Showing posts with label downtown san jose food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label downtown san jose food. Show all posts

Friday, March 29, 2024

Easter Brunch in Downtown San Jose 🐣🥂

As usual, the San Jose Downtown Association has a list of all the great brunch options in Downtown San Jose for Easter weekend. They also have a brief history of brunch in America.

I'll call out Rollati specifically since they have a special Easter Menu with a Cocoa Pappardelle (lamb ragu, pistachio, and mint gremolata) and Italian Easter Bread pictured below. However, you can't go wrong with any of the restaurants below. I've been to all but one.

For your convenience, here is the entire DTSJ brunch list with links to the restaurant in the title:


Brunch at Rollati is best enjoyed with a group of friends, so you can order the Aperol Spritz Tower for four, which is their featured Brunch Cocktail.  Brunch entrees include Italian Toast (Sweet Batard, Nutella, Maple Syrup) and Buttermilk Pancakes with Huckleberry, plus the entire lunch menu.  Brunch served Sat. & Sun. 11am to 3pm.


The FAB brunch menu includes Egg Machaca, Pozole, and their hearty loaded dirty fries, served “breakfast-style” with a soft over-easy egg.  Brunch served Sat. & Sun. 11am to 3pm.

The Club on Post

The brunch menu at The Club includes Berry Waffles, Chilaquiles, Crab Cake Benedict, or a Club Burger, served brunch-style, with an egg on top of the Wagyu patty.  There’s a full bar and specialty cocktails, but the Fever Tree Sparking Sicilian Lemonade is worth a try.  Brunch served Sat. & Sun 11am to 3pm.

SP2 Communal Bar  & Restaurant

The Sourdough Machi Waffle, Tri-Tip Hash, Smoked Salmon Scramble (to name just a few) pair perfectly with imaginative cocktails that include an Elderflower Spritz, Passionfruit Bellini, and a drink called Corpse Reviver No. 2.  SP2 also has a preset Brunch menu that allows you to choose an entree, side and a salad for the fixed price of $45.  Brunch served Sat. & Sun. 11am to 2pm.

The Farmer’s Union

The Chuy’s Michelada at Farmer’s Union is practically a meal, but you will want to try the Chicken Fried Chicken & Eggs or the Huevos Motulenos with turkey, peas, cojita cheese, and friend plantain.  Brunch served Sun.11am to 3pm.

Mama Kin

Brunch at Mama Kin includes the usual brunch staples, along with Cajun Creole specialties of the house, but it’s mostly about the vibe.  On Saturday, the R&B Brunch and Day Party, features R&B tunes from the 80s to the 2000s.  Sunday is the Boom Box Brunch and Day Party, with a DJ playing music from the golden era of Hip Hop.  Brunch served Sat. & Sun. 10am to 3pm.

Poor House Bistro

Jambalaya Scramble, Pecan pancakes, New Orleans-style Beignets, and Pain Perdu (New Orleans French Toast) are just a few choices on the brunch menu at PHB. Doors open 10 am, but the live Blues on the Patio entertainment doesn’t start until noon.  Brunch served Sun. 10am to 2pm.

Whispers Cafe & Creperie

The sweet and savory crepes at Whispers are offered all day every day, but it’s a very popular place for brunch on the weekends. It’s also the longest hours for Brunch in the downtown, for early risers who don’t want to wait until 10 a.m. to eat.  Brunch served Sat. & Sun. 8am to 3 pm.

Fountain Restaurant

Located inside the Signia by Hilton San Jose, next to the Circle of Palms, offers a weekend brunch that includes Lobster Benedict served atop fresh artichoke hearts, generous Avocado Toast and Trout Toast, Pancakes, and Belgian Waffles. The weekend brunch menu also adds lunchtime go-tos like the tasty Fountain Burger with balsamic onion jam and gruyere, plus salads, sandwiches, and a crowd-pleasing kid’s selection with Mac n’ Cheese, Chicken Tenders and Sliders.

Rollati's Cocoa Pappardelle (lamb ragu, pistachio, and mint gremolata) and Italian Easter Bread

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Urban Putt, a love letter to San Jose's past, present, and future

With anticipation building for over a year, I thought there was no way that Urban Putt could possibly live up to the expectations in my head. I was wrong. Best. Minigolf. Course. Ever.

You walk through a very subtle entrance at 201 S. Seconds St., right next to Scott's Seafood. As soon as you walk in you are immediately transported to another planet. If Urban Putt was a standalone bar, it would already be one of the best ones in San Jose. Specialty drinks include The Winchester Old Fashioned with a smoke bubble, 10th Street Penicillin using local San Jose-made whiskey, Steve's Espresso Martini (pictured below), and a fruity Happy Accident which you wear around your neck and take with you as you golf.

For food, I just sampled a small number of their menu items at the media preview night but have plans to return this weekend for "more thorough research." The Pad Thai pizza was super tasty, as was the street corn salsa and Bavarian Pretzel with locally produced IPA mustard. I'm looking forward to trying their OMG Burger, which is a smash-burger on Texas toast with avocado and a fried egg.

Okay now for the best part. The golf course is incredible. It puts any other course I have ever done to shame in terms of creativity, engineering, and localization. It starts with an homage to Downtown San Jose and then blends innovation with nostalgia. I don't even want to show all the photos so that you get to experience some surprises while you're there. 

Some of the holes are actually races with your party of up to 4 people, including a game of labyrinth. One is a real-life game of Duck Hunt. Another is inside of the Winchester Mystery House. There's a shark, a downed UFO, a replica of the San Jose Electric Light Tower, a submarine, and a finale worthy of Silicon Valley. Some of the holes even have hidden tricks and easter eggs, including some trippy optical illusions and effects with vacuum tubes.

If there was ever a time to run out and support a new local business, this is it. I already have my next two trips lined up. Urban Putt officially opens to the public today at 4pm. After 8pm it will be 21+ only.

This has immediately become my top destination to take people from out of town. What a way to start 2024!

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Slice of Homage Review 🍕🤯

We are fortunate to have a lot of great pizza places in San Jose. For New York Style you have the ever-popular A Slice of New York and Bibo's. For Chicago, there is Blue Line and Paxti's. For more traditional Italian, Pizza Bocca Lupo. Californian? Pizza Antica. We even have some awesome Indian fusion pizzas--my favorites are at Blast & Brew on North First Street.

However, out of all the pizza genres and all the pizza places I have been to in Silicon Valley... the Detroit-style pizza at Slice of Homage was the best I've ever had. 

They have actually been around for a couple years for take-out, even operating out of a nightclub, but they have finally gotten a dedicated space in August. It's easy to miss, nestled between The Farmer's Union and San Pedro Social along Santa Clara Street in Downtown San Jose.

Detroit-style pizza is known for a crunchy, cheese-lined edge and crispy bottom. The crust almost tastes caramelized while the dough bakes bubbly and fluffy in the center.

Slice of Homage's flagship and my favorite slice of all time was appropriately named "The Detroit vs. Everybody." This masterpiece has a special four-cheese blend, bacon, Genoa salami, Rosa Grande pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms. It's topped with dollops of fresh ricotta, freshly grated Grana Padano, basil strips, and garlic-infused extra-virgin olive oil. Every ingredient is premium and it tasted like magic. Perfectly balanced despite the insane amount of meat and cheeses. 

If you want to step it up another level you can dip it in homemade ranch sauce or use a hot honey packet or two. They also had vodka sauce, buffalo, and BBQ dipping options.

You can order it by the slice for $13, and one is enough to fill up most people.

Of course my wife and I had to try more of their options including the Margherita, Halla Mahalo (a take on Hawaiian with fresh pineapple, American bacon, Canadian bacon, tomatoes, and jalapenos), and traditional New York slice with pepperoni and basil.

Everything was delicious. If you are a carnivore, you should run not walk to get "The Detroit vs. Everybody." The vegetarian Margherita was also spectacular so you can't go wrong either way here. There aren't enough superlatives to describe just how good the pizza was here, you have to try it for yourself.

They also have a Sicilian-style pizza that takes days to make, but you typically have to order it in advance and can only get it by the tray. It's on my list for next time.

Word has started getting out. Slice of Homage has they highest Yelp rating of any pizza place in San Jose with over 200 reviews. It even has a higher rating than Tony's pizza in San Francisco. Truly epic for pizza lovers and I will be back here many, many times. It's also one of the few spots Downtown conveniently open every single day from lunch to dinner (11:30am-9pm). 

Slice of Homage is located at 163 West Santa Clara Street in Downtown San Jose.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

The Signia San Jose (former Fairmont) added to ResortPass ☀️🏊🏻🍸🍹

ResortPass is a site for "Daycations" meaning if you live locally instead of staying at a hotel you can pay to come and use the hotel's amenities. This includes things like the pool, poolside bar, gym, and spa. You're essentially a guest, but without the room.

The Signia by Hilton (formerly the Fairmont) is the latest hotel to be added to the program. This is a huge addition as it has the best swimming pool of all the Downtown San Jose hotels and maybe all of the South Bay hotels period. If you have never stayed here, you probably didn't even know this pool even exists. It's hidden on the podium on the 4th floor of the hotel, and looks down at Plaza de Cesar Chavez in the middle of Downtown San Jose. From the park if you look at the hotel and see the palm trees, that's where the pool is.

A day pass costs $50 for adults and $15 for children and includes the pool, steam room, sauna, lounge chairs, towel service, and the fitness center. You can also book a cabana for $130 that is good for 2 adults and 2 children and comes with a complimentary snack pack (two non-alcoholic beverages, popcorn, kettle chips, a protein bar, and candy).

It's a rare opportunity to stay and San Jose's fanciest hotel without paying for a room. You can book your daycation at The Signia over here or check out other San Jose options here. 

Hayes Mansion, the DoubleTree by Hilton, Hyatt House San Jose Airport, Hyatt Place San Jose Airport, and the San Jose Marriott Downtown are also available on the site.

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Hobee's beer garden coming to Downtown San Jose

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

I was really bummed when Ludwig's German Table closed their doors after just a few years in business. They were one of my favorite restaurants Downtown and were beautifully integrated with a historic German hall. They also had hands-down one of the best outdoor dining spaces in San Jose. 

Fortunately, a new restaurant is already planning to move into Ludwig's old space and it's a Silicon Valley favorite--Hobee's. However, it will have a special twist. Unlike any other Hobee's location they are going to have a full-fledged beer garden with craft and local beers. This will likely bring a whole new crowd and expand the brand outside the breakfast and lunch options that made them a local favorite.

As for the German hall in the background, some fun facts are that the building was originally a symphony hall in the 1890s and then became Germania Hall in 1923. It is owned by Germania Verein and events are still hosted there to this day. 

Source: The Merc

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Petiscos and LeYou added to the Michelin Guide

Two San Jose restaurants were recently added to the Michelin Guide for the first time. Just being mentioned in the guide means the restaurants are worthy of a visit.

The first is none other than Petiscos in SoFA. This restaurant comes from a very special pedigree since the owners are the same as ADEGA, the first and only restaurant in San Jose to ever get a Michelin Star. Petiscos has a wide variety of Portuguese small plates designed for sharing with family and friends and some seriously delicious and unique cocktails you can't find anywhere else. The interior features a hand-painted mural of Five Wounds Portuguese National Church, a San Jose landmark off of Highway 101. It's well worth a visit and is reasonably priced given its background. At Petiscos I would highly recommend the flaming chouriço, shrimp turnovers, green bean tempura, duck rice (my favorite), octopus, peas & eggs, the pica pau, and the chocolate mouse. The Sangria and Gintuga won't disappoint if you're looking for a libation.

