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Cupertino - suggestions please?

t
taiphun Jan 7, 2009 07:04 AM

Hi all,

I'll be heading down to Cupertino for some IT training the last week of January (25-31, to be specific).

I'll be staying at the Hilton Garden Inn or the Marriott Courtyard.

Are there any restaurants recommended around the area, either within walking distance or a short drive?

Also, are there any fresh food markets that sell fresh fruits, produce, etc.?

My stomach is empty and my tastebuds ready for some adventure.. only thing I won't eat are Million Year Old Preserved eggs.. but other than that, I'm willing to try anything. Just no fast-food stuff, we get enough of that here in Canada...

Thanks in advance,

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  1. k
    kc72 RE: taiphun Jan 7, 2009 07:12 AM

    Those are pretty close to Cupertino Village, an area w/ lots of Asian restaurants and a 99 Ranch Supermarket

    1. c oliver RE: taiphun Jan 7, 2009 07:13 AM

      We recently met friends (she's Chinese) in Cupertino for dim sum. It's called Dynasty and is in a mall that sits right by 280. It's a rather fancy place but the food was great! And very reasonably priced. I'm betting if their dim sum is that good that their other dishes are also. I don't know the South Bay well at all so don't know where that is in relation to where you're staying.

      2 Replies
      1. re: c oliver
        k
        kc72 RE: c oliver Jan 7, 2009 07:17 AM

        Dynasty is located at Cupertino Square Mall (formerly Vallco) -- right by the hotels.

        -----
        Dynasty Chinese Seafood
        10123 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014

        1. re: kc72
          c oliver RE: kc72 Jan 7, 2009 07:20 AM

          Thanks for doing the link. I keep forgetting to learn how to do that :)

      2. Alice Patis RE: taiphun Jan 7, 2009 07:46 AM

        I much prefer the dim sum at Joy Luck Place over the dim sum at Dynasty. Joy Luck seems closer to your hotels (in Cupertino Village, a block north). 99 Ranch suggested by kc72 has a really great selection of asian (& nonasian) veggies & fruits.

        Also in that complex, Joy Luck's more casual sister shop in the back is highly recommended for wonton noodle soup, and HC Dumpling has awesome xiao long bao (soup dumplings).

        2 Replies
        1. re: Alice Patis
          Alice Patis RE: Alice Patis Jan 7, 2009 07:48 AM

          Links:

          -----
          Hu Chiang Dumpling House (moved)
          10877 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014

          Joy Luck Place
          10911 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014

          1. re: Alice Patis
            k
            kc72 RE: Alice Patis Jan 7, 2009 07:51 AM

            I had the wonton noodle soup there recently along w/ the chinese donut wrapped in rice crepe -- both very good. I was told you could even order dim sum and have it brought over.

          2. c
            ceekskat RE: taiphun Jan 7, 2009 08:06 AM

            Short drive from hotel:

            Zeni Ethiopian - San Jose
            Falafel Drive-In - San Jose
            Udupi Palace/South Indian (a la carte rec only) - Sunnyvale
            Shan/Indo-Pak - Santa Clara

            Chow recs: Tomi Sushi, Gochi ("Japanese fusion tapas"), House of Falafel on Stevens Creek (Lawrence Expwy was recommended, but this branch is very close to your hotel),

            6 Replies
            1. re: ceekskat
              t
              taiphun RE: ceekskat Jan 7, 2009 08:31 AM

              Thanks all for the links - keep them coming! Are there any particular dishes that you'd recommend from each of those places? Suggestions are more than welcome.

              I'll most likely be dining alone - are these resto's fairly friendly towards us? Being Chinese myself, I won't be able to sample as much variety in terms of the Chinese foods when eating alone - most of my meals here at home involve going out as a party of 8-14.. :)

              I'll make sure I pre-program the GPS before I fly down.

              Not really food-related, are there any sights and experiences that are must-do's and must-see's in the area?

              1. re: taiphun
                a
                Anfhann RE: taiphun Jan 7, 2009 04:02 PM

                There is a great write-up about Zeni by Katya, I love that place:

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/37278

                1. re: taiphun
                  r
                  realspear RE: taiphun Jan 7, 2009 04:06 PM

                  I don't recommend Ethiopian for eating alone, Ethiopian service not really set up for alone, but if you have any dining companions, my recollection of Zeni is that it is the best Ethiopian I've ever had. Never been to Ethiopia, unfortunately, so I can't tell you if it's the "real thing."

