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

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Fitoor is now open, bringing high-end Indian cuisine and late-night music to Santana Row

The San Jose food-scene continues to evolve and reach new heights. Fitoor (which is the word for passion in Hindi) is brining Indian food back to Santana Row in the same space that housed Amber India for years. However, Fitoor is a much higher-end concept than Amber and is run by serial entrepreneurs that also own the Michelin-recommended Rooh in Palo Alto.

Fitoor's ambiance and food look exquisite and I can't wait to try it for myself in early May. For now, I'll just have to savor these photos from The Merc.

Another twist on traditional Indian cuisine is their take on nightlife. On Friday and Saturday nights the lounge portion of the restaurant features DJs, fire dancers, and a more clubby vibe. It's certainly a unique addition to the Row and seems like a step up from what was there before (and I really liked Amber).

In other restaurant news, the expanded Elyse featuring French Vietnamese cuisine--and a local San Jose chef--has their official ribbon cutting tonight. More on that later this week.

Source: The Mercury News

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Eox & Nyx - meet Downtown San Jose's newest flagship restaurant and bar

The proprietors of Original Gravity (now Still O.G. and Alter Ego), Paper Plane, and Miniboss are stepping up to their most ambitious project yet. Eos & Nyx is a flagship two-story restaurant and bar in the former Camera 12 Space. This happens to be the same block where Urban Putt set up shop, so it's turning out to become quite the district.

Named after the ancient Greek goddess of day and night, they will serve traditional Mediterranean cuisine from France, Spain, Italy, Greece, and North Africa. Their executive chef is Nicko Moulinos who was raised in Greece and previously cooked at Le Bernardin (a 3 Michelin Star restaurant), Kwame Onwuachi's Kith/Kin, and Taverna. I'm sure their drink program will also be outstanding given this team's craft cocktail pedigree.

As for ambiance, the renders look incredible. We're talking 20-foot ceilings, lots of trees and plants, outdoor terrace seating, and a rotating conveyor belt of spirits that will be visible both inside and outside the restaurant. If Urban Putt was my #1 most anticipated opening of 2024, this is #2.

Eos & Nyx will open sometime during the summer at 201 South Second Street, Suite 120.

Source: Eater SF

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Raising Cane's is opening their first San Jose location in Evergreen

If you are looking for a fast food Chicken restaurant that is open on Sundays, look no further than Raising Cane's. The chain started in 1996 and was named after the owner's Labrador. Currently there is only a Raising Cane's in Oakland and Vacaville. That means the San Jose location will be the first in all of Silicon Valley.

San Jose's Raising Cane's will be part of the 80-acre Evergreen Circle Project, which is right off of Capital Expressway. The 315,000 SQFT project also has a Costco Business Center and by the end of the year it will also get a Crumbl, California Fish Grill, and Starbucks.

There is no official ETA for San Jose's first Raising Cane's, but it should be relatively soon since they already have a job posting for a manager of this particular location.

Source: KRON4

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Chick-fil-A proposed near Downtown San Jose

Yet another Chick-fil-A is planned for San Jose. This one is technically in Midtown but is just a few blocks away from Downtown San Jose at 1301 West San Carlos Street. This was once the site of a Burger King with a drive-through. Several years after the restaurant closed the building was razed and turned into a parking lot.

Most of the restaurant would be on that empty parking lot, but one building with Taqueria Eduardo and two other small businesses would have to be torn down to make way for the Chick-fil-A if the project is approved.

The popular chain is also trying to open a new restaurant in Evergreen at the corner of East Capitol Expressway and Silver Creek Road in a Target parking lot.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

iChina hires a rockstar chef, obviously aiming for the stars

By aiming for the stars, of course I'm talking about those rare Michelin Stars. As our one and only Michelin Star restaurant--Adega--closed their doors in 2023, iChina is our next best shot.

Yesterday iChina announced that Singapoean Chef Chen Zhinengh is joining the team as Executive Chef. He has worked at multiple Michelin-star restaurants including Hakkasan in New York, Empress By Boon in SF, and 3 Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurants.

Below is the full text from the email blast. I'll look forward to trying iChina soon after his updated menu is live.

Introducing Chef Chen Zhinengh
We are thrilled to announce Chef Chen Zhinengh has joined iCHiNA to lead our kitchens. Because eight is an auspicious number, here are eight reasons we’re lucky to have him.

Born in Singapore, Chef Chen started working in restaurants at the age of 16.

He has cooked at some of the top restaurants in Singapore including the Mandarin Oriental and Ritz Carlton Hotels.

Chef Chen was part of the opening team for Hakkasan New York and went on to help oversee all US locations.

Prior to joining iCHiNA Chef Chen was Executive Chef at the Michelin-starred Empress By Boon, in San Francisco.

A master of Peking Duck—one of our signature dishes—Chef Chen has combined culinary methods from top restaurants around the world to create a Peking Duck with  distinctive taste and a richer texture.

Chef Chen has cooked at 3 Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurants.

This video starring Chef Chen making dumplings has been viewed over 54,000 times. If it doesn’t make you want to try our dim sum, we don’t know what will!

Chef Chen is developing some amazing specials to offer during Lunar New Year including 魚生撈起 (Prosperity Salad) and 红豆汤 (Red Bean Glutinous Rice Soup) to bring you health and prosperity in the new year. 

Book a table now for a taste of Chef Chen’s exquisite cooking. Some of his new dishes include Golden Tofu Lobster featuring lobster, pumpkin, and silken tofu and Black Bean Prawns with housemade black bean sauce and fresh gai lan.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

New Taiwanese restaurant will replace Flames in Downtown San Jose

Another key corner will soon be revitalized in Downtown San Jose. Flames occupied a large space on the ground floor of one of the most used parking garages Downtown, located at the intersection of San Fernando and 4th Street This is across the street from the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library and a few blocks away from Plaza de Cesar Chavez, City Hall, and SJSU.

A restaurant called Home Eat just signed a 5-year lease for the 11,000 SQFT space. They already have a location in Cupertino with spectacular reviews. 4.5/5 stars on Yelp is pretty difficult to achieve. They specialize in Taiwanese-style small hot pots and a variety of fusion dishes. They plan to offer both lunch and dinner as well as catering.

While it was quite sad to see Flames shut their doors about a year ago, it just opened up an opportunity for what could be an even more exciting restaurant. If you miss the Flames signature brunch, I highly recommend The Club on Post for an elevated brunch and creative drinks. 

Another good omen for Downtown San Jose is that there were actually six different restaurants that wanted the Flames space and Home Eat will pay 89% higher rent to the City of San Jose than Flames did (the City of San Jose owns this garage).

Source: The Mercury News

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