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


Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival

The Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos will be hosting the Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival on June 10th, 2018, from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  This year is a beach theme, so bring along a beach blanket or lawn chair (the Eventbrite ticket site also encourages people to come in beach wear). In addition to a great musical lineup, there will also be food & activities for all.

Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival graphic

Buy your tickets early – they are more affordable if purchased in advance prior to 5 pm June 8th. They’ll be more expensive at the door.  Early tickets are $5 to $15, and kids under 12 are admitted at no cost.

Please get all of the details on the bands and performers on the JCC website:
Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival 2018

and buy tickets for the event here:
Eventbrite tickets for the Silicon Valley Jewish Musical Festival 2018

Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center Silicon Valley
14855 Oka Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95032

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




Visit the Los Gatos Farmer’s Market!

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.

  • 2 650x500 - Visit the Los Gatos Farmer's Market!
  • 3 650x500 - Visit the Los Gatos Farmer's Market!
  • Produce 650x500 - Visit the Los Gatos Farmer's Market!
  • IMG00189 20101203 1757 650x500 - Visit the Los Gatos Farmer's Market!
  • Onions 650x500 - Visit the Los Gatos Farmer's Market!
  • IMG00186 20101203 1756 650x500 - Visit the Los Gatos Farmer's Market!
  • Veggies 650x500 - Visit the Los Gatos Farmer's Market!
  • 4 650x500 - Visit the Los Gatos Farmer's Market!
  • Farmers Market wild boar sausage 650x500 - Visit the Los Gatos Farmer's Market!
  • Crowd view 300x230 - Visit the Los Gatos Farmer's Market!
  • Tomatoes 650x500 - Visit the Los Gatos Farmer's Market!
  • Farmers market no dogs 650x500 - Visit the Los Gatos Farmer's Market!
  • Red Grapes 650x500 - Visit the Los Gatos Farmer's Market!
  • Greenlees Booth 650x500 - Visit the Los Gatos Farmer's Market!
  • Farmers mkt bird 650x500 - Visit the Los Gatos Farmer's Market!
  • Farmers Market Crepes 650x500 - Visit the Los Gatos Farmer's Market!

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

The Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival

May 15, 2011

The Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival is a new and free daylong musical event making its debut this Sunday, May 22nd, 2011 at the Jewish Community Center on Oka Road in Los Gatos. All are welcome and there will be a variety of music, food, and fun for people of all ages (including a KidZone). Parking is free too. 

To get more details, please read the article on JWeekly.com:
Silicon Valley Jewish Music Fest to premiere at Los Gatos JCC.  I hope to see you there!

A Feast at Southern Kitchen in Los Gatos

Cocoa at Southern KitchenYesterday 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!

Slogging 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 Los GatosOur 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.

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!

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 3 pm.

A Week of Wine, Food & Fashion in Los Gatos: April 26 – May 1

April 20, 2010

Whether you live in Los Gatos or anywhere in Silicon Valley, you’ll want to visit the downtown area of Los Gatos next week (April 26-May 1 2010) as there will be multiple events happening along the theme of fashion, food and wine.  To learn more, check the pages for the “Los Gatos Week of Wine, Food and Fashion“. There are great descriptions online of vendors, restaurants and shops involved, so have a look!

The Purple Onion: Great Food, Service & Ambiance in Downtown Los Gatos

August 07, 2008

The Purple Onion Restaurant and Catering in Los Gatos, CALast Friday, my teens and I stopped for lunch at The Purple Onion, a new Los Gatos restaurant, which opened April 18th at the former site of Caffe Siena (Main Street and College Avenue, across from The Penthouse Apartments).  We enjoyed outside dining and experienced prompt, polite service and great food, so it is something I wanted to share here on “
Live in Los Gatos“.

As with its predecessor, at The Purple Onion, customers order at the counter, pay (they do take credit cards, though there’s no logos for them on the front entry), and find a seat. Servers will bring the food to you. Tables and chairs are available both indoors and out.

A sampling of lunch foods at The Purple Onion in Los GatosMy kids each ordered sandwiches and I ordered a salad. Brian’s was a hot sandwich, and it was so good he had a hard time keeping it on his plate between bites. Clair had a french roll with salami or prociutto and she, too, savored hers. For me it was the Cafe Salad, a wonderful mix of chicken, cranberries, a soft cheese, pistachios, greens and even a few flower petals – which made the presentation lovely – with a sweet vinegarette dressing.   We ordered soft drinks as well and our total, with tax (before tipping) was about $41.00.

This morning I returned with camera in hand to take a few pics and hopefully to meet the proprietors. (I came away with coffee and sweet rolls for home.) I was in luck and met Steve Angelo, the chef/owner, and Lisa Hanson, pastry chef & party planner. I had not realized, the week before, that The Purple Onion offers catering too, but overheard a patron inquiring about it. The store’s website has information on catering, too.

Steve Angelo and Lisa Hanson of The Purple Onion in Los GatosThe Purple Onion is open Tues-Sun from 7am to 4pm, closed on Mondays.  It is located at 26 E Main St
Los Gatos, CA 95030. Tel 408 354-4124. Or visit their catering site online: www.purpleonion-catering.com.

Parking is easy. There’s a lot behind the Soda Works shopping area. Just don’t park in one of the 15 minute zones. You’ll never want to leave that fast.

Nostalgia in a Cinnamon Bun

September 11, 2007

My kids attended Casa MariaMontessori (sadly, now closed) and St. Mary’s Elementary School,both in Los Gatos. Many, many times I took them from school to thealso-now-closed Good Earth Restaurant on North Santa Cruz Avenue toenjoy hot cocoa and oversized cinnamon buns. It’s been years sincethat cheerful restaurant closed its doors, and my kids have not hada place in which to feast upon huge, locally baked cinnamon rollssince then.

Until now.

Cinnamon Buns from the Los Gatos Cafe Uptown - yum! Thanks to Google Alerts, I see most articles and blog poststhat come out with anything about our fair town (including somestupid stuff I could miss that actually has nothing to dowith the town of Los Gatos). Recently the San Jose Mercury News did a piece onThe Los Gatos Cafe Uptownand it mentioned the restaurant’s yummycinnamon buns.

The Handy teens, aged 18 and 16, had this to say about the rollsafter feasting on them last weekend:

“I’m not sure if I was just hungry or they were incredibly good,but with every bite I just kept wondering if there was a way to getmore into my mouth, it was so good….”


“It is really, really good when you eat it with the cinnamonbutter…”

Large & Delicious Cinnamon Bun from the Los Gatos Cafe Uptown The Good Earth is gone, but the happy sentimentsaroused by their much loved cinnamon buns are definitelyback. It’s a mouthful of nostalgia.

I’m sure that all of the food at “uptown” is good. I absolutelylove the original Los Gatos Cafe in downtown. I rather suspect thatthe “uptown” branch will bcome my favorite of the two as it has thegreat food but without the lines and crowds that I avoidat all costs.

But wherever you go, do order (or take home) a cinnamon bun.

(This is not a paid blog post, and in fact the owners of thisrestaurant do not know that this blog post was going to bewritten.)

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Mary Pope-Handy

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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