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Anti-Scenester w/in 10 mins of Santana Row?

Okay, maybe it's because I'm staying in the Santana Row area and am, for the short term, without a vehicle and so my choices for food have been limited. But is there such a thing as non-scenester places around here that don't charge an arm and a leg for subpar food and service?

My complaints aside, I would really really appreciate any help in finding places to eat within a 10-15 minute cab ride of Santana Row that won't trigger my gag reflex (due to price, food quality, snotty service, or any combination of these therein). So far I've tried:
- Falafel's Drive-Inn, which has great falafels but I really don't like the fillings and sauces they use in the sandwiches;
- Mizu Sushi, which has slick decor but rice in the sushi was not well-prepared and the fish itself wasn't as fresh as it could be, nor was the selection of fish available all that exciting;
- Siam Fine Thai Cuisine, which has become a bit of a go-to place for me since the food is okay and while service is a bit scattered, at least they are exceedingly polite about it.

On my list to try: Pizza Antica, Lien Pho, White Shallot, and Isabella's.

To be clear, I don't necessarily have a set budget nor do I have a problem with fancier places, but I just don't want to leave the restaurant feeling like I've been duped and/or gouged. I'm open to any and all types of food.

Thank you!

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Santana Row
355 Santana Row, San Jose, CA 95128

Siam Fine Thai Cuisine
2910 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128

White Shallot
3143 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose, CA 95117

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  1. I know exactly what you're talking about.

    1) falafel drive-inn has a korean place next door. Try it.

    2) Check if Murphey St Sunnyvale (right next to the train station) is within your radius. There's a number of decent eats there - I specifically recommend the indian place. DishDash is ok. A little pricey all around, but a step better than Santana Row.

    3) My favorite down-home Indian in mid-south-sunnyvale is Mayuri. You *really* won't feel like you're taken for a ride. It looks like a converted Dennys, priced like Denny's, and tastes like heaven. If you haven't had Chicken 65, this is a great place to try it. And the dosas, but watch out for the sambar / dipping sauce. That is *spicy*. I could eat there 4 nights a week and die happy.

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    Santana Row
    355 Santana Row, San Jose, CA 95128

    Mayuri
    2230 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95050

    1 Reply
    1. re: bbulkow

      Yes, I second the recommendation for Mayuri! The food there is well-spiced and really tasty. It's sort of a weird banquet-hall/restaurant combination and there are often large celebrations happening in the banquet area. Oh, and sometimes it's pretty empty on a weeknight, but it gets full for the buffet lunch on the weekends.

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      Mayuri
      2230 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95050

    2. I'd recommend Krung Thai if you like thai food. It's the best I've had and for a few thai native friends, it's the only place they'll eat. From SR, walked down Winchester away from the freeway. It'll be on your right a couple blocks down. Address is 580 North Winchester Boulevard, San Jose, CA‎

      Another place that would be a short cab ride (maybe 5 min) is Habana Cuba. Good prices and AMAZINGLY good cuban food! The lechon is out of this world. I've been going there over 15 years now.

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      Krung Thai Restaurant
      640 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128

      Habana Cuba
      238 Race Street, San Jose, CA 95126

      1. Thanks for the recommendations -- some very promising options here. I'll definitely check them out!

        1. Second Habana Cuba and Sunnyvale's Murphy St. block, an unpretentious and diverse little restaurant row. You're also not far from Willow Glen, a formerly separate small town absorbed some years ago, like several others, into San Jose (for analogous phenomena, see 1958 film _The Blob_). Willow Glen's main street (Lincoln Ave.) has long been another low-key diverse restaurant row, popular with locals.

          Habana Cuba is an example of the many unique independent ethnic restaurants with character, moderate prices, and local fans, which are the strength of South Bay restaurant dining. Unlike, say, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Persian, Afghan, various Chinese, Sushi, Ramen, or Dim-Sum houses, its particular cuisine has few competitors. (Haven't been there for a couple of years, which is too long.)

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          Habana Cuba
          238 Race Street, San Jose, CA 95126

          1. Isabella's and Krung Thai seem to me to be the obvious choices that are particularly close to Santana Row, but without the higher prices of places in Santana Row itself. There are two brances of Krung Thai nearby; I've only been to the S. Winchester one, but have heard good things about both.

            Michael

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            Krung Thai Restaurant
            640 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128

            Krung Thai Restaurant
            580 N Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128

            Isabella's Restaurant
            700 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128