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

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Famous Korean BBQ spot Baekjeong opens first Northern California location in San Jose

Speaking of BBQ (see previous post today), Baekjeong is opening their very first location in Northern California at Westfield Valley Fair. This is a chain owned by Korean celebrity Kang Ho-dong and is extremely popular in LA and New York. San Jose will be one of just a two locations to accept reservations and they are already going fast on Resy.

While many malls around the country are struggling, Valley Fair somehow is continuing to expand and attract compelling restaurants. Eataly, Din Tai Fung, iChina, Maestro's, Kingfish, and Ramen Nagi are some of the other flagship dining destinations within the mall.

Friday, July 21, 2023

San Jose restaurants featured on TV

Just how many San Jose restaurants have been featured on TV? Quite a few actually. "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" hit up Falafel's Drive In and Naglee Park Garage. "Bizarre Foods America" swung by Mezcal, Bún Bò Huế An Nam, and Gaku Restaurant. "Man vs. Food" featured Henry's World Famous Hi-Life, Iguana's Burritozilla, and The Funny Farm.

My favorites on the list are Falafel's Drive In and Mezcal, but I have done the "Bizarre Foods" version of Bún Bò Huế An Nam with the pork blood and ox pizzle (you'll have to google it, but it's exactly what it sounds like).

For more on each and links to stream the episodes, visit the source link below.

Source: SJ Today

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

ADEGA, first and only Michelin Star restaurant in San Jose is shutting down 😢

Ouch, this one hits me pretty hard. If you draw a Venn diagram for people that love Michelin Star restaurants, are San Jose advocates, and members of the Portuguese community--I would be right in the center. ADEGA was not just the first and only Michelin Star restaurant in San Jose, it was the only Portuguese Michelin Star restaurant ever west of New York. They also had the largest Portuguese wine collection of any restaurant outside of Portugal. Hearing that they are shutting down is a major bummer, especially just as their sister restaurant Petiscos won a Bib Gourmand award from the Michelin Guide (a step just below a star).

It's not all bad news. The space at 1614 Alum Rock Ave. in East San Jose / Little Portugal will be converted to a second Petiscos restaurant. This will be a format that is much more accessible to the local community, and... well, everyone else. Portuguese food is not traditionally fancy or expensive, it's down-to-earth cuisine best shared with family and friends tapas-style. That is why in many ways Petiscos is a more accurate representation of true Portuguese food, although I love what ADEGA did to elevate traditional dishes.

It also appears that they will try to open additional California Petiscos locations. Thankfully Pasteleria Adega and NOITE, two other projects by the same team are also staying open.

If you want to try ADEGA one last time (or for the first and last time) get your reservations before December 16th.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Petiscos in San Jose gets a rare Michelin Guide distinction

There are three main levels of recognition in the Michelin Guide, which is the most popular guide for finding the highest rated restaurants in the would. Level 1, the restaurant simply makes it into the guide. Just being listed is a huge honor and I have never seen more than 10 San Jose restaurants listed in the guide in its entire history.

Level 2 is Bib Gourmand, which means not only did the restaurant make it into the guide but you can have a multi-course meal at an affordable price at that restaurant. I can't remember a single San Jose restaurant getting a Bib Gourmand distinction until this year. The requirements is you need to be able to order two courses and wine or dessert for $40 or less.

Level 3 is when the Michelin Stars come into play. Each restaurant at this level can receive one to three stars. In the US these are typically very fancy restaurants where you can expect to drop $100-300 per person.

Petiscos is a casual restaurant owned by the proprietors of ADEGA, San Jose's first and only Michelin Star restaurant. A couple months ago, Petiscos was added to the Michelin Guide for the first time. Now, they are one of the very first restaurants in San Jose to get the Bib Gourmand designation! The only other one I am aware of is Luna Mexican Kitchen on the Alameda.

Considering San Jose only has four restaurants total in the Michelin Guide right now, it is pretty big news that two of them now have the Bib Gourmand distinction. Hopefully many more San Jose restaurants will be recognized in the future.

Source: EATER

Thursday, July 13, 2023

30+ awesome brunch places to try in San Jose 🍳🥩

I'm going through posts from one of my new favorite sites, SJ Today, and came across a killer list of brunch places in San Jose. The are some obvious ones in there like Scramblz, Mimosas, and Bill's Cafe. There are also several unique surprises like Yeganeh Bakery & Cafe (Persian), K Cafe Patisserie & Tea House (Asian-French fusion), and Tostadas (Mexi-Cali).

Below are photos from my absolute favorite San Jose brunch--The Table in Willow Glen. It's normally a 45-60min wait, but absolutely worth it. They have the best Espresso Martini I've had as well and some creative non-alcoholic drinks. It's on the SJ Today list as well--check out all 30+ brunch places over here.

