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South Bay Help for this weekend

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The Mrs. and I are coming up for a couple nights from LA - the primary reason being Manresa and the Tomato menu. That being said, what other suggestions would you give? I have us booked at Baume, but am re-thinking it, though I'm not sure why. Maybe too precious?

For reference, when we were last up here (couple years ago), we were blown away by Commis, loved Frances, really dug Aziza, and could not have been more underwhelmed by Coi. Also swung by Bi-Rite/HS, Tartine, Ferry Building, and a slew of others I'm sure I'm forgetting, and at various times have experienced much of the Napa/Yountville/St. Helena offerings.

Would prefer recs more focused on what's great here, and not easily attained in the LA area, and we will have a car. Wish I had more energy to try and get into the city for Benu.

Love sweets and bakeries (I'm a secret pastry chef at heart), and am totally down for just good grub.

Thanks!

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  1. Cancel Baume. Trust me. You would enjoy Cho's, the unique grungy dumpling place next door with the strange odor, more. Baume has no soul.

    Give Chez TJ a shot - the guys who kicked Baume out - ok, maybe it was "mutual". Whatever.

    The others on the michelin 1 star list - Madera - is very la. Skip it. Village Pub is worth a visit if you haven't been there - I wrote a little paragraph on it the other day - although LA must have some real rich people's enclaves. Station One has had excellent reviews, although I'm not sure how unique.

    Of the remaining charms of san jose - how is LA fixed for Indian these days? Cuban? Oaxacan? BBQ? We won't talk about tacos, sushi, japanese of other sorts, vietnamese, ramen, korean. I am sure you eat better in all those categories if you want.

    You know you can engage a town car for the evening, take you to SOMA. It'll probably cost you $300 or so with the miles. Less than you'd pay at Benu for the wine.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bbulkow

      I second Village Pub for more of a comforting old school white table cloth place that has kept the food up to date and modern. It's location, through an obscure back door and down the stairs, is also appealing. I had a very enjoyable laid back experience here - the food was what I needed but wouldn't be worth a dramatic detour.

      Station 1 has unique decor out in the hills as well. The food would be somewhat a dime a dozen in SF (very much in the same style as Frances - but not as good as Frances) but is a rare jewel of a dining experience in this area.

      Another restaurant along the same lines as Station 1 is Flea Street Cafe.

      1. re: goldangl95

        Flea Street is a little more of a "california original", but I assume you can find that kind of food in Silverlake - given the OP's prefs, I would put Chez TJ ahead of Flea Street.

    2. Los Gatos has lots to recommend it: Fleur de Cocoa is not far from Manresa, and has true French pastries. Dio Deka has wonderful upscale Greek food/atmosphere, and Aqui is a fun, delicious, casual Southwestern venue.

      1. Thanks for the responses; we've ended up changing the Manresa reservation to Saturday evening. Given that, and that some places are closed on Sunday (e.g. Chez TJ), how would you guide us?

        As I said, we will have a car, and I am only interested in dinner ... and at this point, I'd imagine after Manresa the night before we would be looking for something more rustic/casual (i.e. no tasting menus).

        It's too bad Station 1 is closed on Sundays, as it seems right up our alley. Anything else along these lines? I've currently got a Flea St res.

        1 Reply
        1. re: a213b

          I sure wouldn't go to a place like Flea St (or Village Pub, or Station 1, both of which I infinitely prefer to Flea St.) after Manresa. It seems a sure setup for a letdown. I'd go for something entirely different like one of our great Indian places. Amber India in Mountain View is a great choice for something higher end, Taste Buds in Sunnyvale for a simple storefront, Madura in Sunnyvale for a vegetarian specialist, Arka in Sunnyvale or Amber at Santana Row for a trendier experience, etc.

          Michael