Chef-owner Jesse Ziff Cool on farm-to-table, social justice and the future of her longtime restaurant

Original article posted by Elena Kadvany at the Palo Alto Weekly - - Photos by Veronica Weber

At Flea St. Cafe in Menlo Park, the customer always comes last.

It sounds counterintuitive — even unappealing — but when longtime owner Jesse Ziff Cool explains it, it makes sense. Since she first open...

August 28, 2016

36 years ago today, August 28, 1980, in an unlikely neighborhood just outside of the city of Menlo Park, in the county of San Mateo, on an unlikely street Alameda de las Pulgas aka., “Avenue of the Fleas” we signed a lease and brought to life, Flea St. Cafe.

As anyone who has grown anything that has survived for over 36 years knows, growth and change are a process. Sometimes that change is incremental and barely noticeable, other times it's convulsive, dram...

August 10, 2016

Peaches. Like anything from the farm they are worth waiting for. Thankfully, the wait for the world’s tastiest organic heirloom stone fruit is over and it's that time of the year again. Not only do we get to celebrate peaches (and nectarines) in every conceivable way on our menus, but we also get to celebrate Masumoto Family Farm which has been sustainably growing Elberta peaches and La Grand nectarines on an 80 acre farm south of Fresno for almost 70 years...

August 2, 2016

Earlier this summer I was invited to the marriage of two of my favorite people,  David Evans, Owner of Marin Sun Farms and Claire Herminjard, CEO, Co-founder of Mindful Meats. Weddings are always a heart felt occasion but when two local farmers or ranchers join together it’s something truly unique and wonderful. It was a celebration of two people and their families, but also an intimate acknowledgement of a wider connection between these two to the land, th...

***Originally written and posted by Lisa Melsted, in “Foie Gras and Funnel Cakes” on December 19, 2014 - .Read the original article***

Before there was farm-to-table, before there was non-GMO, before there was organic, and long before any of the current consciousness about food became fashionable, there was Jesse Ziff Cool. Although many people are just starting to wake up to the idea of asking where their food comes from or what’s in it, Jesse’s been advoca...

This is a great cool-weather pasta is a favorite at Flea St. Cafe, reappearing each year as soon as the last of the fresh tomatoes disappear. At home, it’s a great way to use leftover wild rice, so make a double batch and set some aside for this quick dish.

  • 1 pound fettuccine

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 to 2 jalapeño chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 8 ounces wild mushroo...

March 24, 2013

"Oprah Winfrey interviews Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg at Menlo Park’s Flea Street Cafe" -Originally posted in InMenlo.

Editor’s note: Jesse Cool, owner of Menlo Park’s Flea Street Cafe, hosted two well-known women – Oprah Winfrey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg – who engaged in conversation over the restaurant’s signature biscuits. The interview (and the biscuits) are featured in the just-released April issue of O Magazine and will be aired this Sunday, Ma...

November 3, 2012

During a 2012staff meeting Jesse's shares the long and winding road of restaurants Late for the Train and Flea Street Cafe from the 70's, 80's, 90's and into the new century.

January 7, 2011

"Top Chefs Talk Trends" originally published in The Gourmet Retailer Magazine, January 2011

Jesse Cool has published seven books, including "Your Organic Kitchen," "Toast: Sixty Ways To Butter Your Toast & More," "The Honest to Goodness One Pot Cookbook" and "Simply Organic." She also has written numerous magazine articles and appeared on the "Today Show" and Food Network. Cool is very act...

Originally posted and adopted August 26, 2009 - in the Stanford Medicine News Center by Sara Wykes

Stanford Hospital & Clinics has launched a new daily dinner meal for inpatients featuring organic, locally grown, sustainable ingredients. The SHC Farm Fresh program was developed in collaboration with Jesse Cool, a nationally recognized Northern California chef, restaurateur and food writer who has been an advocate and leader in healthy eating for more than 30...

Please reload

Recent Posts

September 4, 2014

Please reload

Please reload

Please reload

    We are currently offering our menu for

    take out Wednesday - Sunday.

    You may order up to 3 days in advance

    or the day of anytime before 7pm.


    We are not offering table service,

    outdoor or indoor, for now.

    Stay safe, stay healthy.



    ©2020 by CoolEatz | Flea Street | Cantor Arts @ Stanford University 

    3607 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | 650.854-1226