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A Day Without Immigrants’ shuts down…

"A Day Without Immigrants’ shuts down businesses across Bay Area With signs of solidarity taped defiantly to their doors, dozens of restaurants and businesses across the Bay Area abruptly shut down Thursday, joining a national protest to show America what it’s like to live “A Day Without Immigrants.” The strike, coordinated largely through social media and word of mouth, spread quickly throughout the country, with many immigrants skipping work and school and closing their wallets to demonstrate their impact on the country’s economy and culture. Many Bay Area businesses — from popular breweries to Latin supermarkets and fine-dining venues — shut their doors, missing out on a day’s earnings to stand with their immigrant employees and customers."


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After 38 years, San Jose’s La Foret is closing…

"After 38 years, San Jose’s La Foret is closing for retirement San Jose’s La Foret, the upscale French restaurant known for introducing thousands of diners to the delights of wild game, will close at the end of March.
In a heartfelt, bittersweet note, chef-owner John Davoudi announced his retirement and expressed his thanks to his customers and staff, many with him since the beginning.
La Foret opened in 1978 in a historic Almaden Valley building. The last day of service will be March 26, giving diners 11 weeks to get back into the restaurant for the buffalo New York steak or wild game entree of the day, veal, quail, rack of lamb, lobster tail — and the signature Grand Marnier souffle. (In a rave 2004 review, Mercury News writer Sheila Himmel said “La Foret sets the standard” for this dessert.)"


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Purple Onion Cafe opens in San Jose’s Willow Glen

"Purple Onion Cafe opens in San Jose’s Willow Glen Its pastry cased packed with freshly baked Nutella twists, blueberry scones and crumb cake, the Purple Onion Cafe started serving Thursday morning at its newest location.
A mainstay in Los Gatos, with two locations in that town, the eatery expanded into San Jose’s Willow Glen neighborhood, taking over a spot in the Garden Theater building on Lincoln Avenue.
Cafe partners Steve Angelo and Lisa Kilkenny-Hansen plan to offer breakfast, lunch and late afternoon bites, with hours from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Purple Onion’s kitchens use cage-free eggs, Mary’s Organic Chicken and greens from the Salinas Valley, and they bake their own breads, scones and cookies. Among the breakfast offerings are a lox plate, breakfast burritos (including one made with just egg whites) and ham or spinach quiche."


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San Jose: City Council approves controversial lounge inside Bella Mia

San Jose: City Council approves controversial…SAN JOSE — A controversial project that was denied three times and stalled for nearly two years will finally become reality for a neglected building in downtown San Jose.
After an emotional hearing Tuesday, the San Jose City Council voted 7-4 to uphold the approval of FŪZ Bar and Grill, an “ultra-lounge” proposed for the vacant Bella Mia Restaurant. Mayor Sam Liccardo, Vice Mayor Magdalena Carrasco, council members Sylvia Arenas and Raul Peralez — the downtown councilman representing the district — were opposed.
It was a council meeting filled with emotion and a movie clip from Rocky Balboa — but it ultimately ended with success for downtown business owner Jenny Wolfes. Councilman Lan Diep, who voted for the project, played a two-minute clip to illustrate the difficulties Wolfes has gone through."


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King Eggroll adds another location, in San Jose’s Willow Glen

"King Eggroll adds another location, in San Jose’s Willow Glen Since 1989, one San Jose company has reigned supreme over the egg roll business.
Customers line up for trays of appetizers at the aptly named King Eggroll in the city’s Berryessa district, making it the go-to spot for to-go orders for potlucks and parties.
Now the Tran family, which maintains other locations, has expanded to the west side of Willow Glen.
It’s called King Eggroll Express, but that’s a bit of a misnomer. Unlike the tiny Lundy Avenue location, there are plenty of tables inside — 44 seats — if you want to scarf down the egg rolls, spring rolls, dim sum or combo plates here.
And if you’re running the order back to the office, two parking spots are reserved for takeout customers."


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"Restaurants Closed, Workers Stay Home: Bay Area 'Day Without Immigrants'

Restaurants Closed, Workers Stay Home: Bay Area 'Day Without Immigrants' In a show of protest with foreign-born workers across the United States, activists in the Bay Area joined forces by staying home and out of the workplace on Thursday in a national ""Day Without Immigrants.
The daylong action from coast to coast is meant to protest against the executive orders President Donald Trump has signed on immigration and show the country what it would be like if there were no immigrant employees in schools, flower shops, grocery stores, doctor's offices, restaurants and more. There are roughly 41 million immigrants in the United States; an estimated 11 million of those who may be undocumented. "


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Stumpy’s shuts down in San Jose’s Willow Glen

