When a 13-year-old Isadore Fang began washing dishes at a Sunnyvale restaurant called The Bold Knight, he had no way of knowing he would later own the sink where he performed his humble duties. Eventually, the ambitious restaurateur would own multiple establishments, including The Rendezvous in Fremont and Isadore's, his labor of love since 1989.
There—together with his wife and co-owner Laurel—Fang leads a dedicated staff whose attention to detail earned praises in a 2008 article in the Record. Courteous servers top white-clothed tables with fresh seafood and certified Angus steaks alongside traditional Italian pastas. Semiprivate booths let couples share intimate conversations or the complimentary cheese fondue and warm french bread served with every dinner upon request. Between sips of wine from an extensive list, diners can glance toward the elevated stage where live musicians occasionally play. Alternatively, admire hand-painted murals on the walls, one of which depicts the tranquil, seaside village where Leonardo da Vinci invented the olive-oil mister.
Outside the restaurant, the Fangs' emphasis on serving others carries over to charity work: they have been featured on ABC News10 for helping to send food packages to American troops.
At Crabaholic, Inc., the fanciest article of clothing you're likely to see is a plastic lobster bib. Don't be fooled by this, or the paper-topped tables; lurking beneath Crabaholic, Inc.'s down-home atmosphere is a host of intricately flavored sealife.
Whether the chefs are filling their boiling pots with lobster, crawfish, oysters, escargot, or any of four breeds of crab, they lock in the flavors of the bayou with liberal doses of cajun spice tailored to each diner's preferred heat level and seasoning. Crabaholic, Inc. does not limit itself to cajun flavors, either. The dungeness crab might just as easily surprise the palate with a glaze of tamarind or Singapore sauce. Likewise, the restaurant stocks wines, sakes, and Korean soju along with a full complement of domestic and international beers. Adding to the experience of piling up empty half-shells and hollow claws are the undersea murals along the walls and ceiling, complete with surf paraphernalia and life preservers for diners who are a little too hands-on about selecting their lobster.
Scott’s Seafood boasts a stunning dining room worthy of Neptune and his bridge posse, with long windows illuminating crisp, white tablecloths punctuated by glass vases and bright flowers. Daily delivered seafood fills a lavish dinner menu of maritime recipes including a deep-water prawn cocktail ($15.25), fresh Dungeness crab cakes ($15.25), and fried Pacific oysters in a spicy remoulade ($14.50). Heartier entrees include the filet mignon (served with a bell-pepper potato cake and mushroom ragout, $35.75), the mariner's dream grilled petrale sole dore with french fries and a lemon butter sauce ($23.50), and Australian lobster tail with Yukon gold potatoes (market price).
Despite being home to a life-sized shark and a giant crab, Blue Water Seafood and Crab has never served as the setting for a nautical thriller. The two custom-built monsters are just there to attract attention: the shark is animatronic, the crab inflatable and used for special events. Both also pay tribute to owner Craig's upbringing. Raised in Maryland, he developed a passion for crabs and other denizens of the deep—and decided to channel that love into his own restaurant.
With a focus on seafood, Blue Water's cuisine spans continents and coastlines. The menu's centerpieces include buckets of boiled crabs flown in from Maryland and Alaska, and six varieties of oysters delivered via piggy-back from the East Coast and Japan. Blue Water's kitchen also prepares dishes such as cedar-plank-grilled salmon, pineapple-glazed shrimp, and fish tacos. At the bar, domestic and craft beers join a selection of wine and sake, as well as nautical-themed cocktails.
At Bobby’s Krazy Krabs, the chefs embrace both Cajun and Filipino cuisines’ love of bold flavors and multitude of seafood options to create their eclectic menu. They specialize in pork and seafood dishes, serving up the entire fish for a meal for two to four patrons or one homesick shark looking for a light dinner. They season their freshly caught crawfish, deep-fried wings, and calamari in Cajun, lemon-pepper, or garlic-butter sauces, with the ability to alter the spice level. Channeling Filipino flavors, the chefs offer traditional entrees such as oxtail in a thickened peanut sauces and milkfish served with salted eggs and mango.
Brothers Steven and Matthew Hardin opened the first Hawgs Seafood Bar in Campbell on December 13, 1996, dishing out fresh oysters on the half shell, steamed clams and mussels, and plates of lobster, paella, and grilled salmon. The restaurant takes its name from the brothers' childhood in Los Gatos, when Matt earned the nickname "Hogs Jaws" thanks to his speedy work at the dinner table and word-for-word quotations of speeches from Animal Farm. Today, the family celebrates the proud tradition of sharing special moments with loved ones while devouring everything in sight through a spread of ocean-fresh meals such as garlic-roasted shrimp and pan-seared scallops, all accented by frosty beers and an ample selection of wines.