Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Nick's on Main - a lunch with a smile in your heart

My mom wanted to go to lunch at Nick's on Main. How could I refuse to check out a new place. Wow. That's all I can say. I wish I'd been less awed and could have taken some photos for you. The black and white decor is elegant. I love the chef holding the chalkboard up near the ceiling. He's very cute. They have an excellent wine selection, very charming service, and the chef wanders around to ensure everyone is having a good time.

Mom had the lobster salad and I had the crab risotto. In addition, we split the soup of the day which was mushroom. And, of course, I had a glass of wine. I mean, I am me after all.

The soup. Remi the rat couldn't have done better. It used a variety of mushrooms that were well blended together to give a balance of creaminess and earthiness. I didn't detect much, if any, cream. The broth was flavorful and not overpowering. The portion was described as small, but you know, it wasn't. It was perfect as a starter for us both.

Mom really liked the focaccia style bread and pepper jelly that they provided on the table.

I was amused by the small dishes with spoons for the ground pepper and salt. And yes, they were literally recently ground. I pepper just about everything, and am picky. Yes, I said it. I'm picky. And I loved being able to put my own freshly ground pepper to my own tastes without waiting for someone to come back with a pepper mill and grinding twenty or so grinds while looking at me wondering "isn't she done yet???"

My risotto was creamy and to the tooth...exactly how I prefer my risottos. I mean, if I didn't want to know that there was rice in there, I'd get pudding. I like the mouth feel of a perfectly cooked risotto. The crab meat was fresh and in big lumps. There seemed to be a decoration of a balsamic reduction...it was dark in color like a chocolate and it decorated the bowl perfectly. There was also a hint of lemon that blended well with everything. I could go on about the smell, but I won't make you any more hungry then you already are.

Ok, I will. Wait until you hear about the lobster salad. It was semi-deconstructed with the dressed veg on one corner and the lobster on the other, so you could mix it any way you preferred. Mom said that the dressing was a well blended citrus dressing that worked well with the sweetness of the lobster. The yellow grape tomatoes were a bright contrast to the dark greens.

We were sorely tempted by the banana bread pudding, but knew we needed to be good. We're both trying to lose a wee bit of weight before the holidays pack it all back on.

So, Nick's on Main, four thumbs up. It will put a smile in your heart having the great food and great service. And the parking was easy. I wish I could link you to the site, but unfortunately, it doesn't look like they have a website. I should offer to fix that for them in return for the meatloaf. I saw them serving that and the pulled pork to the table next to me, and the meatloaf looked awesome...a huge slab leaning up against the mashed potatoes. Ok, I've got to stop. Now I'm hungry again.

Teach them early and often

I went up to Testarossa yesterday to get my wine club wine. So much fun every time to fetch it. Normally, I would be doing tasting but not yesterday. Still my daughter had a blast checking out the cork oak tree in the front seeing the beautiful photographs of the flowers on the wall, and just checking out the shopping opportunities. She now wants to see behind the curtain how the wine is maid.

I remember growing up on College Avenue...there were grapes on the front hillside that could be swiped since they didn't harvest them anymore. And whenever people would visit, my parents would inevitably take them up to the winery for a tour. Back then, you didn't need an appointment...you'd just show up and someone would walk you around. The vats and the crush pads were incredible, and the smell was amazing. I hope my daughter can experience that.

I think it's important to teach kids about the components of alcohol and that it's not just something to get drunk on. When you learn about the various flavors and how things are made, it helps you to respect what you're drinking that much more.

And, in an omigawd moment, Rob Jensen came out and was assisting people at the tasting bar. I didn't know he really existed! Ok, I did but it was a bit of hero worship after all. And yes, he does have red hair. Just in case you were wondering.

Friday, September 05, 2008

J.J. Magoo's is finally open

You'd think I would have caught opening day of J. J. Magoo's since I get my nails done once a week over at True Nails, and I walk that way often. I was sick with strep, what can I say. What's really embarrasing is my mother caught it just after opening day, and dragged my father down there. It's nice to have them check out places first sometimes. That's how we found out about Main Street Burgers. Which was another post.

I did manage to take a picture of it when they were putting up the neon signs, though, back in August.

And here's a nice write up of the history of Magoo's and J.J. Magoo's in the Mercury News.

I used to love the original Magoo's. They had a nice thin crust. I even remember when they had the second Magoo's where Double D's now is. The second one was supposed to be more of a sit down place rather than a pizza parlour.

We went there last night, and it was very good. The fresh tomato and garlic pizza that I loved at Mountain Mike's is there. As is the combo. It wasn't easy to squeeze the 5 of us in, but we made do. Thankfully, one of the booths is open on the side (perfect for wheelchair access) and there were chairs.

