San Jose Journals

My Favorite Pockets of San Jose

An October 2005 trip to San Jose by dj_canela

Tony Di Maggios Photo, San Jose, California More Photos
Quote: Once a town full of orchards, San Jose has grown up to become Silicon Valley. And though the dot.com bust has sent the moneymakers back to where they came from, my hometown still offers many surprises for San Francisco tourists looking for a day excursion.

My Favorite Pockets of San Jose

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

San Jose at sunset Photo, San Jose, California
Quote:
San Jose has over 300 days of sunshine a year. We are only 45 minutes from the beach, 1 hour from San Francisco, and 3 hours from Lake Tahoe. Some of my favorite activities include exploring the many trails at the county parks, going for a drive in the hills at sunset, and enjoying the many ethnic dining options, including Ethiopian, Cuban, Thai, Indian, Mexican, and Vietnamese. Summer brings the most festivals and concerts including the Jazz Festival. But even in the fall, we have the Gypsy Cinema series, which features free movies at outdoor venues like St. James Park and the Circle of Palms; just bring a lawnchair. The Museum of Art offers free admission. San Jose is home to many film fes...Read More

Montgomery Hotel

Hotel | "Hotel Montgomery"

Quote:
This hotel originally opened in 1911, but not at its current location. Actually it was located 186 feet away, but through a spectacular engineering feat, the entire building was moved in one piece. Guestrooms include Egyptian-cotton bed linens, leather-like wall coverings, and Burberry-plaid lounge chairs. I booked a one-bedroom suite (room no. 420), and what I enjoyed most was that the decor and feel of the room made me feel like I was staying in a friend's home. Even the sofa bed was comfortable. The mirrored door opens to a roomy bathroom stocked with bathrobes, Q-tips, cotton balls, a vanity mirror, and Aveda amenities. In the master bedroom was a Brookstone CD player mounted on the wall...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 27, 2005

Montgomery Hotel
211 S. 1st St.
San Jose, California
408/282-8801

Los Cubano's

Restaurant

Quote:

Bush won't let us visit Cuba and Miami is on the other side of the country. But that doesn't mean you can't find great Cuban food in San Jose. The chef came out of retirement to open his 17th restaurant in downtown San Jose. This is a family-run restaurant, with help from his wife and grandson. The walls are decorated with maps of Cuba and portraits of important Cuban figures. Purses made from Cuban cigar boxes are available for purchase at the register.

The emphasis here is on slow-cooked food that is rich in flavor. Most meals include white rice, fried plantains, and black beans. The menu also offers some Brazilian and Puerto Rican dishes. The shrimp dishes are the best!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 20, 2005

Los Cubano's
22 N. Almaden Ave.
San Jose, California 95110
408/279-6037

Tony Di Maggio's

Restaurant | "Tony Di Maggio's Pizza"

Tony Di Maggio's Photo, San Jose, California
Quote:
Don't let the location fool you. The stromboli here is one of San Jose's best-kept secrets. The decor reminds me of a relative's home circa 1975, but that's part of the appeal. Plus the pizza guy is GORGEOUS. A little eye candy is always fun. The menu includes pizza, pasta dishes, and sandwiches. The restaurant offers a simple selection of draft and bottled beers as well.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 20, 2005

Tony Di Maggio's
3852 Monterey Rd.
San Jose, California 95111
408/629-7775

Royal Taj

Restaurant

Quote:
Located near the intersection of 85 and 17, Royal Taj brings a quiet dining experience with traditional Indian decor and rattan room dividers serving as curtains. Frequently appearing on "Best Indian Food" surveys, this restaurant is a great place to bring a first-timer who has never experienced Indian food.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 20, 2005

Royal Taj
1350 Camden Ave.
San Jose, California
408/559-6801

Lee's Sandwiches White Road

Restaurant | "Lee's Sandwiches"

Quote:
Budget dining is back! They offer Vietnamese sandwiches priced under $3, iced coffee with milk priced under $3, shrimp spring rolls with peanut sauce priced under $3, and avocado/mango/lychee shakes priced under $3. When the neon sign says "hot bread," you're in luck. French baguettes are priced at $1 each.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 20, 2005

Lee's Sandwiches White Road
3276 South White Road @ Aborn Road
San Jose, California 95148
(408) 274-8166

Quote:

The Evergreen area offers limited dining options, but this Japanese restaurant stands out among its competition. Sushi bar and booth seating is available. You can order traditional sushi like hamachi, maguro, or unagi, or order the crazy rolls like The Jerwinator, featuring salmon skin and macadamia nuts. I don't usually order dessert when I have Japanese food, but the tempura ice cream here is the best!

Yuri's has been open for over 15 years. The pricing is reasonable for sushi, and on certain nights, the chefs will create rolls that aren't on the menu but should be. The location is in a mini mall and the restaurant closes at 9:30pm.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 27, 2005

Yuri Japanese Restaurant
3236 S. White Rd.
San Jose, California 95148
408/270-7993

Scott's Seafood Grill & Bar

Restaurant | "Scott's Seafood"

Quote:
Scott's Seafood has a prime location on the top floor of a parking garage in downtown San Jose, with grand views of the valley. This is THE spot to impress your date, but you've got to bring them at sunset. During certain times of the year, the sunset makes the East Side hills look a shade of pink. Gorgeous. I usually prefer to dine at the bar, but if you prefer a table, be sure to request window seating. The service is simply outstanding. Aside from the great food, the service is one of the reasons why I will always eat at Scott's. I've tried other seafood restaurants in downtown San Jose (I'm not sure if I'm allowed to mention names), and they pale in comparison: no view, lousy service, an...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 27, 2005

Scott's Seafood Grill & Bar
185 Park Ave.
San Jose, California 95113
408/971-1700

Arirang Music Studio

Attraction | "Arirang Karaoke Studio"

Quote:
Bring out your inner rock star at this karaoke studio. Private rooms for rent include sofas, two microphones, and a disco ball that starts rotating when a song starts. It's open very late, which is a real treat in Silicon Valley, so call ahead to let them know you're coming. Sneak a blank tape to the front desk and they'll record your singing session as a souvenir!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 20, 2005

Arirang Music Studio
2725 El Camino Real #107
San Jose, California 95051
408/260-7010

Quote:
The International Latino Film Festival was founded in 1977 to benefit the San Francisco Bay Area and the world by promoting cinematography of significant artistic merit created by or about Latinos, and celebrating cultural understanding through the art of film an filmmaking. Through films that express the cultural diversity of our many countries and roots, we inspire the Latino population, challenge negative stereotypes, and share our rich cultural heritage with the public at large. www.latinofilmfestival.org

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 31, 2005

International Latino Film Festival
984 Folsom Street
San Francisco, California 94107
(415) 454-4039