John’s XLNT (Willow Glen)

One Saturday evening, Annie wanted to eat a large hunk of lamb. She had heard of a restaurant, Athena Grill that was supposed to have good Greek food but unfortunately they were not open on weekends. So we settled on John’s XLNT Food in the Willow Glen neighborhood of San Jose.

When we got there, we had to wait a while until we could be seated. Annie ordered the braised lamb shank. Talk about a large hunk of lamb! It was good.


Manresa Restaurant (Los Gatos)

We went to Manresa Restaurant in Los Gatos to celebrate Annie’s birthday. We made reservations a month in advance, since this very popular restaurant garnered more attention when it was awarded 2 out of 3 stars in the prestigious Michelin Guide. When we arrived, we were seated right away. We told them that we were here for their Tasting Menu, which consists of the best plates the Chef had to offer that night.

All told, there were 4 amuse bouche, 8 entree, and 5 dessert courses. Here are some of my favorite dishes from the dinner:

Raw oyster and uni (sea urchin roe) on the half shell, with sea urchin-infused gelatin and nori (dried seaweed) flake. Wow. It went down so smoothly. *sigh*, I think I could eat a dozen more.


Joy Luck Place (Cupertino)

We went here on the recommendation from some friends of ours that this was the place to go for good, Hong Kong-style noodles.

First up, Soy Sauce Chicken with Rice. Daniel enjoyed this dish so much, he almost ate all of the rice! When we tasted it, we knew why. The sauce had the perfect balance of sweet and savory


McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood (Downtown San Jose)

On Christmas Day, we went to downtown San Jose to catch a movie. Coming out, we were a bit hungry. But there weren’t many restaurants open on Christmas Day down there. The only two we found within a couple of blocks of the theater was McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood, and The Grill. Both are on the $$$ side but we weren’t feeling like meat so we chose M&S.

The place was busy but we were seated right away. Their menu was simple – a large page of mostly seafood. Annie went for the skewer of grilled shrimp and scallop while I went for the cedar plank salmon.

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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