Paella in San Jose
- Luis GARCIA LAURENT
Although my son-in-law and daughter have lived in San Jose for some time they have been unable to have good Spanish food and, specially good paella.
Making it themselves has not been an option as they have not found saffron.
Can any one suggest a restaurant with good paella arround here.
Or where can we find authentic saffron
Are hungry will travel ... not as far as Mexico City.
Thanks for helping
Don't know about Paella in San Jose (or about Saffron specifically), but I've had good luck finding good Saffron here in SF at Indian food stores -- have you looked around SJ for one?
Iberia Restaurant in Menlo Park is pretty good. It is located on Alma Street, just beside the railroad tracks, near the Menlo Park train station. The paella is quite tasty, though overcooked and lacking rice by Spanish standards. But I imagine a request could be made to remedy both flaws. The tapas and main courses were quite good, and Iberia is a lovely place, despite the noise from the passing trains.
As for saffron, Draeger's supermarket always has some on hand. And, if your family doesn't mind a somewhat different flavor of saffron (I may have been imagining it), there is probably inexpensive saffron to be had from the various Indian stores in San Jose and Sunnyvale. Oh, yes, I think that Iberia's deli, Rock of Gibraltar, almost certainly has saffron, too. They've got jamon serrano, various Spanish cheeses, and condiments, etc. It may be worth your while to make a trip up to Menlo Park
You will have a very difficult time finding good paella in the Bay Area...I think it is just too difficult to make in the average restaurant. I make my own, and frankly, it is a fairly complex dish to get everything cooked just right and the delicous soccarat crust on the rice. As for saffron, go to the San Francisco Herb and Spice Co, on 14th st right off South Van Ness (I think). Under $3.00 per gram for Spanish saffron. Run them thru your browser, they have a web page.
For great paella in San Francisco, try B44 on Belden Place. The chef/owner Daniel Olivella is from Catalonia and has several versions on his menu. My favorite is the paella negra colored with squid ink and served with a fat spoonful of aioli in the middle.
And though it's a bit of a drive from San Jose, the new Spanish Table store in Berekley is a wonderful resource for saffron and other Spanish ingredients. Check out the selection of paella pans that range in size from 8" in diameter to one that measures 52" across and makes enough paella to serve 200.
The current issue of Santé magazine has an article about saffron that recommended the following sources
Greek Network Products Ltd.
Manolis Konstantopoulous, Business Representative
Ellen Szita, Saffron Consultant
Juan San Mames, President
The article also mentioned that saffron prices have come down due to the influx of Iranian saffron with relaxation of the trade embargo last year.