Showing posts with label san jose dining. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san jose dining. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Santana Row getting first Yeti store in Northern California and 3 new restaurants

Yeti specializes in innovative outdoor gear and apparel. They have a strong following of brand loyalists around the world and this happens to be their first store not just in Silicon Valley, but all of Northern California. The store is open today.

In other Santana Row news, Urban Plates will open on September 4th. The restaurants will focus on health-conscience seasonal dishes made from local ingredients. They have two other locations, Dublin (which I've been to and it's fantastic) and Sunnyvale.

In 2024, Fitoor--meaning passion in Arabic and Hindi--will bring an Indian grill and lounge to Santana Row. The team behind the new restaurant launched the Michelin-rated Indian restaurant ROOH in Palo Alto and San Francisco. They are planning an upscale twist on Indian cuisine with cocktails that have "dramatic flourishes" and ambiance they describe as sultry and luxe.

Last but not least, Suspiro is a new Peruvian and Spanish fusion restaurant by the same owners as El Jardin and Zazil. They are planning to capture the best flavors from both types of cuisine in an atmosphere that is visually captivating.

While many shopping districts are struggling right now, both Santana Row and Valley Fair seem to be more than holding their own. If only we had a solution to bypass the traffic getting into the area.



Friday, March 5, 2021

We're back in the Red Tier, indoor dining is back!

This week we officially went from a Covid tier status of purple to red, which means indoor dining is open for business again! Hopefully restaurants will never close like this again (everyone please get your vaccine as soon as you can). As a reminder the scale goes from purple, to red, to orange, and finally to yellow which has the fewest restrictions.

Restaurants will be able to open their indoor dining rooms again effective immediately. However, they will be limited to 25% of their maximum capacity or 100 guests, whichever number is lower. 

What else can we look forward to in the red tier? Movie theaters can reopen at 25% as can museums, zoos, and aquariums. Stores can now operate at 50% capacity. Even indoor gyms can finally reopen, albeit at a meager 10% capacity.

California is also planning to ease the requirements to get into less restrictive tiers when we hit two different milestone. The first is when we distribute 2 million vaccines in the most disadvantaged zip codes, and then when we hit 4 million vaccines in those same areas.

The stats have been looking very promising in the Bay Area--let's hope this nightmare ends soon and the post-covid era will be another Roarin' 20s.



Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Outdoor Dining in San Jose is back!

After a two month hiatus, outdoor dining has returned! If you have a favorite restaurant that you would like to keep in business, now is probably a good time to support them. The restaurant industry has not fared as well as the tech industry throughout the pandemic.

Almost all of the Santana Row restaurants appear to be open again. You can click here for the full list. I had a chance to try King's Fish House in the Valley Fair expansion over the weekend--one of the rare new restaurants to open during COVID. It's the only one in Silicon Valley and was pretty spectacular for a chain restaurant. 

Petiscos by ADEGA in Downtown San Jose is an amazing option if you want to try out something new and unique. I don't believe there is another Portuguese tapas restaurant like in anywhere in the Bay Area. 

With the vaccine rolling out and infection rates slowly dropping, hopefully we'll get a bit of normalcy back by Spring 2021!



Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Breaking News: indoor dining resumes today at San Jose restaurants!

Yesterday we officially went from a Covid tier status of red to orange, which means indoor dining is coming back! The scale goes from purple, to red, to orange, and finally to yellow which has the fewest restrictions. Technically we could have resumed indoor dining in red status but Santa Clara County has chosen to enforce stricter rules than what California mandates.

Restaurants will be able to open their indoor dining rooms again effective immediately. However, they will be limited to 25% of their maximum capacity or 100 guests, whichever number is lower. A few other restrictions may be lifted as well on religious gatherings and movie theaters.

Slowly we're headed back toward some level of normalcy.

Source: SVBJ



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.



Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Kebabery by Meso now open at Santana Row (pickup & delivery only)

Meso has become one of my favorite restaurants at Santana Row. Not only are the food and drinks consistently great, but they have gone above and beyond with their COVID policies. Tables are spaced out 15 feet apart across the beautiful plaza at the end of the Row with plenty of heat lamps (photo below). The ambiance and Mediterranean dining are on point. It feels like a two hour escape from reality where I'm not missing indoor dining one bit.



