Review of dinner at James Randall in Los Gatos
James Randall is a small restaurant with only about 10 tables, which filled up over the course of the night. They offer a changing menu with a handful of appetizers and main dishes, but also a 3-course prix fixe option for $35. My GF and I both got this option. To start, I chose the Pancetta Stuffed Figs & Endive Salad. The warm fig halves were soft and sweet with little cubes of pancetta in each, and were laid over a bed of endive slices. It was good but my mouth was yearning for a bit more flavor...maybe more salty pancetta goodness or the tanginess of a little balsamic vinegar dressing (the salad had no dressing). My GF’s Sweet Corn Pancakes with Crab Salad was very tasty, with the sweet crab going well with the thin corn fritters.
For the main course I had the Pan Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Scallop Potatoes, Buttery Green Beans and Green Peppercorn Sauce. The beef was tender and pink throughout (medium rare) with some occasional heat and crunch from the green peppercorn sauce. The creamy potatoes had an great intense kick from the blue cheese. My GF had the Grilled Double Pork Chop with Mashed Sweet Potatoes & chard. At first I read this as ‘double-grilled’, but it is double-thick, with 2 rib bones. It is a big thick hunk of meat, almost 3 times larger than my small filet! I tried some of her pork and it was tender and moist, with a nice charcoal grill taste to it. The yellow sweet potatoes were great and paired well with the pork.
They only offer two desserts, a chocolate mousse pudding and a cheese and figs platter, so we ordered one of each. I should have probably chosen a different appetizer knowing that figs were coming for dessert! The mahon cheese slices and figs were served with a ciabatta-type bread (same as what is served to your table for the meal). I didn’t like the bread too much but the figs and cheese were great. The delicious pudding was extremely rich and thick and packed a big chocolate punch.
Overall, the food is very well prepared and the dining room feels like you’re eating dinner at someone’s house. The service was a little slow at times but they were all very friendly.
303 N. Santa Cruz Avenue
Los Gatos, California 95030