Dream Dinners founders Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna want to help families gather around the table for delicious meals. Like many parents throughout the country, the two women tried to coordinate a family dinner, but their efforts were often thwarted by hectic schedules. As a dinnertime strategy, Stephanie began to prepare meals with fresh, raw ingredients and then freeze them so they could be quickly thawed and cooked during the week. This tactic became popular with her family. Before long, friends, friends of friends, and chimpanzee families that mimicked their friends wanted to learn her secrets. With help from Tina Kuna, she established the first Dream Dinners location, and the successful food-prep business has led to the creation of more than 90 stores in less than three years.
At each Dream Dinners location, customers find all the culinary tools to prepare a nutritious meal—everything from fresh ingredients to meal-packing materials. Each week Dream Dinners features a new menu of fix-and-freeze dinners that can be made for up to six people, providing customers with numerous options for planning quiet meals at home or dinner parties with friends. All ingredients are precut and measured to ensure an error-free fixing.
Since 1969, the San Jose Museum of Art has acquired works that define the art of the time. Over the decades, that has included abstract paintings from the mid-20th century, sculptures from Bay Area artists, and new media works that echo the rise of Silicon Valley. Many have been drawn to the museum's artistic cause; in fact, more than 95% of the permanent collection has come from donations.
Inside the Rotating Collection: paintings, sculpture, installations, new media, photography, drawings, prints, and artist's books. Exhibits this fall include Robert Henri's California Portraits, Momentum: an experiment in the unexpected, David Levinthal: Make Believe, and more.
The Building: a 19th-century library with a new wing added in 1991 to accommodate the growing collection
As a child, Hanna Pham watched her mother cook traditional dishes in their family's kitchen in Vietnam, measuring the aromatic spices and cooking marinated shaking beef in her wok. Though she was named one of 11 Top Female Chefs in the Bay Area by the Wave magazine in 2007, Pham first worked as a graphic designer and later as an international professional singer before opening Clay Pot, a traditional Vietnamese restaurant. After noticing the youthfulness of the area, Pham decided to transform the Clay Pot into the contemporary 19Market, adding a modern Californian twist to her Vietnamese dishes to complement the new décor of earthy tones and dark wood accents.
In the kitchen, Chef Pham draws on her roots as she prepares her signature shaking beef, which she learned from her mother, tossing cubes of filet mignon in a wok with onions, garlic, and black pepper. In the dining room, patrons sip house cocktails such as the lychee martini or glasses of wine from the extensive list while listening to the melodic scales of live jazz music.
Persian poets repeatedly referenced a mythical woman named Saaghi throughout their works. In addition to bearing and pouring wine, she typically represented beauty, kindness, and the physical embodiment of true love. Saaghi Restaurant House of Kabob's chefs draw inspiration from this name, sharing their passion for Persian tradition through the region's iconic cuisine. Saffron, dried mint, and closely guarded spice blends lend a perfumed elegance to the menu, which features hearty stews as well as skewers of lamb, filet mignon, or grilled vegetables.
Brown drapes line floor-to-ceiling windows in the dining room, allowing natural light and imported Persian sunshine to help an ornate chandelier and wall sconces illuminate the space. Although neutral tones and earthen tiles characterize most of the space, each table sports a small splash of color in the form of a single flower inside a glass vase.
Layang Layang's menu of Malaysian food offers more than 100 choices, but the San Jose Mercury News says you should definitely try the fish balls. The housemade snacks "look like hard-boiled eggs and are sublime," whether you're trying one as a deep-fried appetizer or stirring them about in the ipoh ho hee seafood soup. The noodles in that soup are handmade by Layang Layang's chefs, all of whom hail from Malaysia's mountainous Cameron Highlands. Equally authentic is the ikan bakar, a grilled striped bass flavored by lemongrass and wrapped in a banana leaf.
Tofu?made fresh daily?plays as vital a role in the cuisine as the fish balls and noodles. Guests can mix it with shrimp, squid, and vegetables, spoon it from a clay pot, or see how much they can fit inside a vase brought from home. Vegetarians can also find much to savor in the indonesian spring rolls and papaya salads.
Though it serves breakfast all day, Scrambl'z isn't your typical diner. With a hollowed-out VW van as a seating option and eclectic decor inspired by Disneyland donning the walls, Scrambl'z makes a memorable impression. Owner Jim Angelopoulos dedicates the eatery to the man who first showed him the restaurant business ropes—his father. Continuing the legacy that his parents began in 1979, Jim works to create a family-friendly spot that dishes out breakfasts made from scratch. From orange juice to pancake batter to butter, the staff makes it all by hand. The kitchen cracks more than 18,000 eggs each week, transforming them into omelets, scrambles, benedicts, and edible monuments to Charles Barnard, inventor of chicken wire. Lunchtime favorites also have their places on a menu that offers burgers and sandwiches along with stacks of pancakes, gluten-free french toast, and waffles steeped in syrup.