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south bay nice birthday dinner recs

It's my friend's birthday, she is going to be a mommy soon, this fall I think. Any recommendations for a good dinner, a nice place? We will be a group of 8

The only thing she doesn't eat is sushi

cheers

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    1. I spent a great birthday with 7 other people at E and O Trading Co 96 South First St in SJ (eotrading.com) All we ordered was a table full of appetizers and desserts

      1. Attended a party of 8 or 9 at Gochi in Cupertino and it was really good -- Japanese style tapas. Call early and you can reserve a private room for your group.

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        Gochi Japanese Fusion Tapas
        19980 Homestead Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014

        2 Replies
        1. re: kc72

          I've heard great things about that place, can you elaborate on what you had? Would love to hear some Gochi details.

          1. re: sgwood415

            to be honest, i've never ordered when i've been there.

            some of the things that i do remember:
            kimchee fried rice
            croquettes
            beef tongue
            angus steak

            also, if i recall correctly, if you order the very large sake and can't finish it, they'll write your name on the bottle and save it for a month.

        2. We had a nice birthday dinner recently at Mandaloun in Redwood City. I'm also quite fond of New Kapadokia in R.C. as well.

          Farther south, I love Zeni in San Jose for great Ethiopian food, but that's more like $13/person. I've been wanting to try the new Moroccan place in Los Altos, Zitune (is that the name?). That would be a fun birthday place!

          1. Nice is Village Pub in Woodside. Thats it for me.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Giselle

              Ooh yes. That's where I want to go for my birthday. Went there for dinner recently and had a perfect arugula and tomato salad (graciously substituting tomato for hazelnuts and parmesan because I can't eat dairy). Really good vinaigrette too. Then a lovely steak with potatoes and spinach.

              Nice room, great wine list, and smooth accomodating service.

            2. These recs are for the south bay only per criteria.

              The Grill (inside the Fairmont) is a great place for a celebration. There's nothing surprising or inventive about it except great steak/seafood and excellent service. Alexander's in cupertino is similar.

              If you want to go to a less sedate place, I'd go to to Dio Deka in los gatos for greek. It tends to get very loud but it's a fun place. Its sister restaurant Evvia in Palo Alto is also a good place for a celebration. Tamarine in palo alto is also really nice.

              By "nice", I'm assuming you mean a nicely decored, semi posh place befitting a special occasion meal? If that's what you mean than I wouldn't recommend Gochi. I really like Gochi but if asked, I wouldn't describe it as a "nice" place. It's not un-nice either. Plus, service can be a little harried because they are always busy.

              Where ever you go, don't go to Santana Row.

              1. I love Dio Deka and Village Pub, but I don't think $50-60/person will cover any drinks nor wine, depending on what food is ordered (same goes for Alexander's and the Grill). I think Zitune is a better choice for your budget, and they have a small tomb in the back which would might make a great semi-private room for your party.

                1. Thx guys for all the suggestions

                  We ended up at merlion in Cupertino, despite the green service it was pretty good food
                  that charsiu seabass is very good
                  all told we only paid 30 each, minus bday girl
                  not many of us drank though

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: kewlio

                    Is this it?

                    http://www.merlion.us/

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                    Merlion
                    19628 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014

                      1. re: kewlio

                        I was watching it get closer to opening, but the silly lion/dragon-thingy in the corner kept me at a distance, and I couldn't find a menu posted anywhere - how was the charsiu seabass prepared? The charsiu (sauce?) didn't overwhelm the fish?

                        1. re: Claudette

                          yeah that giant merlion is weird, kinda cool though

                          i think it is steamed, the charsiu sauce is a bit weird on the fish, it is quite strong but it works

                          1. re: kewlio

                            This is starting to sound more like the smoked or baked seabass or black cod with the reddish-orange glaze that's slightly carmelized. It's often available at the more upmarket Hong Kong-style seafood restaurants.