Food & Drink
Last Saturday we had family in town, so instead of hunkering-down at home to watch the Oscars, we enjoyed a night on the town to try someplace new to us: We Olive in downtown Los Gatos.
We Olive focuses on California grown, artisan, gourmet wine and olive oil.
Enter the shop and you will see shelves packed with olive goods and rows of tin tubs for dispensing samples into cups. It has fun, olive-themed goods, with olive wood cutting boards and bowls, appetizer trays, olive oil lip balms, free recipe cards, and bottle corks. The front of the store focuses on olive oil and vinegar, but also features complementary tastings of dipping oils, seasoned salts, tapenades, mustards, sauces, spreads, and even sweets like caramel and chocolate. I recommend the basil or Meyer lemon olive oils and the peach white balsamic or blood orange balsamic vinegars.
Move towards the back and there is a bar and table seating for wine tasting, which opens up into a spacious patio garden with more bar seating under a pergola wound with string lights. (And helpful heat lamps for our cool California evenings!)
Most wines available are California productions, and all but a few can be ordered in taster-sized glasses to build custom flights. We got recommendations for white and red flights and everyone was happy with their selection. If you’re unsure of what to get, or just indecisive, the bar staff can always give you tips and recommendations! Order gourmet snacks to enjoy with your wine, or make it a meal with salad or panini. We four ordered a cheese and charcuterie platter, and both the brie and the red wine and pepper salami were excellent. Don’t want wine? There’s also craft beer and a few non-alcoholic options. You can find the complete menu on the We Olive website (link below).
I should add that the staff we encountered were all very generous with their time, helpful, and attentive. They took good care of us and I would not hesitate to recommend them and We Olive for a pleasant time out.
Next time you’re downtown, stop in for some samples. Happy hour is every weekday with specials on select food and drink. On any Wine Wednesday, all day, pick up half-price bottles. Sample Saturdays feature new culinary delights using We Olive products with a new recipe every month.
Website, hours, address, and contact details for We Olive listed below:
Winter Store Hours:
Monday – Thursday 10am – 8pm
Friday & Saturday 10am – 9pm
Sunday 10am – 7pm
Happy Hour Monday – Friday 3:30pm – 6:30pm
The wine bar and kitchen open daily at 11:30am
112 N Santa Cruz Ave
Los Gatos, CA 95030
Mary’s note: as always, this article was written after a pleasant experience and the shop’s employees did not ask for a review and no compensation was received for writing it. In short: it was my idea because I like the place. I hope you will, too.
The Loma Brewing Company Grand Opening took place a couple of nights ago and it was both extremely well attended and well received. By 4:45pm, a few dozen fans and friends had gathered near the front door of the brewpub, awaiting the ribbon cutting and the chance to enter Loma for the first time. The owners, Scott Youkilis (image left in blue shirt) and Kevin Youkilis (right side of photo), each held one end of the ribbon, and Barbara Spector, mayor of Los Gatos, cut it with a large, gold, ceremonial pair of scissors. Also shown is the talented BrewMeister, Warren Billups (just behind Scott). Apologies that I do not know the names of the others in this photo.
Inside, Loma Brewing Company Grand Opening was an immediate mob scene! Someone at the reservation podium was asking who had reservations (had I known that was possible, we’d have reserved, but that wasn’t the case so we made a beeline for the bar). I was extremely impressed that the staff handled the hyper rush with speed, skill, and calm. (This wasn’t just any rush: this was the entire place filling up instantaneously!) The staff was amazing.
I wanted to try a flight of beer to get a sampling and to take me out of my comfort zone a little. My better half, despite living in Belgium for four years, is not a beer fan, but there were tons of other offerings and he was very happy with a glass of wine. All of the beer I tried was delicious. Most surprising to me was how mellow the stout was. I’ve been to the Guinness Factory in Dublin, and honestly, this was far better. Kevin Youkilis told me that they use a different process involving nitro which seemed to take out the bite. All four of them were great, but I only finished one – and to my surprise, it was the stout. (Even if you don’t usually like the darkest of beers, give it a try!)
Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay long enough for a meal, or for me to finish my flight completely, as we had another grand opening to attend at the same time, so after an hour we needed to get going. We did peruse the menu, which was impressive and offered quite a few temptations. Many patrons were eating around us, and the food looked wonderful. Very few breweries around here seem to qualify as a Gastropub, so I’m anxious to try the food next time.
Old brewery location, but not the old brewery
Some Los Gatans may have been expecting a revival of the former brewery on this site, the Los Gatos Brewing Company. That would be a mistake, despite the same physical address. This is a whole new venture, with new owners, new beer, new food, new equipment, new recipes, new talent, new everything. Go to it with an open mind, not expecting to see or taste or experience what was there before.
Loma Brewing Company has been set up with the contemporary and low key warehouse style of decor, which is so popular today. (As with the new Super Duper Burgers and also the new Mooya Burgers, both in Los Gatos, or with the many public markets springing up around the state.) Don’t go expecting the soft, cushy seating of the LGBC. At the bar there are tall metal chairs with backs, and at the tables, metal stools (no backs). I did not notice an acoustics problem, which seems to happen with the warehouse style, so kudos to their designer for addressing that so well. We sat at the bar and it was comfortable in every way. And I appreciated the hooks for purses there, too.
If you love beer, you will love this place.
More photos of the Loma Brewing Company Grand Opening
Loma Brewing Company address, contact info, and locations online
Loma Brewing Company is located at 130 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95030 tel is (408) 560-9626
Right now, it’s open 5pm to 10pm, but starting sometime in September will also be open for lunch.
Find them online at http://www.lomabrew.com/ and also on Facebook and Twitter.
Prior posting on the Grand Opening:
Join us for our grand opening celebration on Thursday, August 18, starting with a ribbon cutting at 4:45 p.m., followed by our official opening at 5:00 p.m.
We will be open for dinner from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. daily. In September we will extend our hours and begin serving lunch as well as weekday happy hour, in addition to dinner nightly. Stay in the know by signing up for our newsletter and following us on social media for the latest Loma updates – @lomabrew.
We look forward to serving you – cheers!
The Youks and Team LBC
I plan to stop by for the Loma Brewing Company Grand Opening and wish them well – hope to see you there!
The Loma Brewing Company is a new Los Gatos brewery in an old Los Gatos brewery location – it’s on the site of the former Los Gatos Brewing Company at 130 N Santa Cruz Avenue, Los Gatos CA 95030. Keep posted at the LomaBrew.com site: http://www.lomabrew.com/
More info on Loma Brewing Company on this site
If 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
While 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
UDATE TO ORIGINAL POST READ ABOUT
THE GRAND OPENING HERE:
Loma Brewing Company Grand Opening
The Loma Brewing Company will be opening in Los Gatos (at the location of the former Los Gatos Brewing Company) soon, perhaps even by the end of this month, per their Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/LomaBrew The same site said they’re doing their first brew this weekend – we wish them good luck!
The BrewPub is owned by Kevin Youkilis and his brother, Scott Youkilis. The magazine DRAFT just put out a nice article on them and their venture that’s a good read if you’d like the back story: http://draftmag.com/kevin-scott-youkilis-loma-brewing-los-gatos/
As for the food, a little research turned up great info on both the who and the what of it. In a recent piece, Zagat profiled the 12 most anticipated restaurant openings in the San Francisco Bay Area this summer, and commented on the offerings to come at Loma:
Those beers will range from a light kolsch to seasonal IPAs and make up roughly half of the 14 taps with the other half going to guest beers. The chef is Aubree Arndt who worked for Youkilis at his former San Francisco restaurant Maverick. Beer-appropriate elevated comfort dishes will include flatbreads, smoked chicken wings, and a Loma Burger with aged Wagyu beef, American cheese, caramelized onions, and a “super sauce.” Those beers will range from a light kolsch to seasonal IPAs and make up roughly half of the 14 taps with the other half going to guest beers. The chef is Aubree Arndt who worked for Youkilis at his former San Francisco restaurant Maverick. Beer-appropriate elevated comfort dishes will include flatbreads, smoked chicken wings, and a Loma Burger with aged Wagyu beef, American cheese, caramelized onions, and a “super sauce.”
Great beer, great food, great ambiance are all anticipated!
