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Good food near the San Jose Fairmont hotel?

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An out of town visitor will be staying in the San Jose Fairmont hotel. Can any fellow hounds recommend any very good food ($, $$ or even $$$, but not $$$$; any type of food/cuisine is fine) in the area? Say, within a 5-10 min drive?

Out of town visitor comes from Chicago. We live in the East Bay (so not familiar with San Jose).

Thanks a bunch.

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  1. I don't know San Jose but here are a few nearby suggestions.

    Los Gatos (10-15 minute drive)
    - Nick's on Main ($$$)
    Mountain View (15 minute drive):
    - Xanh - vietnamese fusion with cool ambiance and good food
    - Sakoon - great new indian place with nice decor and interesting dishes
    Sunnyvale (15 minute drive)
    - DishDash - great middle eastern food

    Great choices also in Palo Alto but that's outside of your 5-10 minute drive criteria...

    1. Original Joe's is great, right down the block. The food is Italian-American. Entrees are probably $20-$35, portions are big (1 entree can fee 2 people very easily). My favorites are the meat ravioli with meatballs (or half ravioli half spaghetti), the Cheeseburger sandwich, and the fettucine with smoked ham and peas. Get there early, because at the height of dinner time, it can be 1hr+ wait and they don't take reservations or do take-out.

      Right in the same plaza as the Fairmont, there's Grill on the Alley. It's quieter than Joe's, but probably about $10 higher for entrees. It's basically a steak and seafood place with a great martini bar. I usually order the gravlax and the steak tartare as my meal since the portions are smaller (they're listed as appetizers). My husband usually gets their steak which is really good, last time there they had wet aged beef that was phenomenol. I'm not sure if this is seasonal, get their cold seafood platter (oysters on the half shell, cooked fresh dungeness crab, jumbo prawns, mussels). It's huge appetizer that is supposed to feed 4-6 people (as an app). Of course I ordered the half portion as my meal and it was still huge. The bar makes a mean pomegranate (sp?) martini that is smooth as silk. They do take reservations, though I've never had to wait more than 15 minutes for a table.

      1. I agree with most of vis's recommendations - especially Sakoon, an amazing destination-worthy Indian restaurant that is moderately priced.

        Closer to the hotel, there's Mezcal for Oaxacan food and many Vietnamese choices; Vung Tau is one of the classics for that cuisine. If your visits are from Chicago, the Indian and Vietnamese choices will probably be more special to them than the Mexican.

        The Fairmont is right downtown, so searches for downtown San Jose should help.

        -----
        Vung Tau Restaurant
        535 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95112

        Mezcal Restaurant
        25 W San Fernando, San Jose, CA 95113

        Sakoon
        357 Castro Street, Mountain View, CA 94041

        1 Reply
        1. re: mdg

          We had an enjoyable dinner at Vung Tau. Some dishes were better than others. Nothing memorable, but not bad either. Appetizers were surprisingly weak (we had the crisp rice flour cupcakes with shrimp, and the roasted quail). Mains were overall OK (grilled sliced pork; sea bass with garlic, fish sauce and chili; and a mild yellow curry).