area.

View Winners