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Mar 15, 2012 10:03 AM

South Bay - giantic to-do list in progress

Hi South Bay CHers!

I grew up in Los Altos/Mountain View/Sunnyvale (moved around so much I've lived in each city 2 or 3 times), but have lived in NYC for all of my adult life. I'm back in the South Bay on a freelance job and am putting together a google map of my favorite spots - plus places on my to-do list.

Just wanted to see if I'm missing anything...or if anything on the to-do isn't worth the effort. I often look to this board for guidance in my culinary explorations....when I'm not tagging along with my parents for great Vietnamese food :)

I'm also writing a post about the South Bay for a travel blog and wanted to link to this map - so any of your feedback would be appreciated!

Lastly, I just want to say again how blessed this area is with so much great food. I've seen gripes on this board about how it might be lacking in European-influenced food, or brunch etc...but considering that's the standard of so many other places I've been - it's so unique to have such a selection and quality of ethnic restaurants, grocery stores and bakeries. Since I arrived here in January, I've only repeated dinner at the same restaurant twice - and that's because it's just down the street from where I'm staying.

Thanks, guys!

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  1. I liked looking through your list and map -- you are off to a great start and I will benefit from your loving effort. So, I want to give a suggestion for a Mexican restaurant in San Jose. This is a small spot offering delicious food. From comments you've made on your map, I think you will like it. Thanks again ~

    La Peñita
    601 S 1st St
    San Jose, CA 95113

    1. Out of date but might give you some ideas:

      I guess Martins West is off your map but it's worth the detour.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        thanks, robert! i think i've been to some of those indian joints (some i loved, some i wasn't in love with) - but not yet all of them. i'll have to add the ones i've yet to try on the list.

        and there are definitely other places that weren't on my radar!

        @anyhow - glad you like the map :)

      2. I'm in San Jose so mostly know restaurants a bit further south, but you've hit most of our favorite places. Including the new location for Yeganah for fresh sangak made daily (and they serve Verve coffee).

        You've got a number of Ramen shops, and I don't know if you liked Misoya in NYC, but there is one in Cupertino, in the plaza across from Orenchi. (Cupertino and NYC are their only US locations).

        A less common (locally) Indian cuisine: Chettinad. I think we are up to 3 Chettinad restaurants in the area now; I like Muniyandi Vilas on El Camino in Santa Clara best. Some of their Desi Chinese dishes are quite good as well.

        Some Mexican recommendations (beyond tacos and burritos):

        Mendoza Taqueria on Story in SJ -- wide, traditional michoacan menu
        Restaurant Monte Alban on 1st in SJ -- oaxacan and salvadoran menu

        4 Replies
          1. re: zartemis

            ps - I'm excited to try the Chettinad joint. Do they serve on banana leaves?

            1. re: waxyjax

              No, I don't think any of the local Chettinad ones do. Muniyandi is more homestyle, a bit of a dive. Anjappar in Milpitas is bigger, a bit flashier. The third one, Aachi Aappakadai (near Muniyandi) is best for aapam.

              1. re: zartemis

                Occasionally Anjappar serves their set meal on a Banana leaf lined tray, but not consistently.

          2. Also, another good spot is Kabab and Curry (Isabella st, santa clara) for Pakistani. I prefer to go to Fremont for Pakistani food, but Kabab and Curry would be my favorite South Bay Pakastani restaurant. Shan can also be good but I find it extremely variable and not usually worth the risk. One day their lambchops can be moist, tender, and spiced just right, and the next day dry and tough.

            Oh, and if you want to get your spice on locally, I like Wu Ji Mala's Taiwanese hotpot.

            1 Reply
            1. re: zartemis

              man! haven't had a chance to thank's the post i wrote up for this travel blog. slowly but surely working on my south bay to-do list!


            2. Thank you SO MUCH for this. I recently moved to Sunnyvale (born and raised in NYC) and was in desperate need of a local's view of where to eat and this is a great all-inclusive list.

              2 Replies
              1. re: jennbee

                It's a fine list indeed, but far from complete. There are years and years' worth of local postings on Sunnyvale accessible via the search feature in the upper right hand corner...


                1. re: mdg

                  my pleasure @jennbee!

                  @mdg - totally aware i'm just scratching the, there are so many places that have opened since i'd moved from the bay 14 years ago :P