University Avenue and Lytton Plaza aren't quite as mesmerizing as a Half Moon Bay sunset, but now Palo Alto feels a whole lot closer to the coast. Sam's Chowder House opened its second branch last week in the former Campo 185 space, which was owned by the same couple as Sam's in Half Moon Bay. Robert Holt remains executive chef, after serving at Campo 185 during its brief run. The much-acclaimed Sam's lobster roll made the trip to Palo Alto, along with seafood favorites like the Sam's Crab Louis and both Manhattan and New England-style clam chowders. Holt's new seafood creations include the autumnal California king salmon served with red kuri pumpkin puree, Brussels sprouts, and Fuji apple/pomegranate syrup. Lunch brings a sandwich focus with items like a barbeque shrimp po'boy with romesco aioli. The remodeled restaurant reflects Sam's nautical theme. 185 University Ave., Palo Alto; (650) 614-1177.
Belmont now has a new spot for sushi and other Japanese classics courtesy of Yama Sushi, the restaurant's first branch away from its San Francisco original. The lengthy menu of more than 100 choices is dominated by its sushi and sashimi selection. All of the traditional makimono, nigiri, and hand rolls are here, along with some unique specialty rolls. Though it's not red and gold, Colin Kaepernick fans will have to order the 49ers roll, a spicy tuna roll covered in salmon and avocado. Japanese curry, donburi, udon, and ramen are also available, but perhaps the most excitement comes with the starters, which include grilled hamachi collar and miso-marinated scallops. 889 Ralston Ave., Belmont; (650) 508-8600.
Let the good times roll at Daly City's Shaking Crab, the ode to Louisiana's messy seafood boils now open in the Westlake Shopping Center. With Dungeness crab season upon us, this is a new spot to enjoy local crustaceans. All seafood comes with a choice of seasonings and spice levels up to "dynamite." The menu also includes many fried seafood choices, and those with lighter appetites will enjoy selections like the shaking crab salad made with soft shell crab. There's also a selection of soju cocktails to compliment the dishes' spice. 25 Southgate Ave. in Westlake Shopping Center, Daly City; (650) 997-4560.