January 30, 2009 7:44 PM   Subscribe

Restaurants in the South Bay?

My car's in the shop this weekend, the weather is awesome, the BBQ FPP has got my taste buds flowing, can somebody point me to an awesome restaurant serving tasty casual food in the South Bay (M.V. to Santa Clara) that I can bike to this weekend?

Difficulty: I've lived here 8 years so know about Marie Elenas, Su's, Clarke's (meh); My go-to place is probably going to be the Kabob and Curry's buffet -- can you beat that?
posted by troy to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The Poor house. It's excellent Cajun food. Good local music, and poorboy sandwiches to die for. Downtown San Jose.
posted by JimmyJames at 7:56 PM on January 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

La Fiesta! Not as good as someplace in the mission for sure, but not bad by any means. Glad the weather is so nice (currently 9ยบ); wish I was there.
posted by zachlipton at 8:32 PM on January 30, 2009

99 Chicken?
posted by doctor_negative at 8:39 PM on January 30, 2009

Jing Jing in Palo Alto is supposed to be good Chinese, not sure it's "casual" though.
posted by salvia at 10:09 PM on January 30, 2009

DishDash is SO good.
posted by Edubya at 10:33 PM on January 30, 2009

Disclaimer: I used to work in Mountain View nearly 10 years ago, so maybe these places are gone or went downhill.

If you want a burrito, try burrito corner:

Los Altos Taqueria was my favorite for a while:

As was Taqueria La Bamba:

Many are firm believers in La Castena:

For sit down Mexican food, Fiesta Del Mar was always a favorite, especially Camerones Mojo de Ajo:

There are probably still a ton of Chinese places on Castro in Mountain View. My favorite was Chef Wang's (hand pulled noodles!) but, sadly, they are long gone.

For Indian, Amber was not bad:

Further south, I ate at Athena Grill recently and it was pretty good Greek food:

If Cupertino isn't too far afield, Dynasty has good dim sum during the day and great dinners at night:

If barbeque is your thing, there's Andy's in Campbell:

And for Szechuan, I'm pretty sure this is the place I'm thinking of (across the parking lot from Draeger's in San Mateo). Order a whole fish done Szechuan style. Yum:

I could go on and on...
posted by DrumsIntheDeep at 10:36 PM on January 30, 2009

My current favs in MV: Shiva, Los Charros (two locations). Xahn is also worth a look. My personal favorite though is Garden Fresh, the all-vegan Chinese place at Shorline and El Camino. Everyone I've taken there has been amazed.
posted by chairface at 11:06 PM on January 30, 2009

From a secret list: Mondo Burrito, Giovanni's Pizza, Falafel's Drive-In, Amber Cafe, and seconding Athena Grill.
posted by dreamyshade at 11:07 PM on January 30, 2009

Note: Amber Cafe is different from Amber the restaurant. Amber is OK (I've only been there for lunch buffet and Bombay Garden has more variety for that), but I like Amber Cafe a lot.
posted by dreamyshade at 11:26 PM on January 30, 2009

Thirding Athena Grill and seconding Falafel's Drive-In. They're both quite tasty. You wouldn't think a banana milkshake goes with falafel... but it does.

Other ideas:

Pizz'a Chicago in Santa Clara: Great deep-dish pizza.
La Pizzeria in Campbell: Simple thin-crust pizzas with excellent sauce and cheese. As close to Italian pizza as I've found.
Jalisco in Campbell: All sorts of tasty Mexican food. Everything is good, but since they don't serve Mission-style burritos I tend to order other things.

You could also take the VTA downtown, which will put you right outside Original Joe's. Great Italian food. And some neon.

La Cumbre in San Mateo is too far away, but it's a few blocks away from Caltrain, the burritos are great, and it deserves a mention.
posted by lalas at 11:33 PM on January 30, 2009

You could also take Caltrain into SF.

My favorites so far:

1) Taqueria Grullense (Palo Alto) - I love the carnitas there
2) Sumika (Los Altos) - Great charred meat on a stick
3) Gombei (Menlo Park) - Comfort Japanese food
4) Shabuway (Mountain View) - shabu shabu done fast
5) Fu Lam Mam (Mountain View) or Joy Luck Place (Cupertino) - Dim Sum
6) Giovanni's Pizza (Sunnyvale?) - best pizza i've had out here, and I'm from NYC
7) Amber Cafe (Mountain View) - Indian street food

I think Mandarin Gourmet has much better Chinese food in Palo Alto, and is maybe a block away.

The sushi at Monster Sushi in Santana Row is good, too, if you can get over the yuppieness of the neighborhood.

I'm still looking for:
- great xiao long bao (shanghai soup dumplings) in the South Bay (Yank Sing in SF is decent, but I still prefer Joe's Shanghai in NYC)
- great ramen (my favorite is Tenkaippin in Honolulu) but I've heard good things about Halu Ramen
- great Thai (best so far is Thaiphoon, my standard is Pam's Real Thai in NYC)
posted by joshu at 11:42 PM on January 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

For BBQ I like Just Burgers and Q on el Camino in Santa Clara (but I'm always afraid it won't be there anymore, when I go back). Also the food's great at Butler's BBQ in Sunnyvale, but unfortunately, it's one of those mandatory-television places, with ESPN always on.

For ramen, I think Maru Ichi in Mountain View's top-notch.
posted by Rash at 2:59 PM on January 31, 2009

There's lots of Korean in downtown Santa Clara. Nearly every place has a specialty, from tofu stew to fried chicken.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:14 PM on January 31, 2009

I'm still looking for:
- great xiao long bao (shanghai soup dumplings) in the South Bay

Su Hong Palo Alto is recommended for XLB in the South Bay. There are a few bad reviews on Yelp, most of those people are complaining about the Cantonese dishes, while Su Hong is really a Shanghainese restaurant and serves the other stuff for people who don't know any better. Don't go to Su Hong Menlo Park, though.

Derail: Shanghai Dumpling King in SF is better than Yank Sing.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:42 PM on January 31, 2009

Jatbar is quite possibly the best restaurant review site for the south bay.
posted by ryanrs at 2:34 AM on February 2, 2009

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