The second restaurant is LeYou Ethiopian off of First Street. While I haven't been there in person, it was one of the best Doordash meals I've had. With a newborn it's become a challenge to get out to new restaurants in person. I would recommend the platters and extra injera bread so you can try as many flavors as possible. I'm a total carnivore, but the vegetarian dishes blew me away. Definitely get the Four Vegetarian Sampler and the Beef Tibs. If you can handle some spice, the Katenga (toasted injera) was something I've never had before at an Ethiopian restaurant.

After a rough few years, it's great to see that the San Jose food scene is still alive and well! Bon Appétit.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Downtown getting another food hall! (Updated 4/18/23)

Downtown San Jose could one day become the mecca of food halls. It all started with the San Pedro Square Market which deserves much of the credit for revitalizing Downtown. To this day it is a top destination for locals and visitors alike. Wrapping a vibrant food, bar, and music scene around San Jose's oldest historic home was brilliant. Then came the SoFA market, which is smaller but also has a selection of excellent eateries (including my go-to spot for uni handrolls). Thirdly is the Littlest Little Italy... more on that in a separate post. Now, there is a fourth (!) food hall being proposed by an Uber co-founder.

The plan is to turn a historic late 19th-century building at the corner of Santa Clara and 3rd and turn it into a food hall with 26 kitchens. You might know this as the old Hank Coco Downtown Furniture corner, which is a key space right in the center of Downtown San Jose.

The entire ground floor would be utilized for the project. This would make it larger than the SoFA Market but slightly smaller than the San Pedro Square Market. Also part of the plan is a 1,000 SQFT dine-in restaurant and a coffee bar.

Exciting times ahead for San Jose foodies!

Source: The Merc

4/18/23 Update:

Unfortunately it looks as if the kitchens will not be publicly accessible and they will be used as ghost kitchens for delivery services. The dine-in restaurant is where you can order food from any of the kitchens, but it is a very small space. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Hat tip to Kelly Snider for sending in these corrections.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Dine Downtown is happening now!

Dine Downtown is back with an assortment of specials to encourage people to try out Downtown San Jose's many fine establishments. This time around you have everything from a Cold Brew and Stan's Donut pairing for $5 at Academic Coffee to a $40 prix fixe menu at Petiscos. There are also many new names on the list like Serious Dumplings, Secco, Mama Kin, Desi Express, The FAB, and San Pedro Social.

To see all of the great specials, head over here!

Participating Restaurants:

• Academic Coffee
• Desi Express
• Devine Cheese & Wine
• District
• The FAB (Food & Beverage)
• The Farmers Union
• Fuze
• Habana Cuba
• Il Fornaio
• Mama Kin
• Mezcal

• Nomikai Social Food + Drinkery
• Nox Cookie Bar
• Orchestria Palm Court
• Pastelaria
• Petiscos
• San Pedro Social
• Scott's Seafood
• Secco
• Serious Dumpling
• Voltaire Coffee Roasters
• Voyager Craft Coffee

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Dine Downtown 2021!

One of the best opportunities to try out new restaurants at a discount launches today. 27 restaurants will be participating in the latest Dine Downtown event with special three and four course fixed-price menus. This time around instead of a restaurant week, the event will take place over the course of over two weeks.

Several new restaurants such as The Good Spot, Petiscos, Scott's Chowder House, and The Shop are on the list. In fact, the only restauranteurs in San Jose to ever get a Michelin Star have three different eateries on the list: Adega, Pastelaria, and Petiscos. Old favorites like Orchestria Palm Court, Habana Cuba, and Mezcal are on the list too.

To see the full press release and the list of restaurants, just scroll on down.

SSAN JOSE – Dine Downtown San Jose Restaurant “Week” returns for 18 days, starting July 1.


Normally the “week” lasts 10 days, but Dine Downtown was delayed and extended successfully to six weeks last October and November amid the COVID pandemic, so it will be extended again this year to assist with economic recovery after 15 months of tough times.


Twenty-seven downtown eateries have confirmed participation, offering food-and-drink pairings, 3- and 4-course price-fixed menus, or chef specials.


