(credit: foodiechap.com)

A roundup of fall salads in the South Bay ranges from casual student-focused fare to fine French dining and an award-winning steakhouse. Health-conscious herbivores and those craving a seafood or salmon salad will find delicious options on the menu at these South Bay restaurants.

Coupa Café
538 Ramona St.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 322-6872
www.coupacafe.com

A handful of strategically placed locations are magnets on the Stanford University campus where an exclusive blend of Arabica beans from a single estate are as important as the buzzy networking. In an historic building off University Avenue, this family-run business is a go-to spot for the entire Palo Alto community. Inspired by its Venezuelan roots and local organic farming, the menu features no fewer than 15 different, delicious salads. Start with Palo Alto Chopped (mixed greens, carrots, avocado, cucumber, quinoa, garbanzo beans, feta cheese, lemon vinaigrette) and try them all.

Quattro
Four Seasons Hotel
2050 University Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94303
(650) 566-1200
www.fourseasons.comCome for contemporary Italian-inspired cuisine in a lovely setting with a soothing water wall where quinoa hasn’t lost its magic. Served at weekday lunch and at weekend brunch, the chef’s Quinoa Salad features cranberry beans, celery, peperoncini, cucumber, pistachio pesto (pistachios are roasted and processed with grapeseed oil and lemon oil) and tomato agrodolce (ingredients are tomato, apple, saffron, spices, vinegar, sugar) with a sage dressing.
Citrus Restaurant
Hotel Valencia
355 Santana Row
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 551-0010
www.hotelvalencia-santanarow.comChef de Cuisine Ocean Orssten described the salad he’s planning for the fall menu at Citrus. A cured salmon salad served with wild green, garnished with shaved fennel and shaved apples comes with an in-house dill and lemon dressing. Focused on California cuisine, all seafood served is in accordance with the Monterey Seafood Watch program. Overlooking the courtyard and fountain, it’s a pretty Santana Row destination restaurant.
La Forêt
21747 Bertram Road
San Jose, CA 95120
(408) 997-3458
www.laforetrestaurant.comFine French cuisine, white linen dining and special occasions go hand-in-hand. For that, there are a few places in the South Bay (Chantilly, Le Papillon, Baumé) led off by this nationally top-rated restaurant in the countryside with a city address. Drive 20 minutes from downtown San Jose to find a creekside destination where food and wine outrank wireless reception. The chef suggests the mushroom and bay shrimp salad of spinach, radicchio and a red pepper vinaigrette for autumn.
Alexander’s Steakhouse
10330 N. Wolfe Road
Cupertino, CA 95014
(408) 446-2222
www.alexanderssteakhouse.comMeat lovers are drawn here for the outstanding steak menu, American with Japanese influences, featuring Japanese wagyu, Kobe beef and bone-in filet mignon. Liberally sprinkled with top dining awards since opening in 2005, Alexander’s an institution. Steak and salad is also an American institution. Try the Furikake Caesar Salad with 63-degree egg and remember to book well ahead for Executive Chef Derek Biazo’s menu during the upcoming 10th year anniversary.
Laurie Jo Miller Farr loves walkable cities. A tourism industry professional and transplanted New Yorker by way of half-a-lifetime in London, she’s writing about the best of the bay and beyond for Yahoo, USA Today, eHow, and on Examiner.com.