Evvia -- sister to Kokkari in San Francisco -- is one of our favorite of the favorites down here. Evvia serves wonderfully classic Greek fare along with dishes they describe as "local interpretations of many traditional Hellenic favorites." Because of a minor kitchen fire, Evvia had to close for a few weeks this fall and my husband and I were clutching our stomachs in fear that they would never reopen. Lucky for us and for Palo Alto, they did.
For us, It's all about the octopus. I mean, I suppose you COULD order the succulent lamb chops, or the piping hot gigantes beans with herbed feta, or even the eggplant and artichoke saganaki with the huge drift of Greek yogurt that needs to be spread over everything I eat for the rest of my life. But really, Evvia is all about the octopus.
On the menu, it's listed as "Octapadaki tou Yiorgou" and described as "traditional grilled octopus with lemon, oregano, and olive oil." Like the best things in life, this dish is simple. No foam, no gelees, no essences of boiled-down essences. All it takes is four ingredients -- five, really, if you count the wood fire grill needed to edge the chopped cephalopod with charred, smoky goodness -- for that dish to wend its tentacled way into my hungry, waking moments.
Though normally quite generous with one another when it comes to food, my husband and I now have to put in a double order, because where Evvia's octopus is concerned, we're way too greedy to share a single.