For first-timers as well as veteran downtown diners, the restaurant promotion provides a good way to explore new places and return to old favorites.  Several new Dine Downtown restaurants that opened during the pandemic are participating:  The Good Spot, Petiscos, Scott’s Chowder House and The Shop by Chef Baca. 


The newcomers have waited a long time for their chance to show off their mettle during Dine Downtown.  For example, Petiscos, new to the SoFA District, has a three-course menu that includes appetizers from flamed chouriço to asparagus rice; 15 choices for the main course from these categories:  shells & claws, tentacles & scales, and feathers & bones; and five choices for “sweet endings.”


On the customer side, every price point can participate.  Pastelaria by Adega offers a grilled cheese sandwich, drink and pastry for $10.  Grace Deli and café has a breakfast combo of egg, bacon, avocado and hash browns with salsa and fruits, plus bottomless coffee for $11.


The Grill on the Alley decided to mix it up, offering a featured cocktail –  a Ruby Red Lemon Drop – to go with their three-course meal of appetizer, filet mignon pot pie or Norwegian halibut as entrée, plus dessert.


Nomikai social food + drinkery offers chef’s specials and cocktail specials.  Choose from mango jalepeno wings, pork belly musubi on the food side or P.O.G Pig or a green tea highball.


71 Saint Peter and Mezcal have participated in all 13 years of Dine Downtown.


All the choices are posted at


“It will be smiles all-around this summer,” said Julie Carlson, SJDA marketing director.  “Our chefs, hosts and servers are ready to welcome their customers ready for a beautiful evening out in downtown.”



2021 Dine Downtown

restaurant roster

  • 4th Street Pizza
  • 71 Saint Peter
  • Adega
  • The City Fish
  • Devine Cheese and Wine
  • District
  • Enoteca la Storia San Jose
  • The Farmers Union
  • The Good Spot
  • Grace Deli & Cafe
  • The Grill on the Alley
  • Habana Cuba
  • Il Fornaio
  • Mezcal Restaurant 
  • Nomikai Social Food + Drinkery
  • Nox Cookie Bar
  • Orchestria Palm Court
  • Paper Moon Cafe
  • Pastelaria
  • Petiscos
  • Scott’s Chowder House
  • Scott’s Seafood
  • The Shop by Chef Baca
  • SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant
  • Spoonfish Poke
  • Voltaire Coffee Roasters

Monday, October 5, 2020

Dine Downtown returns with a super-sized 6 week program

The Dine Downtown program is back and better than ever despite COVID19. Not only will more eateries be included but the event has been extended to 6 weeks, running all the way to November 15th. Each participating restaurant will have a multi-course special just for the event. This time around even cafes are included with food and coffee pairings, which is a fantastic idea!

The list of participants includes many local favorites like 71 Saint Peter, District, Enoteca La Storia, Habana Cuba, Mezcal, Pastelaria Adega, and Farmer's Union. There is one notable addition, which for me is the most highly anticipated restaurant opening in Downtown for all of 2020... Petiscos by Adega. This is a new casual restaurant by the same owners of Adega (the first and only San Jose restaurant to ever get a Michelin Star) and Pastelaria Adega on Santa Clara Street. Petiscos by Adega will offer Portugal's version of tapas at the corner of First and San Salvador (above Haberdasher). It's inclusion on the list hopefully means it will be open by November.

The Dine Downtown press release is below and a list of participating restaurants and menus can be found here.

Dine Downtown San Jose returns for 12th year, Oct. 1-Nov. 15


SAN JOSE – Dine Downtown, version 2.020, celebrates all Downtown San Jose restaurants currently open during the COVID-19 crisis. 


“This is our most popular dining event because it highlights downtown’s unique food cultures,” said Julie Carlson, marketing director for the San Jose Downtown Association, which produces the event.  “This year, we stretched Dine Downtown to include more restaurants over a longer period of time to make sure customers have plenty of time to explore new dining experiences AND revisit a favorite.” 


