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Los Gatos/Saratoga

Los Gatos Old Town Shopping Center, University near Main Street Los Gatos, California 408-358-8118.

Cafe Marcella
Cafe Marcella
Get map

Here is the home page of Cafe Marcella, as well as a newspaper review. The restaurant is a "bistro" type: noisy, fun, inexpensive, but great food and wine. The restaurant was originally started by a group of four, named after Chef Marcella Callaway, who by the way is a Saratoga High School graduate and great supporter. She married the ex-San Jose Clash coach (Callaway). Her signature dishes remain, such as Puttanesca, Streetwalker, Split pea soup. Alain Stabler, his wife and daughter, now will be greeting you, along with Larry Stepak. He is one of the most knowledgable sommelier that I know. They are part of the original group. Alain is the best Maitre’d I know, but since he became an owner, this makes he and Klaus Pache the "best" in my experience. Alain worked at L’Ermitage, the Plumed Horse, manager the Poppy ( owned by the Pache’s ) and knows his wine very well.

*** * ***

CB Hannegans
208 Bachman Avenue
Los Gatos, California

Get a Map

Fun bar and grill. Great food. Chris Benson has donated his service to the community, Los Gatos and Saratoga, and surrounding areas many times. He provided the food and spirits for the wedding of Jon P. Anderson’s daughter and Jon P's wedding, too; plus he has catered many events at Sue Robert's house. Always top quality, great prices, and for great food, you can’t beat our favorite hang-out (for those who like Scotch whiskey, one of the best selections in Santa Clara Valley). The Mayor of Dublin visits CB Hannegans whenever he is in California.

*** * ***

Edna Ray Chinese Restaurant
406 North Santa Cruz Avenue
Los Gatos, Ca. 95030
(Intersection of Saratoga and Santa Cruz Blvd, to the side of Washington Mutual )
Fax: 408-354-0180
Get a Map
Lunch 11:00am - 3:00pm, not on weekends
Dinner 5:00pm - 9:30pm
Dinner until 10:00pm Friday and Saturday

This is the fourth owner of this long time Los Gatos Restaurant. The first was the chef, Ray Lee with his wife Edna, then their son Bob Lee took it over, built up a good "take out" business, opened a second restaurant, had a fire, and was forced to sell both locations. There was a short transition by a couple who never owned a restaurant, and today a chef is in charge: Kwong Wing Suen. He is terrific. You can tell from the great food and affordable prices, too. New dishes and the favorites are excellent. Easy parking. Great take-out, a good Vegetarian's section, also some great new dishes, such as Shredded Pork with Hot Garlic Sauce, Curry Chicken, and twenty-eight Chef's Specials, plus the standard Chinese fare. If ordering "take-out," don't forget to ask for the "specials of the day."

*** * ***

The Green Papaya

137 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos.

Open Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.,

Fri. and Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.


(they have take-out, too)


This is a small restaurant that you should try to taste some great

food. Soup is one of the main meals, with great appetizers.

You can have a meal just from the appetizers, and the

portions are large. Price is inexpensive to moderate.


The wine list is perfect for Vietnamese food. I recommend

the Navarro wine from Anderson Valley I ( the Gewürztraminer

is outstanding).


I really enjoyed the vegetable egg roll. They are large, served

cold not with fried wrapping, but the wet noodle style.

Very crunchy. I think they would make a great summer

course. The food is a representation of the climate in Southeast Asia.

They also had many vegetarian dishes, and after eating them,

there was no desire for meat or fowl. I could see why

people in South East Asia have developed such delicious

dishes. Many of the Vietnamese restaurants try to imitate

what we call Chinese food ( it isn’t) or even Thai food

(everything is not fried). The food does not rely on spice

( although they do serve hot Asian sauce, and the best is the peanut

sauce to dip the egg roll.)


The fresh fish is excellent. The soup is excellent.

The flaming banana dessert is fun to eat, and share, too.

*** * ***

Hawgs Seafood Bar

1700 West Campbell Avenue
Campbell, CA 95008
Get a Map

(Kirkwood Shopping Center, where Renzo’s used to be)

Small, clean, bistro with great fresh fish and other dishes. Try the Riagio baked oysters, or Paella. You cannot go wrong with any of their specials. Very good beer and wine (I drink mostly David Bruce Pinot Noir-goes great with most fish dishes; try it and find out for yourself).

Matt and Steve Hardin, two brothers, operate the restaurant with experience from Scotts, Race Street, and the Fish Market. A real fun place any day of the week (always busy during the weekend, but worth the wait)---not fancy, a bistro, clean and efficient.

*** * ***


320 Village Lane

Los Gatos, CA 95030

Phone: (408) 354-4330

Tuesday through Saturday

5:30-10pm Open for Dinner only

(Recommend you make a reservation, and

the automated response will call you back,

as this opened in July, but is packed in prime

time—recommend early time.)


