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

Los Gatos Restaurants, Cafes, Bars, Wineries

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:    https://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.

Los Gatos Fires and the Los Gatos Fire Department

fire articleLos Gatos Fire Department History

Fire was a major danger in Los Gatos in the 1800s. Buildings were made of wood, including sidewalks (think boardwalk), and most appliances – light, heat, cooking – still used an open flame. Fire was a greater, more present danger than local wildlife (cougars and grizzlies). In its early years, the town relied on bucket brigades, finally graduating to two volunteer Hose Companies and a Hook and Ladder Company in around 1886. The Cold Spring Water Company of Los Gatos filed to incorporate in December 1890 with the stated purpose to “introduce water for domestic and fire purposes into the town of Los Gatos.”. In 1888 the town passed an ordinance to provide for the organization of a dedicated Fire Department, and perhaps just in time. A major cartridge fire in July of 1891 leveled many of the town’s businesses, and saw the shift of the business district from the east bank to the west bank of the Los Gatos Creek – and it has remained so to this day.

While many major fires destroyed homes, stores, hotels, and even an opera house, the worst is often said to be the 1901 fire.

Continue reading

New Los Gatos restaurant, Foglight Alehouse, in old LG Brewing Company location

Restaurant newsflash – the Los Gatos Brewing Company is closing, and in its place will be Foglight Alehouse, owned and operated by noted San Francisco chef Scott Youkilis and his brother, a retired major league baseball player, Kevin Youkilis.  Apparently they’ve been interested in opening up an alehouse here in Los Gatos for awhile, as Kevin and his family live in nearby Monte Sereno.  We wish them every success and can’t wait to check it out!

For more info, please see these two articles in today’s Silicon Valley Business Journal:

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2015/01/05/exclusivelos-gatos-brewing-co-to-close-youkilis.html

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2015/01/05/exclusive-q-a-sf-chef-youkilis-on-his-new-los.html

UPDATE – NAME CHANGE!

The brewpub’s name is now the Loma Brewing Company.  More info on the new brewery can be seen here on this blog:

Loma Brewing Company opening soon

Where to find a good salad in Los Gatos?

Greek Salad at Southern Kitchen Los GatosWhere can you find a great salad for lunch or dinner in Los Gatos? Here are some of my favorites (updated from the original 2007 post), though I must add a disclaimer that I have not (yet) tried every restaurant in town. Did I miss one that you love? Please post in the comments below!

Fast salads and salad bars in Los Gatos

Looking for a salad bar? Whole Foods offers a healthy selection. Ambiance, not so much. Another place to browse a salad bar is T-Birds Pizza, where you can get a fast slice of pizza with a small side salad for a very reasonable price. Comfy seats, too (unlike Whole Foods). In east Los Gatos, pizza and a salad bar can be found at Los Gatos Pizza, too – and their pizza is fantastic.

A fast salad in a low key environment can be found at Sweet Pea’s. There the only trouble is that you may be tempted to order quiche, crepes or something else! Also fairly fast with a nice variety of yummy salads is Panera.

The Purple Onion is in two locations in town and features a number of great salads, including the healthy sounding “Spa Salad” (I have never asked how many calories there are – I don’t think I want to know!).

Southern Kitchen (they don’t seem to have a website – here is a link to the page on them over at Yelp) is just incredible for breakfast, but the last time I was there I enjoyed an incredibly good Greek salad. I would go back just to try another one of their salads!

Willow Street lists a very nice variety of delicious salads but also includes a changing menu with seasonal items. In the last few months I have enjoyed a warm brussel sprout salad and a steak and peach salad. There seem to always be between four and six salads available, so it’s easy to return there again and again and not get bored.

Thinking of a taco salad, or a fajita salad? Both Andale’s and also Pedro’s are worth a visit, and if you want more casual, the food at Una Mas is fantastic too (and it’s easy on the budget). How about a Chinese Chicken Salad? Jasmine Chinese Cuisine has 2 to choose from – the original recipe (from prior owners) and their newer one.

If upscale and impressive ambiance is what you’re after, here are some other restaurants which serve delicious salads: Steamer’s Grillhouse, Campo di Bocce, Viva, The Wine Cellar, California Cafe and the Los Gatos Brewing Company.

These are my current favorite places for salads in Los Gatos. What are yours?

Starbucks coming to east Los Gatos in the Walgreen's Shopping Center

July 23, 2013

Starbucks will be moving into the space formerly occupied by Gallo’s Restaurant in the Walgreen’s Shopping Center in east Los Gatos, at the corner of Blossom Hill and Harwood Roads, probably in October or close to that time.  The popular coffee shop will take up about two-thirds of the building, the part closest to Blossom Hill Road, with the remainder likely turning into a Subway sandwich shop. 

Right now there is no space for outside dining, but the plan is to rework some of the landscaping so that this can be incorporated.  The patio and tables will be a hit not just for those who like the outdoors, but for the many Belwood, Belgatos, Surmont and nearby neighbors who will walk over to the establishment with pooches in tow. 

This should be a very nice enhancement for neighbors, who right now do not have anyplace in walking distance which offers patio dining of any kind.  

Michelin Starred Restaurants in Los Gatos

October 23, 2012

Great food in (and near) Los GatosThe 2013 Michelin Guide for great dining in the San Francisco Bay Area and Wine Country has just been released.   Michelin rates on a scale of one to three stars.

