The place was Amanor Deli Bakery, 856 West El Camino Real, Mountain View, and was billed as "Alla Gharibian, an Armenian immigrant, SJSU graduate, and co-owner of the restaurant, will talk about Armenia past and present. Her husband Njdeh will prepare a delicious sampler of Armenian cuisine."
What actually happened was Alla re-arranged the small deli so all the tables (meant to seat 2 people each) were pushed together in a row, set with colorful plates, silverware and napkins, and then she and Njdeh started bringing out food. Kind of like tapas, it was a very filling meal of appetizers. They just kept coming. String cheese marinated in oil and spices, cured beef sliced paper-thin, a variety of wonderful fresh baguette style breads, two kinds of hummus, dolmas to die for, dried home made salami (elliptical instead of round), Armenian cole slaw, chopped spiced eggplant, a yogurt-based cold soup with assorted vegetables, and pita-like bread stuffed with two different offerings - a kind of farmer's cheese, and chopped spinach. For dessert there was Armenian coffee in a demitasse cup, or tea, and a small square of cake which was similar to carrot cake, but a little more dense.
Alla never got the chance to give her talk, mostly because it took a long time for us to sample each course, but also I think she didn't want to interrupt the several lively conversations we were having. About half the people were newcomers to the group, one fellow, Kendall, showed up whom I had not seen in about 10 years, when he was treasurer and I was newsletter editor on the board of the NorCal Peace Corps group.
The food was all excellent, and I'm sure I'll go there as a customer soon.
Across the street from the Deli is Frankie Johnnie & Luigi Too, which is where the boss took us for lunch today. We made reservations for the 8 of us at 11:45, and when we arrived the place was almost empty. Very strange. At that time 5 years ago, there would have been a line down the block. The food was superb, portions were huge, the service excellent, and the prices reasonable. The only thing I can think of to account for the lack of customers would be the economy, which is going down the drain slowly but surely.