A resource for folks living in or moving to Los Gatos, by Mary Pope-Handy

Los Gatos Businesses

Los Gatos Downtown Holiday Shopping Stroll

December 01, 2016

EventPhotoFull holiday%20stroll%20poster%202 - Los Gatos Downtown Holiday Shopping Stroll
On Thursdays in December, a number of merchants in downtown Los Gatos will keep their doors open until 9pm to facilitate holiday gift buying. Additionally, there’s free valet parking!

Downtown Los Gatos has much to offer, particularly during the holidays, but now we can add one more thing for which to be grateful – downtown Los Gatos is working to keep the holiday joy in your shopping experience!

Sunday, December 11th, from 11am to 5pm is the first annual Holiday Shopping Stroll hosted by the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce. In addition to the seasonal decor, there will be carolers, hot chocolate, and plenty of kids activities for revelers and shoppers alike. More details on the even page.

 

Please see the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce’s page for a list of participating stores & shops as well as info on the valet parking…and more!

http://losgatoschamber.com/holiday.php

 

See’s Candies is celebrating National Lollypop Day

See's logoIf you have been meaning to visit the new See’s Candies at 15466 Los Gatos Blvd., Los Gatos, tomorrow is the ideal day to do it. It is National Lollypop Day, and all See’s Candies are giving away one lollypop (or lollipop)* per person. The Mercury News says “Their “lollypops” come in four flavors — Chocolate, Butterscotch, Cafe Latte and Vanilla.”   Buon Appetito! (All See’s are participating, by the way!)

Oh and it’s not a bad idea to visit the Sees.com website as they are also running a contest: enter to win a year’s worth of lollipops or a $50 gift card.

*Apparently, both spellings are correct: lollipop and lolypop

References:

http://www.sees.com/

http://blogs.mercurynews.com/eat-drink-play/2016/07/19/free-candy-sees-lollypops/

World Tomato Society is headquartered in Los Gatos

World Tomato Society logoWhile doing a little research on an eatery recently, I stumbled upon the World Tomato Society.  Turns out it is located right here in Los Gatos.   The tagline is “Celebrating and exploring the world’s most popular fruit”. Just below it is their statement of purpose: Nourishing our planet through education, inspiration, and contribution for the betterment of humanity through all things tomato.

The website offers tips and information on tomato gardening, recipes for cooking and eating tomatoes, and education on nearly 6,000 tomato varieties.

Articles and social media accounts haven’t been updated in 2016 but the info there is quite good if you are interested at all in tomatoes, so I’d encourage anyone to check it out.

The World Tomato Society
720 University Avenue, Suite 100
Los Gatos, California 95032 USA

408.357.7766

info@worldtomatosociety.com
https://www.worldtomatosociety.com/

 

Lunch at Hult’s

Hult's - Jim lunch Swedish Classic Pyttipanna April 30 2016Hult’s has been mailing out 2 for 1 lunch coupons and a few days ago, my husband and I decided to indulge.  The food, service, and environment were all great, so I wanted to give a little plug here.

We went on a Saturday in the very late morning, around 11:45.  The restaurant had some patrons but it was early and uncrowded, and we were seated immediately.

The menu is anything but typical, and Jim and I both saw things we’d never heard of before.  He  ordered the Swedish Classic Pyttipanna, shown in the photo to the right.   I will admit that this wasn’t visually appealling to me, as it was mostly shades of brown except for the fried egg on top and some beets on the side, but Jim said that it was delicious and didn’t leave a scrap behind.

As for me, I wanted to try the Lime Stuffed Pan Roasted Salmon(see photo below). My dish featured asapagus tips, melted leaks (I’d never heard of them served as melted before – it was a delicious leek mush) and trout caviar.   Usually I don’t go out of my way to have caviar, but it was quite tasty and also gave the food a very nice splash of color.

Hult's Lime Stuffed Pan Roasted Salmon

It was too early for us to have wine with our meal, but I need to note that the Hult’s wine menu is quite extensive and that alone might be a reason to return.

The service was excellent.  The atmosphere was quite pleasant.  On the ceiling there were sound absorbing tiles that did a wonderful job of keeping the ambiant noise low.   The food could not have been better.   Prices were not low, but few places in Los Gatos will be described as affordable – and the quality is certainly there.  For cost conscious consumers like me, the coupon was just the ticket to try the restaurant.  I’m sure we’ll be back – with or without a coupon.

