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The Mercado Center (near EMC Santa Clara)

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Last minute trip. Will arrive this Sunday and depart Saturday. A full week of wondering where to go. Per Diem is <$50 for dinner. Would appreciate anything you can offer. Dress is casual. He's going alone -- so a solo dinner sitting at the restaurant bar would be fine. Also any interesting casual restaurants would be great. Eats anything with exception of Indian and vegetarian.

Thanks in advance!!

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  1. The Mercado is smack dab in the middle of a culinary desert, but within 4-6 miles in either direction there are some very good places:
    Parcel 104 (Bradley Ogden's place, but will run over his per diem)
    Birk's (a steak place - a bit worn, but decent)
    Banana Leaf (casual, very good Malaysian)
    Hong Kong Saigon (Chinese - not too interesting for single diners, though)
    Darda (Asian, but again, better if in a group)
    Kabab N Curry (very casual Indian - very good biryanis and tandooris)
    Dish Dash (everyone raves about this place except me)

    Also check earlier threads for SJ airport and downtown San Jose.
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/40418

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    Hong Kong Saigon Sea Food Harbor Restaurant
    1135 N Lawrence Expy, Sunnyvale, CA

    Dishdash Restaurant
    190 S Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

    Parcel 104
    2700 Mission College Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95054

    Darda Seafood Restaurant
    296 Barber Ct, Milpitas, CA 95035

    Birks Restaurant
    3955 Freedom Cir, Santa Clara, CA 95054

    4 Replies
    1. re: Claudette

      Thanks for the great replies. Checking out these places now.
      Very much appreciate your help!!

      1. re: Claudette

        Just wanted to clarify. You said there are good restaurants 4-6 miles in either direction.

        Parcel 104 is 1mile away (just confirmed on Google Maps). Birk's is 1.5.

        If he does Athena be sure to have him get the kalamata olive dip (complimentary, but often you have to ask).

        Shana Thai and Gourmet Express (GREAT Middle Eastern food; only open weekdays for lunch) are a little farther but worth it. Closer is Pedro's which has good food in a very pretty atmosphere. Parcel 104 is expensive but it's a good place to go since it's within his per diem.

        Don't be tempted by: Tomatina (at Mercado) or Piatti (at Rivermark).

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        Gourmet Express
        463 Valley Way, Milpitas, CA 95035

        Pedro's Restaurant & Cantina
        3935 Freedom Circle, Santa Clara, CA 95054

        1. re: katya

          Sorry, my other link didn't go through.

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          Shana Thai Restaurant
          311 Moffett Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043

          1. re: katya

            katya - I should have been clearer: I don't like the close-in restos like Parcel 104 and Birk's (they've both gone downhill over the past few years), but I included them because I know others like them. I hate Pedro's, but my friends keep dragging me there on corporate lunches. I like Athena, though.

        2. Athena Grill is a great, informal Greek place in Santa Clara on the south side of 101. It's open weekdays only so don't try it on Sunday.

          Michael

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          Athena Grill
          1505 Space Park Dr, Santa Clara, CA 95054

          1 Reply
          1. re: mdg

            Thanks. He loves Greek -- so I'll definitely send him this one.