Friday, January 21

Village California Bistro - San Jose

Because I don't function in real time, now in mid January, I'm posting my Christmas lunch with my coworkers. It was my first time at Village California Bistro and boy was I impressed. Village is situated in the oft-visited Santana Row area. Usually its crowded but on a Tuesday morning, rarely a soul in sight.

The elderflower cocktail consisting of St. Germain, champagne, and lemonade or sometimes just lemons. I was first introduced to and hooked on St. Germain here, but my coworkers have definitely enabled the habit with outings such as this. St. Germain is the greatest drink in the world.

Phyllo wrapped baked brie with caramelized apple. Brie is one of the cheeses that I actually like and when prepared this way, it tastes even better. mm caramelized apples and brie on bread. yummy

($14) JB's pumpkin ravioli. I couldn't get all the ingredients but this was my second pick if I had not ordered what I did. Almond nogada, cotija cheese, pomegranates, oregano and stuffed with pumpkin and some type of protein? I didn't get her thoughts on this but it sounds really interesting.

($15.50) Seared ahi nicoise. A boiled egg, arugula, anchovies, tomatoes and artichoke hearts on the left. Seared ahi tuna in the middle and on the right, olive tapenade which basically tastes like mushed olives. This was so freakin delicious. I always love a good seared ahi because it's never tastes bad. But all the items to the left of the ahi were very complimentary to the dish and made it an American version of a dish I normally eat Japanese style. The olive tapenade, I could probably do without that. I know Phil would love that because it's not the first time I've come across olive tapenade.

On a separate occasion, I revisited Village Bistro with some other friends for dinner without my camera. Village has a seasonal menu that is different for lunch and dinner. I had to say that I was not so pleased with my dinner visit. Although our waiter was handsome and attentive, and somehow we were served by 3 people because we were the only ones who sat outside, the food options are not so stellar.

The day's special seafood pasta was a good one. It had fresh thick linguine with clams, mussels, and fish in a tomato sauce.

My appetizer was again seared ahi on top of a fried rice cake topped with roe, cucumbers, sprouts, and some type of sauce. This was actually a good one. 

MP chose two appetizers for her entree. The first was a baked pasta. I forget what was in this but I was not impressed and it remained relatively untouched so she was either full or unimpressed as well.

Her second was the crab cakes with papaya salad-type topping. This was quite good but the portion was small, although it is an appetizer so in that sense the portion was just right.

So maybe when I say the food was not stellar, I really just meant my dish, the spaghetti with lamb meatballs. It's probably my fault. I was being daring and giving a known enemy another chance. Apparently, lamb still tastes gamey like it always has. The spaghetti was a bit clumpy but that's not a big issue compared to all that cheese! I don't put cheese on my pasta so I keep forgetting that the majority of Americans do put cheese and forget to request no cheese. Look what they gave me, it's practically a macaroon of cheese. boo to that...I think I ordered the wrong thing.

Since the last thing I ate here was the lamb spaghetti, I walked away with an unfavorable impression, but having blogged about all the food I've tried here, the majority of reviews were actually good. I forgot how much I enjoyed that ahi nicoise, and the baked brie, and the seafood pasta.  So overall, I would recommend this place to anyone. It has great lunch options, probably better than their dinner options. The atmosphere is relaxing and I might add that although it's in Santana Row, once inside, I did not get the poshy bourgeois vibe. Prices are about the same as Tapestry, take a few dollars less maybe. 


  1. Yum, that baked brie sounds delicious!

  2. yes baked brie does sound goood. and that st. germain!

  3. mmmm the seafood pasta special was soo good. still thinking/drooling over it.



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