 

Hult’s

http://hultsrestaurant.com/

(408) 354-3434

165 Saratoga Los Gatos Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95030
(locals: where Baker’s Square used to be, and long before that, Sambo’s)

*As always, this review is done only because I enjoyed the establishment.  The good folks who run Hult’s did not know that I was going, nor that I would write a favorable review, and no compensation was made or received for this or any other review on this site.

JCO’S Place for Fine Art

Julie Jenkins at JCO'S Place for Fine ArtLove fine art?  A fun place to stop in and get tempted by the work of creative people can be found in downtown Los Gatos at JCO’S Place, which is just a few steps from the Los Gatos Theatre, literally under its marquee.

This afternoon I was strolling past this gallery with my daughter, plus my visiting neice and nephew, who hail from Boston, and noticed some beautiful, oversized paintings.  I did a double take when I saw one of Tom Brady, # 12, as you don’t normally find a lot of Patriots art here in Los Gatos.  Stepping in, that wasn’t the only piece from the Northeast. It was a surprising find!

Not everything is Brady, Patriots, and Boston – there was plenty of other football art on display to keep in the theme of the game for this season and the multiple celebrations of SuperBowl 50 here in Silicon Valley. To get a better sense of the diverse offerings, check out the blog portion of her website: http://www.jcosplace.com/art-blog .

Why the Tom Brady and Patriots focus? I wish it were because they would have been in tomorrow’s game.  Instead, it turns out that the proprietor of the store, Julie Jenkins, hails from Boston.  I had a fun talk with her.  She is very warm and welcoming, and I’d love to come back to see what she brings in next.

The shop also had an artist painting and visible from the window, Nick Brown, a very talented guy.  What I saw looked quite a bit like our eastern foothills, but I didn’t get a chance to talk much as my younger relatives were ready to continue our walk through downtown Los Gatos.

Next time you are out for fun on North Santa Cruz Avenue in LG, take a few minutes and stop by JCO’s Place.  I think you will enjoy it!

Painter at JCOS Place for Fine Art in Los Gatos

JCO’s Place for Fine Art

Julie Jenkins

45 N Santa Cruz Avenue

Hours: As of this writing, closed or by appointment Mon and Tues. Check the most current hours on the site: http://www.jcosplace.com/visit.html

JCOSPLACE.com

Los Gatos Dog & Cat Hospital

Los Gatos Dog and Cat Hospital SignIf you’re new to Los Gatos, you may be looking for a new veterinary practice to care for your pets.  I’d like to recommend to you our family vet practice, the Los Gatos Dog & Cat Hospital.

We’ve experienced wonderful care for our very old black lab, Bella, at the Los Gatos Dog & Cat Hospital, for a few years now.  This is a large practice of extremely well educated veterinarians (degrees are posted in the lobby) who are also very kind, caring, and have good “bedside manners” with people and pets both.  The staff is also wonderful.

A bit on our dog and her needs:

Bella is a rescue dog whom we’ve had for 13.5 years, and when we got her, other vets estimated that she was between 2 and 4 years old.  So today, in September of 2015, she is approximately 15.5 to 17.5 years old.  Most labs live to be 12 or 13, so this is pretty amazing!

Bella Boo July 2015At her advanced age, which is probably something like 100 for a human, Bella has her share of troubles: thyroid issues, arthritis (see photo at left and notice her enlarged paw), some inflammation in her lower spine that’s causing trouble, vision loss, loss of hearing, loss of appetite / weight loss, and doggie dementia.   Yes, she has some confusion and has managed to forget a few rules, now often “snubs” her meals (until we improve what’s offered) and too frequently needs a lot of trips outside (as opposed to fewer numbers when she was young and spry).  But her disposition is as sweet as ever and most of the time she seems to be comfortable and content, so we try to keep her in that zone.  The good people at Los Gatos Dog & Cat Hospital have been partners in that effort – and together we are pretty successful.

We’d been with a different practice for a few years but never felt like the care was all that great. In fact, a number of times we came away from the prior place feeling like the folks there were simply not on the ball.