In years past, including 2012, Manresa earned two stars from Michelin and Dio Dekka awarded one star.   Dio Dekka was named in 2011 as well, and Manresa had enjoyed the two star accolade for five years in a row.

This year, Dio Dekka was dropped from the list but Manresa came up with 2 stars once again.  No other Los Gatos restaurant was named. (This may be unrelated, but it used to be possible to enjoy lunch at Dio Dekka, but a week or so ago I tried and discovered it’s only open for supper except on Sundays. So too with Palacio – only open for supper most days.)

In neighboring Saratoga, the Plumed Horse was awarded one star, as was Chez TJ in Mountain View and Alexander’s Steak House in Cupertino.  Palo Alto can boast a 2 star rating at Baum

Aldo’s Ristorante & Bar: Great Food, Great Service, Great Ambiance

October 16, 2012

 

Aldo'sAldo’s Ristorante & Bar in Los Gatos offers exceptional food, service and ambiance.  Last night I had the pleasure of dining there with my husband and uncle, and our experience was so positive that I wanted to say a few words about it to my readers.

From the moment we got to the door of Aldo’s, we had amazing service from friendly employees.  The staff was always nearby to help, but never intrusive or pushy.  We felt welcome to take our time but were never left waiting long periods for anything, from being seated to getting our appetizer, main course, coffee or the bill. (It seemed that there was a wonderfully high ratio of employees to patrons.)  I do not think the service could have been improved in any way – it was absolutely ideal.

The menu is huge!  In addition to a large array of choices (my uncle joked, “I’ll have one of each”), there was also an insert with the specials.  We enjoyed a nice plate of breaded and fried calamari for an appetizer, and it was cooked to perfection, not greasy, but warm and just crispy enough. There were good wine choices available also. Jim and my uncle ordered pasta dishes and I had a chicken with artichoke dinner – all fabulous.

The decor is open and light with a good amount of space between tables, so patrons do not feel crowded.  Terra cotta floors and nice artwork on light colored walls makes for a sense of visiting some Mediterranean place, but you know you’re in California as there’s a Sharks logo tucked into a niche (and in our case, a Giants game was playing on several televisions by the bar).

For Italian food lovers with mobility challenges, it should be noted that Aldo’s is very handicap accessible.

One more plus to mention: they take reservations, even for small parties.  When I phoned earlier yesterday, the call was answered with “Buon Giorno!”

If you love Italian food, Aldo’s needs to be on your bucket list of must-visit restaurants in Silicon Valley. Located in the Vasona Station shopping center at Winchester & Knowles, this restaurant is easy to reach (not too far from Hwy 880/17) from anywhere in the west valley or San Jose area, and parking is a breeze, something seldom said about eateries in downtown Los Gatos. (That said, Aldo’s also has a cafe in downtown Los Gatos on N. Santa Cruz near Los Gatos-Saratoga Road.  I have enjoyed lunch there many, many times and can recommend it also. For info, see http://www.aldoscafe.com/)
Aldo’s Ristorante & Bar
http://www.aldos-ristorante.com/
14108 Winchester Boulevard, Los Gatos CA 95030
408 374-1808

Check out the menus:
http://www.aldos-ristorante.com/menu.html

(Please note:  as always, this is not a paid blog post, and in fact is one written without Aldo’s prior knowledge.  I have never actually met Aldo, but hopefully will on our next visit.  Positive reviews on this and other sites of mine are simply the result of my own good experience at the various businesses I write about. I hope you find this review helpful.)

Enoteca La Storia Wine Bar in Los Gatos

June 03, 2012

Enoteca La Storia wine bar in Los Gatos, CA (Silicon Valley)Enoteca La Storia Wine Bar in Los Gatos is a classic Italian wine bar but but actually features wine selections from around the world as well as several beers and light food – sandwiches, salads, cheese and meat boards with bread and also dessert.

Enoteca has been open for a couple of years, but Jim and I finally got around to visiting there last night.  We found it to be a delightful place all around, upscale, with wonderful offerings, tasty food and wine, and very good service. We chose to sit indoors at a table but sitting at the long bar is an option and there’s plenty of patio seating as well. The decor was interesting and nicely done and included attention to acoustics.  Some wine bars can get really loud when full of happy patrons, but even on a Saturday evening it was not hard to carry on a normal conversation there. 

Enoteca also sells wine, of course!Karen, our server, was knowledgeable about the wines, the growing conditions in various places and food pairings.  I had never tried wine from Sardenia before, and was very impressed when she filled me in on the volcanic soil, the weather and how they impact wine.  (I enjoyed a lovely chardonnay from there.)  Jim had a red wine from New Zealand, which she advised would probably overpower one crostini with fennel but otherwise would be a good fit for our food.  She was right on target.

It should be added that parking is easy here as it’s in a shopping center with plenty of spaces.  This is not always the case in downtown Los Gatos!

Enoteca La Storia - classic Italian wine bar in downtown Los Gatos, CAWould we go back?  Absolutely.

Enoteca La Storia is located at 416 N. Santa Cruz Avenue, Los Gatos, very close to the intersection with Los Gatos-Saratoga Road (aka Highway 9), just a couple of blocks off of the freeway. 

For more information, please visit Enoteca’s website:

http://www.enotecalastoria.com/

 

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Mary Pope-Handy

Realtor
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Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at) PopeHandy.com
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