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Bria Silbert's Profile

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Los Altos Bar and Grill

Thanks to both of you, the senseis of the SF boards :) I love reading your posts and value your insights. I guess no news is better than scathing reviews. I was thinking it might be like a poor(er) man's version of Scratch. If we end up going, I'll report back.

Los Altos Bar and Grill

I don't see anything written about this place on Chowhound. I gather that it's like Gulfstream and Houston's. Is it "nice" enough for a birthday dinner? Any standouts on the menu? Not worth the $$$? Thanks for any advice.

Birthday Dinner On The Peninsula

goldangl95, thank you, thank you! You interpreted my requests exactly and came up with a good assortment of choices. After browsing through all the menus, I think the Village Pub is just the kind of place we've been searching for (and honestly, with such a generic name, I don't think I would have looked into it without your guidance). So thanks - again!

Birthday Dinner On The Peninsula

Having moved to Sunnyvale two years ago from S. California, I want to get to know my area for special celebrations and not immediately jump on the train and head to SF.

Scratch in Mountain View is our default restaurant and we are looking for something along those lines (not necessarily the same ethnicity - Cal/American) - but a restaurant that might offer small plates we can share for starters, a choice of interesting entrees that are more than pork/chicken/steak, and no clucking in shame if we don't order dessert. Nopa also was a favorite of ours, but like I said, we're looking to avoid going into the city right now.

We have been to Arcadia, Alexander's (Cupertino), and Cantankerous Fish (mostly because we were with a pescatarian at dinner time).

I am not ready to pop for over $100/pp for a dinner (so no Manresa, etc) and call me a snob - or a neurotic snob - but I cancelled the reservations we had for Chef TJ after reading the chef's tweets - not sure why the restaurant actually encourages diners to read them as they certainly do not portray the chef in a favorable light - to me at least.

Having said all that, what are we missing? (We're willing to go as far north as San Mateo and as far south as downtown San Jose). We've considered Joya and Il Postale but don't know if they will fill the bill - so to speak!

Thanks everyone - I learn something new each time I read the posts from you!

Do you cook/eat differently when it's only yourself?

Letsinduge, if you like Cap'n Crunch with CrunchBerries (which I was addicted to in college), you might like the Kashi GoLeanCrisp Cereal with berry crumbles. Unfortunately, I'm addicted to THAT now but at least it is a healthier addiction. Like the others I am SO impressed that you are cooking these complex meals for yourself.! It's wonderful though - shows you value yourself :)

Feb 12, 2012
Bria Silbert in General Topics

Fox's-U-Bet

Raley's/Nob Hill sells Fox's UBet. Safeway carries selzer.

Nopa Menu

You summarized my experience exactly. It was wonderfully warm, friendly, accommodating. We sat upstairs, which I loved so i could spy on what everyone was eating. They didn't give me attitude for not ordering alcohol - my husband had one of their specialty drinks.

The plates WERE a bit delicate. The amuse bouche of one green bean in bacon vinaigrette was cute but c'mon,..one green bean?

The appetizers were a itttle on the sparse side content wise (delicious though - home cured tasso ham and grilled beaches, and smoked trout salad) and the entrees were substantial - veg. tagine and duck. I know, I know, we SHOULD have ordered the pork chop. I saw many a customer gnawing away at the bone and they all seemed to eat that puppy in record time! All in all we will definitely return. Great vibe, knowledgeable front of house, and delicious food.

Nopa Menu

Burgers are my favorite food, while Manresa is certainly top notch, that's not the kind of food we're looking for. Thanks for the many responses - this is exactly what I needed to know and Nopa is exactly the kind of restaurant I want to be in!

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Manresa Restaurant
320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

Nopa
560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Nopa Menu

Thanks, whiner, vulber and sugartoof - that is exactly what I needed to know - sounds like the perfect place that I chose for my casual birthday dinner tomorrow. My husband likes cocktails and I know they are pros at that - is there any not-to-be-missed dish, a la the salad at Manresa?

Thanks again!

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Manresa Restaurant
320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

Nopa Menu

Does anyone know how often Nopa changes their menu? The same menu has been up on their website for the last two months (and I'm fine with it!) but I just want to know if they change it weekly and just can't update the website that often, or they change it seasonally -- or what. I like to start planning what I will order when I go there on Friday in advance so that I can start salivating preemptively. Thanks!

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Nopa
560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

What's missing in SF?

I agree, Robert. It must be lack of demand. We have tried Erik's. We have tried Max's. It's not the same thing. I wish everyone who said they wanted a Jewish deli would really go to one and support it. I've heard many stories of delis closing for lack of interest.

What's missing in SF?

So many people have mentioned a Jewish deli, a pastrami sandwich, a good bagel. I am so surprised after having moved to Sunnyvale from LA last year that there is no deli - not good, not bad, nada. I thought maybe we would stumble across a faux pastrami sandwich on white bread with mayo and tomatoes and scoff at it, but I haven't even seen that. Any guesses on why there is not a single Jewish style deli between San Jose and San Francisco? (I don't count Kosher Table or Refuge as delis even though they serve, respectively, kosher food, and pastrami).

