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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Our Top 10 Favorite Places to Eat in South Bay

Does this happen to you?

You get home from vacation and there's nothing to eat in the fridge because you got rid of all the perishables before you left. Or, you get home from work and your wife says, "Honey, I don't feel like cooking tonight. Let's go out!"

Where do you go?

 

Here's a list of our Top 10 Favorite Places to Eat in the South Bay:

#10: Manresa

Manresa uni in oyster

Yes, I know. Manresa Restaurant in Los Gatos isn't your everyday "drop in on a whim" kind of place. It's a Michelin 2-star, SF Chronicle 4-star, Top 50 Restaurants in the world kind of place.  The kind of place where memorable dinners happen, in a good way.

When Annie and I ate there, I thought that it was the best dinner I've ever had.  That oyster in uni with jelly (pictured above) was just one of the many amazing items we had on our tasting menu.  If I could afford it, I would go again.  That's why this restaurant is on the list.

 

#9: Secret Garden Korean Restaurant

Secret Garden Bi Bim Naeng Myun

There's no shortage of Korean restaurants in the South Bay.  But for Korean food that is better than your normal Korean barbecue buffet, we like Secret Garden in Sunnyvale.  The food is high quality, the service is good, the prices reasonable, and the atmosphere is easy.  All good reasons to keep going back.

 

#8: Athena Grill

Athena Grill Lamb Chops

Athena Grill is little Greek restaurant tucked away in an industrial area of Santa Clara that does a brisk business at lunchtime. But for weekday dinners, you have the place all to yourself. The staff is relaxed yet attentive. The food is the best Greek food around. We could just go there and fill up on pita bread and all the different spreads but their grilled meats are great as well. If you're lucky, they will have some kokkinisto (braised lamb shoulder). But if not, get the lamb chops with the fries and their terribly addictive Greek mayonnaise.

#7: Layang Layang Malaysian Restaurant

Layang Layang Chicken and Mango in Taro Sarang

When we first arrived in San Jose, everyone told us to go to Banana Leaf restaurant in Milpitas for the best Malaysian food. It's good, I agree. But nowadays when we want to go out for Malaysian, we head on over to Layang Layang in Cupertino. To us, it is the most authentic Malaysian food around. Though their menu tends to be more Chinese (like the Chicken and Mango in Taro Sarang pictured above), they actually do a pretty good Malaysian Rendang Beef. Powerful flavors, helpful service, and pretty good value if you use your Entertainment Book or a Restaurant.com gift certificate.

#6: Buca di Beppo

Buca di Beppo Fried Calamari

Although we usually eat at local, family-owned restaurants, we're not averse to eating at chain restaurants, as long as they don't compromise on the quality. We like Buca di Beppo because they give great value for their food. There are two locations near us, but we prefer the Buca di Beppo at the Pruneyard in Campbell because we've had better luck with the food there. We especially love the fried calamari - these are done right!  Their chopped antipasto salad is a meal for four, all by itself.

The only thing that disturbs us is when we go with a large party and they seat us in the "Pope room". What's up with that?

To be continued...

This post is getting kinda long so I will split it into two parts. The next post will conclude with the Top 5 Favorite Places that we like to eat at in the South Bay.

Aloha, Nate

3 Comments:

Dragon said...

I can't wait to read the rest of this. It all looks so good.

Nate-n-Annie said...

@Dragon - the Top 5 are now up!

Claudia said...

That #10 is the strangest looking dish I think I've ever seen. No, I take that back, Pille's (http://nami-nami.blogspot.com/)post on El Bulli restaurant in Spain has some even, or just as weird ones. But, even though I won't be going to South Bay or Spain anytime soon, it's still entertaining to read about. (Pille is actually spreading it over 3 posts - they serve 30 dishes at a meal)!