Eats in Los Gatos - NOT Manresa
Will be traveling Thursday afternoon to Los Gatos for one night with work in San Jose the next day. I am looking for suggestions, other than Manresa.
I have seen/read good things about Fleur de Cocoa and will probably stop by Friday morning but am wondering about good/less high end places to eat in Los Gatos.
I am prepared for the worst but here it is anyway. The family had a very nice lunch at MINI-CHAIN Andale's patio branch. The meats were tender and tasty and the salsa selection provided a nice variety and some heat.
21 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95030
I have had good luck at Viva Neighborhood Eatery of Los Gatos. They have well-prepared American food with a nice wine selection. When I've been there they have had some nice live music playing too, but not too loud.
Viva Los Gatos Neighborhood Eatery
15970 Los Gatos Boulevard, Los Gatos, CA 95032
Pastaria is great. They're my favorite place for pasta and it's very reasonably priced (entrees $10-$16). You'll need a reservation at least on a weekend night - the place is pretty small.
Andale is pretty good - I like their guacamole and they make good burritos. I've only been to the Los Gatos location twice. I've mostly had their food at the Google location. Larry Page (CEO) likes Andale so much he had it added to the campus as the only privately operated restaurant.
Pastaria & Market
49 E Main St, Los Gatos, CA
How about Cin-Cin? Wine bar - bistro, Formerly Cafe Marcella. Few doors from Manresa, nearer Hwy 9. I haven't yet tried it and would like to hear reports. Don Durante opened it, a respected veteran Silicon Valley restaurateur (Cascal in downtown Mountain View, earlier Birk's off 101 in Santa Clara, other places).
It's been a while since I hung out much in LG, but still operating I think and excellent when I dined there with locals is I Gatti (high-end Italian). Not in the Chow data base but with an active Web site still is 29 E. Main (name = address), an elegant casual bistro -- either that place or one adjacent had the wicked Caesar salad, sharpened with a hint of horseradish or something, quality ingredients, about the best restaurant Caesar I've had.
I posted more detail on Forbes Mill in an earlier thread, link below. I have a lot of experience with steakhouses around California and the US. Found Forbes OK, if you must have a steakhouse in Los Gatos (it was about typical for Bay Area), large wine list, but consistently I saw a weakness in surprisingly cheap institutional side dishes (as compared to Alexander's in Cupertino or the well-run Spencer’s at the San José Doubletree Hotel at SJ airport -- a Hilton concept that opened there in 2004) and the bills at Forbes were definitely high-end.
Note that all of the places I've mentioned are right in downtown LG, short walk from each other. Actually three are on E. Main, within about a block.
2 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, CA
25 E Main St, Los Gatos, CA 95030
As promised, the review.
Arrived in Los Gatos around 3:30 or so in the afternoon (no lunch). After checking into the Los Gatos Lodge (off of Los Gatos Saratoga Rd.) and trying to valiantly to establish an internet connection on my laptop (hardware issue) I was really hungry, getting cranky and decided to go off in search of food. Problem is 4:30ish in the afternoon is not the best time to find places open to eat. Most of the smaller places close between lunch and dinner and don’t open till 5:00 p.m. or later for dinner. So first attempt was at Pastaria, but it was not open. Walked down E. Main Street a bit to see if anything else was open, but no luck.
So I went to Andale . Did not realize it until after but there are actually two within a block of each other. I went to the one at 21 Santa Cruz Ave which is the bigger of the two with the patio in the back. I ordered a fish taco and sat inside. At this point, I really just wanted something in my stomach. Taco was a good size, fresh tasting and all in all very good (course it could be that
I was also really hungry.) After the taco I walked down the street and found Fleur de Cocoa. Had to get at least a bit of chocolate so I bought some nougat and a couple small pieces of their handmade chocolate. Was in a much better mood.
I had seen that there was a yoga studio in downtown Los Gatos and took a drop in class that evening at 6:00 with Daniella. Excellent, excellent. I’d go on and on about yoga but the moderators would probably delete the post, so back to the food. Feeling extremely relaxed at this point I went back to the lodge to shower and change. (Not realizing at the time that I’d left
my wallet at the yoga studio, but I get ahead of myself.)
I decided I’d check out Restaurant James Randall. Small place with a nice patio on the street. When I went in, it wasn’t busy at all and I opted to sit out at a table on the sidewalk to watch the people go by (and watch the temperature drop on the thermometer across the street. For some reason, seeing the temperature go below 70 degrees makes me very happy.) Although my original intention was to simply get one or two small dishes I was talked into (and glad I was) getting the fixed price menu which included an appetizer, an entrée, and a desert. I also opted for the wine pairings. (Caveat: I am not sure if this is always offered or was special but I was treated to what was called an “over and under” selection of wines. So each course actually came with two very different wine selections.) The service was excellent. The appetizer was fresh figs with prosciutto served with radicchio and almonds. I love figs and really enjoyed this. It was paired with Proseca and a rose wine. My preference was for the Proseca. Entrée was duck breast with radicchio and blackberries. This was paired with a German pinot noir and a central California Shiraz. The Shiraz won out because I prefer the crispy duck skin (i.e. the duck cracklins’) and the Shiraz worked really well with that. If you prefer the actual duck meat itself, then I’d go with the pinot. Finally, desert was strawberry shortcake paired with an orange muscat (Quady) or Proseca with framboise (not sure I’ve got the name of the berry liqueur right on that one). I preferred the Proseca with the strawberries. All in all I was having a very enjoyable dinner, watching the people and the food.
When it came time to pay the bill, I went to get my wallet but could not find it. I checked the car but it wasn’t there either. I was extremely, extremely embarrassed. I called the lodge and asked them to check the room. No luck. Where the restaurant really exceeded my expectations was in how they handled the situation. They graciously allowed me to pay by check and were extremely professional and gracious the entire time.
The next morning, I went over to the yoga studio and found my wallet. Being very relieved, I stopped at Great Bear for coffee and then at Fleur de Cocoa. The almond croissants are absolutely amazing. Later that morning I stopped at the Purple Onion Café and had an egg sandwich on a croissant with some espresso. And after that it was time to head into San Jose and go to work. All in all, with the exception of the wallet incident, I had a very enjoyable time.