March 20, 2012
Jacky - Producer - The South Bay*, CA http://www.waxyjax.comSo I’m claiming an entire sub-region of the San Francisco Bay Area as my hometown—that’s because I lived in various cities here throughout my pre-adult years. Plus, it operates as a sprawling yet cohesive unit of cities, somewhat like the Greater Los Angeles Area — except the smog and actors are replaced by fog and nerds. Regardless, the area—often snubbed by the rest of the Bay—deserves some recognition. I admit taking it for granted, too—but after years of living in New York and traveling around the world, I can confidently tell the world what a great place it is. In fact, I hereby urge the kids riding their shuttles from San Francisco to their dotcom jobs to explore beyond their corporate cafeterias and happy hour joints—they’ll find this richly diverse area with amazing ethnic restaurants and an amiable, down-to-earth vibe has as lot to offer. Seriously, how many suburban areas can boast such a concentration of amazing food: http://g.co/maps/k4sth ?!The place I always eat: The Burrito Triangle—it’s an intersection of three burritos joints in an industrial part of Mountain View, CA: La Costena (Guinness record holder for World’s Largest Burrito), Taqueria La Bamba and Los Altos Taqueria. I also try to grab a kebab wrapped in lavash or some kind of stew on basmati rice at Rose Market, a little Persian grocery on the other side of town that makes incredible and cheap food. The freshly pressed pomegranate juice is a steal.Where to stay for the night: The Garden Court in Downtown Palo Alto, Hotel Valencia on Santana Row in Santa Clara, or Hotel Los Gatos in Los Gatos. The one place I take everyone: On a drive through the hills off I-280 en route to my mom’s beauty salon, For Your Nails in Los Altos, where I hook my friends up with free paraffin treatment (cuz who doesn’t love having supple hands)…or to watch the action at The Top Spin in San Jose, where my parents roll deep in the ping pong scene.Best local product you should try: Cinnamon bread from Greenlee’s Bakery, any sandwich on Dutch Crunch or sourdough bread at Le Boulanger, local produce and cheese purchased at Milk Pail Market (my favorite grocery store on the planet), the ramen scene, and……Vietnamese food! San Jose has the largest Vietnamese population of any city outside the motherland—obviously, it’s a great place to learn there’s so more to the cuisine than just phở and bánh mì. Go to Vung Tau, where they make amazing bánh khọt, a crispy, savory, coconutty street food from the seaside town for which the restaurant is named..and actually, everything else there is excellent. A food court crawl at Lion Plaza shopping center and Grand Century Mall is always a fun experience. And if you find yourself at a bánh mì shop—ideally, Huong Lan Sandwiches, Thanh Huong or Dakao—you should also try other items like Bánh cuốn and desserts like Vietnamese yogurt. Lastly, for phở: Dac Phuc (pronounced “FOOK”), and Minh’s in Milpitas both do great beef phở (the turmeric fish at Minh’s is also not to be missed). Phở 54 does nice chicken phở, and Phở Kim Long has the best fresh noodles in town (it’ll cost an extra 50¢).The 2nd best kept secret: Take a moonlight swim at Felt Lake in the Palo Alto hills. It’s privately owned, and fenced-off, by Stanford University—but swimming among trespassing teens will make you feel young again.

Jacky - Producer - The South Bay*, CA
http://www.waxyjax.com

So I’m claiming an entire sub-region of the San Francisco Bay Area as my hometown—that’s because I lived in various cities here throughout my pre-adult years. Plus, it operates as a sprawling yet cohesive unit of cities, somewhat like the Greater Los Angeles Area — except the smog and actors are replaced by fog and nerds.


Regardless, the area—often snubbed by the rest of the Bay—deserves some recognition. I admit taking it for granted, too—but after years of living in New York and traveling around the world, I can confidently tell the world what a great place it is. In fact, I hereby urge the kids riding their shuttles from San Francisco to their dotcom jobs to explore beyond their corporate cafeterias and happy hour joints—they’ll find this richly diverse area with amazing ethnic restaurants and an amiable, down-to-earth vibe has as lot to offer. Seriously, how many suburban areas can boast such a concentration of amazing food: http://g.co/maps/k4sth ?!

The place I always eat:

The Burrito Triangle—it’s an intersection of three burritos joints in an industrial part of Mountain View, CA: La Costena (Guinness record holder for World’s Largest Burrito), Taqueria La Bamba and Los Altos Taqueria. I also try to grab a kebab wrapped in lavash or some kind of stew on basmati rice at Rose Market, a little Persian grocery on the other side of town that makes incredible and cheap food. The freshly pressed pomegranate juice is a steal.


Where to stay for the night:

The Garden Court in Downtown Palo Alto, Hotel Valencia on Santana Row in Santa Clara, or Hotel Los Gatos in Los Gatos.


The one place I take everyone:

On a drive through the hills off I-280 en route to my mom’s beauty salon, For Your Nails in Los Altos, where I hook my friends up with free paraffin treatment (cuz who doesn’t love having supple hands)…or to watch the action at The Top Spin in San Jose, where my parents roll deep in the ping pong scene.


Best local product you should try:

Cinnamon bread from Greenlee’s Bakery, any sandwich on Dutch Crunch or sourdough bread at Le Boulanger, local produce and cheese purchased at Milk Pail Market (my favorite grocery store on the planet), the ramen scene, and…


…Vietnamese food! San Jose has the largest Vietnamese population of any city outside the motherland—obviously, it’s a great place to learn there’s so more to the cuisine than just phở and bánh mì. Go to Vung Tau, where they make amazing bánh khọt, a crispy, savory, coconutty street food from the seaside town for which the restaurant is named..and actually, everything else there is excellent. A food court crawl at Lion Plaza shopping center and Grand Century Mall is always a fun experience. And if you find yourself at a bánh mì shop—ideally, Huong Lan Sandwiches, Thanh Huong or Dakao—you should also try other items like Bánh cuốn and desserts like Vietnamese yogurt. Lastly, for phở: Dac Phuc (pronounced “FOOK”), and Minh’s in Milpitas both do great beef phở (the turmeric fish at Minh’s is also not to be missed). Phở 54 does nice chicken phở, and Phở Kim Long has the best fresh noodles in town (it’ll cost an extra 50¢).

The 2nd best kept secret:

Take a moonlight swim at Felt Lake in the Palo Alto hills. It’s privately owned, and fenced-off, by Stanford University—but swimming among trespassing teens will make you feel young again.

  1. Jacky Tran submitted this to whenimcominghome