Editor's Short List
Some random, deadline-busting favorites from the editor's desk
By Dan Pulcrano
83 S. Second St., San Jose
Newly opened grass and galvanized theme bar recalls misspent youth south of the San Ysidro border crossing. Tequila!
Best Premium Wine Store
Joseph George Wines
1559 Meridian Ave., San Jose
The best selection of rare and hard-to-find premium wines and cult wines in the South Bay, and possibly the entire Bay Area.
Wine & Roses Limousine's 1957 Chevy
Imagine pulling up in a 30-foot, immaculately restored candy apple red '57 Bel Air with white top that's outfitted with sound and DVD and a white marble bar. So much classier than a Hummer stretch, but if you want one, W&R has that too.
Best Parking Space
Fourth Street Garage
So what if it's the most expensive garage ever built, at $77,000 a space? We dig those lights, man.
The Stone Griffin
412 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell
Some of the best gargoyles and griffins this side of Notre Dame, along with various other humorous and symbolic garden ornaments, can be found at this humble shop in downtown Campbell.
Best Downtown Coffee Shop
North First Street at Santa Clara Street, San Jose
Great coffee, friendly service and freshly prepared Middle Eastern sandwiches make this small café a dependable morning or lunch spot.
Best Independent Book Store
Willow Glen Books
1330 Lincoln Ave., San Jose
President Clinton shopped here. So do connoisseurs of local history and local writers, people who enjoy provocative, idiosyncratic subjects and others who don't want to feed the big book chains.
Best Evidence Crime Doesn't Pay
Pretending to be 'the best'
Mercury News staff steal Metro's "Best of Silicon Valley" name. Publisher Joe Natoli arrogantly replies, "So, sue us." Natoli forced to flee to cold, crime-ridden city back East.
Best Vodka Infusions
378 Santana Row, Suite 1035, San Jose
Strawberries, loganberries, boysenberries, mangos and other fruits are lovingly marinated in Svedka vodka for two weeks or more, awaiting their destiny in a martini glass.
Best New Pizza Restaurant
334 Santana Row, Suite 1065, San Jose
Hearth-baked Neapolitan pizzas with artisan ingredients? What the heck is that?
Best Indian Vegetarian Restaurant
976 E. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
Affordable, tasty South Indian vegetarian cuisine. When you come from a place where cows rule, you get pretty good at this stuff.
Best Fresh Fish Restaurant
Dynasty Chinese Seafood Restaurant
1001 Story Road, 2nd Floor, San Jose
Watch the little fishies swimming around in aquariums, pick a cute one and enjoy him steaming on a plate minutes later.
Best Cuban Food
Habana Cuba Restaurant
238 Race St., San Jose
The Cuban food here's better than at the restaurants in Havana. Really.
593 N. Fifth St., San Jose
An all-around great Japanese restaurant with an elegant interior, full bar and immaculately groomed bamboo out front.
20030 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino
It's really the place to go for perfectly prepared sushi and sashimi, with nice touches like warmed hand towels and traditionally attired waitstaff.
Best Kosher Foods
164 S. California Ave., Palo Alto
Mollie's has blintzes and rugelach, briskets and Empire chicken, kosher cheeses, kosher marshmallows and kosher wine. It's the hands-down winner in this category, just in time for Yom Kippur!
Best Indication That There's Civilization in South San Jose
Aborn & Ruby roads, San Jose
The Evergreen Village experiment in "new urbanism" has recreated a downtown street with a Lunardi's supermarket down the street from horse ranches and tumbleweeds.
Best Indication That There's Civilization in East San Jose
Beshoff Motorcars Mercedes
3000 E. Capitol Expwy., San Jose
The showroom is palatial, the selection of cars dazzling and the service bay floors clean enough to eat off of.
Best Indication That There's Culture in Cupertino
Helios Restaurant/Cypress Hotel
10030 S. De Anza Blvd., Cupertino
The words "stylish" and "Cupertino" were never mentioned together until this Kimpton Group boutique hotel brought striped fabrics and portobello mushrooms to town.
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