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Santa Clara, CA restaurant gift certificate? Possible? Recommendation?

Santa Clara, CA restaurant gift certificate? Possible? Recommendation?

Old Jun 21st, 2010, 09:24 AM
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Santa Clara, CA restaurant gift certificate? Possible? Recommendation?

Friends are moving to Santa Clara from Eastern US. They have empty nested, and I thought the perfect going-away present would be a restaurant gift certificate to a good place (not extravagent, necessarily, but not a pizza joint either!) in their new location.

Does anyone have a favorite place there from which I could order a gift certificate?

Thanks!
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Old Jun 21st, 2010, 09:44 AM
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Not too far from Santa Clara (in the town of Sunnyvale - about 5 miles) is a wonderful little Middle Eastern restaurant named "Dish-Dash". I'd go more often but it's kind of far from where I live.

In the other direction (about 10 miles), I'd recommend Amber India in Mountain View.

In Palo Alto (15 miles), there are any number of good restaurants - do a search on this board.

Sorry, I can't think of anything in Santa Clara itself.
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Old Jun 21st, 2010, 10:01 AM
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there is i'm sure a ton of good Indian/Thai/Korean spots there that are more local/neighborhood spots but Santa Clara is not really a culinary destination.

Dish Dash is a good suggestion. Los Gatos has some really good restaurants (Dio Deka, Nick's on Main) as does Mountain Veiw and Palo Alto. In Mountain View, Sakoon (Indian), Xanh (Vietnames fusion), Cascal (lively tapas place)...in Palo Alto there are lots of options but not sure if that's too far for you. I also like Alexander's in Cupertino (it's a nice steakhouse - a bit pricey).
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Old Jun 21st, 2010, 10:21 AM
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Thanks. I stayed near Palo Alto once because of a swim camp the kids went to, but really don't have a good sense of how close everything is. You guys have given me a good "starter set". I appreciate it.
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Old Jun 21st, 2010, 11:39 AM
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You've been given some very good suggestions, however, unless your friends are used to Asian food, I'd suggest starting them out with something more traditional.

Birk's is a steak house.

http://www.birksrestaurant.com/

Or for seafood, try The Fish Market:

http://www.thefishmarket.com/default.aspx

For something exotic but not really so, try the Afghani restaurant Kabul in Sunnyvale:

http://www.kabulrestaurant.net/

Their combo shish kabob (choose 2 of 3 - chicken, beef, or lamb) is delicious and yet appeals to a meal lover's need for "something solid". Their "bread" (square or oblong shaped) is the best I've had in the entire Bay Area).


Maybe if we could get an idea of what type of food they prefer, we could come up with better suggestions.
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Old Jun 21st, 2010, 11:50 AM
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Kabul (at least the branch in Burlingame) is very good. Portions are humongous (I put half in a take-out box before I even start eating!).
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Old Jun 21st, 2010, 03:44 PM
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Downtown San Jose has some good places too. If they like traditional italian, Bella Mia is always a good choice. 71 St. Peter is another good one - mediteranean food. For south asian fusion, E&O Trading Company is good. For Thai, House of Siam is great.
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Old Jun 21st, 2010, 03:47 PM
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Wow! Thanks so much guys.
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Old Jun 21st, 2010, 05:01 PM
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Another possibility is to get a gift certificate to Santana Row. It's a fun, relatively new shopping & dining district in San Jose with about a dozen different restaurants from which to choose.

http://www.santanarow.com/concierge/giftcards/

As for distances just about anything in San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mtn View, Cupertino is within normal dinner driving distance from any part of Santa Clara. Even Los Gatos, Saratoga, or Palo Alto aren't too far away for a dinner out, especially if they live towards 280 or Central Expy.

In San Jose, I like Il Fornaio - the food there is better than the one in Palo Alto in my experience.

I wouldn't recommend Birk's - it's just another traditional, high end steakhouse, no different than you'd find many other places. For premium steaks Alexander's in Cupertino is a cut above, but the statement above about it being "a bit pricey" is an understatement.

I also wouldn't recommend the Fish Market - the food is ok, convenient for a quick business lunch when you work nearby, but it's crowded, casual, and there's really nothing creative on the whole menu. - not gift certificate worthy in my opinion.

For Mexican, I like Fiesta del Mar TOO, on Villa St in Mtn View. Very casual - probably don't offer gift certificates.
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