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Jul 28, 2008 04:08 PM

Saratoga/Los Gatos/Cupertino weekend lunch/brunch suggestions?

Hubby and I are doing a house exchange at the end of summer with my parents for a weekend so we can spend all our money on food. We'll be in Saratoga and would love to explore restaurants in the area. I already made a Saturday dinner reservation for Manresa, but still need to find places for lunch on Saturday, breakfast/brunch on Sunday.

Dio Deka and Chez TJ were my other choices, but they're not open for lunch on the weekend.

The primary goal is to get tasty food that we can't get where we live, as anything that's not a chain is a hole-in-the-wall featuring Chinese/Mexican/Filipino/Korean/Indian/Vietnamese/Thai/Afghan food. I also skipped over La Fondue and Bella Saratoga, two institutions I've eaten at in the past when I was living there more than 10 years ago. Also, we ate at Zeni one time (while my parents were babysitting) which was good but I think we'd like to try some new places.

I'd love to hear of good recs for quality sashimi down there. We've eaten at Yoshida's (sp?) on De Anza Blvd. in West San Jose/Cupertino before and thought their hamachi was great. The restaurant was also filled with Japanese ex-pats so I assume it's known for being good. Any other good sushi places down in that area we could go to for lunch before Manresa?

I searched for Saratoga, searched for Sunday Brunch in the South Bay, and couldn't come up with places open for lunch OR offering Sunday brunch. Ideas?

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  1. Where are you coming from (to gauge what you can't get where you live)?

    1 Reply
    1. re: madoka

      Hi Madoka,

      I'm in the East Bay suburbs, so only 45 minutes away. It's just that we have a 2 year old and my parents are usually "Chinese food only" folks so this is a chance for hubby and I to try out non-kid-friendly places in the South Bay.

    2. If you want something high end, try Trevese (some of their offerings are amazing); old thread:


      I'm not a big fan of James Randall nor Tapestry, but they have lovely patios:

      James Randall and Forbes Mill:


      Have fun!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Claudette

        Thanks, Claudette! I found that old thread but I didn't check all of them after the first few I wanted to try didn't offer weekend lunch. I wish Dio Deka was open for lunch! Trevese looks good, but I think it might be too much right before dinner at Manresa. And I wasn't really intrigued by the lunch menus at Tapestry or Forbes Mill, given sandwiches and salads. I'd rather drive up to Palo Alto to go to St. Michael's Alley for risotto, gnocchi, or the seafood paella. That might just be the solution....

      2. Fleur d Cocoa in Los Gatos on Santa Cruz should be a stop for one of the brunches. The owner, Pascal Janvier< has won several national and international competitions for pastery. Serves more 'euro style' (smaller, but with more butter) croissants as well as the typical french cafe. They also serve quiche and sandwiches which are very good, but not as great as the pastry.

        If you are looking for more of a breakfast, then either Southern Kitchen (LG on E.Main) or Los Gatos Cafe (N. Santa Cruz). Both are excellent. Southern Kitchen is slightly stronger if you prefer waffles/french toast etc. Los Gatos Cafe if you prefer omlettes/scrambles.

        I don't know if they are open for lunch weekends, but Kitsho is a very good sushi place. Cupertino just off Stevens Creek.

        Amber India at Santana Row is a good upscale Indian recommendation.

        If you enjoy a brew pub, Los gatos Brewery does a pretty good job on both food and Beer. A little fancier than the average brew pub. They've got table cloths and everything.

        Tapestry and Dio Dekka in LG are both pretty reliable. Tapestry has good food, great drinks, and a nice patio as claudette mentioned.

        A lot of people really like James Randall. I have never had a bad meal there, I jusst have had a eally good one there either. Personally, at the niche they are trying for, I think you have many better suggestions here and on the links Claudette has provided.

        I have not had good experiences at Travese.

        Hope this helps. If you have specific questions, let us know.

        5 Replies
        1. re: lgphil

          Wow, thanks for the great breakfast recs, lgphil! Hubby doesn't like European bakeries, so I may have to get a quiche to go at Fleur d Cocoa before we head to one of the other 2 breakfast places you mentioned.

          We've been trying to go to Kitsho for months now, but we only visit my parents on the weekend and they only open for Sat dinner (which doesn't work out since my daughter needs to be bathed and in bed by 8). sigh. Any other sashimi recs?

          As for Amber India, I've eaten at the MV location and find it good, but we have lots of great Indian food near me.

          I think I may try to focus on Japanese, as it's light enough to not feel bogged down before a full tasting menu dinner. Any recs for sashimi? What about in J-town in downstown SJ? I haven't been there for more than 10 years.

