Los Cabos Restaurant Scene

February 22, 2016 Edition
BY: CHUCK WAGON

There is a trio of restaurants, all in one plaza and all in a row, all in San Jose, all very different from each other. But all share a common outdoor eating area. And that area is pretty neat, overcoming their neighborhood, which is overlooking a parking lot. But they’ve done a great job with it, building a deep (and three restaurant wide) wooden terrace, with pull down shades that block out the parking lot. This is a great place to go if you can’t decide what you want to eat or if your party can’t all agree on what kind of food they want collectively. One is an organic burger joint, one is Belgium food, and the third is sushi.

Left to right, first we’ll talk about the burgers. It’s owned by a Mexican who doesn’t live here, so his mom and dad actually run it. Everything but the beer is made on the promises, even the ketchup and mustard. Well, it’s not like the cows for the beef are raised in the backyard, but you get the idea. I had never thought about homemade ketchup and mustard and mayo, but they have somewhat pulled it off. It doesn’t taste like the condiments as we know them, but they are very good.

And the beef is good, the buns nice and smooshy, not hard, and they have some other items as well, such as salads and some soups and other types of sandwiches. They are very gluten aware, and it’s a good place for vegetarians.

Right next to that is the Belgium place, Bistro d’Anvers, but you can call it Antwerp Bistro. We are told that because Belgium has been conquered and colonized by so many countries over the centuries, Belgium food is a mish mash of a lot of cultures. Still, it’s hard to believe that they were occupied by Thailand people, although this place has Thai food. They also have pasta, steak like New York strip, and fish. No burgers, go next door for that.

Their Thai food can be spicy or no, your choice, with soup, fish prepared with Thai seasoning, and of course that standby, Thai chicken salad.

We didn’t see anything that we would characterize as Belgium, but all we know about that subject is their waffles. Nope, no waffles, just good dinner food, since they don’t open until 4 pm. Everything is priced fairly, the priciest item on the menu, the filet of prime beef, is only about $22 US.  Most entrees, which are quite generous, are about $10 to $12.

Next to the Belgium restaurant is the sushi bar, called Kanzen. The menu is a cross between Japanese and Spanish, with the description lines in Spanish, so it all might be a little bit of a mystery to you if you’re not very familiar with sushi, Japanese, or Spanish. The help doesn’t speak English, so that’s a little bit of a challenge, but they are very smiley and very accommodating. The chef does speak some English and is glad to come out and explain everything to you, but you need to ask for him.

Our friend is a sushi man so he ordered there and came over to sit with us,  pronouning the food good to great. The first item he ordered was fine, a bit bland, but the second was pronounced fabulous by our sushi reviewer.

They have four different kinds of sashimi, nine different kinds of rolls, some curry offerings, and a full bar from hard liquor to beer, to lemonade. Of course there are the “Los Teriyakis, and Los Especiales”. The mix of Japanese and Spanish is really a hoot. The prices are very fair, there’s nothing more than about $10.

All three restaurants have pretty short hours, not opening until late afternoon, and closed on Monday.

They are all in Plaza Cardon in San Jose, you can see them from the fourlane as you drive north from the traffic circle. Plaza Cardon is the first horseshoe shaped strip center between Mega and Walmart, and since it’s in a small shopping center, there is plenty of parking.

None of them liked us calling it a food court, so we won’t, but you can order from any restauant you want and sit in front of any restaurant you want. That’s a food court, no?