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

Restaurant

Loma Brewing Company opening soon

Loma Brewing Company Los Gatos logoUDATE 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.

 

More info:
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/

 

 

California Cafe in Old Town is closing soon

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:
https://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaCafeLG

California Cafe at Old Town, Los Gatos - closing July 2016

California Cafe at Old Town, Los Gatos – closing July 2016

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.

Oak and Rye restaurant

A few days ago, I had the very pleasant experience of dining at Oak and Rye for the first time.  It was a gloriously sunny and warm winter day, so my friend and I opted for patio dining, which was ideal.

Oak and Rye is a Los Gatos restaurant well known for offering excellent pizza, but also equally tasty salads.  This made a delicious midday pairing.  We each enjoyed a  Gem Lettuce salad (with cashews, apple shavings, bleu cheese, and croutons), followed by a Young Cheezy pizza, a “white pizza”, which we shared.  Both the food and the service were wonderful.  As an added bonus, there seemed to be lots going on that afternoon along North Santa Cruz Avenue, providing ample “people watching” opportunities.

I’d go back in a heartbeat.  If you haven’t tried Oak and Rye yet, do give it a spin.  You won’t be disappointed.

Oak and Rye Pizza

303 North Santa Cruz Avenue, Los Gatos     408 395-4441            http://www.oakandryepizza.com/

Oak and Rye pizza restaurant March 2015

 

Please note: as with all my reviews of eateries, wine bars, businesses, etc., there was no payment or benefit given to me for this online article. It was written in response to my favorable experience at this establishment only. I do not know the owners, managers, employees, or anyone there.

 

Shangri-La Chinese Restaurant at King's Court Shopping Center, Los Gatos

October 21, 2011

Shangri-La Chinese Restaurant in Los Gatos, CALooking for a quick, tasty and affordable lunch in Los Gatos? Shangri-La Chinese Restaurant, located within the King’s Court Shopping Center (Blossom Hill Road and Los Gatos Blvd.), fills the bill perfectly.   The lunchtime menu offers a  very good value – lots of food for a fair price.  Stop in at dinner (or get take out in the evening) and the same items are considerably more pricey.

Food is ordered and paid for upfront at the counter but when your meal is ready they don’t hollar your name or number – instead, an employee brings your food to you.  It is packaged as if “to go”, so if you end up with more than you can eat, it’s easy enough to bring the leftovers home.

Seating is both indoors and out.  The restaurant enjoys loads of windows, so even on a rainy or cold day this is a cheerful place to be. 

What’s best to eat there? It depends on your preferences.  I love their General Chicken, Kung Pao and soup in particular.  Go with a friend and order different foods – see what you think!

Shangri-La does not appear to have a website of its own (if they have one, I couldn’t find it).

798 Blossom Hill Road, Los Gatos CA 95032
408 358-5020

29 East Main Street in Los Gatos is now Billy's Boston Chowder House

October 17, 2011

Billy's Boston Chowder HouseAlright, all you ex-pat Bostonians and lover of things New England, you’ll be happy to know that a little bit of home is coming to you right here in Los Gatos with the recently opened Billy’s Boston Chowder House. 

The website is not yet fully up, but you can find a page on this new eatery online with a hint of things to come: http://www.bostonchowderhouse.com/

One look at the menu and I’m ready for a meal out!

Billy’s is located on the site of the former Twenty Nine East Main Cafe (or 2wenty-9ine – perhaps the name was too confusing?), which offered great pizza.  Now it looks like fabulous fish offerings (Fridays in Lent sure to be booked!).  If they bring in TVs with Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins and Celtics games they will for sure find a very loyalist crowd of fans who can’t easily get these games, let alone that food, without a prohibitive TV package at home.

Since I just discovered this spot, I’ll admit that I haven’t tried it yet – but it’s on my radar and I intend to give it a spin soon and update this post at that time.

Got any feedback? Please share it here.

Meanwhile, Go Pats!

Affordable, Tasty Chinese Food in Downtown Los Gatos

July 21, 2011

One of my favorite places to eat in downtown Los Gatos has been Jasmine Chinese – the food was both good and affordable.

Jasmine Chinese Restaurant in downtown Los Gatos, CARecently the restaurant changed hands, and soon after (in June 2011), was remodeled. A few days ago, my daughter and I stopped in for lunch to see what was new. We noted a few changes. The general layout is exactly the same. The carpet looks new, I believe the booths also are new. The walls no longer sport art for sale. But the biggest difference that I could see was in the menu.

