Val’s Restaurant, Daly City, California

With the recent closure of Joe’s of Westlake for renovation, where does one go in Daly City? Val’s is the place!

image by The Jab

image by The Jab

Opened in 1950 as Val’s Redwood RoomVal's matches by Val and Lena Connolly, it was taken over in 1975 by Ed Taylor and Jerry Fex, who also owned the Red Chimney restaurant in the Stonestown Shopping Center in San Francisco (now Stonestown Galleria, but the Red Chimney is gone). Val’s current owners are Ed’s sons Jeff and Greg Taylor, who started their restaurant career back in the 1960s working at their dad’s Red Chimney restaurant.

image by The Jab

image by The Jab

Val’s has a bar and lounge with some original Naugahyde bar stools and chairs and some vintage nudes on the walls, but unfortunately there are also several TVs in the room and there is karaoke in the bar after 9pm on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (karaoke is not Le Continental’s cup of tea). However, the dining room is TV-free and looks mostly original still, with a lot of dark wood, Naugahyde booths, and oil paintings. The only fairly recent additions that I recall are the lamps and etched glass booth dividers, neither of which look too modern to detract much from the classic feel of the room. Does the nude look familiar? Yes, I’m pretty sure it’s by the same artist, Larry ‘Vincent’ Garrison, that painted the nudes in the cocktail lounge at Albie’s Beef Inn.

Val’s is a steakhouse (“charcoal broiled steaks” is right on the sign), offering a menu of prime rib and six cuts of steak, as well as lamb and veal. They also make southern fried chicken with a pressure fryer and they specialize in french dip, which is very popular and offered during lunch Mon-Fri and brunch on weekends. Pasta and seafood dishes round out the extensive menu. All dinners are reasonably priced; the steak dinners ranging from $20.95 for top sirloin to $27.95 for a 20 oz. porterhouse (subject to change), including potato and vegetable (steak prices drop below $20 during lunch and include soup or salad). I love their shoestring fries, much preferable with a steak than thick fries, in my opinion. I need to go back and try the rack of lamb – only $27.95 for a full one-pound rack! Their meat and bread are sourced locally, with their produce coming from California growers. If you want to see some delectable pictures of their food (better than I could ever take) check out their website. They are open for dinner early (4:00pm) and have early dinner specials (call for details).

image by a somewhat inebriated Jab

image by an inebriated Jab

Val’s is a true Bay Area local’s place, family owned for almost 40 years. The chef has been with the restaurant for 25 years; the bartender for 15 years. And many of their loyal customers have been going there far longer. Don’t you think it’s time you joined them?

Val’s Restaurant
2468 Junipero Serra Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015
(650) 755-3448
Open 364 days a year, lunch/weekend brunch 11:00am-3:00pm, dinner 4:00pm-10:00pm, the bar is open until midnight Sun-Wed and until 2am Thu-Sat. Closed on Christmas.

6 thoughts on “Val’s Restaurant, Daly City, California

  1. I’ve always wondered about this place. How are quality of steaks? I’d like to stop in some time. And I’m not above sneaking in a Sinatra or (early) Elvis tune if need be. I was recently in Ventura and happened upon a place you may know/appreciate: The Sportsman. Great steaks, Manhattans and decor (including iconic, framed snow crab). And speaking of Fieri: did you ever read the NYT takedown of his American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square? Quite fitting. I love J & M Stern. They have *great* radio voices as frequently heard on Rick Steves’ program of all places. Huge fan of the site. Keeps me current on the past.

    • As I recall we all enjoyed our steaks very much when was there last. Not the best in the city but the best deal on a good steak.
      I did see that NYT critique…. funny, and just the names of the dishes would make me skip that place. But it fits in the new Times Square I guess, an area of the city to avoid IMO.
      I need to listen to Rick Steves’ show now! I did not know about that.
      Thanks for the tip on that Ventura restaurant, Garrick, and thanks for being a fan!

  2. First of all, Val’s was opened by VAL Connolly, in 1952, and sold to Taylor and Fex in 1976. As Val’s daughter, I am truly embarrassed and saddened by the the misinformation. My dad and mom, Lena, worked 34 hard years there and deserve recognition. (I practically grew up there). Furthermore, I have never heard about the “Rickey” connection. Thanks for listening, and hope you will correct Val’s Redwood Room Restaurant’s description.

    • Susan, I’m sorry if I gave incorrect information. I wasn’t aware that I left out an important part of the Val’s story. I will double check my sources, reply here after doing so, and correct Val’s history in my post. Thanks for your comments.

    • Susan,
      I corrected my post based on your information. My online sources were limited. Most of my information came from this newspaper article in the Mercury News, which claimed an opening date of 1950 and the Taylor’s acquisition in 1975 (a date they also state on the restaurant’s web site). My source for the information about Ed Taylor and Jerry Fex came from this perhaps dubious source and this more reliable one.
      I’m very sorry for the oversight. Thank you for reading.

  3. Another tidbit, Rickey’s in Palo Alto, has been remodeled … it’s been torn down.

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