The owners of Meso have opened a virtual eatery, which means they share the kitchen with Meso and don't have any sit-down options. The food is only available for pickup and delivery. Featured are some of the key signature kebabs from Meso, including Impossible meat and swordfish kebabs, and several delicious sides like sweet potato with spiced honey harissa, hummus with lemon and extra virgin olive oil, and baklava for dessert.

It's a great casual alternative option, especially considering Meso is one of the higher-end options on the Row and it can get pricey.

The virtual restaurant is open every day from 11:30am to 9pm and you can use either DoorDash or UberEats for delivery.







Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Outdoor dining will finally be allowed again in San Jose!

After two and a half months, finally there will be some relief for struggling restaurants and foodies alike. Starting this Friday, in Santa Clara County you will be able to dine at a restaurant--albeit outside. With summer weather on the way, there are many great spots in Santana Row, Downtown San Jose, and Willow Glen where you will be able to have a stellar dining experience even with the restrictions (social distancing measures still in place). I'm looking forward to seeing which restaurants will open up first.

Also allowed this Friday will be in-store shopping with face masks, childcare for all kids in stable groups of up to 12, all manufacturing as long as social distancing measures are in place, low contact services, and all pet grooming. Small outdoor ceremonies and religious services will be allowed for groups up to 25. Finally, all outdoor recreational activities that do not involve physical contact will reopen including swimming pools, hiking, tennis, golf, camping, etc.

We are slowly heading back towards some normalcy. I personally can't wait to have a meal and a cocktail again at a nice restaurant!

Source: SVBJ, Santa Clara Public Health




Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Santana Row Springs Forward with Party-Packed Events and Zesty Restaurant Openings

Santana Row has two brand new restaurants Zazil and Sauced BBQ & Spirits. Zazil is a re-imagining of Consuelo. They did an amazing job of blending indoor and outdoor areas and I really enjoyed the food and drinks there. Sauced is Santana Row's first real BBQ restaurant. You can learn about both restaurants and upcoming events below.


San Jose destination unveils brand-new eateries, community events for Spring

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!” and that’s precisely what Santana Row is rolling out for visitors this season! A carpe diem approach to dining, playing and all the little moments in-between because life deserves to be celebrated.

Recent dining additions are offering a zesty range of flavors and palettes for foodies to experience on The Row. Sauced BBQ & Spirits kicked off the party recently with a mid-February opening, and its authentic, smoked meats and ‘southern charm’ style are already capturing hearts. Carnivorous guests can expect to come hungry, and leave happy after one of these meaty meals!

The fun continues with the recent debut of Zazil, a traditional Mexican dining concept curated by the respected Chef Yerika Muñoz Rodríguez. After earning an esteemed culinary background, Chef Yerika has gone back to her Mexico City-roots to bring this vibrant culinary expedition to life. The menu boasts traditional flavors and dishes from various culinary regions of Mexico!

Food isn’t the only reason to get your party poppers out, though - Santana Row’s calendar of events is jam-packed with Springtime celebrations! So, whether you’re looking for food or fun, Santana Row invites you to join the party.

Here are some of the action-packed events you can expect to enjoy in March-April:

Makers Market in The Park
Saturday, March 7 | 11:30 am - 5 pm | Santana Row Park
Saturday, April 4 | 11:30 am - 5 pm | Santana Row Park
Join us for a highly-curated marketplace of local makers and artisans! Enjoy live music as you shop for U.S. Handcrafted goods like jewelry, handbags, ceramics/glassware, soaps, succulents, candles & more! Stop into our Santana Row shop (adjacent to the market area) for libations and more locally-handcrafted goods.

Makers Market aims to bring you products that honor the ideals of American craftsmanship and are Modern + Heritage inspired. Join us in our mission of Rebuilding the Legacy of American Made, while supporting our local merchants and the community.

