HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Aug 28, 2007 12:49 PM

LA Chowhound needs South Bay B-day Dinner

I will be in San Jose visiting my BF for my birthday and have no idea where to go. We would be willing to go as far as Palo Alto. He just moved so is not familiar with the area. I am looking for a creative menu in a venue that is not formal/stuffy i.e. not formal italian/french (however Bistro/Brasseries are great!) or steak house atmosphere. Seeking a place that would be about 50 pp.

Can be Sushi, Tapas, Californian etc.

Will Manresa break the budget?

If you are familiar with LA, looking for a place such as the Nook, A.O.C., Fraiche, Kiriko, Orris, Opus etc.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Manresa would break your budget, and then some. For $50pp w/o drinks, tax and tip, I'd suggest: Dio Deka (Greek - Los Gatos), La Pastaia (Ital - S'Jose), Cascal (tapas - Mt. View), Evvia (Greek - Palo Alto). Search earlier threads on those restaurants to get in-depth info. Have fun!

    1. Claudette's recommendations are all excellent. A few more: For sushi, Fuki Sushi in Palo Alto is very good. In downtown Sunnyvale, Dish Dash (Mediterranean/Middle Eastern) is on the casual side with excellent, unusual food. Il Postale, also in downtown Sunnyvale, is a lovely little Italian place. And for steak, Alexander's Steakhouse in Cupertino is supposed to be excellent (I haven't been there yet). Happy birthday!

      2 Replies
      1. re: vgshea

        Alexander's will break your budget (and the upselling is intense), but vqshea's other recs are very good.

        1. re: Claudette

          Thank you! :-) I will just add that of all the places mentioned above, Cascal in Mountain View would probably be my first choice for a birthday dinner. Excellent food, very good service, and I love the space. They do fill up for Friday and Saturday nights, though, so try to reserve sooner rather than later.

      2. I would go to Dio Deka in Los Gatos. You will love it. Great food, service,and the buzz
        is a lot of fun.

        3 Replies
        1. re: rigaboy

          I third Dio Deka but make sure you make reservations soon. Their lamb chops was featured on the cover of the August issue of San Francisco magazine under the heading "35 most unforgettable dishes". I've had lamb at Evvia (where some of current owners/management came from) & I haven't forgotten it!

          1. re: rigaboy

            I have to disagree. The night I was there, service was horrible and negatively impacted our enjoyment of our meal. The saganaki was nothing like the classic version and the room is way too stuffy and formal. I'm not going back.

            1. re: stacyc

              Forgot to mention that some of the L.A. places you listed for comparison, i.e, A.O.C. & Opus are L.A. board faves. There is nothing like that in the South Bay. You can yelp Dio Dekka & Evvia for more reviews.

          2. Go to Santana Row, it's has some nice places for a birthday. The food is good but not great, and it really is a nice place to walk around on a summer evening. It's a very high end shopping area, so you could have your boyfriend buy you something nice. They also have a fair variety of cuisine types so you could pick any sort of cuisine.


            Consuelo Mexican Bistro has some good stuff though the service can be a bit uneven. Straits Cafe, Blowfish Sushi, and Sino can be fun. Tanglewood is a nice place.

            I also think downtown San Jose has some good stuff.

            1. Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions, and I welcome more! I will report back where I end up going (though BF will make ultimate final decision so who knows where I'll end up!).

              This will be a great list to use in the months to come. We have been to Santana Row but haven't explored outside of that, and this is a great starting point.