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Feb 12, 2009 05:14 PM

San Jose - The Fish Market? Any Thoughts?

Hi, all... spending Valentine's day weekend in San Jose for the tennis tournament, and while in the process of looking for somewhere to do dinner on the 'big day', I came across The Fish Market. Can anyone comment on the place? I did a scan of old posts but didn't see anything mentioned which around here admittedly gives me pause about the place, as does the fact that they actually had a table open at short notice for 8pm. Of course, I can't discount the possibility (probability) that I just missed the comments.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. Could you be asking about a restaurant by another name? The Fish Market is in Santa Clara or Palo Alto, and is not listed on Open Table.

    Fish Market Restaurant
    3775 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051

    Fish Market Restaurant
    3150 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306

    1 Reply
    1. re: Claudette

      It's a chain of places, the two you mention are part of the chain -

      Usually I try to avoid chains like the plague (though here in Bakersfield, that's a little difficult). But for local chains, I will make an exception because it's, to my way of thinking, different than *national* chains.

    2. It's a mediocre chain. There's nothing that bad about it, and nothing that great, I've eaten at all of them, I think, not on my own nickel. Oddly enough, it was the first restaurant I ate at when I came to the San Francsico area and I didn't like it then. Stick to the smoked fish if you do go. I'm sure there are better places in the South Bay.

      1. "It's a mediocre chain... Stick to the smoked fish." It would be helpful to hear specifics. My conclusions are more positive, based on many visits to the Santa Clara location (last one a few years ago), here's why.

        It was a very small "chain" (few locations) with its own fishing boats. Sold raw fish from a counter too, in Santa Clara (like the old Spenger's Grotto in Berkeley, Back In The Day). Very straightforward preparations and service, you'd specify which of the dozens of daily fish offerings you wanted, and how prepared. Very moderately priced, good fresh fish in the dozen or 15 business meals and random visits (on my own dime, often) so I always regarded it as a straightforward, good-value restaurant. Actually reminded me of the old Spenger's in some ways, except the ceilings are of typical height (at the original Spenger's they were claustrophobically low) and it doesn't seat thousands.

        1. A fair to middlin' place for my money. The comparison to Spengers is apt,if you liked Spengers you'll go for it. If not, than look for something else. Like so many South Bay places, it is only fair, not great, not bad, just fair.

          1. I went there a month ago with a group of non-adventurous eaters from work. I got the advice from this board or some other reviews to stick to simple grilled fish and skip the more elaborate preparations. That's what I did. The food was plain but not bad. The taste of the fish was nothing to remember, the texture was too hard as if it was a bit overcooked, but I am not much into fish anyways... The menu has nothing for vegetarians. Note that it is is not a romantic setting, the restaurant in Santa Clara is quite big, the lighting and decor make it feel like a big hall, so that's not a good place for Valentine's day. I would never go there again on my own, but for a group outing, if the company makes up for the unimaginative food and decor, it's OK.