Spring Festival & Photos with the Easter Bunny
Saturday, March 28 | 10 am - 2 pm | Park Valencia
This EPIC Spring Festival will feature a mini petting zoo, live music, roaming entertainment, face painting, balloon twisting, arts & crafts, and a FREE digital photo with the hoppiest guy around: the Easter Bunny! *This event is rain or shine! In the event of rain, meet in the VIA directly behind Left Bank & Sino.*

Post your favorite Spring Festival memory on social media for a chance to win a special gift! Must include #SpringOnTheRow and tag @SantanaRow to enter.  All entries must be in by Sunday, March 29. A winner will be selected at random, and announced on Monday, March 30.

Spring Fling Wine Stroll benefitting the Junior League of San Jose
Wednesday, April 22 | 6 pm - 9 pm | Santana Row
Enjoy a night out at the Santana Row Spring Fling Wine Stroll! Relax and unwind with wine tastings from local growers, DIY flower crowns, light bites, live music, exclusive discounts from Santana Row shops, and more. Tickets are $40, and event proceeds will benefit Junior League of San Jose.


Voices for Autism Benefit Concert
Saturday, April 18 | 12 pm - 4 pm | Park Valencia
Join us for a day of fun, food, and music in Park Valencia! The Youth Leadership Committee is hosting the 5th Annual Voices for Autism Benefit Concert to increase autism awareness and raise money for the programs at Pacific Autism Center for Education (PACE). The concert will feature youth bands and other musical performances from students around the Bay Area!

This is a free event and perfect for families with children of any age. There will be live music, interactive autism awareness demonstrations, and select restaurants participating in fundraisers to raise money for PACE.
All proceeds from this event benefit Pacific Autism Center for Education. PACE provides high-quality behavioral therapy, education, and residential care for children and adults with autism.



Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Bay Area Michelin Star Restaurants - 2019 Edition

The Michelin guide is the most renowned rubric in the world for measuring culinary success. Unfortunately, we have some bad news this year. San Jose's first and only Michelin Star restaurant, Adega in Little Portugal, lost its star after holding the honor for two years. It's unclear why, although it is still featured in the guide as a recommended restaurant.

Michelin has three different star categories:
  • One Star - A very good restaurant in its category with cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard. A good place to stop on your journey.
  • Two Stars - Excellent cuisine, skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality. Worth a detour.
  • Three Stars - Exceptional cuisine with distinctive dishes and superlative ingredients. Worth a special journey.
There are also restaurants in the Michelin guide that do not get a star, but are considered "Michelin Recommended." This is already a significant honor that a very small percentage of restaurants achieve. Within this category San Jose scored a total of 8 restaurants, which is up two from last year (one is Adega). Luna Mexican Kitchen on the Alameda is the newcomer. Fortunately we we did not lose any Michelin recommended restaurants this year.


San Jose Michelin Recommended Restaurants:
  • Downtown
    • Back A Yard
  • East San Jose
    • Adega
  • Midtown
    • Luna Mexican Kitchen
    • Din Tai Fung
    • Walia
  • South San Jose
    • Thien Long
    • Lau Hai San
  • Camden
    • Zeni

I also created a Google doc listing all of the star recipients for 2019, along with tabs for all previous years and some general statistics. Below is an image capture from the doc. This year there were a total of 57 restaurants that were awarded Michelin stars, which is up 2 from last year and an all-time high for the Bay Area. 63% of the restaurants are locating in SF, 18% in Silicon Valley (split evenly between the South Bay and the Peninsula), 16% in Wine Country, 2% in the East Bay, and 2% in Marin. This is the first time ever where Silicon Valley has more Michelin Star restaurants than Wine Country. There are 5 new restaurants on the list for 2019 and 3 that did not make the cut or were closed down. The only new starred restaurant on the list from Silicon Valley is Protege in Palo Alto.