"Stumpy’s shuts down in San Jose’s Willow Glen .Longtime South Bay chef-entrepreneur Jim Stump has closed Stumpy’s, his gourmet hamburger and hot dog eatery in San Jose, citing the issues involved with running restaurants in today’s Silicon Valley. “It’s a challenging time,” he said Tuesday. “There aren’t any more cooks. The tech industry has taken them.”
In late 2014, Stump already owned the successful full-service restaurant The Table when he decided to open a fast-casual eatery that elevates the humble hot dog and hamburger. His Stumpy’s, on Willow Glen’s Lincoln Avenue, served creative options such as Apocolypto, a burger with chorizo, tomatillo salsa and queso fresco; The Bui, a hot dog dressed up Vietnamese style; floats made with Straus Creamery soft serve and Devil’s Canyon root beer; and house-made tater tots and pickles.
“I’m thankful for the support we received, but the challenges of a QSR (quick-service restaurant) on Lincoln Avenue proved too difficult,” he said.
Besides The Table, Stump still owns and operates Forthright Oyster Bar & Kitchen in Campbell.


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NorCal first: Jinya Ramen Bar at San Jose’s Oakridge mall

As one Yelper wisely observed, South Bay malls are stepping up their food game — especially where favorites from Asia are concerned.
First it was Din Tai Fung, Taiwan’s legendary dumpling restaurant, which opened last May to great acclaim and long lines at Westfield Valley Fair in Santa Clara.
Now Westfield Oakridge Center in San Jose has welcomed the ultra-popular Jinya Ramen Bar, conceived by Tomonari Takahashi, the son of a restaurateur who operated an izakaya in Japan.
The younger Takahashi opened the first of his seven Tokyo restaurants, Sabakuro Ebisu, in 2000 and his first Jinya Ramen Bar in the United States in 2010.
As a writer for LA Weekly noted: “When the first Ramen Jinya opened in L.A., in a strip mall in Studio City, Angelenos went a little nuts, happy to have superior tonkotsu ramen available — without having to drive to Gardena.”
Known as Tonkotsu Black, this is Jinya’s signature dish, pork-based broth with pork chashu, kikurage (wood ear mushrooms), dried nori (seaweed), seasoned egg, garlic chips, garlic oil and spicy sauce. It’s served with thin noodles.
All of the ramen broths are simmered for 10 hours, according to San Jose General Manager Tracy Tran, and the noodles are aged in-house for three days.


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Pizarro: AC Hotel opens in downtown San Jose

There had to be two things on everyone’s mind at the grand opening Tuesday of AC Hotel, Marriott’s new “lifestyle” brand: “Finally” and “Boy, this is European.”
“Finally” for two reasons. The AC Hotel at 350 W. Santa Clara Street — next to Highway 87 — is the first new hotel to open downtown in more than a decade. There have been renovations and rebrandings in that time, but no new hotel has gone up since the Marriott in 2003 and the Montgomery in 2004 — leaving downtown with a severe room shortage at times. But the AC’s arrival also was delayed by several months, in part because of permit issues — the fire-alarm system was so advanced it hadn’t been seen in these parts before.
And the design of the 210-room hotel is so European it should have an accent. Walking into the lobby and the spacious AC Lounge, you’d think that if IKEA ever built a really expensive-looking hotel, this is what it would look like. Of course, that’s on purpose: The brand was launched in Europe and the San Jose hotel is only one of 12 in the United States and the first on the West Coast.


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Asian Box restaurants coming to Burlingame, San Jose

Asian Box, the chef-driven, fast-casual concept inspired by Vietnamese street food stalls, is in the midst of a major expansion, with restaurants opening in downtown Burlingame (this coming Tuesday, Jan. 24), North San Jose’s new Brokaw Center (late March) and San Francisco’s Chestnut Street.
In 2012, the trio of executive chef Grace Nguyen (formerly of the Slanted Door in San Francisco), culinary director Chad Newton (formerly of Fish & Farm, he grew up in Mountain View) and CEO Frank Klein put together a sustainable, gluten-free menu of stir-fry boxes and launched the company at Town & Country Village in Palo Alto.
Since then, the chain has expanded to Mountain View’s Castro Street, Union Square in San Francisco, downtown Los Angeles and the UC Irvine campus. Besides the three new Bay Area locations, Asian Box is also lined up to expand to Campbell as part of the The Pruneyard’s 2018 build-out.


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A fast-food first: Bay Area McDonald’s testing Crab Sandwich

Believed to be a first for a fast-food chain, the sandwich features snow crab blended with seasoned mayonnaise and diced celery, served with tomato slices and romaine lettuce atop a toasted sourdough bun that’s been brushed with herb butter.
Helping develop the recipe for McDonald’s was Bay Area chef Ryan Scott, a “Top Chef” contestant, TV-radio personality and owner of Finn Town restaurant in San Francisco.
“We wanted to test our own take on the beloved crab sandwich,” Nick Vergis, McDonald’s
Co-op President for the Greater Bay Area, said in a statement. “We’re excited for our customers to try it and share their feedback.”
The sandwich will be offered starting at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, at four McDonald’s in the South Bay. Three are in San Jose (2191 Monterey Road; 2699 Union Ave.; 4838 San Felipe Road) and one is in Santa Clara (3509 Homestead Road). Prices may vary by location.


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