Finding this special practice

I have a cousin  who’s a fantastic vet, Colleen Brady DVM, but she doesn’t live too close by so I asked her for a suggestion on a great doctor for Bella here in Los Gatos or nearby when we came to the conclusion that we really needed to part ways with the other vet’s office.  She suggested Gabrielle Ravina, DVM, with whom we’ve been exceedingly happy.  This is a sharp doctor who knows her stuff, is incredibly good with animals and people, and is able to pull together a lot of info and synthisize it to make the whole picture more clear for us.   Bella had some special issues and she recommended acupuncture with anther DVM at the same clinic,  which was administered by Haleh Siahpolo, DVM, MPVM, CVA, another wonderful soul who cares deeply for her patients.  Unfortunately we didn’t see the hoped for results but we would not hesitate to recommend her to families who feel that their dog or cat might benefit from this treatment.  An added bonus for us has been that when we take Bella in on a day when Gabby cannot she her, often Haleh is there.  For an old dog with memory issues, it’s helpful to have more familiarity (though this pooch does tend to love everyone).

Our pets really are family members, and we want them to be happy and healthy.  It’s quite a big boon to find a veterinary practice which is full of techs, staff,  and DVMs who are so very knowlegeable and caring, and who communicate easily with pets and people both.  On a scale of 1 to 10, they’d be an 11 or 12 or more.  Got a pet? I have the place for you!

http://www.losgatosvet.com/

(408) 354-6474

17480 Shelburne Way (between University and Winchester)
Los Gatos, California, 95030

Los Gatos Dog and Cat Hospital

 

 

Bella Sept 2015 coming home from vet

Whole Foods in Los Gatos: don’t donate outside, donate at the cash register

Whole foods distraction free shoppingOn Tuesday of this week, I dashed into the Whole Foods in Los Gatos to pick up a couple of items. It was more crowded than usual, apparently due to the Labor Day weekend we’d just finished.   The staff was cheerful and moved fast.  But when it got time to pay, the requests for donations came one after the other.  I’d brought my bag from the trunk of my car and the first question I got was whether I wanted to donate the bag discount or take a few pennies off my bill.  Then I was asked if I wanted to donate to a charity.  And finally, I was asked if I wanted to “round up” my purchase price and give the rest to a worthy cause.

In short, within about 60 seconds, I was asked to donate three times.

That felt excessive, even though the amounts were small.

As I emerged from the store, I noticed for the first time a large placard, proudly notifying the consumers who shop at Whole Foods that they should ignore anyone asking them for money outside, that this shopping center, Cornerstone, supports a “distraction free” shopping experience.

What hit me, though, was the irony:  Whole Foods doesn’t want veterants, Girl Scouts, Teen Challenge, or anyone else volunteering for a worthy cause asking for donations outside of their store.

No, they want you and me to donate inside, instead, through them.

Does that seem right to you?

Just moved to Los Gatos with kids?

Dolce Spazio Los GatosAre you moving to Los Gatos with kids? Or just arrived?  This is a wonderful town for young people and the cool things to see and do continue year round. Below please find a list of my personal favorite places (shops, restaurants, parks etc.) and things to do with children in Los Gatos.

Things to do year round:
Los Gatos Saratoga Community Education & Recreation (all ages – classes, camps, fun things to do)
Petroglyph – decorate ceramics
Beading classes (older kids) at Natural Expressions in the Opera House
Oak Meadow and Vasona Lake County Parks carousel and small gauge train
Local parks and open space trails for hiking – see town of Los Gatos website for link

Summer fun:
Hillbrook School summer camp (horseback riding)
Youth Science Institute at Vasona
Vasona Lake County Parkpaddle boat rides, Parks & Rec classes on sailing and more
Los Gatos Creek Trail

Shops:
Affordable Treasures (wonderful for party favors, piñatas and stuffing, little gifts and trinkets!)
The Wooden Horse (fantastic toy store – get kids to think)

Food & restaurants:
Classic Burger (very casual)
Happy Hound  (very casual)
Shangri-La – Chinese food (casual)
Andale – Mexican food (casual)
Purple Onion (2 locations) (casual)
The Diner of Los Gatos (hot dogs and hamburgers in cardboard “cars”)
Double D’s  Sports Bar
Los Gatos Cafe (cinnamon buns, breakfast for all)
Also: the Farmers’ Market on Sundays has a wonderful crepe booth!
—>Add link to article on patio dining in Live in Los Gatos blog

Desserts and sweet stuff:
Icing on the Cake – bakery and desserts
Dolce Spazio – gelato
Powell’s Sweet Shop

Seasonal events:
Holiday tree lighting (usually 1st Friday night in December)  & Holiday Parade (usually 1st Sat in Dec)
Screen on the Green – free movie night each September at Oak Meadow
Summer free music concert series: Jazz on the Plazz, Music in the Park, Vasona Vibrations

 

Another article which includes things to do NEAR Los Gatos with kids, and not just IN LG:
http://liveinlosgatosblog.com/kid-friendly-things-to-do-in-and-near-los-gatos/

Chocolate Dream Box – a Los Gatos Treasure!

