DEALS ON MEALS
honors his northern Italian roots in a chic, contemporary
Enoteca La Storia, 416 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los
Gatos. 408/ 625-7272. Italian wine bar featuring
traditional small plates along with an extensive
selection of fine wines. $$
I Gatti, 25 E. Main St., Los Gatos. 408/399-5180.
Fine Italian dining in a comfortable setting; the
cuisine pays tribute to various Italian regions and
94 South Bay Accent
ranges from pizza to rack of lamb. $–$$
ll Fornaio, Santa Clara, 408/217-8844; San Jose.
408/271-3366; Palo Alto. 650/853-3888. Il Fornaio
stays true to authentic Italian recipes and timehonored
cooking methods. $$$
Il Postale, 100 S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale.
408/733-9600. This popular Italian-American bistro
has made a name for itself over the past 20 years
at the old post office building in Sunnyvale. $$
Italico, 341 California Ave., Palo Alto. 650/473-
9616. This pasta-centric bistro is popular for
meatballs and other classic dishes along with its
extensive variety of Italian wines. $$
Palermo Italian Restaurant, 791 Auzerais Ave.,
San Jose. 408/295-6459. On the banks of the Los
Gatos Creek in San Jose’s historical cannery district,
Palermo specializes in refined, modern Sicilian
Pasta Moon, 315 Main St., Half Moon Bay. 650/
726-5125. Charming eatery serves only local, sustainable
ingredients, fresh from the first bite of
focaccia to the last spoonful of an artisan dessert. $$
Pausa, 223 E. Fourth Ave., San Mateo. 650/375-
0818. Owners Steve Ugur and Chef Andrea
Giuliani serve up handcrafted pastas, brick-oven
pizzas and house-cured salami paired with an all
Italian wine list, craft cocktails and spritzes. $$
Tigelleria Organic Restaurant, 76 E. Campbell
Ave., Campbell. 408/884-3808. Serving traditional
Northern Italian dishes prepared organically. Also
an extensive choice of a la carte antipasto. $$$
Vesta, 2022 Broadway, Redwood City. 650/362-
5052. This trendy indoor-outdoor venue draws
crowds with locally sourced ingredients, wood-fired
pizza, small plates, beer and wine. $$
Vin Santo, 1346 Lincoln Ave., San Jose, 408/920-
2508. Authentic Italian pastas, meats and seafood
dishes uniquely crafted and prepared to mouthwatering
Vivace Ristorante, 1910 Ralston Ave., Belmont.
650/637-0611. “Vivace” means lively, and Executive
Chef Scott Cinfio’s Northern Italian creations
live up to the restaurant’s name. $$
Willow Street Wood-Fired Pizza, San Jose
(Willow Glen), 408/971-7080; San Jose (Westgate),
408/871-0400; Los Gatos, 408/354-5566.
Outstanding pizzas, a full bar and a large menu
with fun appetizers. $
Akane, 250 Third St., Los Altos. 650/941-8150.
Authentic Japanese cuisine featuring an extensive
selection of sushi, sashimi and tasty beef, chicken
and seafood dinner entrees. $$
Bushido, 156 Castro St., Mountain View. 650/
386-6821. Offering Japanese izakaya dining, where
people gather in a casual atmosphere to drink and
enjoy small, unique plates. $$
Fuki-Sushi, 4119 El Camino Real, Palo Alto.
650/494-9383. Fresh seafood, vegetable and rice
delectables, teriyaki and light, crispy tempura are
the mainstays at this long-time local favorite gathering
Hachi Ju Hachi, 14480 Big Basin Way, Saratoga.
408/647-2258. Traditional Japanese cuisine featuring
pure, simple, flavorful dishes. $$
Kaizen Japanese Bar & Grill, 330 E Hamilton
Ave. #7, Campbell. 408/370-1600. This modern
spot features a wrap-around sushi bar and Japanese
mains such as teriyaki and bento. $–$$
Kappo Nami Nami, 240 Castro St., Mountain
View. 650/964-6990. Cutting-edge, kappo-style
Japanese cuisine with fresh, seasonal ingredients. $$
Kubota, 593 N. Fifth St., San Jose. 408/279-8440.
An excellent upscale pan-Pacific menu featuring
seasonal specials and year-round favorites. $–$$
Kyoto Palace, 1875 S. Bascom Ave. #2500 (The
Pruneyard), Campbell. 408/389-0991. Authentic
Mediterranean cuisine continues to be popular thanks to how fast,
healthy, tasty and inexpensive it can be. Lucky for the South Bay there are
many restaurants to choose from.
The granddaddy of the South Bay’s Mediterranean restaurants
is Falafel’s Drive-In (2301 Stevens Creek Blvd., San Jose).
The Nijmeh family moved to San Jose in 1966 and opened
the drive-in serving hamburgers at first then slowly introducing
the public to falafel. A half century later the
drive-in remains the go-to spot for falafel and fresh
banana shakes made with real ice cream. The menu
also features gyros, kifta kababs, the Middle Eastern
meatball called koubby, as well as throwbacks like
burgers and hot dogs.
Following in the Falafel’s Drive-In tradition, Gyros, Burgers
and More (2638 Union Ave., San Jose) serves gyros,
chicken souvlaki, kababs and falafel, plus hamburgers and hot
dogs. All meats are halal except for the hot dogs. Combo meals come with
regular fries and a small soda. Save room for the baklava or Persian ice cream.
For quick, inexpensive and delicious Greek food, Yiassoo (2180 S. Bascom Ave.,
Campbell and 10660 S. De Anza Blvd., Cupertino) is hard to beat. The longtime
locals’ favorite serves up hearty gyro sandwiches and plates, Greek lemon
chicken, lamb souvlaki and Greek salad, along with other classic fare. For vegetarians,
the Grecian Delight sandwich is a feast of Greek salad ingredients,
including lots of feta cheese and kalmata olives, inside a warm soft pita.
The hole-in-the-wall-style House of Falafel (19590 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino)
has been serving up Mediterranean classics for 15 years. The cone-shaped
shawerma meats slowly turning on rotisseries yield juicy, flavorful wraps and
plates. Chicken shawerma is a favorite. The lavash wraps are hefty, in either
meat or non-meat versions, and stuffed with lettuce, tomatoes, tahini and other
Mardini’s Deli (408 Willow Rd., Menlo Park) echoes a classic East Coast diner
menu and reportedly has the best falafel in the area, according to loyal fans.
The falafel wrap is a great deal, and the deluxe wrap—stuffed with all the veggies
of the regular, plus grilled eggplant and fries—is only $1 more. If you’re with
someone not keen on Mediterranean food, they can choose from a large selection
of deli sandwiches, grilled sandwiches, burgers, chili and much more. —P.M.