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American Italian Deli

American Italian Deli

On Monday, Jim and picked up sandwiches at the American Italian Deli for lunch. The day was nice, but was about to change, so we wanted to have our outdoor lunch before the weather made that less appealing. We really appreciate patio dining options!

 

American Italian Deli LG - outside seating

American Italian Deli – nice outside dining space as well as some indoor seating

The American Italian Deli has a good sized patio, and some tables include umbrellas. The area does not feel crowded, and it’s fairly quiet as it faces a parking lot rather than North Santa Cruz Avenue. (People watching not as interesting, but the quiet and lack of car fumes was great.)

Instead of music, the the audio featured a talk-radio news station. That made it more difficult to chat during our meal, and was distracting with war stories and politics going in the background.

Bar style seating on stools as well as some table seating was provided indoors and, as mentioned, there were plenty of seats outside, too.

I should add that this eatery was spotless – absolutely pristine – when we were there.

Location bonus: it’s right next door to the newly opened Domus (which had been closed, and missed, for more than a decade).

 

American Italian Deli LG - counter and menu

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North Restaurant – Seasonal Vietnamese

menu at North Vietnamese restaurant in Los GatosA 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…)

Restaurant Asa in Los Gatos

Restaurant Asa in Los Gatos

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 Los Gatos exterior

 

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.

 

Restaurant Asa waiting area couches and wine collection

 

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The Catamount restaurant in Old Town

UPDATE:  Sadly, within 10 days of our enjoying a lovely dinner at the Catamount, it suddenly closed. It had been in business a mere 15 months.  It was pretty empty the night we were there, which was hard to understand – it was a wonderful restaurant!  Below is my original review, done in the 2nd half of July.

Catamount CLOSED

Recently, my husband and I enjoyed a wedding anniversary dinner at The Catamount restaurant in Old Town. We had been wanting to go for a few months, and it was a good occasion to give it a try. I’ll start by saying that I would go again in a heartbeat, and suggest that if you haven’t been pampered with a meal there, to put it on your “must do” list right away.

Our reservations were for a Friday night at 7pm. Downtown Los Gatos has a reputation for having unbearable traffic in summer, but that was not at all the case in our experience. The parking lot was nearly full, but we snagged a spot just steps from the door of the Catamount.  Daytime traffic may well be problematical, but on our warm summer evening it was just fine. Don’t let that keep you away.

View of El Sombroso from the Catamount restaurant in Old TownI had been inside The Catamount one other time, for a Sereno Group company party, which was at night. That event was packed, and I hadn’t really gotten a feel for the eatery that time, though I do recall that the food was quite tasty.  This time, though, it was still daylight, and we got a good view of the restaurant and bar as well as the coastal range outside.

The layout is bright and open, with large windows facing the hills. A wall of glass doors separates one section from the next without losing the view of the tall mountain peak on the east side of town, El Sombroso.

We were surprised that the restaurant was not busy when we arrived. Only a few tables were in use initially. It did fill up a little more during our stay, but it made no sense that it wasn’t packed, given the excellent experience that we had there.  I have to wonder if it wasn’t fear of Los Gatos traffic in summer that kept some people away.

Our server and our bus person were both very attentive, and the service could not have been better.  A carafe of water was placed on the table, but the server was there to refill our glasses before we needed to reach for it ourselves. The menu items included a number of things I hadn’t seen elsewhere, and our server did a good job of answering our questions.

Jim Handy with small prime rib and fries with truffle oil at the Catamount

Jim had an appetizer of Stuffed Mushrooms and a main course of a Prime Rib (a small serving, 2 sizes were available) and french fries with truffle oil. He loved all of it. The mushrooms were small, and sitting in a bowl with beef broth, so were not finger food. (There was no bread on the table. Had there been, it would have been used to sop up the broth that the mushrooms were in.) I took a taste of his prime rib and it was very tender and delicious. I’m not a fan of truffle oil, but he is, and assured me that the fries were wonderful.

I had a Little Gem Cesar Salad followed by the Oven Roasted Scottish Salmon. The salad was not little – it was larger than I could manage. There are many variations on Cesar salad, but I hadn’t had them with whole capers before, and it hit me as too salty. The croutons were not really tasty. I avoided the capers and croutons and did enjoy it otherwise.

The Salmon was incredibly delicious. It was cooked to perfection and had a nice glaze over it. It was sitting in a bed of small vegetables. There were pickled, thinly sliced radishes and cucumbers. Normally I am not a huge radish fan, but I could have eaten those all night. There were also some very sweet, small, and tender corn niblets sprinkled all over, as well as tomatoes, parsley and capers – again. I do like capers, but it was funny to have them in both courses. I would not change a thing with the salmon dish. It was so good that I may be tempted to order it again next time, rather than venture out on the menu. (I don’t know salmon well enough to know one kind from the next, so could not say if it was so good in part because it was Scottish. I was curious about that.)

 

Scottish Salmon with misc veggies, some pickled at The Catamount

We each had a glass of wine and both of us enjoyed our selections.

After supper,  Jim had a cappuccino and I had a decaf. He could not eat another bite, but I managed, and had soft serve vanilla ice cream with candied pineapple and coconut. Usually I don’t indulge in desserts, but it was worth it.

The bill came in a timely manner, but we were not rushed. From start to finish, it was a great experience at The Catamount, and I look forward to going back again. (Below, a view at twilight as we left the restaurant. The tall peak there is El Sereno.)

Twilight at Old Town Los Gatos CA
The Catamount
Old Town shopping center (formerly the site of the California Cafe)
50 University Ave.
Los Gatos, CA 95030
(408) 442-5533
info@thecatamount.com

Southern Kitchen Coffee Shop Celebrates 25 Years

Cocoa at Southern KitchenOn Saturday, March 3rd, Southern Kitchen marks an impressive 25 years of service*. This family-owned restaurant has been providing savory and sweet flavors with a touch of the South on E. Main Street for years – if you don’t know them you should!

Southern Kitchen invites you to celebrate with them, with a ribbon cutting and champagne toast from noon to 1pm (details on the Los Gatos Chamber events page). The restaurant’s web page does not have any information on the event, but it is advertised some on their social media pages. Regular hours should still be in effect, so if you can’t make it Saturday at noon, drop by weekdays from 7am to 2pm and weekends from 7am to 3pm for a scrumptious meal.

 

Event page: https://www.losgatoschamber.com/events/details/ribbon-cutting-southern-kitchen-25th-anniversary-10583

Southern Kitchen’s website: http://www.southernkitchenlg.com/

*I just hit my 25th anniversary in real estate, too! Apparently 1993 was a very good year for beginnings!