Chocolate Dream box name and logoChocolate Dream Box has been a part of the Los Gatos landscape, in one location or another, for many years.  It first opened in downtown along North Santa Cruz Avenue, then was located on Los Gatos Boulevard and Blossom Hill Road at King’s Court Shopping Center, and now calls The Downing Center (at the corner of Union & Los Gatos-Almaden Road) home.

Today I stopped in to see the new shop, to buy a gourmet chocolate gift and see how the owner, Holly Westbrook, and staff are doing.  I’d blogged about it in 2011, back at the old location, and thought an update was in order, too, for their new location (and my blog’s new location).

Things seem to be great overall.  The new store is bigger and brighter than the former one was and feels comfortably roomy.  The decor is always beautiful, with a hint of Europe here and there to remind visitors of the inspiration.

What’s selling?  Old favorites, such as the dark and milk chocolate cats, can still be found, and as always, there’s an abundance of specialty candies and exceptionally beautiful and tasty truffles.    There are non-candy gift items too, pretty affordably priced also.  Today I saw a pewter fleur de lis that was quite tempting…

The move was, of course, a lot of work for them, and if you’re local, you know that they hadn’t wanted to move but got forced out by their former landlord.  Any business owner would be concerned about losing customers with a new location, but I imagine in time everyone will find their way to the new shop – it’s only 1.5 miles away from the old one.   An unexpected element, though, happened too – the Yelp reviews from the old location could not transfer to the new one – ouch! If you are a fan, cruise on over there and give them a shout out.  I did that today; it’s great to support our local Los Gatos businesses!

Truffles

 

Truffles, truffles, and more truffles.  The biggest problem with visiting the Chocolate Dream Box is figuring out which one(s) to buy! Continue reading

Tradewind Spas in Los Gatos

Tradewind Spas Los GatosVisit Tradewind Spas in Los Gatos and you’ll find friendly, knowledgeable help with maintaining or purchasing a spa.  Almost 2 years ago, we purchased one from them, and received excellent assistance and no pressure from Jeff, the owner, and Don, who’s often running the store.  That exceptional customer service has continued as we have returned again and again with either questions or the need to purchase supplies.  Our experience has been very positive and for that reason, I wanted to give them a little blog attention. (As always, I am not compensated for this in any way, and the article was my idea, not theirs.)

Their focus customer service and their expertise is in is portable spas and hot tubs. They sell those with the most reliable manufacturers and warranties that exceed California Energy Commission standards. The brands they work with the most are MAAX/Coleman and Freeflow. (We purchased a Freeflow and have been very happy with it.)

Per the store’s website:  “We are a four-time recipient of the MAAX/COLEMAN spas or hot tubs “Outstanding Service after the Sale” award. A distinction given to only three dealerships in the country each year. If your spa needs repair, we will fix it quickly and professionally.”   and “We will meet or beat any competitors deal on a spa of comparable quality, size and features.”

Tradewind Spas interior showroomServices include

  • hot tub and spa sales
  • gazeebos
  • covers
  • repair parts (for spas they have sold dating back to 1980)
  • spa accessories
  • chemicals and water testing
  • spa removal and disposal
  • trade-ins
  • used hot tubs and spas
  • spa/pool service and repair

Opened in 1979, Tradwind Spas has survived multiple economic downturns and multiple droughts.  While many other spa outlets have gone under, they have kept their doors open.  I believe that this is a testament to their fair prices and excellent service.

http://www.tradewindspas.com/

Tradewind Spas mascotLocated along “the boulevard” between Los Gatos-Almaden Road and Blossom Hill Road – you may sometimes see the mannequin or mascot out of doors, sitting atop a hot tub, waving hello:

15736 Los Gatos Blvd.
Los Gatos, CA 95032

408-358-8800

Hours per their website:

Monday – Saturday
10am – 6pm
Sunday 10am – 5pm

 

Read reviews of Tradwind Spas on Yelp

Mary Pope-Handy

Realtor
ABR, CIPS, CRS, SRES
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
License# 01153805

Selling homes in
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