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

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, June 22, 2020

Mezcal makes the best out of a difficult situation

Mezcal, a minority-owned restaurant, can't seem to catch a break. They were already struggling to survive like many restaurants in a post-covid world. Then they were burglarized not once, but twice. The Oaxacan restaurant could have called it quits, but instead they turned their boarded up windows into some of the coolest murals Downtown. The murals were done by local artists from Local Color, a women-led San Jose nonprofit.

The restaurant is now open for outdoor dining and features an assortment of Oaxacan mole sauces and many new items like grilled octopus, a black mole tamale, a ribeye, and a salmon burger. If you're feeling adventurous you can even try grasshoppers (which are surprisingly delicious by the way).

Mezcal is open from noon to 8pm, Tuesday through Sunday, at 25 W San Fernando St.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Scott's Seafood reopens in the middle of the COVID crisis

This is the only new restaurant opening that I'm aware of in Downtown San Jose over the past two and a half months. Scott's Seafood, one of Downtown's flagship restaurants, had to close to make way for a major multi-million SQFT development project called CityView Plaza. Thankfully, Scott's has chosen to reopen in a new location Downtown.

On May 21st, they opened for takeout at 200 S. 1st which is at the intersection of Paseo de San Antonio. This is a famous spot that has housed Casa Castillo, Asqew Grill, Zing, Ruffled Feathers Eatery, The Blackbird Tavern, and Social Policy. This corner has had so much turnover, that some believe it to be cursed. If there is one restaurant that can break the curse of Case Castillo, I think it's Scott's Seafood. They have a loyal fan base and will offer a more impressive menu and cocktail selection than any of their predecessors.

Just as exciting as this opening is Scott's plan to expand their brand and build a second restaurant in Downtown San Jose. They are looking to open a takeout soup and salad eatery called Scott's Chowder House which will feature their excellent seafood chowders. We don't have a great casual bread-bowl place in Downtown San Jose, so I can't wait! Meanwhile, please patronize Scott's and your over faves so we can keep as many of our restaurants as possible this year.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, May 18, 2020

The San Pedro Square Market Re-Opens Today!

Bit-by-bit, more of the San Jose economy is opening up. Several vendors at the SoFA Market have continued to stay open for pickup and delivery, such as Habana Cuba, Pizzetta 408, and Umi Hand Roll. Now the San Pedro Square Market is finally opening up again.

Participating eateries include:

  • Anchors
  • Bread Brothers
  • Gameday
  • JORA Ceviche Bar
  • Pizza Bocca Lupo
  • Pasta Fresca
  • Phonomenal
  • Taco Bar
  • Urban Momo
  • Voyager Craft Coffee

Initially these will be open only for pickup and delivery. Given the abundance of outdoor seating at the San Pedro Square Market, I think this will be one of the first places in San Jose where you will be able to have a somewhat "normal" dining experience in the coming months since they will be able to easily conform to California guidelines.

It might be a good idea to shut down all of San Pedro Street between Santa Clara and St. John and use this area for socially distanced outdoor dining for all the San Pedro Street restaurants. It is not unprecedented as we did something similar during Super Bowl 50.

I will definitely be visiting sometime this week!

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, March 16, 2020

Valley Fair's $1.1B expansion is now partially open

I swung by Valley Fair this weekend to check out the new 500,000 SQFT expansion. Thanks to the Coronavirus, it was almost completely empty but just about every new store was still open.

Parking is now a lot easier with a new six-story garage right off of Steven's Creek that goes underneath the expansion and has direct connections to the new Bloomingdales. Speaking of which, it's a true flagship department store with San Jose branding everywhere. Unfortunately I couldn't afford most of the cool things in there, it's more expensive than Nordstrom yet not quite as insane as Neiman Marcus. I did find my favorite clothing store near one of the two entrances of the expansion--Untuckit. This is the first one in San Jose. The expansion also includes Forward (premium doctor's office), Orangetheory Fitness, Bulgari, Cole Haan Grandshop, and a few ex-Santana Row brands such as Anthropologie, Pinkberry, and Urban Outfitters.

The new Santana Row-style outdoor concourse will feature a bunch of high-end restaurants including Maestro's. I have a feeling that they will get another Michelin-recommended restaurant or two this year. Din Thai Fung already has that rating. Salt & Straw is the only place open so far, but the ice cream was exceptional (Bone Marrow and Smoked Cherries... wow). I loved the interactive art on the walls near the entrances too.

They have five new stores focused on retail concepts. One had a bunch of cool Kickstarter projects in it and is similar to B8ta at Santana Row. Definitely worth checking out.

While not part of the expansion, I also finally got to try Ramen Nagi. Even with the Coronavirus, it still took an hour and 15min in line. Totally worth it, it was some of the best ramen I have ever had. It goes by faster than you think since you customize your food while waiting in the line and the food comes quickly once you get inside.

