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Apr 1, 2011 03:10 PM

Looking for "local," "slow food," in Santa Clara for epicurian employer

Hello fellow eaters! I am sending my boss to Santa Clara for an event and he is staying at the Hilton on Great America Pkwy, so keeping close to the hotel is ideal. Also, he would be staying in town for three nights, I doubt he wants to eat at the hotel all day and night. I am looking to reccommend some eateries that focus on local food and seasonal menu's. Being from Redwood City myself I am unfamiliar with the selections south of Palo Alto. Let's not worry about price, let's focus on the goods. Are there any exceptional options out there? Please help!!

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  1. Manresa in Los Gatos is about 10 miles away. Not sure if it's "slow food" but they have their own garden and 2 Michelin stars. I don't think he'll be disappointed.

    Manresa Restaurant
    320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

    1 Reply
    1. re: ML8000

      Closer to 20 but with 2 stars "worth a detour."

    2. Parcel 104 (at the Santa Clara Marriott) was the first one that popped into mind, as it features local and seasonal California fare. Calafia in Palo Alto is also "slow" and local cuisine (although they also have a fairly fixed menu as well).

      The south bay is home to a few Michelin starred restaurants: Chez TJ in Mountain View, Manresa in Los Gatos, Alexander's Steakhouse in Cupertino, and Baume in Palo Alto. All of them are very seasonal and have menus that reflect the variety of local ingredients.

      Santa Clara is also home to various ethnic restaurants as well -- Korean, Japanese and Indian eateries line El Camino Real, but their menus don't tend to rotate too much.

      Manresa Restaurant
      320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

      Parcel 104
      2700 Mission College Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95054

      Chez TJ
      938 Villa Street, Mountain View, CA 94041

      Alexander's Steakhouse
      10330 N. Wolfe Road, Cupertino, CA 95014

      855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA

      1. Oh thank you! I should have mentioned it earlier, foreign food is excellent as well. I've been doing some research and found different Korean, Vietnamese, and Middle Eastern places, I just have no idea which to pick. And I'm really into food trucks right now; Kogi (Korean BBQ food truck), down here in Orange County, is all my boyfriend will eat right now. It's so good! I will definitely check out these recommendations. If you can point out some more worldly cuisine it would be much appreciated. Thank you so much!

        4 Replies
          1. re: DirtyD11

            That's good, because the Santa Clara area is much stronger on ethnic restaurants than fancier places. Indian food is excellent here and a nice place close by is Madhuban. Athena Grill is a great choice for Greek in Santa Clara. Nearby in downtown Sunnyvale is Dishdash, an excellent Middle Eastern place - the mansaf (lamb with aged yogurt sauce) is the star attraction there. Santa Clara is also home to plenty of Korean restaurants, but I don't have a lot of experience with those places. Enjoy!


            Dishdash Restaurant
            190 S Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

            Athena Grill
            1505 Space Park Dr, Santa Clara, CA 95054

            544 Lawrence Expy, Sunnyvale, CA 94085

            1. re: DirtyD11

              We have our own version of Korean BBQ food truck: the one in the Mountain View / Sunnyvale/ SanJose area is BBQKalbi, which can be found pretty regularly at Dana and Hope in MV on Thursday and Friday evenings.

              Eat on Monday's at Cafe Yulong which has a menu that changes every month; March's lunch items were Chinese-style steamed buns (with pork, beef, duck). They do lunch at Cafe Yulong in MV on Mondays (and sometimes dinner too, I think), but they've also got a food truck that makes the rounds in Silicon valley.

              The Korean BBQ everyone talks about is Palace BBQ on El Camino, mainly because it's all-you-can-eat, but I've found better quality Korean BBQ in the same area. Jang Su Jang (just down the street in the Galleria Market) is better, as is Secret Garden and Han Sung Charcoal BBQ.

              Also nearby in the Lawrence Plaza/Galleria Market is a dolsot place (they do the rice bowls in a claypot) called Cheon Joo Young-Yang Dolsot.

              Across the street from Lawrence Plaza/Galleria Market is SGD Tofu (Santa Clara), which does wonderful spicy soft Tofu soups, and Choi's Kitchen for Lettuce Wraps.

              In the same plaza as SGD Tofu is En, a Japanese Izakaya. En does what I would call Japanese Fusion Tapas; they have the Japanese take on Chinese and Korean dishes, but they also have a grill to do yakitori and other grilled items.

              Korean style fried chicken can be found at Bon Chon Chicken (a local chain) and 99 Chicken. Bon Chon feels much more like a modern sports bar, while 99 is your local hole-in the wall. In the same shopping plaza as Bon Chon Chicken is Saizo, a small Japanese izakaya, whose main focus is fried and grilled items.

              Two other Izakayas of note are in Cupertino: Gochi (whose hallmark dish in my opinion are their fusion pizzas) which also on occasion will carry fresh oysters (kumamoto and miyagi, typically) as well as toro, chu toro and oo-toro (served sashimi or carpaccio style). Gokaku is the newest izakaya to open up in that neighborhood, and the chef holds regular theme nights and kaiseki.

              These places aren't fancy, but they do have great food, and a healthy dose of atmosphere to them.

              592 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

              Cafe Yulong
              743 W Dana St, Mountain View, CA 94041

              99 Chicken
              2781 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051

              3530 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051

              Izakaya Restaurant
              1335 N 1st St, San Jose, CA 95112

              Jang Su Jang
              3561 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051

              Bon Chon
              572 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

              10789 S Blaney Ave, Cupertino, CA 95014

              1. re: mhuang

                Great food is really the most important. Thank you so much for your help! You all have really helped. This is awesome!

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