                  1. re: taiphun
                    rworange RE: taiphun Jan 7, 2009 11:17 PM

                    If you click on the links provided with the restaurant names they will take you to the place record which will have reports about the food and sometime the restaurant website.

                    Those marked 'duplicate' like Die Nasty (heh) may have some links but you want to look at the original place record for the best info. Plugging in the name in this link will get you to the Place record
                    http://www.chow.com/places/regions/1

                    Here's some more ideas
                    http://www.chow.com/search?search%5Bq...

                    Hope you report back on what you tried.

                  2. re: ceekskat
                    DezzerSF RE: ceekskat Jan 7, 2009 08:43 AM

                    I like the lamb shawerma at House of Falafel, chicken is hit or miss. I'd like to add:

                    A&J for Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup
                    Shanghai Flavor Shop for shenjian bao
                    Pho Minh for Pho Bo or Hu Tieu
                    El Taco de Oro Taco Truck for Tacos Lengua
                    Cam Hung for Banh Mi
                    Choi's Kitchen for Kimchi Chigae
                    Layang Layang for Malaysian/Singaporean

                    -----
                    Shanghai Flavor Shop
                    888 Old San Francisco Rd, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

                    A & J Restaurant
                    10893 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014

                    Choi's
                    3530 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051

                    Layang Layang
                    1480 S De Anza Blvd, San Jose, CA 95129

                    El Taco de Oro
                    112 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA

                    Cam Hung Restaurant
                    903 Reed Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

                    Pho Minh
                    10118 Bandley Dr, Cupertino, CA

                    1. re: DezzerSF
                      DezzerSF RE: DezzerSF Jan 7, 2009 01:35 PM

                      I usually go solo for lunch so all my suggestions are solo diner friendly, with the exception of Layang Layang. I have successfully gone during off peak hours though.

                      If you have specific cuisines in mind, let us know, Sunnyvale has a plethora of Indian and Mediterranean food. Also, El Camino Real in Santa Clara is Korean restaurant row.

                  3. t
                    taiphun RE: taiphun Jan 12, 2009 02:11 PM

                    Seeing that I'll be away from my own family for Chinese New Years this year, do any of the local Chinese restaurants have anything planned?

                    I might not be able to get to Chinatown in SF, is there a Chinatown in Cupertino/San Jose as well?

                    Thanks!

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: taiphun
                      k
                      kc72 RE: taiphun Jan 12, 2009 02:14 PM

                      No, Chinatown, just a bunch of strip mall areas w/ Chinese market, stores, restaurants. Cupertino Village, one of the places recommended, is one of the bigger ones.

                      1. re: taiphun
                        DezzerSF RE: taiphun Jan 12, 2009 05:53 PM

                        Milpitas Square is a short drive away, if you get bored of Cupertino Village. It bills itself as the largest Asian theme mall in Northern California.

                        1. re: DezzerSF
                          t
                          taiphun RE: DezzerSF Jan 20, 2009 08:38 PM

                          Hey all,
                          I decided to stay an extra day - some of the other topics about SF sound too good - esp the Saturday Market, so I'd like to make a day trip out to San Francisco.

                          According to Google Maps the drive is less than an hour - where's a good place to dump the rental car so that everything is accessible by bus or public transportation?

                          I know this is a Foodie board, hope my question isn't out of place as I want to go eating in San Francisco too! ;)

                          Thanks.

                          1. re: taiphun
                            DezzerSF RE: taiphun Jan 20, 2009 09:39 PM

                            First thing that comes to mind is Stonestown Mall on 19th Ave, free parking lot with plenty of spaces. You can take a Muni train right out front, but you'd have to take a few buses/trains depending on where you want to go. Second option might be Daly City or Colma BART, park there (fee?), and BART into the City.

                            Check out transit.511.org

                            1. re: taiphun
                              daveena RE: taiphun Jan 20, 2009 09:44 PM

                              There is validated parking available at reasonable rates:
                              http://www.ferryplazafarmersmarket.co...

                              Just go early to make sure you get a spot. Go early anyway, before the crowds get overwhelming.

                              1. re: taiphun
                                j
                                jsaimd RE: taiphun Jan 21, 2009 06:43 AM

                                Millbrae bart station has free parking and plenty of it - hop on the BART straight to the Ferry Building.

                                1. re: jsaimd
                                  t
                                  taiphun RE: jsaimd Jan 21, 2009 08:55 PM

                                  Thanks for the links. Time to jump on Google Maps and locate everything.

