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San Jose dinner recs - ideas?

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I am attending a conference for a day in next week in San Jose and am looking for a fun and delicious place for 2-3 of us to have dinner afterwards.

Looking for mid priced, delicious food. Could be any cuisine. Not looking for a hole in the wall but also not looking for a tasting menu. Preferably a restaurant with a hard liquor license. Needs to take credit cards.

If we were meeting up in SF I'd suggest Range or Beretta.

Amber India in Santana Row was recommended to me - is that a good choice? (I love Indian food and don't get it often enough, although it is plentiful here in SF.)

Thanks for your help!

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  1. Give Olio in Campbell a try. Or 71 St. Peter, or Seven

    1. Oi, I used to be a big proponent of 71 St. Peter and Seven but not anymore, food is not as good and service is sort of a let down. I've only been to Amber India in (original Mountain View branch) which is very good but I wouldn't say it's a happening place compared to the Santana Row branch. I've always had extremely bad service at places in Santana Row. Although if you value "fun" over deliciousness then Santana Row is the place for you.

      If you're willing to drive about 15-20 min. north, go to Xanh in downtown Mountain View for fusion Vietnamese or Cascal for tapas/Spanish food. Or go to Pampas in Palo Alto for a slightly pricey but great Brazilian steakhouse meat extravaganza.

      1. Yes, Amber India in Santana Row is a good choice for both fun and deliciousness. The one disadvantage for someone from SF is that you have an Amber up there now.

        For something different - more deliciousness, maybe a tad less fun - you could try Sakoon in downtown Mountain View. That may even be more convenient depending on where in San Jose you are. Olio's a fine place, but you have better places of that type in San Francisco. You don't have Indian places better than Sakoon. Nami Nami is another place in downtown Mountain View that is fun, delicious, and (as far as I know) not duplicated in SF for its Kappo Japanese cuisine. Sakoon does cocktails but I'm not sure about Nami Nami.

        Michael

        1. We'll be coming from the SJ Convention Center, which is near the junction of 280 and 87, south of the airport.

          What does Kappo cuisine mean?

          One of my colleagues is leaving, so we want to be able to toast them and celebrate - which is part of the desire for "fun." Not looking for a shit show though.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Senor Popusa

            I've been to Nami Nami several times and the food is great. But I would not consider it to be a "fun" happening place. It's very quiet and there won't be a lot of choices for alcoholic beverages. I think they only serve sake, beer and possibly a few choices of wine.

            You can take the light rail (right in front of the Convention Center) to go to downtown Mountain View. You are also minutes away from the Caltrain station so you can easily go to Palo Alto. Pampas is directly across from the Caltrain stop. There are 2 decent modern Indian restaurants in downtown Palo Alto: Junnoon and Mantra. They're both fun places to eat at too.

          2. So if you want a happening place, there are several options on Santana Row. Amber India is not bad, although the one in Mountain View is far superior for food. Other choices on Santana Row include Sino for Chinese or a branch of Straits. Other Santana Row options include Yankee Pier, The Village Bistro, or Left Bank, all just average for food. But it is a hip spot, and you can get Pinkberry afterward.

            Nami Nami in downtown Mountain View is tasty, but I would say it's not in the mid-range pricing, but is a little more expensive (although I guess this depends on whether you get the Wagyu beef). I have the respectfully disagree about other Mtn View selections, in that I find Cascal to be the worst tapas I've ever had and Xanh to be the worst Vietnamese food I've ever had.

            For something different in that general neighborhood, there's a great traditional yakitori place, Sumika, in downtown Los Altos as well as a good sushi place, Akane, there as well.

            Sticking to San Jose, I might suggest Krung Thai or New Krung Thai on Winchester. There's an E&O Trading Company in downtown San Jose. Arcadia in the downtown Marriott is a Michael Mina restaurant, although it's a little on the quiet side.