Downtown restaurants are eager to see their customers return for the extended promotion Oct. 1-Nov. 15 – that’s 46 days covering seven weekends to celebrate and support all the downtown San Jose eateries that have remained open for business during the strict pandemic protocols.


“Our restaurants are struggling because of the pandemic,” said Autumn Young, SJDA’s interim managing director.  “We wanted to bring attention to those businesses making their way through these difficult times so they can focus on what they do best – which is making delicious food!”


Cafes are joining in the program this year with creative food and coffee pairings. Dine Downtown in past years focused on white tablecloth dining with chef specials, prix fixe menus and wine/cocktail tastings.


More than 100 food establishments are open downtown offering take out, delivery and Al Fresco outdoor dining.   Of those, more than 20 will feature a Dine Downtown offer.


SJDA is still gathering offers from regular Dine Downtown participants, including 71 Saint Peter, Farmers Union, District, Enoteca la Storia, Habana Cuba and Hawaiian Poke Bowl.  One newcomer this year is the Petiscos by Adega Portuguese restaurant at 399 S. First St., which is scheduled to open during Dine Downtown’s run.


Examples of specials for this 12th year of Dine Downtown:


·      Tiki Pete, 23 N. Market St. offers a food-and-drink pairing of Mai Tai and Shoyu Chicken ($20) and a Chef Special of ahi poke nachos ($10).  The Prix Fixe for two includes Cajun fries appetizer, seafood combo of shrimp, green mussels from New Zealand, dark clams in shell, plus choice of Dungeness crab, king crab legs or whole lobster, plus Hawaiian sausages, corn and red potatoes, and haupia for dessert ($90).

·      The Farmers Union on San Pedro Square brings back its offer from previous years of three courses for $30 of choice of creamy tomato soup or Caesar’s salad appetizer, entrée choice of Farmers veggie bowl, grilled flat iron steak, half-rack smoked ribs or salmon, and warm brownie and salted caramel bread pudding for dessert.


Many of the cafes, delis and coffee houses are excited to participate in Dine Downtown:


·      The Nest Asian Bistro, 312 S. Third St., offers 77-cent boneless chicken wings and $5 beer on Monday and Wednesday.

·      Cubamex, 325 S. First St., will add chips and salsa and soda to any sandwich order for $2 more.

·       MakiBQ on Fountain Alley has three chef specials:  Kimbap & Inari Combo with House Sauce ($6); Chicken Katsu Musubi with Cucumbers & Teriyaki Sauce ($6); Volcano - Fire Fries, Fried Chicken & Crispy Noodles Spicy ($8)


Other participants include Academic Coffee, Voyager Craft Coffee, Voltaire Coffee Roasters, Paper Moon Café and  Pastelaria Adega.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Welcome Back to Downtown San Jose!

Parts of Downtown San Jose has been thriving lately despite the pandemic, but many businesses need our support if we want them to be around in 2021. I came across the video below that highlights many of our local entrepreneurs along with a new hashtag, #dtsjopen. Check it out and please patronize the restaurants and shops you care about!

Monday, May 11, 2020

San Jose wants to allow more business outdoors

In order to maintain social distancing while slowly reopening the economy, San Jose officials would like to allow more businesses to utilize sidewalks, parking lots, and streets. This will help businesses that will have to drastically limit the number of patrons inside, especially restaurants.

Currently, over 46,000 restaurant workers have lost their jobs in Silicon Valley. The industry has been devastated and many restaurants will be closing their doors for good. It's expected that restaurants will reopen with no more than 25-50% of their previous interior capacity, so any change we can make to cushion further blows to the industry I'm sure will be greatly appreciated.

City officials are also trying to offset application costs and provide quick-build infrastructure. These include barriers and potted plants.

Hopefully some of the changes will become permanent so that we can have more al fresco dining and retail in the community when all of this is over.

