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Mar 24, 2013 05:22 PM

Some new things in downtown San Jose

Not actually that new new anymore, but has anyone been to K zzang yet? I finally stopped to look at the pictures in the window last night. They have the usual Korean staples, but nicely presented.

There's now a cupcake cart on W Santa Clara St. When did that happen? It said "The Forge Cupcake Bar" on the side, which apparently is a custom cupcake company. Cart was outside LG Brewing Co. serving the folks on their way to the Pavilion.

I skipped in favor of my usual Eastside Horchata at Treatbot, which took me past the recently opened Chocatoo. Looks like the usual assortment of mousse cakes, not all that different from what you can get in Bijan or Cocola. Not really all that exciting (yet), but it's nice that San Pedro is filling up.

Bonus plug for B2's new location. I love that they're open nice and early on a Saturday morning (7:30am), and their mocha is still better than the one at Verve on 41st, even though they're pulling the same shot. They tell me it's the chocolate. Also, the recent barista throwdown was a lot of fun.


K zzang, 78 S 1st St San Jose, CA 95113
Treatbot the Karaoke Ice Cream Truck, 100 N Almaden Ave, San Jose, CA 95110
Chocatoo, 100 N Almaden Ave, Ste 166, San Jose, CA 95110
B2 Coffee, 87 N San Pedro St, San Jose, CA 95110

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    1. They're opening a MUJI in DTSJ this coming Tuesday:

      It's on Paseo de San Antonio, but I can't remember if it's across from the Fairmont or Bally Total Fitness.

      Let's hope they have a cafe in the basement.

      4 Replies
      1. re: stravaigint

        I stopped by Muji last night. It's just past Bijan.

        Sadly no cafe :( I guess I can keep dreaming that one day they'll open one of these here:

        On the plus side, it's a nice store (bigger than I expected), and the lady at the counter said they had a reasonable crowd at opening and it was busy all day. Hope they do well; the area down by Philz is booming lately, and it'll be great if that continues all the way up the alley.

        1. re: stravaigint

          Does it have packaged food items for sale? I've not been to the new one in San Francisco yet, but heard there's no food at all though one can buy kitchenware.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Oops, should have mentioned that too: no packaged food, unfortunately. But yes, they do have kitchenware, so at least it's not completely OT...

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              I went back into the SJ store a couple of weeks ago, saw a sign for snacks, thought Hey, I'll report this! and then realized that SF Weekly had already mentioned it =.=


              But here's a pic anyway. Have yet to try them.

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. There's something called "Farmers Republic" opening on the corner of W Santa Clara and San Pedro. That space has been vacant for a while, except for the occasional indoor market. They had a soft opening on Sunday, but all I could see was a bar along the back wall. I guess they'll fit right in with the Britannia Arms/Los Gatos Brewing. They open tomorrow.

            6 Replies
            1. re: stravaigint

              It's actually called "The Farmer's Union", here's their menu:



              Another place that should be opening within the next week or two is "SP2" (72 N. Almaden Ave), it's located right next to the San Pedro Square Market. They are having their soft opening tonight.


              A few recent openings:

              -Konjoe Burger Bar opened at the Market last week:


              -Orchestria Palm Court opened in SoFA (27 E William St



              -The Blackbird Tavern opened on the Paseo de San Antonio (across from Muji



              -Nemea Greek Taverna (96 South First Street



              1. re: robertee

                Thanks for the correction and the great info!

                Y*lp reviews for Blackbird Tavern aren't promising, but I can't pass up a pork cutlet. I just made a reservation for Saturday and will report back.

                1. re: robertee

                  I'd love to see a report on Nemea. The chef was sous at Vinga (a short-lived Catalan place that I loved) and chef de cuisine at Kokkari.


                  1. re: robertee

                    Tried Blackbird.

                    1) Super friendly, not crowded on a saturday, no reservation kind of place.

                    2) Near psycho doughnuts!

                    3) Live music. Heard a nice young funk band while eating at the bar. Not too loud. Small space (narrow).

                    4) Very solid inventive cocktails. One had scotch and some kind of chutney-like jam, another had bourbon and merlot. I mean, I've had better, but one admires the spirit of the thing. Wines on tap, but the one we ordered was slightly tasteless (overchilled? or just not very good?)

                    5) Very farm to table, and decent food. We had an interesting "masala fries with short rib", good for a cooler evening, a big plate of cajun potstickers, another big plate of roasted padrones / shisitos. Menu was well put together, but they're not working at the first rank.

                    I like Cafe Stritch better still, for san jose music/food combo, because the music's very good and the few eats they have are better, but this place will remain on our list for a while. Worth checking out.

                    1. re: bbulkow

                      No music, but since you like cocktails you should check out Paper Plane on First St.

                      1. re: robertee

                        Finally did.

                        The cocktails are quite good. There's a fairly large selection of barrel aged stuff. I wouldn't put PP in the same range as the best of SF or the East Bay, but it's close, and very good. For some reason they like mixing with Tequila a lot.

                        The food is also quite nice. I was taken by the "fried chicken and waffles sliders" , which was actually a large plate. The rest of the food was good.

                        However, the atmosphere there is peculiar. There's a large empty space in the middle, and drinks and food service only at the bar.

                        Compared to Stritch and Blackbird, Blackbird's a great middle-road. The cocktails (and food) are better at PP, but the atmosphere's better at Blackbird. Stritch has music and cheaper cocktails, and the food is less evolved (burgers), but quite good as well.

                        3 decent choices.

                        PP is right near Original Gravity and Nemea, both of which look quite good too. Guess I have to get me to San Jose more.

                        [ GF likes Psycho Doughnuts, so we saw a movie at the Camera 3. On the way out they had only a few doughnuts. Thus, just because they close at midnight doesn't mean they have any doughtnuts at midnight. ]

                2. robertee, any idea when Arepa Swing will open? Sign just says 2014. It's at the back of the second building, next to Treatbot.

                  Ugh, the pic I posted is too small. Here's a sample of their arepas:

                  Chicken-avocado salad, slow roasted pork leg, white fresh cheese, shredded beef, chicken stew, ricotta-style cheese, tuna salad, twice grilled.

                  They'll also have soups, corn cake and juices.


                  5 Replies
                  1. re: stravaigint

                    Nope, don't know when they'll be opening....but I'm looking forward to trying it.

                    Some other things that'll be opening soon:

                    Nick The Greek:

                    First to Market:

                    Falafel Bar (at the new SoFA market):

                    1. re: robertee

                      SoFA?!? I already got those at home! ;-)

                      1. re: robertee

                        They've taken down the Arepa Swing sign. Hrm.

                        I finally tried Loteria Taco Bar - so disappointing. Will stick to the breaded halibut at Dia De Pesca

                        1. re: stravaigint

                          It will open in mid May. It's in construction. That's why the signs were taken down. :-)

                      2. re: stravaigint

                        I stopped by Arepa Swing today. They are located in the San Pedro Square Market, in the second building next to TreatBot. They had their grand opening last week. Sadly, I don't recommend the arepas.

                        I got an Arepa with Cuajada cheese. $5:
                        The cheese is very good: like ricotta cheese, but way better. However, the arepa itself was meh. It's similar in style to the arepas served at Coupa Cafe in Palo alto, but not half as good. The edges of the arepa were nicely crispy, but the rest of the arepa was dense and almost under-cooked.

                        Unlike Coupa Cafe, where you wait 15 minutes for them to make an arepa to order, Arepa swing serves up an order in about 1 minute, because the arepas are cooked beforehand and stored under a heat lamp: