I almost hesitate to blog about this place because it seems to be a true hidden gem, mostly undiscovered, but when your blog is the same … Anyway, the dinner I had this week at Zona Rosa in San Jose was one of the best. It’s an upscale Mexican-California cuisine type place, but maintains a tiny mom-and-pop feel. Really cute decor and less then 20 seats, so make a reservation. Also, do yourself a favor and order the Palomaesque and/or Francisco Libre the minute you sit down. The Palomaesque – tequila, grapefruit, honey and lime, if my memory serves me correctly – comes in an amazing clay cup, the rim coated in the perfect salty-spicy flavoring for the drink. Ditch the straw and drink directly from the cup so you get both the rim flavors and cocktail. The Francisco Libre is also amazing, with a hint of pressed cilantro and jalapeno.
The food: We tried the fried avocado, ensalada temporada (seasonal greens, avocado, mango, papaya, candied pistachio & citrus dressing), crab ceviche (marinated dungeness crab+shrimp, lime, cucumber, cilantro, jalapeno, avocado, 2 crispy tortillas) and scallop tacos (royal sweet scallops, butternut squash serrano glaze, blue corn tortilla). I went to the bathroom (through the kitchen) at one point and spotted a woman making the tortillas to order. The salad and scallops were my personal highlights, but everything was top-notch. Gives any restaurant in this food category in San Francisco a run for its money.
It’s a little pricey, but you’re paying for quality, care and great customer service. It’s worth it. Trust me.
Zona Rosa // 1411 The Alameda, San Jose
Stumbled upon the San Pedro Square Market in downtown San Jose last night and thoroughly enjoyed myself. It’s the same model as the Ferry Building in San Francisco: indoor market with multiple food and drink vendors, places to sit and hang out. But San Pedro Square is like the Ferry Building on crack. There’s not one, but two huge warehouse-like areas full of delicious eats and drinks, from tacos to pizza to falafel to sushi to oysters to cheese to hot dogs to ice cream …you get the idea. If you’re ever in San Jose, I highly recommend checking it out.
San Pedro Square Market // 87 N. San Pedro St., San Jose