                          2. Lando RE: taiphun Jan 21, 2009 08:23 AM

                            I'm not sure how far Gochi is from your hotel, but it's a spot worth checking out. They specialize in Japanese fusion with focusing on tapas.

                            -Lando
                            www.SpotsForDates.com

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

                             
                             
                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Lando
                              c
                              ceekskat RE: Lando Jan 21, 2009 08:52 AM

                              Can two people eat w/n $20 pp excl. tax at lunch without feeling hungry an hour later?

                              1. re: ceekskat
                                k
                                kc72 RE: ceekskat Jan 21, 2009 08:56 AM

                                Their lunch menu doesn't show anything over $12.25. It only shows donburis, udon and 2-item combos -- a much simpler menu than their dinner menu. It looks like there's a daily lunch special link also but it does not show the prices.

                                http://gochifusiontapas.com/menu.html

                                1. re: kc72
                                  c
                                  ceekskat RE: kc72 Jan 21, 2009 10:43 AM

                                  This must be a new website because previously, there was nothing there but the name of the restaurant & contact request via email for menu. Looks like one has to go to dinner to appreciate Gochi's concept. Also, appreciate their vegetarian menu as I am always wary of Asian restaurants due to shellfish allergy. Thanks!

                                  1. re: ceekskat
                                    t
                                    taiphun RE: ceekskat Jan 21, 2009 08:53 PM

                                    Oh, that's great - new addition to the GPS.

                                    Thanks again!

                                    1. re: taiphun
                                      c
                                      ceekskat RE: taiphun Jan 21, 2009 09:28 PM

                                      Completely forgot about this CH rec just two exits away...

                                      http://www.ramenhalu.com/halu_main_en...

                            2. t
                              taiphun RE: taiphun Jan 26, 2009 01:35 PM

                              Went to A&J for lunch today, it managed to keep up to its expectations. Very busy there.. I ordered the hot and spicy tendon noodle soup and the thousalnd layer pancake. Their soup must use lots of MSG, as I'm super thirsty right now. I'll go back again later in the week to try something else.

                              We only have 1 hr or so for lunch, so I think I'll be trying to keep myself within the area so as to not be late for class. At $5800CDN for the 5 days, I feel guilty if I miss as much as a minute.

                              22 Replies
                              1. re: taiphun
                                m
                                madoka RE: taiphun Jan 26, 2009 05:05 PM

                                If you do go back to A&J, get the "Chinese hamburgers" (xien4 bing3). They are very juicy, meaty, and flavorful. I once bit into one, and a hole opened up on the other side of the bing. Juice literally shot out of that hole in a stream, much to the horror of my dining companion sitting across from me. :D

                                1. re: taiphun
                                  DezzerSF RE: taiphun Jan 26, 2009 06:56 PM

                                  Since you're staying close, definitely get to Hu Chiang for XLBs. I'd like to know your opinion on them versus what you get in Vancouver.

                                  1. re: DezzerSF
                                    t
                                    taiphun RE: DezzerSF Jan 27, 2009 05:16 AM

                                    For sure!

                                    Any recommendations for breakfast at 7am too? I checked Lee Sandwiches and they don't open until 8am, not sure about Chef Woo's or Marina Foods (8am?) or King Eggroll either. My Hotel's rest. doesn't open until 7am, and there was a lineup, so I thought the chances of getting out before 8am were slim to none.

                                    Also, any suggestions for a good steak?

                                    1. re: taiphun
                                      DezzerSF RE: taiphun Jan 27, 2009 06:18 AM

                                      Yes Marina Foods doesn't open till 8am, and I like to get their rice porridge.

                                      The only breakfast I've found before 7am is House of Bagels on Hollenbeck & Homestead. I like the Mediterranean Egg Omelet bagel with egg, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, swiss and olives. It's not revelatory or anything but it works. I'm eating it right now actually.

                                      Alexander's Steakhouse is right across 280 on Wolfe, pretty pricey place though and I haven't been.

                                      Where'd you go for dinner last night?

                                      1. re: DezzerSF
                                        t
                                        taiphun RE: DezzerSF Jan 27, 2009 12:11 PM

                                        DezzerSF,
                                        I went to Armadillo Willy's next to the hotel last night for dinner. They had their AYCE rib special going, so I figure I'd try that. Knowing how much I'd be eating this trip I decided not to go for seconds, thirds, or fourths.

                                        It was okay, typical for what I'd get for chain restaurant ribs, but not exceptional - guess I'd have to go further east and south to get good barbecue.

