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Where We're Eating Now (exist) - 0

Carolyn Jung | June 22, 2016 | Food & Drink Story Eat and Drink

LYFE Kitchen
Since opening its first location in downtown Palo Alto in 2011, LYFE Kitchen—one of the country’s first fast-casual concepts emphasizing healthful, sustainable fare—has expanded to 15 locations throughout the country. In April, it opened its second Northern California outpost, this one across the street from the new Apple headquarters in Cupertino. Larger than the Palo Alto one, this LYFE features a full bar complete with fresh artisan cocktails, as well as housemade ginger beer on tap. As with all LYFE locations, all the dishes contain less than 600 calories and 1,000 mg of sodium per serving. So go ahead and indulge in blueberry pancakes made with quinoa and topped with Greek yogurt and maple syrup ($6); Art’s Unfried Chicken alongside roasted Brussels sprouts and butternut squash ($14); and spicy Vietnamese lettuce wraps folded around plant-based “beefless tips” ($7). Order at the counter and sip ginger pomegranate lemonade ($3) as you marvel at the living herb wall that’s a focal point in every LYFE. 19399 Stevens Creek Blvd., Ste. 5, Cupertino, 669.231.4910

The Vesper
Ian Fleming may have invented the swank cocktail The Vesper in his James Bond novel, Casino Royale, but South Bay veteran restaurateur James Stump has brought it to contemporary life in this new bar and lounge in downtown Campbell christened with the same name. A retro tin ceiling along with mismatched love seats and upholstered chairs gives the two-level space a loosened-up vibe. All the better to enjoy small plates such as a poke bowl with shiitake and enoki mushrooms ($15), chicken liver tartine ($6), and barbecued shrimp New Orleans-style ($14). Quench your thirst with a range of wines by the glass; craft beers; Mexican Coke ($3); housemade pomegranate soda ($3) or a specialty cocktail ($10), such as the Full House (Sazerac rye, yellow Chartreuse, Benedictine and house bitters); and, of course, The Vesper (Seagram’s gin, vodka, Lillet and amaro). 394 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell, 408.680.0401

Olla Cocina
Perk up your palate with contemporary regional Mexican specialties at Olla Cocina, now open in San Jose’s San Pedro Square. Executive Chef Adan Ornelas, most recently of the adjacent The Farmers Union, crafts a trio of tacos laced with housemade salsas with a choice of fillings such as duck carnitas or beer-batter fried fish ($14); camote con mole, salt-crusted sweet potato blanketed in mole and served with a stack of housemade tortillas ($12); and even a Mexican pasta, fideo seco, gussied up with tomato, chipotle, crema and avocado ($15). End on a decadent note with a whole banana roasted in its peel, then split open and topped with caramel sauce, salted fried almonds and lime ice cream ($8). A full bar offers 12 wines on tap as well as craft beers. The sprawling space, designed by longtime restaurateur Doug Washington, sets a playful mood with its church pulpit host stand, Dia de los Muertos wallpaper and shoes dangling from wires stretched across the ceiling. 17 N. San Pedro St., San Jose, 408.606.7999

Originally published in the May issue of Silicon Valley

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