          1. re: smiles33

            StacyC mentioned Kamakura, which would be good for lunch. Definitely the best in town.

            Sushi Tomi and Tomi Sushi. They are sisters, and I can never remember which is where. One is at 280 and Saratoga next to Mitsua. The other is in Mountain View on Dana. Both are good. Particularly popular with our japanese clients.

            Acutally, come to think of it, the counter at Mitsua itself might be fun.

            SushiMonster recommends Sushi Kuni in Cupertino.

            Sushi Masa near Camden and Blossom Hill, but I think they are also closed Saturday lunch.

            You're just going to have to come down friday night instead.

            One word of warning. Lines at Southern Kitchen and Los Gatos Cafe can be long. Both are rather small. Go early (by about 9) or take nibbles for your daughter. There is lots of activity , so she shouldn't get bored (mine don't), but might get hungry.

            Los Gatos Cafe has opend a second location on Los Gatos Blvd (behind the Nob Hill in the old Iron Skillet location) which doesn't seem to get a crowded.

            1. re: lgphil

              Disagree that Kamakura is the best sushi in Los Gatos. I prefer Sushi on the run to Kamakura but it is a tiny tiny hole in the wall and I don't know if they are open on weekends for lunch. 114 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95030. I highly recommend Michi Sushi on Winchester but they aren't open for lunch on weekends but I hear that is changing when they move into their new space on Winchester and Knowles in the winter (just in case you are coming back some other time).
              I like Sweet Peas in downtown for lunch. I recommend their crepes. They are open on Saturdays. 453 N Santa Cruz Ave.
              Fleur de Coacoa is amazing. You should definately grab a quiche and a tart while you are in town. 39 N Santa Cruz Ave.
              I don't recommend LG Brew Pub. I've eaten here several times and felt that the beer was the best thing I had.
              I've had great experiences at Trevese but I've never been for brunch. If it's anything like their tasting menu you won't be disappointed. 115 N Santa Cruz Ave
              I will agree that Manresa is worth it. I hope that you enjoy your meal.

              1. re: sflegs

                Seeing this post here reminded me of Also's Deli. Legs did a really nice review of that (which I can't find right now). Might be just right for a light lunch prior to Manresa.

                1. re: lgphil

                  My review of Aldo's Deli. They aren't open on Sunday's.

        2. Manresa is very worth it. I didn't like Dio Deka at all. Nice room, but the food and the service were below par.

          Kitsho in Cupertino is the best sushi around in the traditional style. Get the omakaze. However, Kamakura on Santa Cruz is fine for a week night sushi meal.

          The Grill in Los Gatos (on University) has a great California-style menu. Light and beautiful plates. Not a destination, but relaxing and pleasant with good food and service.

          Afghan House in Santa Clara is great Afghan. Always busy. Consistent. Inexpensive. White tablecloth but not stuffy.

          Go to Sweet Peas Cafe on Santa Cruz for Saturday lunch. Really pleasant cafe where you can eat on the patio. And the food is straight-forward - crepes, salads, breakfast, sandwiches. Menu is easy to navigate and its just a feel good place.

          2 Replies
          1. re: stacyc

            I love Sweet Peas, but there is never enough seating, especially when my kid is with us.

            I love Southern Kitchen, too, but be prepared to be stuffed to the gills!

            1. re: Claudette

              Another good crepe option for Sunday brunch is Crepe Daniel (pronounced "Danielle") in Saratoga, at the corner of De Anza Blvd and Prospect Rd (the plaza also has a Quiznos). They have a champagne brunch on Sundays. Not open on Saturday for lunch unfortunately. I think they have more varieties/flavors both savory and sweet than Sweet Peas. Both are nice places though. Sweet Peas has some limited outside seating, Crepe Daniel does not.

              Some of my favorites at Crepe Danial:
              French Onion Soup (not too salty like a lot of places but good onion flavor)
              Escargot (it's *very* garlicky)
              Crepe Daniel
              Coque au Vin Crepe with Spinach (the spinach option is not on the menu but is a frequent special so you can always request it)
              Chocolate Crepe with Creme Anglaise (the actual crepe has chocolate in the batter, with creme anglaise sauce)

              Also definitely check out the specials board at the entrance.

              Crepe Daniel
              12100 Saratoga Sunnyvale Rd, Saratoga, CA 95070

          2. The Mynt has a Sunday champagne buffet lunch for $15. I've only tried their regular weekday buffet which is very good. I image that the Sunday buffet is even better with alcohol! ;)