                                        For lunch today I stopped in at Gochi. Initial experience wasn't the greatest as I listened in on the hostess talk on the phone for a few minutes, then I asked if it was self seating or not as after about 4 minutes nobody had come to ask if I would like to be served. After that, the waitress suggested today's special, or the salmon served (sake sanshoku don) with udon, which I opted for. Udon was done right, soup wasn't hot, but it was well flavored.

                                        The salmon on rice was good, though I wonder if they used farmed atlantic salmon. The experience was good - I'd definately like to stop by for a dinner later on in the week.

                                        1. re: taiphun
                                          t
                                          taiphun RE: taiphun Jan 27, 2009 06:25 PM

                                          I was in a mood for Italian, and my teacher suggested Fontana's on Steven's Creek. She really likes the Scalone (scallop + abalone), so I thought I'd get that too.

                                          I started off with a Cup of New England Clam Chowder. Very creamy smooth, lots of clams, not alot of potato and celery. That set the bar pretty high.. I thought I'd really enjoy the main course.

                                          Shortly after, she brings the Scalone, there were two pieces pan fried against a row of mashed potatoes with steamed greens and a wedge of lemon on the side. I cut a piece off the side of one of the scalone pieces. It was warm on the outside, cold in the middle. I tried another piece just to make sure.. same thing.

                                          I motioned her back and she took it back to the kitchen.. she apologized profusely. When she came back, both pieces were a little darker, but was hot throughout - that's how it should have come in the first place. Not impressed..

                                          I thought at the minimum she'd take a little off the bill.. in fact, nothing at all.

                                          I left wanting more.. so I went looking for Red Mango and didn't find it. I did find what looked like a library.. I think I was one road too far in. I'll try looking for it in the daytime....

                                          Thus wraps up day 2 of my Cupertino trip. :)

                                          1. re: taiphun
                                            c
                                            ceekskat RE: taiphun Jan 27, 2009 08:22 PM

                                            Thank you so much for reporting back. Sorry about your meal at Fontana's as the South Bay's strong points are really in ethnic foods as Dezzer has already pointed out. I believe there are some decent sushi places in Cupertino...let us know. If you have a sweet craving, perhaps try Beard Papa located in a little strip mall on Stevens creek near Wolfe.

                                            1. re: ceekskat
                                              a
                                              adk RE: ceekskat Jan 29, 2009 12:41 AM

                                              I'm not a huge sushi eater - I stick mainly to California , unagi, and spicy tuna rolls - but I've enjoyed these, as well as other meals (bento box, udon) at the following Japanese restaurants in and around Cupertino. I prefer Sushi Kuni, but call ahead first - they seem to be closed at strange hours.

                                              And I'm sorry about your experience at Fontana's. I've eaten there several times and while it's not the greatest Italian food I've ever had, I've always enjoyed my meal.

                                              -----
                                              Tomi Sushi
                                              4336 Moorpark Ave, San Jose, CA 95129

                                              Sushi Kuni
                                              10211 S De Anza Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014

                                              1. re: adk
                                                t
                                                taiphun RE: adk Jan 29, 2009 05:41 AM

                                                Thanks adk - coinidentally I went to Sushi Kuni last night for dinner. A lady at Gochi the other day suggested it and said it was very authentic and very reasonably priced.

                                                Day three was spent at the House of Bagels, Hu Chiang, and Sushi Kuni.

                                                It's been a while since I've had a New York Style bagel - the last time I think was at Wayne's Bagels in Calgary about 3 years ago and this one reminded me once again what makes them better. Hard on the outside, dense and chewy on the inside. Had a honey & butter bagel - nothing really to special other than it it was a good bagel. :)

                                                At lunch I wandered over to Hu Chiang with a classmate and we both found the food there to be delicious. I ordered a juicy beef dumpling combo with lamb satay, and he ordered the juicy scallop dumpling combo with mongolian lamb. The lamb dishes were a little salty, but very flavorful. The mongolian and satays didn't mix very well, so I'll be sticking to my own plate next time. The dumplings though, were totally awesomely yummiful, Vancouver dumplings from Aberdeen and Shanghai Wonderful are good, but these are much much better. The juices (broth) were very flavorful, and the skin was almost equally thin up until you get to to the top. There was a slight hint of sesame oil, but not overpowering. My classmate wasn't able to eat his whole, but he enjoyed it nonetheless.. he's used to westernized Chinese food - he said there's not a lot of authentic Chinese restaurants in Connecticut. I'll have to come back for dumplings.. just the dumplings.

