La Pastaia Kitchen + Bar in San Jose, CA

Posted on February 14, 2013


Appetizer of Freshwater Prawns

The “Share” plate of Freshwater Prawns

Hidden within the unpretentious and historic Hotel De Anza, in the newly renovated downtown San Jose, this eatery is sure to please. While San Jose may be the mecca of technology – the headquarters for Ebay, and Google, Apple, and Yahoo headquarters in neighboring towns – San Jose is also a place for foodies.

I travel to San Jose a few times a month for work, and have had several business lunches and dinners at local eateries. One colleague prides himself with knowing all the best Vietnamese, Thai, and Korean restaurants. Another, who’s mother is a french trained chef, opts for the higher end restaurants. I leave it to these guys to pick the lunch and dinner spots and have yet to be disappointed.

La Pastaia’s exquisitely prepared dishes, welcoming service, and bistro atmosphere are clearly what make this place a sold out destination for valentines dinner dates.

My dad and I, experts at avoiding crowds, came the night before Valentine’s Day, and were seated immediately without reservations. Clearly a favorite amongst the downtown after work crowd, we out-of-towners partook in the flavorful excursion of Italian delicacies.

Sharing seemed like a great idea since everything looked so good, so we chose three “Share” or appetizer plates and one dessert to put in the middle of our table, one after another, much like a traditional four course European meal. While I often see beet salads on menus, I had yet to come across a roasted beets plate, but there it was on the menu. Adorned with both red and golden beets, lightly roasted and slightly glazed, this was a good follow on to caprese. Last but not least, eaten before I could get a picture snapped, the strawberry gelato was a perfect sweet end to a delightful dinner.  Share plates and salads average about $10, and dinners $18-25.

La Pastaria

La Pastaria

Note that parking downtown can be challenging and valet parking is limited and reserved for hotel guests. There is a parking lot on the corner one block away which cost us $7.00 cash. If you can find parking along the street, or are staying in the area even better.