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Dec 2, 2008 02:22 PM

In San Jose for a couple of days. Need Recs.

Hello folks. I am visiting from Dallas. Coming to San Jose and will be staying by the cisco building at 150 West Tasman Drive. I will only have 1/2 a day to browse around since i am in town to take an exam on thursday at the fore mentioned location & then will fly out early Friday morning. I was hoping to find a few good places to eat at. The hotel i am at didn't mention much about whats close by, and are rather keen on pushing their lil bistro/restaurant. I am staying at the The Plaza Suites Hotel so any places close by ( walking distance ) that anyone could recommend would be greatly recommended.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Rivermark looks like the only place within walking distance of your hotel, and the pickings are slim: Red Robin, a sushi place, an Indian place - all mediocre. Baja Fresh is the best of the lot, and Piatti is the worst.

    There's an Asian mall in Milpitas a mile east, but it's not really walkable because there's no straight way to get there, but if you can snag a ride there's plenty to explore: Darda, Mayflower for dim sum, 99 Ranch for browsing, 2 bakeries, a good Thai place, an Asian cooking supplies store, etc.

    1. That's near where I used to live. I looked up the address of your hotel and it's actually about 3 miles from the 150 W. Tasman campus of Cisco, not really walking distance to your exam site. So do you want recs within walking distance of your hotel, or that Cisco campus?

      At any rate, running along Tasman Drive in front of Cisco's multiple campuses is the light rail and if you take the Winchester line for 2 stops then transfer trains to get on the Alum Rock line, go 3 stops, then get off at the 880 station, then walk north cutting through a different Cisco campus, you'll get to Barber Lane where the large all-asian strip mall which Claudette described is located. Actually you'll first walk past a second Asian plaza, newer and smaller but I haven't been to that one.

      If you don't bother transfering trains on light rail, then the Winchester line goes through downton San Jose and that's a totally different set of recommendations.

      If you want something walking distance of your hotel, you're kind of out of luck, they're all either chain or just ok (ie non-offensive), nothing worth writing home about. A not-so-bad chain within walking distance is Specialtys Bakery for the usual Cal-American salads & sandwiches. Or, a $6-8 cab ride away is El Camino Real, and you'll be smack dab in the Korean corridor with a plethora of soon dobu shops & Korean BBQ, and other destination worthy tastes like the interesting flavors at at Real Ice Cream.

      Edited to add: Rivermark is like a 30-40 minute walk from that Cisco campus, not really worth it given the mediocrity of offerings. Taking light rail to the Ranch 99 mall sounds complicated but will take less or equal time.

      1. I live and work near there and never eat at Rivermark. That's how good it is. If I had to eat a meal there I'd pick Prolific Oven (bakery with salads and sandwiches) or Yan Can (really hit or miss unauthentic Chinese food but the chicken potstickers are pretty good and I like the veggie kung pao - low oil, sauce on side). Piatti's is overpriced and underwhelming.

        Scratch all that. Your work isn't within walking distance of Rivermark. The two strip malls near you (1st & Tasman, Tasman & Lick Mill) are both pretty terrible.

        Your hotel is on Lakeside near a plaza with El Torito/Sizzler. Your best option is Specialty's, a sandwich place with great cookies across the street. About a half mile away is Amarin (Thai food at Great America & Mission College). Also about a half mile away is Parcel 104 - an upscale restaurant and one of the best known of the South Bay. (My experience there has been mixed but if you're on an expense account I'd go there.)

        1. El Taco De Oro: 5210 N 1st St, Alviso : It's a taco truck, make sure you don't go to the one in front of the liquor store, go to the one in front of the school.

          Giovanni's: 1127 N Lawrence Expy, Sunnyvale : Good Pizza

          So Gong Dong Tofu House: 231 W Calaveras Blvd, Milpitas : Good Korean tofu soup

          King Crab, (In the same plaza as the above), good Chinese food

          China Palace: 688 Barber Lane, Milpitas: Great budget Chinese food, the service sucks so bad that I swear I will never come back everytime but the food is really good.

          These are about 5 miles from you, if you don't have a car have Giovanni's deliver.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tom tran

            If you do Giovanni's get the rustica (chicken, basil, garlic, tomatoes). It's really, really good. For some reason their other pies are below average.

          2. I work in one of those buildings and honestly within walking distance there's almost nothing close by because the Cisco campus is so large! But, two non-chain places that are pretty popular with the work crowd that are somewhat close to the Tasman campus and The Plaza Suites Hotel are The Athena Grill ( with an awesome dip sampler, and, The Banana Leaf (