Lunch specials used to be offered beginning at $7.25 each but now the lowest priced items for lunch are at $8.25 (almost 15% increase in pricing). The much loved Chinese chicken salad is still offered (“Jasmine shredded chicken salad”), but “chicken salad” is also offered – we didn’t try that so I’m not sure if it’s better or not. The Jasmine shredded chicken salad is as good as ever, though. I have a sweet tooth so did order the tangerine chicken dish – and it was excellent.

There continue to be many nice vegetarian offerings and now there’s a “healthy and light” section on the menu, too. The website seems to emphasize healthier food items and no MSG.

For some reason, the new owners have also changed the website (from JasmineChinese.com to www.JasmineChineseLosGatos.com).

We wish the new owners much success with Jasmine.

Original post below

September 17, 2008

Jasmine Chinese Restaurant - good food in downtown Los GatosLos Gatos is not known for “affordable dining”, but here and there we find hidden gems with good food and very reasonable prices. That’s the case with Jasmine Chinese in downtown Los Gatos, a modest restaurant in an upscale part of town.

Lunch at Jasmine Chinese is a very good deal if you keep to the specials menu. For $7.25, you can enjoy one of the house lunch combination dishes, such as sweet & sour pork, plus soup, rice and hot tea, of course. If that’s too much for for a midday meal, there are smaller lunch specials for $6.25, including a heaping plate of Chinese Chicken Salad, a dish of almond chicken and rice or several other selections. Dinners are more expensive, but still very affordable by downtown Los Gatos standards.

Variety is abundant here, so Jasmine is a great place to bring children, vegetarians, those with special diet constraints, folks preferring mild or spicy food and even picky eaters. I have eaten there dozens of times, mostly at lunch but also for dinner, and have found the staff to be consistently conscientious about “food issues” and special needs. Service is uniformly good and the staff very pleasant.

My own favorite menu items include the eggrolls, the chinese chicken salad, tangerine chicken, hot & sour soup, any of the kung pao dishes and any of the eggplant dishes.

Like many Chinese restaurants, Jasmine will prepare food “to go” as well.

This restaurant can be a little difficult to find for some people, but it’s actually in a great, central location. It is in the Lyndon Shopping Center (which is where the old Lyndon Hotel used to stand and where famous people like Charlie Chaplain and John Steinbeck used to drop in for a drink). That building is a bit of a maze, but Jasmine is on the outside, facing Main Street, just in from the corner of Main and Santa Cruz Avenues. There’s free valet parking, and also a public lot off Main Street that backs up to Mountain Charlie’s and St. Mary’s School, so it should always be possible to park.

Jasmine Chinese Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner weekdays, and open for dinner on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, see their website, http://www.jasminechinese.com/.

Jasmine Chinese
20 South Santa Cruz Ave.
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408-395-2373

 

Carl's Jr in Los Gatos is Closed

May 16, 2011

May 2011 Update:
This old Carl’s (and before it, Carousel Restaurant) building will be the office for the local AAA or CSAA branch, which currently is at 101 Blossom Hill Road, Los Gatos  (the interesection of Blossom Hill Road and University Avenue).

So the next question is this: what will the “old” CSAA building become next?

Los Gatos Boulevard has no shortage of restaurants where hamburgers can be found.  Even so, I was sad to visit Carl’s Jr in Los Gatos today and to find a sign on the door stating that it’s closed and advising patrons to visit another store in San Jose.

What happened? Was it a victim of the long economic hardship?  This restaurant did not have thoroughly glowing reviews on Yelp (and admittedly, you’ll find a much better burger at Classic Burgers up the street).  It was the only place around with an indoor play area for children, though, and I remember visiting Carl’s a number of times on rainy days when our kids were small and needed to run off some steam.  So I have fond memories of the place – and I’m sorry to see it go.

Carl's Jr in Los Gatos is now closed.

A Feast at Southern Kitchen in Los Gatos

June 05, 2010

Clair Handy with menu and hot cocoa at Southern Kitchen in Los Gatos (June 2010)Yesterday my daughter and I were running a few errands in downtown Los Gatos & popped into Southern Kitchen for a late lunch at around 1:30pm. I believe this was my first visit to this eatery, but it sure was memorable!

