San Jose Favorite Restaurants
I'm always interested in hearing about people's favorite restaurants in San Jose--low end and high end ones, that is.
a few other things went through my mind then just price. steve is and has been awesome and sawa has its own charm however i don't expect 'higher end' restaurants to tell me how to enjoy my meal. sawa also lacks the 'ambiance' i'm used to, white table cloths, patron first service, etc.
sawa is definitely not a place i'd take someone who does not understand sushi, japanese food, omakase, and sawa's 'sushi nazi' fame.
I've had lunch at Los Cubanos and I prefer Habana Cuba. The flavoring of Habana sauces are richer and have more depth. (I was actually there last night). My favorites from the menu are the bistec de lomo (medium rare) & rabo encindido (oxtails). My partner enjoys the same enchilado de camarones everytime we visit. I do also like the chicken with the sauteed onions on occasion. Side note, our friend dining with us last night said the lechon a la cubana was "out of this world".
At Los Cubanos I believe I orderd their stewed pork dish and my partner ordered a shrimp/seafood dish. The pork dish tasted a bit bland & sort of dry, I ending up leaving quite a bit on my plate by the end of the meal. I do remember my partner mentioning that he enjoyed the shrimp dish at Habana Cuba more.
Seems like nothing's genuinely cheap these days, but, on the lower end:
Burrito Factory, Blossom Hill & Snell
Tony Dimaggio's, Montery Hwy - best (possibly only) Stromboli in SJ.
Giorgio's (part of the Frankie, Johny, Luigi chain) - good Northern Italian
Holder's Country Inn - great for breakfast
Cardinal Lounge - all-night eats
Smile Sushi - creative rolls, and some great fish if you're choosy (hamachi is best bet)
El Amigo - good mexican food, cool patio, on Santa Theresa
E&O Trading Co - eclectic asian fusion and great mixed drinks. (Moderate if you show for Happy Hour, which has bargains for the best drinks and apetizers).
Tomo Sushi - great sushi, friendly & entertaining chef.
Forbes Mill - steak house (technically Los Gatos, but close enough)
Nha Toi (Vietnamese, near SJSU)
Pho Lynn (Vietnamese beef noodles, off of San Carlos, near Bascom)
Kaita (Japanese, Japantown): I think Kaita is just as good as Tanto and Gochi, but with 1/2 the attitude and prices.
Korean Palace (Korean table-top BBQ): I still prefer Sam Won BBQ in Oakland, though, and am actively in search of a charcoal-table-top place.
Sumiya (Japanese skewers, corner of Moorpark and Lawrence)
Still in search of an Oliveto-equivalent... or an Zuni-equivalent...