We wish them much success with the last details and look forward to their grand opening soon.
http://www.lomabrew.com/ (get on their mailing list here)
130 N Santa Cruz Ave. Los Gatos, CA 95030
PS – Related: previously, it was thought that this new brewpub would be called the Foglight Alehouse, but the name changed. Prior article on this new brewery can be seen here: http://liveinlosgatosblog.com/new-restaurant-foglight-alehouse/
Sad news on the dining front: California Cafe in Old Town, Los Gatos, has announced that it will be closing at the end of July on its Facebook page. No reason was provided for the closure. This fine dining establishment once hosted then-president Bill Clinton. For many Los Gatans, it’s a go-to place for special occasions. This lovely restaurant will be sorely missed – and we wish the proprietors well in whatever venture they next undertake.
Here’s what the restaurant said:
“After 31 years of happily serving the Los Gatos community, we regret to announce the closing of California Cafe at the end of July. Join us tomorrow, July 9, for a special one-day offer featuring 31% off all food and beverage purchases. Check back here for additional farewell offers throughout the month.”
Hurry on down there TODAY, Saturday, July 9th, for a substantial discount. Learn more at the eatery’s FB page:
Hult’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.
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.
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.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, my family and I decided to drop in to Super Duper Burgers in Los Gatos and try their fare for lunch. We discovered good food, decent prices, but not the kind of atmosphere that would make you want to linger.
As with many casual burger places, this is a self-service kind of place where patrons stand in line to order and later hop up to get their meals.
Unfortunately there is a shortage of seating that you cannot miss; as soon as you order, you must try to stake out a place to eat, which may not be that easy during the mealtime rush. There are standing tables and a some tables with backless stools indoors, plus a couple more tables with benches outside. (I did not see any chairs or seats with backs.) The space is big enough for more seating, so I was puzzled by the lack of it. Another customer volunteered that it had to do with parking spaces and ratios – I took his word for it. Whatever the cause, there’s really not enough space for everyone to sit down and dine for this busy eatery. I hope they can find a way to add more tables (with chairs, which would be nicer than stools).
The environment reminds me of some of the popular market style places which we see today like San Pedro Market in downtown San Jose. The ceilings are wooden and high but it has a warehouse feel with steel and concrete materials being prominent. There’s a very pleasant look to it. There’s loads of light and openness, but it’s also loud – too loud when the place is busy for conversing comfortably.
We did enjoy our food quite a bit. Most of us had burgers of some sort (one in my crowd is a veggie burger fan instead). My hamburger, a mini burger, was done exactly the way I like it, medium rare, and was one of the best burgers I’ve had in a very long time. Our lunch was ready and nicely hot in a reasonable amount of time. Employees there were terriffic and couldn’t have been nicer. Additionally, Super Duper was clean and when one set of diners left, it didn’t take long for the table to be ready for the next set.
For food and value, I’d give it high marks (5 out of 5 stars). For ambiance and comfort – uncomfortable stools and scarce seating, and for the unhappy loudness, I’d give it medium-low marks (3 out of 5 stars). Would I eat there again? Yes, sort of: if the weather’s nice, I’d try to snag an outdoor dining spot. If not, I think “to go” is the way to go.
Super Duper Burgers:
Are 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
Hillbrook School summer camp (horseback riding)
Youth Science Institute at Vasona
Vasona Lake County Park – paddle boat rides, Parks & Rec classes on sailing and more
Los Gatos Creek Trail
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
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:
The Los Gatos Farmers’ Market is a community treasure and gathering point for the townsfolk. Every Sunday, Los Gatans gather downtown at the Town Plaza Park area for a little shopping, casual munching and entertainment. The outdoors market iss full of organic produce, plants and cut flowers, ready made food, include delicious crepes, and often music or other entertainment. While many Santa Clara County Farmers’ Markets are seasonal or subject to weather conditions, this one is open year round, every Sunday, from 8am to 1pm (though some booths begin to break down around 12:30 or so)
The Los Gatos Farmers’ Market is located in Downtown Los Gatos at the Town Park Plaza on Main Street & N. Santa Cruz Avenue (Montabello Way & Broadway). Pets are not allowed in the market, which wraps around the park on the paved roadway, but may be in the park itself.
Over the years, I’ve taken a number of photos of this local gathering spot. Some are current images and others are 5-10 years old.