The air conditioner was at full blast and ceiling fans running but the lunch crowd was mostly gone, making the place a little too cool, so Clair opted for a hot cocoa to warm up while we perused the menu. To her surprise and mine, the hot chocolate included an absolute mountain of whipped cream, and it required either a spoon or a straw to reach the actual beverage!

Plantation shutters cover the windows at Southern Kitchen in Los GatosSlogging through the menu, which consisted of two-thirds breakfast offerings, we noticed the country music, plantation shutters and menu items all reinforced the “southern” character of the place. The kitchen is open to the dining area and a large white board contained the daily specials with lots of variety.

Clair’s drink was filling enough that she didn’t want much lunch after it, so settled on an all-seed bagel & cream cheese. I was looking for lighter fare, and ordered a Diet Coke and a Greek Salad.

Greek salad at Southern Kitchen in Los Gatos, CA (Silicon Valley)Our table server was exceedingly gracious and our food was brought very quickly. The bagel came with a giant mound of cream cheese and the Greek Salad was so enormous that it could have been a meal for two. (I took half of it home with me.) The presentation was beautiful too and I again felt a little compelled to take a photo of it. 

Brick walls line the interior of the Southern Kitchen restaurant in downtown Los Gatos (Silicon Valley)

The atmosphere or ambiance is, low-key, inauspicious, friendly and open. There are some booths or booth-backs and tables & chairs fill the middle. The walls are brick and sport various prints or paintings and a large framed mirror.

Since we were there at an off time, parking was easy – but we left when Los Gatos High School was getting out, so there was a wall of traffic coming down Main Street at that hour. Luckily, the drivers were nice and let me out easily!

Hot cocoa at Southern Kitchen restaurant in downtown Los Gatos, CA (Silicon Valley, San Francisco Bay Area)I will definitely return, next time to try out the very extensive breakfast menu. And I’ll make sure I’m hungry!

Southern Kitchen
27 East Main Street
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 354-7515

(Southern Kitchen is located near I Gatti, across from The Purple Onion and close to the Penthouse Apartments – nearest cross street is College Avenue).

Open for breakfast and lunch, closing at 3pm.

Southern Kitchen on Urbanspoon
 

Want A Great Bowl of Clam Chowder in Los Gatos? Visit Willow Street – It's Much More Than Pizza!

January 25, 2009

Willow Street Pizza logoOn Friday I enjoyed a late lunch with a real estate colleague and friend of mine at Willow Street Pizza in downtown Los Gatos.  The food is always good but this time I had a bowl of clam chowder and it was the best I’ve had in years.  

With New England Clam Chowder (the “white” one, as opposed to the red, Manhattan Clam Chowder), there are a lot of things that can go wrong. Sometimes the clams are gritty. Frequently the potatoes disintegrate and the whole soup becomes mushy and too thick.  Perhaps most often, there’s excessive cream or fat in the recipe and the chowder is unpleasantly oily.

The bowl of chowder I was served on Friday, though, was a very pleasant surprise. The potatoes and other vegetables were not overcooked. The soup was very tasty and not overly heavy.  And if I’m not mistaken, there were small, delicious dumplings cooked into the recipe too. The combination was unbeatable as the look, texture and taste were all fantastic.

Willow Street does not have a “soup and salad” combination on the menu, but you can do what I did and order a half or side salad plus a bowl of soup and create your own combo. I ordered a Romaine Gorgonzola half salad with cranberries together with the bowl of soup and it was very filling.  A side salad instead of half salad would have been plenty!

If you enjoy clam chowder, look for it at Willow Street (and other restaurants) on Fridays. Very few places will offer it on any other day of the week. (The reason for this tradition has to do with religion and demographics.  Catholics, who constitute about 20% of the population here in Silicon Valley, used to be prohibited by their church from eating meat on Fridays so many “fish specials” used to be featured on that day. That religious rule was changed in the early 1960s after Vatican II, and  today the “no meat on Friday” rule only applies during Lent. Even so, some continue to keep to the older, stricter standards.)

Willow Street does have good pizza, it’s a kid-friendly restaurant, and the salads and soups are really quite delicious. Don’t let the name “Willow Street Pizza” fool you: there’s much more to the menu then just pizza. In fact, you can browse their menu online and see for yourself at http://www.willowstreet.com/LOS_GATOS/Los_Gatos.html

If you have a favorite, local place to enjoy a cup or bowl of clam chowder, please share it in the comments below!

 

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

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