Went to Santana Row for shopping the other day and did some research on this board about lunch options (I'm not a local) would've loved to have this guide thanks for putting it together! Pizza Antica caught my eye as I LOVE Roman style pizza but the reviews on this board seemed mixed. Tried it anyway, focused on pizza. Everyone seated around me seemed to be having "just the salad"... you guys are a bunch of rabbits out here :-) Well OK I did get arugula on my pizza.
We ordered the sweet corn/arugula/bacon and fennel sausage/mushroom/onion.
Both were fantastic. (A minior quibble is that the corn could've been better given the season. Frozen maybe?) Crust was thin, crackerlike, with a nice wood-fired kiss. The fennel sausage itself was very very nice. Service was great - attentive and friendly even on the patio. Loved the people-watching from the sidewalk seating. Nice ambiance inside as well. I can't say this holds a candle to Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix where I live (if you ever come to Arizona, this place is a MUST MUST) but given the reasonable prices, generally high quality and they fact that I don't have to wait two hours to get in like at Pizzeria Bianco, this place seems a real winner for San Jose.
I went to Cocola Bakery as well. I bought some croissants and they were tough and dry, your standard lousy croissant that is all too easy to find. This was surprise as they _looked_ absolutely wonderful. In fact the whole place looks great but my first impression is all style and no substance.
your review is a mirror image of mine. pizza antica is one of my favorite destinations within santana row, however i believe the true jewel on the menu is the gnocchi. instead of boiling it and tossing it in some thick cream based sauce like most traditional italian restaurants the gnocchi is pan fried and served on top of a zesty sauce along with fresh greens. they will add fennel sausage upon request.
cocolas is well...good for nothing but a cup of hot chocolate or fresh squeezed orange juice. i've never had any tasty bites here, everything has let me down. however many of us here is spoiled by la patissarie further up stevens creek in cupertino.
other places i'd recommend on the row are:
straits - across from pizza antica, there's no doubt you've seen the shinannigans going on there from your viewpoint.
sino - go for the dim sum @ lunch, although it is not consistant it's delicious when done right. skip dinner.
consuelo - order everthing. especially the guac and double the halibut.
el jardin - outdoor lounging under a giant oak tree, small plates and tequila.
pluto's - just waiting for this place to open. it's a chain but some of the best/freshest salads i've come across. no-nonsense and cheap.
wahoo's - it seems i'm here two or three times weekly grabbing lunch or dinner. quick, simple, no thought to it, and cheap.
thea's - i like everything here, although not many options if you're a carnivore. fantastic service.
that's pretty much all the restaurants i go to there, not many others have wow'd me.