On this recent trip to San Jose, I had a few spots on my to-try list: Iguana's Burritozilla, Nothing Bundt Cake, Dasaprakash...unfortunately, these didn't fit. Previous trips & searches on CH led us to Ramen Halu, Falafel Drive In and Mitsuwa's Hokkaido Fair.
However, I was able to try out some others which were quite the stand out. For one meal, we had ravioli from BERTUCELLI'S LA VILLA ITALIAN GOURMET DELI in Willow Glen. The best ravioli I've had was from Tom Douglas' Palace Kitchen years ago; they called theirs "plin" and it was the first pasta that actually melted in my mouth. I've never had anything that came close. This one almost does. It's by far the best ravioli I've had in California; the pasta here was pillowy. "Pillowy" is the only way to explain the texture; it's light and airy without a whole lot of "chew". The meat sauce was very tomato-ey and even the cold leftovers the next morning were quite good. $13 a quart. I'll have to spend more time trying other things here next time. http://www.wglavilla.com/
One dinner was spent at PICASSO'S TAPAS in Downtown SJ. In a word: WOW! Everything we ordered was fresh and extremely flavourful. We had Calamari Frito (fried calamari) , Pimientos de Piquillo (piquillo peppers), Almejas en Salsa Verde (sauted clams), Chile Champinon (sauted mushrooms) and Pollo al Ajillo (sauted chicken).
The calamari was lightly battered; many places are heavy handed in the batter, this was very tasty without being overpowered by breading or seasoning...it was so good, that it didn't need the accompanying sauce. The piquillo peppers were delicious as well. Peppers were stuffed with seafood flavoured with a cream sauce. The sauce here was so good that we had to use the bread (nice crusty exterior and soft interior) to sop up the sauce and eventually clean the plate. Same goes for the mushrooms and clams; nice fresh garlic flavour and again, we used the bread to enjoy the sauce. Everything was just so good, fresh and tasty. Nothing was overpowering or heavy handed; just nicely seasoned and extremely flavourful. Although five dishes to feed four adults wasn't quite filling, we decided to leave room for dessert later. Total bill for food with tax (no alcohol) came to $60. This is an absolute must return. http://www.picassostapas.com/
So after dinner in downtown, we headed to the Campbell's Pruneyard area for dessert. A quick look in the case at SUGAR BUTTER FLOUR resulted in the selection of carrot cake, cheese cake and a napolean--all in personal size. We got home, quartered each dessert and had a tasting. The carrot cake was the best of the lot. There were many layers of cake and frosting. Very good, but a bit on the sweet side. Cheesecake was good, but not so great that I'd return for it; same goes for the napolean. All in a a good neighbourhood spot, but nothing I'd go out of my way for. The three pieces cost $14. http://www.sugarbutterflour.com/
I like living in OC, with its many ethnic enclaves and eateries, but am quite impressed with SJC's food scene. Not a lot of activity on these boards on SJC, which is surprising considering the variety of offerings to be had.