The Burlingame restaurant scene continues to grow, and its most recent addition is from one of the city's longtime favorites. Sixtos Cantina has opened in the former Hola Restaurant space from the owners of Alana's, inspired by a decade of their enormously popular Mexican food Wednesdays. Alana's chef of the past eighteen years, Benjamin Prieto, runs the kitchen, presenting specialties from his native Jalisco. Starters such as a quinoa salad and chicken tinga nachos lead to larger plates including braised short ribs, a pasilla chili cheese tamale pie, and a selection of tacos like fish with mango salsa and carne asada with a house-made chimichurri. While Alana's holds only 50 diners, Sixtos has a capacity for 160 and also has a patio. The modern 5,000-square-foot space features metal tables, a communal table, agave art, and a lively bar scene. Inventive cocktails include the Sixtos Margarita, which adds Chinese five-spice syrup to the classic drink. All syrups and juices are prepared in-house, as are the various salsas for each table. Conclude with a churro sundae: three kinds of ice cream, mini-churros, and caramel sauce.1448 Burlingame Ave., Burlingame; (650) 342-7600.
Right by the Millbrae BART and Caltrain station, Ipoh Gardens opening now gives diners a chance to sample the cuisines of Malaysia and Singapore, along with specialties from Thailand. Among the wide array of exciting options, there is a plate of Singapore chili prawns, a famous spinach and dried shrimp dish kangkung belacun, and curry noodle soup with shrimp laksa. Prices are almost entirely below $10 and the homey atmosphere is very casual. 100 El Camino Real., Millbrae; (650) 652-9588.
Just in time to help make that last-minute holiday shopping rush a little sweeter, Oui Oui Macaron is open inside a former Burger King at Serramonte Center. This the first retail location for the San Francisco company that previously sold by delivery. Single macarons are $1.75 or $10.50 for a half dozen; other treats include things like a macaron ice cream sandwich. The eclectic spectrum of flavors include cheesecake, lavender, and Thai tea. 345 Serramonte Center, Daly City; (949) 702-2675.
Several Peninsula restaurants will be open on Christmas Day. Quattro in East Palo Alto features a special four-course menu at $89 a person and $21 for children. For Christmas on the coast, Moss Beach Distillery is serving dinner all day. Inland diners can opt for traditional Christmas roast prime rib and dry-aged steaks at San Mateo's Porterhouse.
2050 University Ave. at University Circle, East Palo Alto; (650) 470-2889.
140 Beach Way, Moss Beach; (650) 728-5595.
60 E. Third Ave., San Mateo; (650) 579-5911.