                                                Dinner was spent at Sushi Kuni. I worked up quite the appetite as we got out of class late today and I wasn't sure I'd get a seat so I went shopping for a bit, then spent a good 20 minutes wandering around on the wrong side of DeAnza looking for it. I did find Red Mango (more or that later), but after asking a nice couple outside Red Mango, they directed me to the other side of DeAnza. Silly Google Maps, it put it on the same side as Armadillo Willys. Anyways, there were about 3 tables full and 7 people at the bar when I went in. I spoke to one of the waitresses for a bit - I asked her for some suggestions on some popular local samples, but eventually settled on the Omakase - I know, foolishly brave going for that... when it arrived I wasn't disappointed - it was very fresh. Unique to me the Amberjack was - I had to Google that later to understand what exactly it was, but delicious nonetheless. Their spanish mackerel was different too, pre-marinated in a slightly vinagery marinade, served with lots of ginger. Also there were squid legs, squid noodles, halibut (never had raw halibut before either), red tuna, seared white tuna, and giant clam. Giant clam tasted a bit like Geoduck.. I was still hungry after all that, so I ordered some Uni and Toro. The toro was another outstanding one - the toro from Edmonton is nowhere as delicate and fresh.. it looked a little stiff compared to the toro back home, but melted in my mouth all the same. It was a little expensive - usually my wife and I go out for sushi at about the same amount.. so dessert at Red Mango didn't sit with my wallet very well after.

                                                Today I think I'll try Joy Luck in the back for lunch and Halu for dinner today.

                                                1. re: taiphun
                                                  DezzerSF RE: taiphun Jan 29, 2009 08:19 PM

                                                  Glad to hear you liked Hu Chiang. I've only had the pork dumpling, I guess I should head back soon. Sounds like you scored at Sushi Kuni too.

                                                  How was today's exploring?

                                                  1. re: DezzerSF
                                                    t
                                                    taiphun RE: DezzerSF Jan 31, 2009 06:58 AM

                                                    On the 29th (I'm two days late - apologies!) it was House of Bagels for the Mediterranean (no olives or cheese) - it filled its purpose being breakfast. For lunch I went to Joy Luck for dim sum. It's hard to order for two, so we had chicken feet, pigs feet, vegetable dumplings (?), shrimp ho fun (shrimp wrapped in rice noodles), and tripe. Quite delicious.. though we were aiming for that other Joy Luck - guess I will go to the other one later, time permitting. The dim sum was okay - not as much MSG as the one other place I frequent back home. There was something different about the chicken feet but I can't put my tongue on it...

                                                    For dinner I went to Ramen Halu. Got there at 5:15 not knowing when it opened. Asked another guy sitting outside what he'd recommend, he said the Halu Ramen. He said he had lived in Japan for 8 years and their ramen came pretty close to what he had gotten there. He ordered the Large Halu with extra bamboo and extra spinach. I did the same. It came in a very large bowl with plenty of noodles, bamboo, and toppings. I've never had ramen outside of instant noodles and this one place at the end of Robson Street in Vancouver.. let's just say that Halu blew them away. The only down side to it was that the soup was a little salty and a little oily - is that how it is? The ramen was done just right with a little bit of chewiness to it, and had there been a little less salt in the soup it would have made it much more enjoyable.

                                                    Yesterday again I went to the House of Bagel, back to Hu Chiang, and back to Sushi Kuni. I had the Omelette Bagel for breakfast - again, served its purpose. I had planned to get a donut from that other suggested place on Homestead too, but was running late for class.

                                                    For lunch, I ordered the Juicy dumplings with Loofah and Shrimp from HC. A bit of a change from the other meat dumplings, but these were just as juicy and a tasted a bit refreshing. Not feeling satisfied, I ordered the scallop dumplings, and those were delicious. Plenty of juice inside. I figured I probably won't be back for a long, long time so I ordered a third steamer of juicy crab dumplings. Halfway through I was pretty full, so I didn't enjoy that set as much. Not say I didn't like them, they were still very juicy, the filling very flavorful.. just that I felt a little stupid for stuffing myself so.