Second choice to Manresa

I always see all of you posting so I take your advice seriously. Whether it's whitefish or white chocolate desserts, you know your stuff. I looked at Chez TJ's menu and it just isn't my style, I think. What we might do is take the day off from work, and take the train to San Francisco to eat. I know that opens another can of (non culinary) worms. We've experimented a lot in the city, so we know our way around - I think we might land at Frances this time. Thanks again for your help every time I cry out!

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Chez TJ
938 Villa Street, Mountain View, CA 94041

Second choice to Manresa

Thanks Wolfe! I never even heard of any of those places - it will be fun to explore.

Second choice to Manresa

We were planning to go to Manresa next month for my birthday. However financial considerations are making us downsize a bit (it's just the two of us - my husband and myself - in our late 50's - and we are new to N. California, having lived in LA for the past three decades).

I wouldn't want to go to Manresa and not have the full tasting menu, so I'm looking for a back up place. We live in Sunnyvale and have been to Alexander's Steakhouse. Let me clarify - we've been to many places, but offhand, that's the only upscale restaurant in this area I think we have dined at. I lean towards vegetarian/Asian/Mexican - my husband is more of a steak / Italian kinda guy.

Any suggestions for a restaurant in San Jose, Sunnyvale, Campbell, Cupertino, Mountain View, Los Gatos, or Palo Alto where we can have a celebratory dinner for less than $200 and still feel like we had a special experience?

Thanks so much for your advice!

Bria

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Manresa Restaurant
320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

Alexander's Steakhouse
10330 N. Wolfe Road, Cupertino, CA 95014

I could just live on ______

Kashi Berry Crisp cereal - totally, hopelessly addicted to it.

Jul 07, 2011
Bria Silbert in General Topics

Ramen and Pastrami Lunch in Alexander’s Steakhouse Lounge (Cupertino)

PS - They also proferred an amuse bouche - tempura asparagus in a spicy aioli and a kiwi strawberry granita palate cleanser. Nice touches, if touch old fashioned

Ramen and Pastrami Lunch in Alexander’s Steakhouse Lounge (Cupertino)

Reporting back on Alexander's:

A+ on service - professional, attentive, but not obsequious
A+ on design - a smart, sleek, clean looking room and even with a table of 18 people seated behind us, we were able to hear each other
B+ on food - I think the menu (not the online menu but the actual placement of the dishes on the menu) does not do it service to what tremendous offerings they have.
Every time a dish came out, I would crane my neck to try to figure out what they were eating.

As for us my husband, Mr. Beef, had the grilled/marinated squid appetizer and the T bone with a trio of salts. What a difference a fantastic cut of meat along with aging makes. It was perfection on a plate and he loved sampling the different salts adding a slight crunch to the bite. The only side dish he ordered were the green beans sauteed with bacon - which were wonderful - almost like Chinese resstaurant wok fried dried green beans.

Not being a huge fan of a huge hunk of meat to chew and chew, I really wanted to go the appetizer route but just couldn't decide. I don't think I made the best choice: I had the 'vegetarian meal' (which is written in teeny tiny type under the appetizers) which was a selection of six of their vegetarian appetizers. They serve the first three, which are cold, as the appetizer, and the second three, which are warm, as the entree. It included walnut bread crostini topped with some luxurious burrata cheese, a quinoa salad, and a sous vide artichoke, all with zingy, different sauces, like black garlic vinaigrette, etc. Those three were the appetizers. The entrees included kohlrabi cooked two ways in a fancy sauce, a sunchoke soup, and a potted egg. That last dish was my least favorite even though it was probably the most complicated. It had spinach, and truffled potatoes, and miataki (sp?) mushrooms, and cauliflower puree and a poached egg. Of course, everything was beautifully served and the dishes looked like art on a plate.

Biggest complaint for me was that most of the vegetarian dishes tended to be very creamy - I would have liked more textures and levels of heat. Also, I'm not a fan of truffles and their infusion in dishes is very pronounced - and they are not shy with the use of truffles at Alexander's.

Biggest pluses? A whole bread basket of different choices (at least five) and not one measly roll they dole out with tongs. They also left the basket on the table the whole meal which I appreciated. Also, it was my husband's birthday and they gave us each a free glass of Proseco, along with a small chocolate mousse like cake for dessert for him with a candle and everything.

There was no pressure to order bottled water or fancy wine - my husband had a cocktail and I just had water.

Now that we have experienced it for the first time, I know what I want to sample next time - the hamachi shooters, the dessert fondue, and I would cobble together my own assortment of appetizers instead of going with the six they have grouped as a "meal."

All in all, we could not have been more pleased and I thank you all for guiding us with your suggestions - it really is much more than just a steakhouse.

Just one question:

What is it with steakhouses and cotton candy for dessert? I just don't get it!