Once the virus boils over, this is hopefully going to drive a lot of extra tax revenue to San Jose. It's hands down the nicest mall in the Bay Area and they are making an effort to be more Santana Rowish with the outdoor space. I truly hate going to traditional malls, but this experience was way better than what I expected. I'll definitely be back to check out the new restaurants as they open.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Eataly coming to San Jose

With two very successful food halls in Downtown San Jose and Santana Row across the street, Valley Fair might be feeling a bit left out when it comes to the South Bay food scene. Fortunately, their big expansion that starts rolling out in March has a major focus on cuisine. Several flagship restaurants have been announced, but the biggest addition will be an Italian Marketplace called Eataly.

The market clocks in at an impressive 51,000 SQFT. Eataly is large enough to house multiple restaurants, cafes, food stalls, bars, and take-out counters. If you're a foodie that likes Italian food, this may be your new favorite location in the mall. It will also be the only Eataly location in Northern California.

Eataly San Jose will open sometime in 2021.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, January 6, 2020

Santana Row future plans

A new Silicon Valley Business Journal interview with a Federal Realty executive reveals ambitious plans for new eateries and development at the Row. Over the next few years, 13 new restaurants are planned! In 2020, we'll see Momosan Ramen & Sake and a new Hot Yoga studio.

Some of the current retail spaces will be converted for other uses. For example, the two-story Urban Outfitters will be broken up into smaller spaces for new retail and restaurants.

Federal Realty also plans to break ground on a five-story building this year with 258 residential units at 358 Hatton Street. Across the street, they are gearing up for Two Santana West, an office building with 375,000 SQFT of office space.

It sounds like Federal Realty still has their foot on the gas even though the original development plan has been completed. The area is going to look quite different with these changes and the Valley Fair Expansion having their grand opening this year.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Orchestria Palm Court

Jordan from Searchlight San Jose has written about one of my favorite hidden gems in Downtown San Jose -- Orchestria Palm Court. This is undoubtedly one of the most unique restaurants in the Bay Area and is well worth a visit. It's part museum, part entertainment, part time-capsule (all the way down to the restrooms), and in-and-of-itself a solid restaurant. They even have a soda jerk bar!

Click here to read the post.

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

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Dunkin' Donuts comes to San Jose

The famous east-coast doughnut chain has finally made its way to San Jose. A former Arby's at 5519 Snell Ave has become the first Dunkin' Donuts in Silicon Valley. I'm sure transplants will appreciate the location, and they might nab a few new converts as well (sorry, my personal favorite is still Psycho Donuts).

This is the first of several new locations. Next up will be a second San Jose shop on Winchester Boulevard towards the end of the year or early 2019. Franchise owners are also scouting Milpitas, Sunnyvale, and other Silicon Valley cities for further expansion.

The San Jose Dunkin' Donuts is now open everyday from 5am to 10pm.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Spencer's Steak & Chops

I was lucky enough to get an invite to sample the Winter menu at Spencer's. I had been there a few years before when it was primarily a steakhouse, but it is obvious that the restaurant has dramatically changed since then. Chef William Hughins has transformed the menu to into something far more eclectic and contemporary. The steaks are still there (and they were delicious), but my favorite dishes were actually the courses that came before them. Below is a tour of my meal:

Freshly baked sourdough bread with black salt (not pepper). It was extremely difficult not to fill up on this before the meal started. 

Butternut squash soup with a roasted marshmallow, topped with chives. This one blew my mind. On the official menu the soup comes with creme fraiche instead of the marshmallow, which is too bad since this variant seems far more tasty and creative.

Braised bacon with local figs (middle part), and caramelized organic honey (top). I love bacon as well as combining savory and sweet flavors. The blend of the extremely thick cut bacon with the sweetness of the figs and honey made this my favorite dish. If you try this (and you should), slice from the very top to the bottom to make sure you get all three flavors in every bite.

Ahi poke. Sushi grade ahi, avocado, sesame, nori, and wonton. Here the secret is slightly burning the nori, which gives it a different flavor. This was very tasty and something I definitely was not expecting at a place known for their steaks.

Pan-seared Hokkaido sea scallops, filberts (no need to google that, they are hazelnuts), on top of orzo. The scallop was perfectly cooked and this would be a perfect light dinner for a pescatarian.

Kobe Ribeye, Spencer cut, and Tomahawk cut with potatoes and mushrooms. This was the most insane meat plate I have ever had. There was also a side of Ostrich steak (tastes like red meat but is very low in calories/fat). Even I couldn't finish the plate, but it made for a very luxurious lunch the next day.

Chocolate five different ways. If you haven't guessed it by now, Spencer's has gone a bit more upscale and they are raising the level of creativity in the menu. It really felt like dining at many of the Michelin star restaurants that I have been to. The dessert was a perfect cap to an outstanding meal.

I should also mention that they have a very nice setup for private events such as corporate parties and a cool bar area serving craft cocktails.

Spencer's is located at 2050 Gateway Pl, San Jose (inside of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel San Jose). For the full menu or reservations, visit the website over here.