Up-Scale/Expensive/a San Francisco restaurant in Los Gatos. —Excellent*****


Mansera is hard to find, almost a “secret.”  It is a

 “hidden area,” but perhaps no longer, as this is perhaps

 the most “up-scale” and “modern” restaurant in Los Gatos,

with the best food and very good wine list

(and perhaps the most expensive in town. )

The prix fix menu is the best, as is the “wine flight” menu.

Service has been superb on our visits.  Food and

presentation outstanding. Wine list is okay, but

the restaurant is young and the choice of new

wine to try from around the world is quite interesting.

The customers are also very friendly, and we have

found it a fun place. Our trick is to go early before the rush

( and before the “specials” run out. )

Parking is terrible.  There is a strip parking area between

University Avenue and Santa Cruz, always full.  You can

turn down Santa Cruz Blvd by Pedro’s Mexican Restaurant

(perhaps the oldest in town—I can remember when it

first opened and then expanded, with my good friend Louis

Funkenstein doing on the equipment leasing,

but that is another story), and try and get lucky

on this very short street, or try the Bank of the

West parking lot at night. Or you can park further away,

 and walk.  The chances of finding a spot here is like winning

the lotto. The restaurant is worth any long walk,

 if you can’t find a spot to park.

( My trick: think positive, and you will find a space. )


Ming Quong non-profit restaurant was located here

for many years, and others

before it, including one for banquets.  Down the street

is the popular Mediterranean Bistro, Cafe Marcella.

Look for the windows and you can

peek into the very busy kitchen.  Quite a large

staff and always in motion.

There were many women cooking,

something you don’t see very often,

and fascinating to me to watch as it seemed

 almost to be a food ballet.


If you stay away from the more expensive

 wine, and take two entrees,

it won’t be that expensive.  I always go

 for the four course price fixe,

as life is short and I like to drink good wine and

eat great food. This is the place for that!


This site has a map and more information:

*** * ***


Plumed Horse
14555 Big Basin Way
Saratoga, California
Get a Map

A very elegant and special restaurant, owned and operated by Klaus and Yvonne Pache, who’s oldest son is active at the restaurant when they are traveling. The finest and most comprehensive Wine List on the San Francisco Peninsula (not just my opinion, but also Wine Spectator where this restaurant wins awards year after year).

Excellent for banquets, weddings, special occasions, the "Captain’s Table" or a cocktail at the Crazy Horse Bistro and Bar. For a special night, business dinner, or romantic interlude, I recommend very highly this restaurant for food, service, and wine. The Plumed Horse has been consistently great for many years like Petrus or Chateau Margaux. Silicon Valley’s finest restaurant, no doubt.

Klaus Pache, Kit Menkin and Jon Anderson.

*** * ***

Steamer's Grillhouse

Address: 31 University Ave., Los Gatos

Phone: 408.395.2722

Entrees: $12.95-$23.95

Cuisine: New American/Fresh Fish


This restaurant has moved four times, but basically

 in the same area, and the

second owner has run it for maybe twenty years.

 It has grown from Steamer’s to “and pasta, too”,

then to “Old Town, “ which was remodeled, and

now basically across the street.  There is a strip of

outdoor seating. The wine selection has always been

very good, the service excellent, and it has always

 been busy. The bar area is the place for young singles

 to go, especially good looking women (see for yourself ).


At one time, it was more a “family” place with fresh food

and pasta at very low prices.  The wine list has

grown and so has the atmosphere.  I call it

more “California Cafe”, which is across the

street ( and I no longer recommend

as the food is not that good, the service poor,

 and new owners, new staff, have

let it run down, in my opinion. Bill Clinton ate

here when he visited the town,

and the restaurant has gone down the hill since.) 

Steamers on the other hand

has gotten better and better through the years.


The fish is always fresh, the presentations

and service superb.  If there was a contest for best

waiter, this restaurant would win all the time. 

For years, it has won the category of “Best Restaurant

 in Los Gatos” by the local Los Gatos Times.


There are old timers, like us, who have been

going for years. Now we bring

the newly weds and young families, who remember

 it when they were young,

but enjoy it more now as the food is nouveau cuisine.


Parking is available beneath in an underground parking,

or in two parking strips, another one underground,

too, between University Avenue and Santa Cruz Avenue.

( on Santa Cruz, if you are in the residential section

 only a block away, you can get a ticket for parking

in the permit zone---so look for it,

as it may ruin you meal afterwards. )



I always recommend reservations, even if just

 the two of us.  Sometimes restaurants don’t take

reservations, but when you call, you can ask when

 is the best time to arrive so you don’t have to wait

 (unless you prefer to sit in the bar area before—which

 I don’t recommend, unless you have a designated driver.

 I always worry about that, and sometimes don’t order a

full bottle, unless someone has agreed to be the

 “designated driver.” I’d rather open a bottle at

home, after dinner, then take the chance of getting

arrested for three glasses of wine. )


If you don’t get the great service I mention here,

let me know, as I will be surprised to hear from

you that once seated, you did not enjoy the evening.

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