And if you want an appetizer, make sure they know you want it first, otherwise, it's served with the meal. I have to say, those were some of the best onion rings...they were large, the onion was still crisp, they used a meal coating rather than the beer batter coating, and it wasn't greasy.

Yup, it's pizza. And it was good.

As they mentioned in article in the Merc, they were able to keep the pizza ovens:

Everything really is snazzy looking. It's clean and warm and friendly. There were two parties going on while we were there. So it's definitely the happening place to go.

So, this Los Gatos Girl gives it two paws up. It retained all that I had loved about Mountain Mike's while expanding upon it (you should see the sandwiches!). And they're closer to me, so I can walk.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Another Manresa Mention involving a special Saki Pairing Dinner

I was reading on the blog Vinography that the author is putting together a saki pairing dinner at Manresa. Didn't want anyone to miss out on it. They're not advertising it. I can't go that evening. If you love saki and excellent food, call and make a reservation.
Here's the details on the Vinography Blog.
Thanks, Alder, for setting that up. It's a cool idea going byond the boundaries of regular grapes.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

What's going on with me

Well, I wasn't chosen for the tiger team, and that's ok.  I received a handwritten thank you note from Diane McNutt which meant a lot.  I'll apply for the Leadership Training Program through the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce.  The deadline is Aug 31, 2008, so if you're interested in learning more about Los Gatos politics & the way things work, sign up for it.

So, I'm trying to figure out what the big parade was on Friday.  My Dad was stopping over to fetch some tomatoes and got stuck.

And I hope all of you are considering putting in your own Victory Gardens.  You really don't need much room.  I have 30 containers from AGardenPatch and am growing 21 tomato plants, corn, potatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupe, squash, and peppers.  I'm sure there's more.  My daughter got really into it, and we'd buy unique sounding things like Jenny Lind melons.

I'm starting to plan what I'll grow in the Fall.  I've put in a number of bush beans that should start producing in September.  And I need to plant some brussel sprouts.

I'll post some pictures soon.  Amanda has my laptop.  So I stole my husband's.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Going Politico

Yours truly applied for the tiger team needed for the planning commission, and they actually wanted to talk with me. I gussied up and headed down there this evening and prepared a 2 minute talk on points I was concerned about with environmental sustainability, and then answered questions for 3 minutes.

It was fun.

I got home and thought of a bazillion more things I should have said in thirty seconds, but there you go.

And I completely forgot to mention improving safety for pedestrians like Walking Girl. How could I forget???

Still, I was happy to do this, irregardless of the outcome. I'm not an Almaden Girl, I'm not a Silver Creek Girl, I'm not a Palo Alto Girl.
I'm a Los Gatos Girl to the core.

It was wicked fun being in the council chambers. I haven't been there since 1985 when I had to attend for Civics class my senior year.

The cool thing is that you go in thinking "I want to be part of the solution, not the problem" and you realize, there are limits. Sure, I want everyone to have inexpensive high speed connectivity, but how much influence does the council have? The key is in recognizing what you do have and using it wisely. I learned that from my high tech days.

I'm just prejudiced since I work out of my home office and would love to pay less than $230/mo for DSL.

Still, I walk. I have a huge garden in my backyard (23 tomato plants, 6 cabbage, 12 corn, 32 potato, numerous peppers, squash, and melon). I'll have to post a photo of how it's growing. We have the best climate which is perfect for growing a huge variety of produce.

Silicon Valley did used to be the most fertile valley in all of California. I suppose it's rather ironic that it turned to "stone" :-) Ok, yes, I'm aware that silicon isn't a stone per se, but work with me here.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Businesses Closing

Maybe there is something to this recession. I was toodling through downtown yesterday trying to find a knife that could cut a birthday cake and not mangle it (one said serrated, one said never serrated, and one had someone working there that used to work at Icing on the Cake who said use a chef's knife, which I did, but you have to remember you're using a chef's knife when you clean the frosting off of the knife between cuts...ouch), and I saw that Twig is in their final week and everything is 50% off. I remember when that was the used book store. I can't remember the name but it was a play on Cats of some sort.
Then I was surprised to see Sharper Image had already closed. It was open when I last went past. I'm not surprised, though, given the problems the parent company is having. I remember when that was the stationery store where they had a special room just for typewriters. Heh, I doubt many of today's kids know what a typewriter is. I was sad when they closed. Wolfe Computer was a nice place too, back when there was a lot of competition. I never went in when it was Sharper Image...there was nothing there that I wanted, really. I never figured out the business model.
And lastly, the Transylvanian restaurant closed. They were quite good. I think they just weren't in a good location. Pity. Of course, it took me awhile to forgive them for replacing Lisa's Tea Treasures which I adored. I spent many an afternoon in the comfy wing backed chairs in the front with my late mom. Before that, I can't remember what they were. I usually would stop next door at Dragonwood and the Magic Crystal.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Is there a Recession

