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Nov 28, 2011 03:34 PM

Something like E&O in South Bay?

Hi everyone! My sister-in-law's birthday celebration is coming up and she used to love E&O in downtown San Jose. Now that's closed and we're having a hard time figuring out where to take her. Any suggestions? Thanks for any tips or ideas!

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  1. Hmmm, looks like a no on E&O... What about any kind of asian-ish fusion-y (nice but not outrageous) place? Ideally somewhere between Palo Alto and South San Jose. Thanks in advance!!!

    2 Replies
    1. re: miss louella

      Tamarine in Palo Alto? It's "modern Vietnamese." I've never been, though, and one report says it's resting on its laurels.

      Hopefully someone who knows the area better than I do will reply.

      1. re: Glencora

        Thanks! I was thinking maybe Tamarine, we'll see where we land and I will definitely report back.

    2. I used to enjoy Three Seasons in Palo Alto until about a year or so ago when I found dishes to be greasy & prepared without much care.

      There's also Straits Cafe & Sino, both at Santana Row. It's been a while but used to enjoy roti, chicken satay, banana leaf salmon, and people watching at Straits. Haven't been to Sino since it opened at which time I thought of it as an expensive PF Chang's.

      Tamarine is probably your best bet but may also be the most expensive (Straits gives more food for the money I think).

      4 Replies
      1. re: ceekskat

        Interesting and very helpful! I'll check into Straits... not sure exactly what she liked about E&O so that definitely complicates things. Thank you very much for these ideas! (And for the all-important "steer away" info.)

        1. re: miss louella

          [Caveat: I never went to E&O so I don't know how close these are]
          Xahn in MV. Closer to home, good food, more SE asian disco. I really like Xahn, less 'tude more food
          Straits in PA. At least it's not at Santana Row. I used to be a fan of Straits SF, ate once at PA and said never again, thus on my STAY AWAY list. May fit the bill for you.
          Mantra in PA. very good mixed drinks (best of the lot), they took off my favorite dishes, but a solid atmosphere. Indian fusion instead of "asian" fusion, but still.
          Three seasons - I used to love it too, it's firmly on my avoid list.

          1. re: bbulkow

            Don't go to Xahn on a weekend for dinner. It's been taken over by hordes of 20 something asian kids celebrating birthdays. You know, tables of 20, semi-drunk people with lots of cameras.

            1. re: bbulkow

              I quite like Xanh as well, although we often go early-ish to have less of the SE Asian disco feel. It is also a favorite of 2 other couples I know, also in their 40s. It's on Castro in MV, near the train station end of the street.

        2. We used to be BIG fans of Chris Yeo & the original Straits in SF; disappointed with the newer, sexier incarnations. That said, we enjoyed the food at Santana Row more than the Palo Alto location (only liked the latter in the first year it opened). It may be SR but it is a birthday celebration, so a fun, festive place may be called for.

          Good call on Mantra, this would be my choice too...been meaning to book on Opentable for their 30% off dinners/reservations.

          meant to reply to bbulkow...CH is doing funky things last couple of days.

          1. Reporting back... First of all, thank you all so much for your suggestions and help!! In the end, it turned out the birthday girl wanted to go to one of my favorite Thai places--the Krung Thai on Winchester and Moorpark. We were ravenous when we arrived and over-orded and under-diversified apps. We had:

            -Deep fried fish cakes (tod mun) from mixture of fresh fish paste, chili paste, chopped green beans, fine kaffir lime leaves. Served with Thai cucumber sauce topped with ground peanuts. --did not discern the green beans and the spongy texture was definitely enlivened by the cuke crunch. Enjoyed but probably would not order again.

            --angel wings--also deep fried and I found them dry dry dry. Would not order.

            --breaded fried shrimp. Yes, three out of three of our apps were fried. On these I found the breading too thick/hard and the shrimp kind of disappeared as anything other than a texture.

            Next time I'll try to make sure we get there before we're ravenous because the rest of the meal was marvelous.

            Jun pad poo--crab and rice noodles. Two orders, one hot and one medium. Every scrap eaten and enjoyed. Such a nice mix of textures and flavors. Makes me happy every time. (Make sure you ask for some green chiles on the side if you get this to go--spicing levels vary and for me it's no good with out some kick.)

            Pad thai for the niece. She enjoyed it. Looked like the regular pad thai to me. (not a fav)

            cashew prawns--a red chile sauce and sweet/crisp cashews bathe the prawns and turn green onions into a vegetable instead of a spice. highly recommended.

            PAD PRIK KHING--green beans in a red chile sauce with lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Juicy and just right. (We had ours meatless.)

            Anyway, thanks again for your help! Even though we ended up at an old fav, it was great to have some choices to offer. And the birthday girl was very happy.