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Apr 17, 2011 11:22 AM

One night in San Jose

We have one night in San Jose on our way north on July 4th, 2011. Interesting, bordering on quirky dining would be our choice. Any thoughts?


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  1. Where are you coming from? What do you like? You seem to have been to the Bay Area before - what have you liked and disliked on previous visits?


    1. What's your budget and do you have wheels?

      5 Replies
      1. re: scarmoza

        Budget is not particularly an issue; and we do have a car.

        1. re: Bill Greenberg

          There is very little dining in San Jose proper. Your best bets are vietnamese for actual downtown. There has been a solid report from "Single Barrel", a bar. If you go outward - the korean and south indian places, most of which are not in San Jose proper but are either a bit north or west; Los Gatos for two excellent fine dining restaurants; or a couple of very well reviewed chinese places, also about 20 minutes to the west. You can also come up to Mountain View, where there's a great little downtown and a number of fun choices and one fine dining destination.

          If any of that sounds reasonable, inquire about them specifically - if you want to stay in downtown SJ, say that. You might get sent to Original Joe's if you want something amusing in downtown. Vung Tau is a consistently well recommended place downtown.

          It's been "chowdown-ed":

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

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

          1. re: bbulkow

            What is the likelyhood of any of that being open on July 4th?

            1. re: wally

              Most places will be open for the 4th unless its a Monday. The usual Monday closing will be in effect I suppose. It is on a Monday, so that means less options.

          2. re: Bill Greenberg

            Bun Bo Hue An Nam - go there for the two main offerings: Vietnamese noodle soup with ox penis or Vietnamese noodle soup without ox penis. I recommend the ox penis.

            Falafel Drive-In: A drive-through with Mediterranean offerings

            I second Alexander's Steak House, if they're open. Lunch is especially quirky and interesting in that they offer three different kinds of Ramen. Also, house cured pastrami sandwiches and more.

            Falafel Drive-in
            2301 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128

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

            Bun Bo Hue An Nam
            740 Story Rd, San Jose, CA 95122

        2. The all-Vietnamese food court at the Grand Century shopping mall is the most interesting place I've been to in San Jose.

          Grand Century Shopping Mall
          1001 Story Rd, San Jose, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Ouch! That stings, even if it is true. LOL

          2. Check out the older threads and you'll see that San Jose dining is not all that interesting. If you choose Manresa, be sure to make reservations early. Aqui and Red Crane are not fine dining, but the food is delicious, interesting, and slightly quirky - check out their menus on their websites.

            Manresa Restaurant
            320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

            The Red Crane
            7335 Bollinger Rd, Cupertino, CA

            Aqui Cal-Mex Grill
            1145 Lincoln Ave, San Jose, CA 95125

            Aqui Cal-Mex Grill
            5679 Snell Ave, San Jose, CA 95123

            1 Reply
            1. re: Claudette

              Manresa's great, but not open on Mondays, and not in San Jose.

              Manresa Restaurant
              320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

            2. Mezcal, on San Fernando in downtown San Jose, is a good Oaxacan Mexican restaurant. Not your usual taco/burrito place. They have fabulous moles, and even a fried grasshopper appetizer (how's that for quirky?). The Mynt, in west San Jose/Campbell area, is my new favorite Indian place, with a contemporary twist to their menu and decor. And I'll second the recommendation for Vung Tau - their garlic crab is fabulous.

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

              The Mynt
              5210 Prospect Road, San Jose, CA

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