Capturing The Essence Of Los Altos

Posted on May 24, 2011 by  
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Every community has individuals who lead by example.  Los Altos is fortunate to have so many residents who contribute to the essence of what defines our community.

As I’ve highlighted before, even the mission statement of our village references that this is a great place to live and raise a family.  From time-to-time you will find a resident being highlighted in local, regional or national news.

Recently, Los Altos Patch wrote about Los Altan Sherie Sweiss Dodsworth.  She represents the essence of what Los Altos is today.  Below you will find an edited version of Rebecca Duran’s story.  Enjoy …

You just never know, Los Altan Sherie Sweiss Dodsworth said. You just never know where life takes you.

She’s gone from uncertain college freshman at St. Mary’s College of California to a formidable woman with a string of successes in her life: chairwoman of the Board of Borel Bank and Trust, head of the St. Mary’s Alumni Association, entrepreneur.

On Saturday she added another one—commencement speaker at her alma mater, where she addressed approximately 450 students of the Class of 2011.

“I broke through glass ceilings, like being the first female president of the alumni association of a college that had been all male up until 1970,” she said. “St. Mary’s taught me to believe in myself”

Dodsworth shared those St. Mary’s experiences and success in business at the college’s 148th commencement ceremony. After the ceremony, she said it never would have crossed her mind that she’d be a speaker at her alma mater. One can never truly predict one’s success.

From her graduation to today, one thing has lead to another.

Dodsworth received the San Francisco Most Influential Women in Business Award in 2010 and was honored by St. Mary’s as one of its 40 most influential alumnae. She has served as a trustee of St. Mary’s and was the first alumna to serve as president of the College’s Board of Regents. She was also the first woman to be elected Alumna of the Year in 1999.

She became the first female president of the Alumni Association, president of the college’s Board of Regents  and a trustee of the school. Her position on the Board of Regents is something she said helped her become chairwoman of the board of Borel Private Bank and Trust Company in 2004.

In Los Altos, she said, there is a sense of working together for the future.

“People try to look out for what’s best for the city, for our youth and the community for years to come.”

When she was 50, she made a goal to run a marathon, she told the graduating seniors Saturday. After crossing the finish line, she said she had her arms up in the air with a smile on her face.

She felt like she could accomplish anything, she said. She once questioned herself if she has what it takes to be successful, but her knowledge and perseverance nullifies that.

“If you sign up to do it, you’ve got to do it really well,” she said.

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Come See What All The Excitement’s About

Posted on May 11, 2011 by  
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This Saturday & Sunday, we are holding an Open House for 560 Los Altos Avenue.  We would love to see you swing for a visit to see all that this home has to offer.  It is both traditional and beautifully updated.  Light, bright, and ready to move in.

More important, this home is easily within walking distance to schools and downtown Los Altos.  We will be open this Saturday, May 7th from 1:30-4:30.  We look forward to seeing you.

If you would like a private showing of this great North Los Altos home, please contact us at 650-823-1434.  And, if you would like preview this home before this weekend, feel free to go to www.560LosAltos.com.

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A New Place to Eat

Posted on May 1, 2011 by  
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A few years ago, I was traveling through Florida and asked the hotel concierge for a fun restaurant at which to eat.  He didn’t hesitate with his recommendation:  “Taverna Opa” he stated with such enthusiasm I knew I had to give it a try.  The fun component lived up to expectations.  The food was good, and the atmosphere was lively.

Coming soon to downtown Los Altos, Opa! (Authentic Greek Cuisine) looks to bring our community some distinctive flavor from the Mediterranean.  While these two restaurant share a part of their name, they are not related businesses.  However, the enthusiasm surrounding this restaurant is the same.  Recently, the Town Crier wrote a article about Opa! Enjoy …

Just as the rains subside and leave local residents to dry out after a thorough drenching comes the mouth-watering news that Opa! Authentic Greek Cuisine is tentatively scheduled to open by May 15 at 325 Main St., replacing now-closed Zitune’s Moroccan fare.

With two other locations – San Jose’s Willow Glen district and downtown Los Gatos – Opa!’s Web site gives potential diners a tantalizing preview of what’s on the menu. And if reviews at Yelp.com and restaurant critics are to be believed, prepare to enjoy.

Since the April 2008 debut of its first location in San Jose, 463 reviews at Yelp overall award the restaurant four stars of five.

Most Yelpers seem to agree that Opa!’s fries are top notch, flavored with Greek spices and topped with feta cheese and herbs and well worth the $4.99 price. For $2 more, diners can have the deluxe version, served with tzatziki, yogurt flavored with cucumber, garlic and other spices, and gyro (yee-roh), skewered meat.

So maybe the wait will be worth it, too, because if diners like what they eat at the Los Gatos and San Jose Opa!s, they’ll like the dining in Los Altos.

“For the most part, our menus and specials are all consistent, and that’s what customers can expect,” said Opa! co-owner Molly Adams, who recently joined restaurant co-founders Spiro Tsaboukos and Angelo Heropoulos.

Adams said Heropoulos created the Opa! concept and executive chef Tsaboukos developed the menu.

“Spiro was raised in the restaurant business and spent time in Greece as a child,” she said. “His parents own Lou’s Diner in Los Gatos – and that’s been there a long time.”

Adams said Tsaboukos has produced an Opa! recipe book for the Greek-with-Mediterranean-flair recipes so that chefs don’t deviate from the ingredients, ensuring consistency.

Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Opa! offers lunch and dinner: from appetizers priced from $4.99 to $11.99, assorted dips and spreads served with warm pita bread, entrees ranging from $15.99 to $22.99, daily specials and desserts – and, of course, the famous fries sprinkled with special spices and feta cheese. There is also a weekend-brunch menu.

Adams said the Main Street location is ideal for Opa!’s philosophy to serve a fresh, high-quality and authentic Greek cuisine in small, family-oriented communities.

“We love the space – it’s a gorgeous, gorgeous space,” Adams said. “It really fits in with what we’re trying to do.”

Adams said Opa!’s seating will be similar to Zitune’s – including outdoor dining – but colors and other aesthetic changes are under way inside.

“We just give it the Opa! feeling,” she said.

With more than 3,000 square feet and a seating capacity of 90, the larger Los Altos space should be good news for diners who have endured long lines at other Opa! restaurants for a bite to eat.

“Our other locations are smaller,” Adams said.

Diners get stuffed on the food just reading the menu. Like the Greek Cheesesteak Sandwich, a blend of gyro meat, sautéed onions and bell peppers blended with mozzarella cheese, served in a warm pita and topped with a spicy aioli. Or the Bifteki, a Greek burger with spiced ground beef and lamb served on a toasted bun, topped with tzatziki, ripe tomatoes, red onions and chopped mint, accompanied by a choice of sides for both – those famous fries or rice pilaf.

Despite its relatively small size, Opa! is growing in a big way, with another restaurant scheduled to open soon in Walnut Creek and other possibilities for expansion, including branching into a franchise.

“It’s definitely something we’ve talked about,” Adams said. For more information, visit their Willow Glen web site.

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