Source: Michelin Guide

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wednesday Wishlist: Michelin Star Restaurants (2018 Edition)

Welcome to the 9th annual Wednesday Wishlist post where the topic is getting restaurants in San Jose worthy of Michelin starts. The Michelin guide is the most renowned rubric in the world for measuring culinary success. San Jose's first and only Michelin Star restaurant, Adega in Little Portugal, retained the honor for a second year. I will also have some big news related to Adega later this year.

Michelin has three different star categories:
  • One Star - A very good restaurant in its category with cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard. A good place to stop on your journey.
  • Two Stars - Excellent cuisine, skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality. Worth a detour.
  • Three Stars - Exceptional cuisine with distinctive dishes and superlative ingredients. Worth a special journey.
There are also restaurants in the Michelin guide that do not get a star, but are considered "Michelin Recommended." This is already a significant honor that a very small percentage of restaurants achieve. Within this category San Jose scored a total of 6 restaurants, which is significantly down from last year but it seems like the guide has trimmed the number of recipients throughout the Bay (the book was trimmed by 70 pages this year).

I created a Google doc listing all of the star recipients for 2018, along with tabs for all previous years and some general statistics. Below is an image capture from the doc. This year there were a total of 55 restaurants that were awarded Michelin stars, which is up 1 from last year and an all-time high for the Bay Area. 60% of the restaurants are locating in SF, 20% in Wine Country, 18% in Silicon Valley (split evenly between the South Bay and the Peninsula), and 2% in the East Bay. Silicon Valley is nearly tied with Wine Country when it comes to number of restaurants with stars. There are 5 new restaurants on the list for 2017 and 4 from last year that did not make the cut or were closed down: Aziza, Mosu, Nico, and Solbar.


San Jose Michelin Starred Restaurants:
  • East San Jose
    • Adega (* 1 STAR *)

San Jose Michelin Recommended Restaurants:
  • Downtown
    • Back A Yard
  • Midtown
    • Walia
    • Din Tai Fung
  • South San Jose
    • Thien Long
    • Lau Hai San
  • Camden
    • Zeni

The Michelin Recommended restaurants that we lost over the past year were Vung Tau, Swaad, Zona Rosa, Smoking Pig BBQ, Bun Bo Hue An Nam, and the Table. I'm a bit surprised about some of those but hopefully they will be back next year. I'm also optimistic that Adega will inspire other San Jose restaurants to go after stars!

Source: Michelin Guide






Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wednesday Wishlist: Michelin Star Restaurants (2017 Edition)

Welcome to the 8th annual Wednesday Wishlist post where the topic is getting restaurants in San Jose worthy of Michelin starts. The Michelin guide is the most renowned rubric in the world for measuring culinary success. This is where I typically say something like: "I'm optimistic it will only be a matter of time until our food scene gets the recognition it deserves." Well guess what--not this year! San Jose finally has a restaurant with a Michelin Star, and the honor goes to Adega in Little Portugal. I could not think of a more worthy restaurant to be San Jose's first recipient of a star.

Michelin has three different star categories:
  • One Star - A very good restaurant in its category with cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard. A good place to stop on your journey.
  • Two Stars - Excellent cuisine, skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality. Worth a detour.
  • Three Stars - Exceptional cuisine with distinctive dishes and superlative ingredients. Worth a special journey.
There are also restaurants in the Michelin guide that do not get a star, but are considered "Michelin Recommended." This is already a significant honor that a very small percentage of restaurants achieve. Within this category San Jose scored a total of 12 restaurants.

I created a Google doc listing all of the star recipients for 2017, along with tabs for all previous years and some general statistics. Below is an image capture from the doc. This year there were a total of 54 restaurants that were awarded Michelin stars, which is up 4 from last year and an all-time high for the Bay Area. 61% of the restaurants are locating in SF, 19% in Wine Country, 19% in Silicon Valley (split evenly between the South Bay and the Peninsula), and 2% in the East Bay. This is the first year in which Silicon Valley tied with Wine Country when it comes to star distribution--thanks to Adega in San Jose and Madera in Menlo Park (which was added back this year). There are 7 new restaurants on the list for 2017 and only three from 2016 did not make the cut: All Spice, Ame, and Kusakabe (all located in SF).


San Jose Michelin Starred Restaurants:
  • East San Jose
    • Adega (* 1 STAR *)

San Jose Michelin Recommended Restaurants:
  • Downtown
    • Vung Tau
    • Back A Yard
    • Swaad
  • The Alameda
    • Zona Rosa
  • Midtown
    • Walia
    • Din Tai Fung (New)
  • North San Jose
    • Smoking Pig BBQ
  • South San Jose
    • Bun Bo Hue An Nam
    • Thien Long
    • Lau Hai San
  • Willow Glen
    • The Table
  • Camden
    • Zeni

In addition to Adega, Din Thai Fung (Chinese) is the latest newcomer to San Jose's "Michelin Recommended" list for San Jose. We did lose two that were recommended last year, Fratello and Rangoli. Overall, this is far and away San Jose's strongest showing in the Michelin guide to date. I'm hoping the trend continues and Adega inspires other San Jose restaurants to shoot for the moon! 

Source: Michelin Guide




Tuesday, October 25, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: Adega became the first restaurant ever in San Jose to get a Michelin Star!!!

This is epic news for San Jose foodies! My favorite San Jose restaurant just got the international recognition it deserves. Adega in Little Portugal has become the first and only restaurant in San Jose to win a Michelin Star!

The Michelin guide represents the highest level of recognition restaurants can achieve. Each year, I highlight the lack of Michelin restaurants in San Jose with an annual post analyzing the guide and listing all Bay Area winners. I am completely thrilled that on my 8th annual post we will finally have a restaurant representing San Jose and it could not be a more appropriate one at that.

For my full review on Adega and its stunning interpretation of authentic Portuguese cuisine, head over here.

Better yet, head to the Adega website to make a reservation before the word gets out and it gets booked out for months.

Well done Adega, well done.









Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Downtown San Jose Restaurant List Updates (2016 Q1 & Q2 Edition)

It has been a while since posting the latest list of Downtown San Jose RestaurantsWe are up to a grand total of 268 eateries! This is yet another record-breaking number for Downtown San Jose. Our little database had 206 eateries just five years ago. 60+ new restaurants in such a short period of time is pretty amazing.

Every time I have compiled the list, there have been significant closures. Not this time. Amici's and Da Noodle are the most significant that I am aware of since the last time this list was posted. On the other hand, there are many notable additions:
  • Sushi Confidential - Creative, non-traditional sushi that took over the former Sonoma Chicken space.
  • Olla Cocina - Vibrant Mexican cuisine in San Pedro Square.
  • 2nd Story Bakeshop - Killer bakery providing some of the highest quality baked goods in San Jose.
  • Ola's Exotic African Coffee and Tea - Yet another candidate for the best coffee in town. Highly recommended.
  • IPOH Garden - San Jose's first Malaysian restaurant.
  • Ludwigs German Table - San Jose's second German restaurant, situated in a unique ornate building with a lot of history.
  • SoFA Market
    • Hawaiian Poke Bowl
    • Milk and Wood
    • Vitamina Juices & Blends
  • COMING SOON (you can find all "Coming Soon" restaurants at the top of the list in the spreadsheet)
    • Chromatic Cafe (2nd St.)
    • Elyse Restaurant (1st St.)
    • Origins Juicery (1st St., former Discovery Store)
    • Mo's (W. Santa Clara St.)
    • Tac-oh! (SoFA)
    • Pizzetta 408! (SoFA Market)
    • Toasted Craft Sandwiches (SoFA Market)
    • Uproar Brewery (SoFA, former Zer01 Garage)
Below is the change log from the Downtown San Jose Restaurants Database:

11/1/2015Fahrenheit on San Feranando has closed and is being replaced by Pieology.
11/1/2015Added Sushi Confidential, coming soon to 31 N. Market
11/1/2015Added Pieology, coming soon to 99 E. San Fernando
11/8/2015McDonald's on San Carlos closed
12/12/2015Added Jade Leaf Eatery and Lounge at S. Market St. Suite 170
12/23/2015Added Takai Sushi and Sake Bar in the Fairmont Hotel (5 star Yelp rating)
12/31/2015Ayola Closed
1/10/2016Da Noodle closed on Santa Clara Street
1/10/2016Added Elyse restaurant as coming soon, taking the old House of Siam place at 151 S. Second.
3/12/2016Added Olla Cocina as coming soon to 17 N. San Pedro St.
3/21/2016Added 2nd Story Bakeshop, now open at 138 E. Santa Clara St.
4/2/2016Our House has replaced Mid GoGo at 185 Park Ave.
4/2/2016Added Ola's Exotic African Coffee and Tea at 30 E. Santa Clara Street #120
4/9/2016Chromatic Cafe is coming soon to 2nd Street
4/24/2016IPOH Garden has replaced 8 Treasure restaurant at 150 S. First St.
6/4/2016Added Ludwigs German Table, now open at 261 N. 2nd St.
6/5/2016Replaced Oni Mexicatessan at the San Pedro Square Market with Crepes & More
7/2/2016Replaced Amici's with Mo's at 225 W. Santa Clara St.
7/2/2016Tac-oh! is coming soon to 399 S. First St. (formerly First to Market)

If you haven't bookmarked it yet, here's the link to the spreadsheet! There is also a permanent link over to the right entitled Downtown San Jose Restaurants.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wednesday Wishlist: Michelin Star Restaurants (2016 Edition)

Welcome to the 7th annual Wednesday Wishlist post where the topic is getting restaurants in San Jose worthy of Michelin starts. The Michelin guide is the most renowned rubric in the world for measuring culinary success. I think the foodie culture is continuing to build momentum in San Jose, especially Downtown. I'm optimistic it will only be a matter of time until we have some unique restaurants with national recognition.

Michelin has three different star categories:
  • One Star - A very good restaurant in its category with cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard. A good place to stop on your journey.
  • Two Stars - Excellent cuisine, skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality. Worth a detour.
  • Three Stars - Exceptional cuisine with distinctive dishes and superlative ingredients. Worth a special journey.

I created a Google doc listing all of the star recipients for 2016, along with tabs for all previous years and some general statistics. Below is an image capture from the doc. This year there were a total of 50 restaurants that were awarded Michelin stars, which is up 10 from last year and an all-time high for the Bay Area. 62% of the restaurants are locating in SF, 20% in Wine Country, 16% in Silicon Valley (split evenly between the South Bay and the Peninsula), and 2% in the East Bay. There are 14 new restaurants on the list this year (see image below), as well as one significant upgrade. Manresa (Los Gatos) achieved the elusive three star rating. Manresa is not only the first restaurant in the South Bay to ever get this rating, but it is only the fifth restaurant ever to get a three star rating anywhere in the Bay Area. Several restaurants from 2015 did not make the cut, including Madera, Maruya, La Folie, Boulevard, and the All Spice in San Mateo.

There are also restaurants in the Michelin guide that do not get a star, but are considered "Michelin Recommended." This is already a significant honor. Within this category San Jose scored a total of 13 restaurants, an all-time high for our city. Here are the lucky restaurants:

  • Downtown
    • Vung Tau
    • Back A Yard
    • Swaad (NEW)
  • The Alameda
    • Zona Rosa
  • Midtown
    • Walia (NEW)
  • North San Jose
    • Smoking Pig BBQ
  • South San Jose
    • Bun Bo Hue An Nam
    • Thien Long
    • Lau Hai San (NEW)
  • Willow Glen
    • The Table
    • Fratello
  • Camden
    • Rangoli
    • Zeni

Swaad (Indian), Walia (Ethiopian), and Lau Mai San (Vietnamese) are all welcome additions and represent how amazing our ethnic cuisines are. All 10 San Jose restaurants that were Michelin recommended in the 2015 guide held on to that status in 2016. If you haven't been to the restaurants above, I can vouch that all of them are well worth visiting. 

Source: Michelin Guide


Monday, November 2, 2015

Several New Restaurants Coming Downtown!

There were definitely some high-profile restaurant closures over the past couple years. However, those empty spaces will soon be filled with the next generation of Downtown San Jose restaurants.