Source: SVBJ, San Jose Inside

Monday, July 22, 2019

Dine Downtown San Jose 2019

The latest "Dine Downtown" restaurant week runs until July 28th and features prix fixe tasting menus, chef's specials, and food & drink pairings at Downtown San Jose's hottest restaurants. Some of my favorite new restaurants like Elyse, Enoteca Las Storia, SuperGood Kitchen and District are on the list as well as classics like 71 Saint Peter, Cafe Stritch, Scott's Seafood, The Grill on the Alley, Mezcal, and Nemea.

To see the full list of 22 participating restaurants and their featured menus, head over here. OpenTable also set up a handy page to easily book Dine Downtown San Jose Restaurants here.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Scott's Seafood launches a hip new lunch menu

Scott's Seafood has been a consistent staple in San Jose's fine dining scene for years. Now, they are working on a revitalization to take the restaurant to the next level. A few years ago they built the most impressive publicly accessible outdoor patio Downtown, which is perched 6 stories high with a view of Plaza de Cesar Chavez. A few months ago they brought in a rockstar chef, Khaled Ghazal, who is bringing a modern take on classic dishes.

John Huân Vũ, Andrew Rivlin, Noe Sacoco, and I were invited to try the new lunch menu at Scott's Seafood. Collectively, we were blown away. I have been to Scott's many times, and this was by far my best experience.

Before we got into lunch, we were lucky to sample two items from the catering menu. An ahi poke in a soy sauce infused waffle cone and bruschetta in a basil infused waffle. Both were delicious with outstanding presentation. These are several of the many options available for private events.

The first lunch dishes we sampled were three salads: the seared scallop salad with organic mix greens, rainbow quinoa salad, and red & golden beets salad with grilled peaches. Each of us had a favorite. I have always loved the way Scott's Seafood does scallops, so that one was my personal fave. The pomegranate molasses vinaigrette on the red & golden beets salad impressed everyone at the table.

Round two featured a Burrata with arugula and cherry tomatoes that was the best I have ever had in the South Bay. John said he only had better in Italy. If you like cheese even a little bit, this is a must-order dish.

We also tried a tuna poke with seaweed, cucumber, and wontons that was a more elaborate version of tuna cone we had earlier. However, the real star of this round was the squid ink croquette with calamari. The squid ink added a complex and briny flavor that went flawlessly with the croquette and added a dramatic color to the dish. It sounds a bit exotic but this is an appetizer that is likely to please anyone who likes calamari or crunchy fried foods (nearly everyone). The croquette was one of the more creative plates and was John's favorite dish.

Last but definitely not least, we got to try four signature lunch entrees. The Scott's Kobe Burger has to be a contender for the best burger Downtown. It features Snake River Ranch kobe beef, onion jam, duck bacon (!), arugula, pepper jack, and a truffle aioli. It's about as decadent as a burger can get, especially with the duck bacon and truffle aioli.

The lobster rigatoni was a combination of fresh rigatoni pasta, cherry tomatoes, Gruyere cheese, tarragon, bisque sauce and generous pieces of lobster. The halibut bouillabaisse lemon risotto was a more modern take on a Scott's classic with beautiful presentation.

Finally, our favorite was the lobster roll. It's pretty hard to find a great lobster roll in San Jose, this is it. The crispy and buttery bread with well-seasoned chunks of lobster smothered in shellfish bisque sauce--flawless. Beats Sam's Chowder House any day of the week.

If you have never been to Scott's or haven't been there in a while, we highly recommend trying the new items on the menu. Don't forget to check out the amazing patio while you're there.

Big thanks to John Huân Vũ for taking all of the photos.

For more info, menus, and reservations, head to the Scott's Seafood website over here.

Scott's Seafood
185 Park Ave
San Jose, CA 95113

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

3rd Annual Little Italy San Jose Street Festival

The annual Little Italy San Jose Street Festival goes down this Sunday (Sep 30) from 11am to 7pm. Almost 25,000 people attended last year and this year could be even bigger. You can expect authentic Italian Cuisine, local bands, children's activities, Italian Arts & Crafts, and more info on the future Italian Museum & Cultural Center. The event will be a blast and admission is free!

Parking is available across the street at the County Social Services building on Julian. For more info, head over here.