Kamakura Sushi & Sake House is better known to locals as Kamakura Japanese Restaurant in Los Gatos. The menu offerings are wider than sushi and sake, though of course they are prominently offered. If you enjoy Japanese food of all kinds, this is a place you’ll be happy to try. I visit there at least a couple of times each year, and would not mind going a lot more often.
Patio dining at Kamakura Japanese Restaurant in the Covid era
Earlier this week Jim and I enjoyed lunch in the parklet out front at Kamakura. I’m adding comments about our December visit to an older article (below) from pre-Covid days.
We were the first patrons at Kamakura Japanese Restaurant that day, and we asked if we could sit outdoors with the heater on, and the hostess quickly said yes and got us seated there. (Not so long ago I was at another Los Gatos eatery for lunch with clients and I had phoned ahead to see if they would be willing to turn the heaters on for us – it was equally frigid that day – and they said they didn’t know if they had any propane! And those heaters did not get used.)
The metal chairs were initially a little icy (so next time I might bring a sweater to sit on!) but it didn’t take long to be comfortable. The tables are spaced apart at a good distance. That’s not something we see everywhere and we really valued it.
Sometimes when guests are seated outdoors they can be overlooked by the staff. That did not happen in the least. The service was extremely attentive. As always, the food was delicious and hot. Our server and the hostess both brought us refills of our hot tea many times. We were there on a particularly chilly day, December 12, and the hot tea was wonderful to enjoy.
Of special note: many restaurants with crab dishes use a cheaper imitation crab, but Kamakura boasts “real crab” on their menu.
Our hostess was also great with the heater when it glitched. At one point it turned off and she quickly moved us to another table (and later was able to get the first heater working.)
The atmosphere was friendly and welcoming. It felt like a very Covid-safe setting. The food was memorably good. On a scale of 1 to 10, it warrants at least an 11.
Indoor dining at Kamakura Japanese Restaurant
(Older info and photos are below.)
While the annual CrabFest is postponed another year, the Rotary Club of Los Gatos is continuing a new tradition with their 2nd annual Virtual WineFest & Auction! Save the date for Saturday, January 29th at 5pm!
This year’s event centers around gourmet bites and Argentinian wines (or try the non-alcoholic selection) guided by sommelier Joe Chiodo. Tickets include a Wine Tasting Kit for 2 with curbside pick-up from Rootstock Wine Bar prior to the event. Evening entertainment includes a live performance by Lavender Fields.
And as always, the main event is the charity auction! Proceeds benefit the Rotary Charities foundations, and this year the “Raise the Paddle” auction item benefits Los Gatos House of Hope, West Valley Community Services, and Peninsula Food Runners to help fight hunger and food insecurity locally.
Virtual WineFest & Auction
For ticket sales, event details and updates, contact the event team, or donate directly check the Los Gatos Rotary website and Virtual WineFest & Auction event page. Each ticket is for a 2-person tasting experience at a cost of $150.
The event is also posted on the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce event calendar with easy links to save the date on your virtual calendar and view a video promotion for the event.
A couple of days ago, my husband, Jim, and I enjoyed outside dining at North Restaurant, a downtown Los Gatos eatery offering seasonal Vietnamese food. It was our first visit there. The meals and service could not have been better, so I wanted to give them a shout out here on the Live in Los Gatos blog.
We arrived at North a little before 12 noon and wanted a table away from other diners and the sidewalk. It wasn’t too crowded and we were seated in a corner by ourselves. A nice surprise was noting plexiglass between our table and one nearby. The parklet was also covered, which was helpful with the summer sun.
Superb service at North Restaurant
Our server was masked, which we appreciated, and came quickly to take our order. We didn’t have to wait long for the food after ordering. Throughout our meal, he would look in our direction to see if we might need anything, and did step over to ask directly if all was ok and if he could get us anything. We never felt rushed, but he was around. When we paid our bill it was the same – he didn’t waste any time, but never made us feel like we needed to hurry. Kudos on the service, it was an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10. (He probably told us his name, and we forget it, unfortunately!)
North Restaurant menu offerings
The offerings were diverse and tempting! One item that I’ll return to have next time is the crab spring rolls, which was advertised as including “Rice Paper, Dungeness Crab, Avocado, Mango, Rice Vermicelli, Green Leaf Lettuce, Mint, Soy Vinaigrette”. So often, restaurants offer crab dishes but actually serve fake crab – but this is Dungeness! (more…)
Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce poster for the Promenade!
The Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce invites the community to celebrate summer together with free live music all summer!
Thursday Promenades in Downtown Los Gatos
There’s a party in downtown every Thursday Promenade beginning this week! Every Thursday evening, 3pm to 8pm from July 1st to August 12th, the stretch of North Santa Cruz Avenue in downtown Los Gatos between Main St and Bachman (that’s from Dolce Spazio to Andalé for the foodies) will transform into “the promenade.” The street will be open to foot traffic, and two stages will bookend the promenade with live musical entertainment!
Bands will begin performances at 4:30pm on the North Stage (Bachman), and at 5:30pm on the South Stage (Main), with entertainment from a different group each week. See the lineup (and any changes) on the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce calendar, the Thursday Promenades page linked above, or Camber of Commerce social media pages.
Drivers, plan to reroute around this stretch of N. Santa Cruz Ave on Thursday nights. While there is usually plenty of parking along the old rail line behind the shops, it tends to fill up with festival traffic, so schedule in some extra time for parking. If you’re coming for the event, consider traveling by bike, or using a ridesharing service if you plan on patronizing any of the bars or brewery!
As someone who regularly attends free summer concerts in Los Gatos, which were mostly canceled earlier this year (and the Fiesta de Arts / Wine Walk postponed until September), the Promenade is music to my ears!
So invite your friends to eat, drink, play, and stroll the night away!
Musical lineup, taken from the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce Facebook page. Click to see the original post.
Los Gatos is highly regarded for its excellent dine in restaurants. It is not known for food trucks, takeout food, or meals delivered to your home, but during the current Shelter in Place period, it’s a way for consumers to enjoy some of their favorite meals and support local businesses. In some cases, we can buy groceries at these eateries, too.
The Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce has put together a comprehensive list of Los Gatos restaurants, wine bars, coffee shops, and our one fabulous brew pub which feature to-go menu items. Please check it out!
Finally, I have never used a delivery service, but if you cannot get out, you might want to investigate Grubhub, DoorDash, UberEats, or Postmates.
Last week a friend and I met to enjoy lunch at Restaurant Asa, which opened a few months ago. It was the first time there for both of us and we were anxious to give it a try since we’d only heard good things about it. The eatery’s location is super convenient and is a big plus: Asa sits just across from the Los Gatos Lodge, adjacent to the Best Western Inn of Los Gatos – at the corner of Alberto Way and Los Gatos-Saratoga Road. This is the same location where Grill 57 was until this summer. There’s no shortage of nearby parking, which cannot always be said of restaurants in town.
Restaurant Asa: good appearance is just the beginning
An attractive, inviting patio dining area sits behind the planters in the photo above.
Inside, a waiting area features two comfy couches. A well appointed wine case is to the right and a full bar to the left. The room is open, clean, quiet (while fairly full), and offers pleasant decor.