The most significant recent closure in my mine is that of Sonoma Chicken Coup, a Downtown staple for many years. Sonoma left a 8,000 SQFT void in San Pedro Square, a gigantic space to fill in the restaurant world. Sushi Confidential is slated to take over that giant space with their second restaurant. The first is a Campbell hotspot offering innovative twists on Japanese food. The Downtown San Jose location will likely have the largest outdoor space of any Sushi restaurant in the Bay Area and be a welcome addition to our restaurant scene. The goal is to open by Super Bowl 50 on February 7th.

Up next is Blackbird Taven, which was located in what must be the unluckiest corner in Downtown San Jose. ASQEW Grill, Zing, and Ruffled Feathers Eatery were all predecessors at 200 South First Street. The proprietor behind B2 Coffee is looking to turn that luck around with their 3rd coffee shop called Social Policy. Of course they will have amazing coffee, but the larger location will also allow more bakery items, lunch fare, and small plates. Oh, and they will also have beer and wine! The store is already under construction and may be open before the end of the year.

Last on the list for today, the Fahrenheit Lounge space is being filled with the popular Pieology chain. I'm sure it will be a huge hit with SJSU students and provide a solid casual option for that part of Downtown.

I have also updated the Downtown San Jose Restaurants Google Sheet with these latest changes.

Source: SVBJ, SVBJ Article #2


Monday, October 12, 2015

Downtown San Jose Restaurant List Updates! (2015 Q4 Edition)

Today we get to discuss the latest changes to Downtown San Jose Restaurants. First off, the good news. We are up to a grand total of 260 eateries! This is yet another record-breaking number for Downtown San Jose! Our little database had 206 eateries in 2011.

As always there were some significant closures as well. The ones that stood out to me were Sonoma Chicken Coup and South First Billiards (which was a cool place, but I'll be the first to say the food was not great). On the other hand, quite a few places opened up in the last few months. Here are some notable additions to the Downtown restaurant scene as well as a look into the future:
  • Lou's Beachshack - The third incarnation of Lou's Village, located at the San Pedro Square Market. I love their fish sandwiches, popcorn shrimp, and abalone sliders. This is a solid addition to Downtown and a great nostalgic return of one of San Jose's most famous establishments.
  • Oni Mexicantessan - Killer Mexican sandwiches, also at the San Pedro Square Market. This is a sister restaurant to Loteira Taco Bar down the hall.
  • Deluxe Eatery & Drinkery - New American restaurant on San Fernando with a notable chef (Chad Ferry: The Plumed Horse, Paolo's, Spagos). Have not been here yet, but I can't wait to try their short rib tater tots.
  • Voltaire Coffee House - New boutique coffee shop at the base of 360 Residences. Downtown San Jose has a lot of great coffee shops, and this already ranks among the best. 
  • Aura Kitchen - New restaurant/nightclub replacing Motif in SoFA. They landed the chef from Nobu London. I've heard great things about this place even though it just opened.
  • HOM Korean Kitchen - The Chipotle of Korean Food comes to Santa Clara St. and is open very late!
  • Williams St. Restaurants: Added 6 restaurants that are technically within the boarder of Downtown San Jose: Sonia's Kitchen, SA-By Thai, Da Lat Cafe, Pho Cong Ly, Mi Chalateca, and Creasian. Highly recommend trying out Creasian.
  • COMING SOON (Now you can find all "Coming Soon" restaurants at the top of the list)
    • Hawaiian Poke Bowl (SoFA Market)
    • Milk and Wood (SoFA Market)
    • Vitamina Juices & Blends (SoFA Market)
    • Origins Juicery (1st St., former Discovery Store)
    • San Jose Pizza Co. (Santa Clara Street near San Pedro)
    • Uproar Brewery (SoFA, former Zer01 Garage)
Below is the change log from the Downtown San Jose Restaurants Database:

7/31/2015Chef Monalisa closed
7/31/2015Added Uproar Brewery in SoFA
8/1/2015Added Oni Mexicantessan and Lou's Beach Shack, both in the San Pedro Square Market
8/23/2015Changed the formatting so that restaurants "COMING SOON" will always appear at the top of the list
9/8/2015Sonoma Chicken Coop and South First Billiards closed
9/9/2015Added Deluxe Eatery & Drinkery at 71 E. San Fernando
9/13/2015Added 6 restaurants on Williams St. near SJSU: Sonia's Kitchen, SA-By Thai Cuisine, Creasian, Pho Cong Ly, Dalat Cafe, and Mi Chalateca
9/14/2015Added Voltaire Coffee House in SoFA
9/21/2015Motif has been replaced with Aura Kitchen and Bar on South First Street
10/4/2015Replace Cheese Steak Shop on Santa Clara Street with HOM Korean Kitchen
10/4/2015Added Origins Juicery, coming soon to 150 S. 1st Street

If you haven't bookmarked it yet, here's the link to the spreadsheet! There is also a permanent link over to the right entitled Downtown San Jose Restaurants.


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Rock-N-Cook: Pop-up Dining Experience with Live Music Tomorrow

The South Bay is getting a brand new kind of event called Rock-N-Cook, which features a 10 course gourmet tapas meal served between two sets of music by local bands. The intimate event is for no more than 100 people and is hosted at a private residence in Campbell. The entire event will also be filmed to stoke up interest in a Rock-n-Cook TV show (perhaps for Food Network or VH1). 

Pricing is quite reasonable for a 10 course meal and live music, just $50. For more information and tickets, click here.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Downtown San Jose Restaurant List Updates! (2015 Q3 Edition)

I have finally caught up again with updates for the Downtown San Jose Restaurants database! We are up to a grand total of 254 eateries! This is yet another record-breaking number for Downtown San Jose! We were at 206 eateries in 2011.

As always there were some significant closures as well. The ones that stood out to me were Little Chef, Falafel Bar, and Azucar. The good news is that the caliber of the new places opening up more than makes up for the ones that closed. Here are some of the newcomers:
  • Noodle Dude - This modern but unpretentious noodle house had some of the best Ramen I've had (Yelpers agree, 4.5 star rating). You order Ramen like you would a burrito at Chipotle--the noodles, ingredients, and broth are all independently selected by the customer, so you get exactly what you're in the mood for. They also have great service.
  • Konjoe-Tei - New Ramen and Izakaya joint in the SoFA Market brought to you by the owners of Konjoe. I've heard great things, also 4.5 stars on Yelp.
  • On the Flipside - New Burger bar in the SoFA Market.
  • Gotta Eatta Pita - Yet another 4.5 star restaurant on Yelp. Very inexpensive yet delicious Mediterranean food.
  • The Joint Eatery - Specializes in diverse comfort food, including Burgers, Sandwiches, and a variety of Appetizers. Oh yeah, also 4.5 stars on Yelp.
Below is the change log from the Downtown San Jose Restaurants Database:

1/10/2015Grub Shack closed
1/24/2015Icebee Replaced with My Milkshake at 151 S. 2nd Street
1/24/2015Falafel Bar closed
1/24/2015Azucar closed
1/25/2015Pete's Coffee on Santa Clara Street closed
1/25/2015La Pinata on San Pedro closed
5/2/2015Added On The Flipside, Konjoe-Tei, Hawaiian Poke Bowl, Milk and Wood, and Vitamina Juices & Blends which are all part of the SoFA Market
5/2/2015First to Market is now called The Craftsman
7/4/2015Konjoe-Tei in the SoFA Market is now officially open
7/4/2015Sama Zama in the SPSM was replaced with Pasta Fresca (same owners)
7/4/2015Little Chef at the SPSM closed
7/4/2015Gotta Eatta Pita has replaced Amir Restaurant at 86 N Market Street
7/4/2015The Joint Eatery is now open at 93 E Santa Clara Street (used to be Grub Shack)

If you haven't bookmarked it yet, here's the link to the spreadsheet! There is also a permanent link over to the right entitled Downtown San Jose Restaurants.