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Dining Debuts

By Stett Holbrook

IN SAN JOSE, newcomer Ziba Restaurant offers classic Persian food with dishes like koobideh kebabs, gormeh sabzi and fesenjoon, as well as only-in–Silicon Valley twists like a Persian beef burrito. Mexi-Persian?

El Chalateco, a local chain of dependable delicious Mexican and Salvadoran food, has added a new location in east San Jose on Alum Rock Avenue. Sushi Infinity opened last month on The Alameda in San Jose with all-you-can-eat sushi, while across town, Bistro Tupaz opened on Santa Teresa Boulevard. The restaurant offers a menu of hearty Mediterranean classics like seafood fettuccine, osso buco and moussaka, as well as house-made pastries and desserts.

After a lengthy lead-up, Iowa-based Smoky Market is planning to open its doors Oct. 13 in downtown Los Gatos. The restaurant and market is something of a prototype and represents the first in a series of such restaurant-stores to be opened across the country in the next five years. The restaurant will offer all things hickory smoked—ribs, sliced pork loin and chicken.

Meanwhile, I've been anxiously awaiting the opening of Howie's Artisan Pizza in Palo Alto's Town and Country Village. Howie is Howard Bulka, former executive chef at the great Marche in Menlo Park. While he's still a partner at Marche, he left fine dining to make wood-fired, thin crust pizza in a more casual setting. In addition to pizza, Bulka will offer baked mussels, wood-oven baked Florida gulf shrimp and Strauss creamery soft-serve ice cream all made from locally sourced, sustainable farms and producers. Construction is supposed to wrap up in the next few weeks and then open shortly thereafter. This will be one to watch.

Bistro Tupaz

5899 Santa Teresa Blvd, San Jose; 408.578.5860

El Chalateco

1964 Alum Rock Ave, San Jose; 408.254.8355

Smoky Market

29 E. Main St, Los Gatos; 408.399.7659

Sushi Infinity

975 The Alameda, San Jose; 408.298.5888

Ziba Restaurant

4628 Meridian Ave, San Jose; 408.267.1288

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