                                                    I was so impressed with Kuni that I went back for dinner. Got there a little later and sat at the sushi bar. This time I went with the spanish mackerel, amberjack collar marinated in miso, and a pair of fresh oysters. Apart from a few scales in the spanish mackerel, it was very good. The Amberjack is different too.. almost tastes like Yellowtail. I forgot to ask them where they get their Amberjack from - as on Wikipedia they note different types from different regions of the world. Right before the sushi bar closed, I asked for a piece of saba - I love its oily taste and texture, but the waitress Yumi suggested I try the Shad instead. It has a different taste to it, not as oily and fishy as saba, its texture a little more delicate. I wonder why we cannot get either in Edmonton.. I'll have to ask that.

                                                    That's it for Thursday and Friday.. today (Saturday) I've decided to cancel my SF trip and make the drive out to the coast instead. Forecast is sunny and +20C, so it should make for a great day.

                                                    1. re: taiphun
                                                      DezzerSF RE: taiphun Jan 31, 2009 08:33 AM

                                                      Thanks for the day by day reporting, it's been entertaining reading for me as I work just a block away, and also fairly new to the area. Sorry I couldn't be of more help for breakfast, the area seems to get a late start in terms of food. If I had known you would be going to House of Bagels three days in a row, I would have sought out more options but unfortunately that's all I know of before 8am. Like you said, it does its part for breakfast.

                                                      As for Halu, I still haven't been myself but it's nice to hear your take on it as I had the same reaction to ramen broth when I first tried a bowl. I'm partial to brothier type soups so I tend to seek out a "shio" broth if it's an option. What type of broth was in your Halu ramen?

                                                      1. re: DezzerSF
                                                        w
                                                        winodano RE: DezzerSF Apr 20, 2009 07:33 PM

                                                        Halu offers 3 choices of broths: shio, shoyu or the Halu (pork and chicken with pieces of pork fat). You ask for light fat and light salt if you like.
                                                        Also, Kahoo (in the Mitsuwa market plaza 1/2 mile down Saratoga Rd.) is another good one too; they also offer a more Chinese style ramen that is very good (I add pork belly to my spicy ramen, kind of like dan dan noodles)

                                                        -----
                                                        Kahoo Ramen
                                                        4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose, CA 95129

                                                        Ramen Halu - duplicate
                                                        375 Saratoga Ave, M San Jose, CA

                                                      2. re: taiphun
                                                        c
                                                        ceekskat RE: taiphun Jan 31, 2009 10:04 AM

                                                        Yes, thank you for your comprehensive reports as it is not often seen in the South Bay. I keep meaning to go to Ramen Halu but have been hesitant since I'm quite allergic to shellfish & don't eat beef. What is their stock made of?

                                                        Hope you enjoyed your stay & have a great trip to the Coast.

                                                        1. re: ceekskat
                                                          t
                                                          taiphun RE: ceekskat Jan 31, 2009 07:21 PM

                                                          Thanks to both Ceekskat and DezzerSF (and of course, all the other posters in the original replies)!

                                                          Yes, I really enjoyed my trip. I was very excited to come here for my course, and very eager to go out and sample the best the South Bay has to offer. I hope you've enjoyed my updates - I'm not the biggest foodie (I just love good food), nor am I the most articulate (I'm working on it!).

                                                          Today went by fast.. slept in a little (ok, a lot), made my way out to Felton, jumped on the steam train up to the top of Bear Mountain, came down, drove out to the coast, up to half moon bay with the occasional stop to enjoy the waves, the sandy beaches, and the general atmosphere. First stop was at Anos Nuevo hoping to catch a glimpse of the elephant seals, but arrived 10 minutes after the last guided tour had left. Turned around and continued to drive up the coast, stoppping at Sam's Chowder House for a cup of chowder and their supposedly famed lobster roll. Very good.. never had lobster like a beef dip (without the dip) before.. The chowder was very creamy, lots of potato, some celery, some clams.. (refer to my earlier post from Fontana's to compare their chowder). Too much potato, I think.. and a little salty to boot. The lobster roll made up for that.

                                                          Next I stopped in at their competition - Barbara's Fishtrap. There as a lineup out the door, I put my name down and was told 15-20 minute wait. As I was waiting by the door Jeannie asked if I was a first timer, why I came by myself, etc.. 10 minutes later I was seated, given a once over on the specials of the day by Melody (Barbara's daughter), and I chose the Vera Cruz - can't remember if she said it was like Rock Cod or Rock Fish. She said it was marinade in tomatoes, capers, olive oil, olives, peppers.. once she said olives and capers my mind shut off.. but curiousity got the better of me, as I've never tried it before done up that way, but I asked for the olives and capers to be held back. Anyways, it was delicious.. and there was so much on that plate I had to take the rest back to the hotel.

