Los Altos: A Cal-Med favorite will move into restaurant space vacated by chef Traci Des Jardins

State Street Market, Peninsula’s only food hall, announces a new anchor tenant

State Street Market in Los Altos, the Peninsula’s only food hall, has a new tenant for its premier restaurant space.

Cetrella, a Peninsula and coastal favorite for seafood and housemade pasta, will move just a few blocks to take over the space vacated by celebrity chef Traci Des Jardins’ El Alto restaurant after only six months in operation.

Cetrella will not only occupy the largest space at 170 State St., but it will also anchor the food hall across the courtyard, which has recently been revitalized with several additions such as Orenchi Ramen, Konjoe Burger, the Good Salad, and Penny Ice Creamery.

“We are thrilled to welcome Cetrella,” said Robert Hindman, managing director of the food hall’s developer, Los Altos Community Investments, on Tuesday, adding that he has known the Cetrella team and their cuisine for years. “I believe they are an excellent fit for the State Street location.”

M’hamed Bahet, a restaurateur, described the State Street location as “optimal” for his current and future Cetrella plans.

“The premises are Mediterranean in design, including the prized outdoor dining in the paseo, which guests particularly appreciate in light of the pandemic,” he said. This is consistent with our business concept and menu offerings centered on Mediterranean Rim and California Coastal cuisine.”

Looking ahead, he stated, “I am excited to develop the new opportunities it offers to run the speakeasy below the restaurant and the teaching kitchen across the paseo.”

With its California-Mediterranean focus, the highly regarded Cetrella first appeared on the Half Moon Bay dining scene 21 years ago, and the second location opened in Los Altos in 2015. That became the sole Cetrella in 2017.

Bahet intends to maintain the restaurant’s reputation for “accessible fine dining” at the new location, while also innovating with Mediterranean tapas and wine flights on the paseo. He plans to open the speakeasy as a late-night cocktail and bites spot, as well as a venue for private parties.

Diners can expect to see their old favorites — Grilled and Marinated Spanish Octopus, Salt Spring Mussels, Fritto Misto with rock shrimp and Happy Boy Farms vegetables, housemade pastas — move from Main Street to State Street, as well as Cetrella’s wine cellar and wine-dinner program.

It is expected to open in mid-October. Cetrella will continue to serve at 400 Main St. until then, according to Bahet.

State Street Market will open in September 2021, with four tenants and Des Jardins’ first culinary venture south of San Francisco. Her El Alto debuted in March 2022 and will close in September 2022.Des Jardins provided no explanation for the abrupt closure, nor did State Street Market.

The hall’s owner, Los Altos Community Investments, began the post-Des Jardins reboot in January of this year by terminating its contract with the Bon Appetit culinary management company and lining up new tenants. The Ikuka dessert counter, a Little Sky Bakery expansion, and the soon-to-open Bibo’s NY Pizza & Pasta, which will feature the restaurant’s first pasta menu, are among the other newcomers. Little Blue Door and Murdoch’s, two previous tenants, have reopened.

170 State Street, Los Altos; www.statestreetmarket.com

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