I've always wondered if Los Gatos was recession-proof. I mean, small community, the stores tend to be very focused to a specific audience and have products that you're not going to find anywhere else. But when other people are losing their jobs and houses, how many of them will really want to come down and buy a special bowl for Fluffy or that $250 pair of jeans?
That's why I was happy that they put in a Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table, and Gap in downtown. It will bring people in, and hopefully, they'll walk around and check out some of the other stores.
But what about the other part of Los Gatos that people forget...yeah, The Boulevard. It's mostly car dealerships. And Office Depot. I'll be glad when they finish the new stripmall where The Flames used to be. I'd like to see the stripmall where Trader Joe's, Petfood Express, Little Lou's and Crimson get more foot traffic. Then, maybe, they'll start working on the old McHugh Lincoln Mercury building again if they see that there's an audience.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Local Business Great for Kids

Fun is coming!
Fun is coming!

Ok, on Thursday, I went to check out FuzeFit which will be where the old Heritage Bank was (it was Heritage Bank, wasn't it?).

What is FuzeFit. Ok, beyond the fact that it is a fitness center for kids that focuses on good nutrition and strengthening your self-esteem through body movement, it's a local business. Totally local. The founders are local. They're working with other local businesses (Los Gatos Athletic Club), using local resources (Los Gatos Community Bus) and play in local parks (Live Oak Manor).

So, this is something I can completely get behind, and hope you will too. Just wait until after I've signed up! There's a limited number of founder memberships.

Grand opening is middle of June, and the first summer camp starts on June 23rd.

What I especially loved was the focus on fun for kids. It's not boring repetition. They also were able to find weight machines for kids which isn't that easy. And it's not just isolated muscle but rather multiple-muscle to increase the impact.

Give them a call. Sign up, and let your kids learn it's fun to get their bodies strong and increase their self-esteem.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Grease Pit is Gone

Unbelievable that the old Burger Pit is leveled, isn't it? The Merc talked about it here.

I know what he means when he said it was an eyesore. It was sad watching it be so empty for so long. I wish he'd opened it up and let someone like Little Lou's BBQ move in for a larger sit-down experience, but there you go. They didn't ask me.

What really amuses and amazes me is looking at the footprint. It was like when they tore down the old Flames (where the dealership was when it blew up, and here's hoping that the two men who were burned are all better now). I remember so clearly being in the restaurant, and yet, when it's gone, the spot looked so much smaller than I remember the inside space being.

Memories are like that...vague and fleeting. And always never as good as you remember.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The marker of Marjorie L. Muttersbach

Don't you hate it when popup windows pop up behind everything else?
Anyway, here's the marker. Anyone know who she was & what she did?

Who is Marjorie L. Muttersbach Anyway

I'm sure you've seen this beautiful tree. It's between Nob Hill and the auto dealer, Los Gatos Chevrolet.

But it's only when you're walking that you see there's a marker that says it was dedicated in memory of Marjorie L. Muttersbach on July 24, 1991.

I don't even remember where I was that year. I was working at Silicon Graphics, I think I had my Harley by then. I was renting a house in Mountain View.

I don't remember anything about her. I'm curious...who was she? What did she contribute to the history of Los Gatos? And where can we find out these things?

And why can't I add a second image using Blogger?
Oh well, I'll have to do a second post.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Blue that Measure D didn't pass

Ok, I'm bummed officially that Measure D didn't pass. The fact that my husband voted against it didn't help. He worried that it would increase crime. Heck, at least then the police would know where to go.

Still, if there's one thing all my years in motorcycle rights taught me, it's to be patient. It didn't pass this time. We need to identify the true concerns and address them maturely, and win over the group that weren't sure and didn't vote on it. And there were a lot.

Honestly. There's about 29,000 people in Los Gatos, and only 11,697 voted? Check out the results here at the Santa Clara County Registrar's office.

There are two facebook pages devoted to it.

I Support a Skatepark in Los Gatos http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8390448473


All for Los Gatos Skatepark http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6931178215

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Measure D - The Skateboard Park Issue

I see a lot of musings going on one way and the other.
All I can say is:
1. you say that you don't want to pay for a special interest issue. Well, what do you say when you have to fix my road and my sidewalk. Am I a special interest?
2. that they should feel badly for wanting what they want instead of a band-aid and then ask for what they really want. Sorry, but go for what's going to solve the problem long term.
3. that they'll take parking away from people. Let's not forget that used to be a filling station for the police (yeah, I parked there as a teen and found out the hard way). It wasn't there's for long, and the police are going to be moving near Rite-Aid soon anyway. So what's the big deal.
Kids need something to do...I grew up here when there was a gaming place (back when that meant pool, air hockey and space invaders) but it didn't last long..let me repeat "KID'S NEED SOMETHING TO DO"
so i'm pro measure D.