                                                          The dish came with a side, which I picked potato and a cup of clam chowder. Their chowder was less creamy than Sam's, but also had more flavor to it. More clams, less potato, less celery, tastes great, and less filling! As busy as Jeanie and Melody were, I really appreciated the time they took to explain all their menu selections to me.

                                                          Next time, I'll take the lobster roll from Sam's and the chowder from Barbara's.

                                                          So that wraps up day 6.. half day more to go, but I think I'll sleep in again and finish off my Vera Cruz from Barbara's tomorrow. Hopefully wifey can come down with me to enjoy the pleasures of eating with me next time.

                                                          Thanks again to all you in this thread.. if you happen to come up to ice cold Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, let me know and I'll return the favor!

                                                          Here's a link to some pictures I've taken throughout my week:
                                                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/acklee

                                                          I've taken some pictures of the menu at certain restaurants, so you can see what they put in their Halu broth, dumplings, etc.

                                                          1. re: taiphun
                                                            t
                                                            taiphun RE: taiphun Feb 1, 2009 02:25 PM

                                                            Well, my last day.. made it to Donut Wheel for a ginormous glazed donut, Beard Papa for an Original puff, and finally to Old Shanghai for their shenjiang bao.

                                                            Thanks again for making this trip so enjoyable!

                                                            Albert.

                                                            1. re: taiphun
                                                              Melanie Wong RE: taiphun Feb 1, 2009 03:24 PM

                                                              You've packed a lot of eating into your visit. It's been great to read your reports and comparisons. Thanks much!

                                                        2. re: taiphun
                                                          K K RE: taiphun Jan 31, 2009 08:59 PM

                                                          About 2 years ago when I asked about their kanpachi, they said it was from Hawaii, via Kona Kanpachi (now a well known source for eco-friendly, sustainable fish)

                                                2. re: taiphun
                                                  rworange RE: taiphun Feb 14, 2009 07:36 PM

                                                  links

                                                  -----
                                                  Sam's Chowder House
                                                  4210 Cabrillo Hwy, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

                                                  Ramen Halu
                                                  375 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA 95129

                                                  Hu Chiang Dumpling House (moved)
                                                  10877 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014

                                                  Joy Luck Place
                                                  10911 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014

                                                  Barbara's Fish Trap
                                                  281 Capistrano Rd, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

                                                  Fontana's
                                                  20840 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino, CA 95014

                                                  House of Bagels
                                                  5231 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara, CA

                                                3. re: taiphun
                                                  bbulkow RE: taiphun Jan 31, 2009 08:11 PM

                                                  There's actually a scattering of good BBQ of various sorts in the bay area - just not at Armadillo Willys. My experience there echos your own.

                                                  1. re: taiphun
                                                    rworange RE: taiphun Feb 14, 2009 07:15 PM

                                                    link

                                                    -----
                                                    Armadillo Willy's BBQ
                                                    10100 S De Anza Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014

                                                4. re: taiphun
                                                  c
                                                  ceekskat RE: taiphun Jan 27, 2009 08:37 AM

                                                  It's been a couple of years but I always enjoyed my food at The Basin in Saratoga. Casual upscale with friendly, neighborhood atmosphere including bar with TV. Last time we were there, BIL had steak & enjoyed it very much. As for Alexander'$, search the board, not too many positive reviews IIRC.

                                                  http://www.thebasin.com/
                                                  http://www.alexanderssteakhouse.com/

                                            2. Shane Greenwood RE: taiphun Jan 27, 2009 08:38 PM

                                              My wife really likes this place

                                              http://www.theredcrane.com/

                                              -----
                                              The Red Crane
                                              7335 Bollinger Rd, Cupertino, CA

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Shane Greenwood
                                                c
                                                Claudette RE: Shane Greenwood Jan 31, 2009 12:44 PM

                                                I love Red Crane, too - postmodern Asian. My husband doesn't like it as much, but when he brought his colleagues there for a business dinner, they raved about it (except for one person who thought it too exotic).

                                              2. eatzalot RE: taiphun Jan 28, 2009 10:42 AM

                                                Halu Ramen was mentioned helpfully. In Cupertino itself, how about:

                                                Alexander's Steakhouse, 10330 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino, (408) 446-2222
                                                www.alexanderssteakhouse.com
                                                -- Unusual, high-end steakhouse with Asian chef and flair. Adjacent to Vallco shopping mall on Wolfe, right off 280. Also sells raw meats for home use.

