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Jul 14, 2010 08:59 PM

Birthday Dinner in San Jose

Howdy SF Chowhounds!

Just moved to the Bay Area (San Jose) this week. Been lurking on your board for a while, and I'm finally here and so excited to explore the food wonderland that is the Bay Area. It's nice to "meet" you all!

Been poking around for a restaurant in San Jose (or the southern peninsula) to try this weekend to celebrate my husband's birthday. Would ideally like to find something relatively unique (i.e. that type of restaurant probably didn't exist in the small town we moved from). There will be a small group of us (5 or 6) and I'm thinking $20-25 per person. No dietary restrictions, just looking for delicious, authentic food.

I'm eager to hear any recommendations, and looking forward to becoming part of your community! Many thanks in advance!

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  1. AYCE Korean BBQ Palace in Sunnyvale might be fun for you.

    1. Welcome to Silicon Valley. San Jose has a great location, 45 minutes South to Santa Cruz and 1 hour North to the city of San Francisco. I say go to Original Joe's on First Street for old school San Jose with a downtown atmosphere. Another classic place is Henry's Hi-Life near the HP Pavilion. Kubota in Japantown might me a more subdued experience. Not sure if there is a Bucca di Beppo in your town but the one in Campbell is always fun. Maggianos Little Italy in Santana Row in San Jose would be special.

      Santana Row
      355 Santana Row, San Jose, CA 95128

      593 N 5th St, San Jose, CA

      Original Joe's Restaurant
      301 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113

      Henry's Hi-Life
      301 W Saint John St, San Jose, CA 95110

      1 Reply
      1. re: mlutsky

        A few others to consider. Olio in Campbell for Mediteranian. 71 St. Peter in downtown San Jose for a bit of formal French. and Quattro in Palo Alto has a $25 Sunday dinner that has choice and variety, and its in an elegant space.

      2. The price you mention is really low. To get out the door for $20 means a fairly basic experience.

        original joe's requires careful ordering to stay below $20. Very careful. The style of food there might well be available in a small town. Bucca di beppo will fit your budget but I wouldn't consider it unusual.

        You're better off going Asian. The BBQ Palace rec is solid. Consider Hot Pot City in Milpitas (read up first). One Indian place that'll fit your budget is Mayuri in Sunnyvale, but go on a non-Wednesday when you can order off the menu. The atmosphere is basic but the food is good. I can't give you a specific Vietnamese rec.

        But likely the time is past --- where did you end up?

        Hot Pot City
        500 Barber Ln, Milpitas, CA 95035

        2230 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95050

        1. Many thanks, all! We wound up having an enjoyable meal at Zibbibo in Palo Alto; were meeting friends coming down from SF at the last minute so picked somewhere centrally located. It was a bit spendier than we had originally imagined, but worth it in my book. These are all fantastic jumping-off points for exploring the restaurant scene in San Jose, and will definitely be exploring your suggestions in the next few weeks.

          Thanks again!