Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Olla Cocina is now open in San Pedro Square

Olla Cocina, a Contemporary Mexican Restaurant and Bar,  Now Open in Downtown San Jose
Inspired by regional dishes from across Mexico and California’s fresh ingredients, the new restaurant is located in San Pedro Square

San Jose, CA – An exciting addition to the downtown dining scene, Olla Cocina puts a contemporary spin on traditional dishes from Mexico in a fun and casual environment. the restaurant is located in San Pedro Square in the heart of San Jose’s urban center and opened Thursday, June 16. Olla is a celebration of all that is Mexican: a strong community, vibrant culture and generous, fresh food along with a little noise and quirkiness.

The restaurant’s Executive Chef is Adan Ornelas, most recently from adjacent restaurant, The Farmers Union, and Dry Creek Grill, both in San Jose. Ornelas worked in tandem with Olla Operating Partner Armando Navarro of El Dorado Kitchen in Sonoma, who oversees the menu.

Olla Cocina introduces innovative takes on regional Mexican food, elevating favorites with fresh, unexpected ingredients and flavor combinations. The menu includes fresh ceviches and a taco bar, as well as traditional dishes such as Carne Asada ($22) and Torta de Cochinita Pibil ($14).

Spotlighting the many regions of Mexico, the menu features small, shareable bites as well as larger entrees for a blended dining experience where the sharing of both is encouraged. Dinner starters include Roasted Chiliesserved with sea salt and lemon and Frijoles Fritos, featuring Rancho Gordo beans, Oaxaca cheese, jalapeños and totopos (both $7). Small plates include Ceviche Verde with halibut, lime juice marinade, tomatillo and avocado ($14), Vegetable Tamales with peppers, onion, zucchini, black beans, pasilla peppers, salsa verde and queso Oaxaca ($10) and soups such as Posole de Cerdo with pork shoulder, hominy, cabbage oregano, radish, onion, cilantro, chile de árbol ($13). Salads are tossed with surprising ingredients such as chorizo, masa croutons and crispy quinoa.

Larger plates include Tostada de Pollo with chipotle-braised chicken, black bean puree, cotija cheese, avocado, romaine, pico de gallo, spicy crema, cilantro ($15). The menu also features a variety of vegetarian options such asCamote con Mole, a salt-crusted sweet potato, mole sauce, almonds, rajitas of onion and peppers and house-made tortillas ($12).

The full bar will offer 12 local craft beers and 12 wines on tap, bottled Mexican beer, eight featured cocktails including a Margarita, Paloma and Sangria, horchata, Jarritos sodas and aguas frescas.

The dining experience takes place in an environment that’s both casual and special. Designed by restaurateur Doug Washington, interior décor touches include an authentic church pulpit repurposed into the host stand, witty Mexican artwork, beautiful tiles and decorative cinder blocks, intended to represent modern Mexico. A central design element featured in the main dining room and continuing to the outside patio is a ceiling trellis, made of repurposed reclaimed Douglas Fir from the garage across the street from the restaurant. Olla invites guests into a warm space with deft touches such as shoes hanging from the electrical wires that run along the ceiling, garage doors that open onto the front patio and Dia de los Muertos wallpaper. The dining area features walnut dining tables and two big, modern, custom picnic tables for communal diners. Sleek stool legs dipped in bright orange paint add to the festive environment. The eating space has low, dividing walls constructed from patterned concrete cinder blocks and capped with stained wood tops.

The 5,900-square foot Olla Cocina will seat a total of 228 in the main dining room and private dining room and 30 on the outdoor patio.

It’s in a prime location of downtown San Jose, near hotels, the convention center, offices and SAP Center, home rink for the NHL Sharks.

About Olla Cocina
Olla Cocina is a contemporary Mexican restaurant serving food and drinks in a casual, festive environment. The cuisine and bar program draw inspiration from many regions across Mexico and use seasonal California ingredients for a fresh take on traditional favorites. Located at 17 N. San Pedro St. in downtown San Jose’s popular San Pedro Square, Olla is a slice of modern Mexico with a fun and shareable menu of traditional favorites, signature cocktails and local beers and wine on tap. For more information, visit www.OllaCocina.com.

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