                                                Fatima, 10125 Bandley Drive, Cupertino (new location
                                                )-- Popular Moslem-Chinese restaurant. Haven't visited since the move, but lamb dishes have been excellent -- there's a tart soup with cabbage, paper-thin sliced lamb, cilantro; several good breads with and without scallions; "shrimp rolls" appetizers made with savory mushrooms, worth going just for those. All of this from dinner menu. Noodle and noodle-soup dishes also popular.

                                                1. daveena RE: taiphun Jan 29, 2009 10:16 PM

                                                  Do donuts count as fast food? Because the best glazed, yeast-raised donuts I've ever had are from Stan's Donuts in Santa Clara - 2628 Homestead. They open at 6.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: daveena
                                                    p
                                                    P. Punko RE: daveena Jan 31, 2009 09:06 PM

                                                    Stan's closes pretty early (just an FYI). So early that I've never made it (I think at 3). I really like Donut Wheel for cake donuts, and they are open 24 hours, and they are right there.

                                                    -----
                                                    Donut Wheel
                                                    10250 N De Anza Blvd, Cupertino, CA

                                                  2. w
                                                    wackosuzanne RE: taiphun Nov 5, 2009 05:33 PM

                                                    Cupertino: Not sure if you've gotten these already:

                                                    Technically in Saratoga, but essentially in Cupertino is a Crepe place called Crepe Danielle. Cute little place with excellent salad, FO soup and crepes.

                                                    Fontana's is good, but more expensive. They have a great dish with raviolis, chicken and prawns, and spinach... mmmmm.

                                                    Hung Foo at De Anza and Steven's Creek has the best mongolian beef I've ever had.

                                                    Yiassoo on DeAnza has great, cheap greek food. The french fries are to die for.

                                                    I moved to SF two years ago after living in the SJ area for 15 years. It took me a long time to fine a few really good places. Yiassoo and Crepe Danielle I love. I haven't found anything comparable in SF yet.

                                                    -----
                                                    Yiassoo
                                                    10660 S De Anza Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: wackosuzanne
                                                      t
                                                      taiphun RE: wackosuzanne Nov 6, 2009 01:11 PM

                                                      Heh, I'm coming out to the Santa Clara area again for EMC training. This time my wife is coming as well, so it should be fun.

                                                      I'm gonna be going back to all those awesome places in Cupertino again, but how's the eating in Santa Clara?

                                                      1. re: taiphun
                                                        m
                                                        mdg RE: taiphun Nov 6, 2009 05:48 PM

                                                        Welcome back! Santa Clara has loads of Korean restaurants, but good choices in other cuisines too. It's probably best to start a new post for that though for easier reference in the future.

                                                        Michael

                                                        1. re: taiphun
                                                          moto RE: taiphun Nov 7, 2009 02:04 AM

                                                          we go to Dosa Place for a good S.Indian vegetarian lunch in S.Clara. Just down the road in Sunnyvale there's a very good omnivore Indian place, Tumeric, probably the best Indian buffet I've had. Just in those two towns you'll have a very large range of places--if you like Afghani food, there's two places I haven't tried yet.

                                                          -----
                                                          Dosa Place
                                                          525 Los Coches St, Milpitas, CA 95035

                                                          1. re: taiphun
                                                            c
                                                            Claudette RE: taiphun Nov 7, 2009 05:15 PM

                                                            Welcome back! Relatively new in Santa Clara is Beque, a terrific Korean place. Be sure to order 2 entrees so they'll fire up the table burner for you. I like Dosa Place, too. Just 6 miles down the road in Campbell is Aqui for Southwestern fare, and in-between is a very good new Texas BBQ joint, The Line Shack (better than Andy's, Sam's, and Frank's).

                                                            http://www.bequekoreangrill.com/

                                                            http://www.aquicalmex.com/home/index.php

                                                            http://www.thelineshackbbq.com/

                                                            -----
                                                            Dosa Place
                                                            2665 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051

                                                            1. re: Claudette
                                                              t
                                                              taiphun RE: Claudette Nov 7, 2009 11:53 PM

                                                              Thanks.. I think I'll start up a new post for Santa Clara (after doing some searches first, of course)!

                                                              I'll be staying at the Best Western Avatar hotel on the Great American Parkway.

                                                              It was down to either Maryland or Santa Clara for the training.. it was hard to convince management to let me go to sunny California again, but I'm sure it'll be worth it!

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