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Jun 24, 2012 10:13 PM

Latin American Cuisine (less standard) in San Jose?

I'm currently looking to try less standard Latin American cuisine, such as:


Does anyone know if there are any of these restaurants in the South Bay? I'm also open to other suggestions, except for the standard Mexican fare, or to a lesser degree Salvadorean or Peruvian because there are plenty of those restaurants here too.

So far, I know that we have Monte Alban and Mezcal for Oaxacan, Habana Cuba and Los Cubanos for Cuban.

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  1. Tu Mero Mole in San Jose and Sunnyvale

    The Mmoon for Argentine empanadas

    Mi Rancho in Sunnyvale (Venezuelan arepas and Colombian chorizo)

    La Esquina in Los Gatos (Bolivian salteñas and weekend specials)

    Maya's Cafe in San Jose (Honduran, according to y3lp) - Anyone tried this spot?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Thanks for the recommendations! Will def. look into them -- Mi Rancho looks pretty good.

      Joao's appears to be closed, sadly.

      1. re: Radical347

        Sorry to hear about Joao's.

        Big E Cafe appears to be a pan-Latin empanadas place.

        Please keep us updated as you check out these spots.

    2. Joao's Brazilian cafe on Washington St. in Santa Clara. Breakfast and lunch it's more American, dinner is Brazilian.

      1 Reply
      1. re: 512window

        Ah yes, found your old post recommending the feijoada, collard greens, fish, and guarana. Anything else to try?

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. Finally got around to Maya's Cafe twice in the past two weeks. It is advertised as "Mexican and Latin American cuisine" and there are big pictures of all of the Mexican dishes on the wall behind the counter; there is a small section of Honduran specialties that just have the names in Spanish, no pictures, but the employees were very helpful in explaining them.

          The first time I ordered Carne Molida con tajadas ($8.95), which can be described as "Honduran spaghetti." It was ground beef in a tomato sauce on a bed of fried tajadas--green bananas. (I think you can also get rice instead.) The sauce was very tasty and worked well against the starchy, slightly sweet, green bananas.

          The next time I got the Sopa de Mondongo (beef foot soup, also $8.95) and--WOW. They asked me if I wanted the regular Mexican version or their version (I assume Honduran) with coconut milk--I of course went for the latter. It came in a huge bowl with a two pieces of beef feet and a generous amount of tripe and green bananas, and some carrots and cabbage, and lime wedges on the side. The lime helped. The coconut and massive amount of green bananas made it creamy and slightly sweet, which I've never had as a base for tripe before. It also came with top-notch homemade tortillas (I'd love to get tacos on these things) and rice.

          They had a few other things on the menu that looked interesting, like Honduran seafood soup, fish soup, meatballs, & bacon wrapped shrimp. I haven't been able to find out too much on Honduran food so I'm not sure if some of them (especially the bacon wrapped shrimp) are necessarily Honduran dishes or just something they decided to make. Also, next time I might still be too tempted by the Mondongo to try something new.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Radical347

            Twice already, cool.

            Coconut milk and green bananas would be new to me too. For comparison, here's my post on the Salvadoran mondongo (aka caldo de pata).

            Maya Cafe
            2616 Union Avenue San Jose, CA 95124‎
            (408) 559-8700

          2. Just looked at the email today from La Esquina for this Saturday's specials posted on its website,

            and looking there, I noticed that it serves cuñapes.