Ramen and Pastrami Lunch in Alexander’s Steakhouse Lounge (Cupertino)

Eatzalot, how coincidental that you would mention the website. That is what had me baffled. It took so many iterations to get to the actual menu and then it was full screen and I had to scroll around so much to look at each part of the menu that I just gave up. But I know all of you post often and judiciously and expertly, so I am excited to go. Michael, I figured the omakase would have to be for the whole table and I wouldn't do that to Mr. Beef, but there seems to be plenty of room for experimentation. I did mention it was his birthday on Opentable when I made the reservation - which is not today like I said (it's our son's birthday today) but next Friday - so I will report back then. Thanks again for all the advice and tips!

Ramen and Pastrami Lunch in Alexander’s Steakhouse Lounge (Cupertino)

Wow, I did not know they had an omakase menu - I did know they had a Japanese bent which I know I will appreciate. Thank you - the pictures are making me drool!!!

Yeah, I know about the Kitchen Table - but kosher and Jewish deli are not the same thing. And I have heard about the pastrami there.

Thanks so much for such a complete answer - I'll let you know what we end up eating!

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The Kitchen Table
142 Castro Street, Mountain View, CA 94041

Ramen and Pastrami Lunch in Alexander’s Steakhouse Lounge (Cupertino)

We are going to Alexander's (Cupertino) for dinner tomorrow evening to celebrate my husband's birthday. He is a die-hard steak/prime rib/meat and potatoes kind of guy; me not so much; yet I don't want to settle for a piece of broiled dover sole or a salmon filet as I am relegated to do when we go to places like Lawry's in Los Angeles. What do you recommend as an alternative to steak? Usually I end up ordering a bunch of appetizers and cobble together something interesting for myself (I'm not a vegetarian by any means). Thanks all for your input. Boy, I wish they had that ramen for dinner - or that pastrami sandwich - I'm the one still searching for the Jewish deli -- any Jewish deli -- between San Jose and Berkeley.

Black & White Cookie

House of Bagels does carry them as noted above.

Both Whole Foods and Piazza's sell mini version of black and white cookies. They will be no means cure your hunger pains for them but they will do in a pinch.

Best Bay Area bagels?

Tangentially speaking, with so many people craving "Jewish food" (such as bagels) I still don't understand why there are NO Jewish delis between San Jose and Berkeley. There are plenty of people who want that kind of food between San Jose and Berkeley, including myself and my husband - ex New Yorkers who moved from LA to find NOTHING exists here in the way of corned beef, pastrami, whitefish, etc. I'm not talking kosher (a la The Kosher Table) - I'm talking deli.

Jewish delis in Sunnyvale area?

Thank you Melanie - but we are over an over outside of San Francisco so it's not a viable option on a regular rotation (but great article - thank you for sharing that - I agree!)

What is the feeling of Izzy's in Palo Alto, at least for some whitefish?

Bonchon chicken in Sunnyvale (Korean fried chicken)

I think it's been open for about two months. We went early on a Saturday (before 6PM) and they told us it was an hour and ten minute wait to get the chicken cooked. We had it - it was just OK for me - I prefer 99 Chicken's take on it better.

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99 Chicken
2781 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051

SEAFOOD

I enjoyed Bix as well. A 'grown up' atmosphere and civilized service. I couldn't imagine the chicken hash to be as good as I've heard raves over and while it is NOT seafood, it was an interesting and savory hash, albeit more compacted than I expected.

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Bix
56 Gold St., San Francisco, CA 94133

Jewish delis in Sunnyvale area?

Michael - you are right! I didn't realized Chowhound had made searching so much easier. (I even came across some old posts of yours helping out a Sunnyvale virgin). This is great - at least I have a starting point for exploration. Thanks so much everyone.

Jewish delis in Sunnyvale area?

Thanks everyone - glad to know I didn't overlook anywhere in my quest - they just don't exist.

Save the deli - treyf deli? Oy!

Jewish delis in Sunnyvale area?

New to the neighborhood - just moved from Los Angeles two weeks ago. Yes, plenty of great places down there but very hard to navigate. It took us an hour and twenty minutes to go to a restaurant six miles from our home - on a weekend!

So we're eager to explore the Sunnyvale/Cupertino/Mountain View/Los Gatos/Saratoga dining scene.

One place I can't seem to find is a Jewish deli. I saw mention of one opening - amidst huge fanfare and then closing -

It doesn't have to be kosher - just a place to have some whitefish, to buy a black and white, and to get some good matzoh ball soup.

Any suggestions along these lines?

Also, please feel free to share any threads about dining in Sunnyvale in general. It almost feels like we live in some sort of middle ground with restaurants all around us but nothing of note (and by note I even mean a killer burger or to die for linguine and clams) in our 'hood.

Thanks Chowhounders - I'm eager to explore!

Quiet restaurant on Westside

What about FIG in Santa Monica?

Jul 11, 2010
Bria Silbert in Los Angeles Area