Asian fusion is one of the culinary world’s most oversaturated categories. It runs the gamut, from dancing over cross-cultural borders (e.g. Kimchi Quesadilla, Ramen Burgers, Sushi Burritos) to mere minglings of Asian dishes. One of the newer restaurants to embark on the lighter side of Pan-Asian cuisine is Sizzle Spot.

Situated on the west edge of San Jose’s Little Saigon District, right by the beloved Bún bò Huê An Nam (aka The Pizzle Spot), Sizzle Spot adds spice to the neighborhood with a chic interior, friendly service and sizzling hot dishes.

One of my favorite features about Sizzle Spot is the simplicity of the menu. There are 14 preset house specials to choose from, or a make-it-yourself option. Seeing as this was our first time we decided to opt for three of the house specials: Sam-Gyeop-Sal, a Korean-style pork belly w/ mám—Vietnamese fermented fish paste—and rice for $8.95; Story Road Short Rib ($11.95) and the Slammin’ Salmon ($11.95). They also have poke, noodle dishes and several soup options.

It won’t take long to find out how “sizzle” got in their name, as all three dishes were presented on piping hot cast iron skillets with the food crackling and smoking. Patience is key—the longer the food is on the plate, the more of a sear the meat and rice receive. We waited before mixing the rice, meat and “Sizzle Basics” (corn, Napa cabbage, sprouts, Enoki mushrooms, bell peppers, green onions and garlic butter) together to make a nice stir fry.

Three house-made sauces (teriyaki, pepper or spicy) are available at each table. The short rib and pork belly seemed to be cooked slightly ahead of time, because both were tender and delicious after only a few minutes on the sizzle plate. We were very impressed with the salmon, as it’s brought out almost raw, which allows one to cook it to their exact specifications, from rare to well done. All three were excellent, but it’s tough to beat the pork belly. The cornucopia of fresh veggies helps give all the dishes a freshness to balance out the fatty meats.

We finished our meal by ordering the lone dessert on the menu, the Saigon Sweetheart ($7.95). It features sticky rice, mangos and bananas topped with a coconut sauce also on a sizzling plate. Refreshingly delicious, this was the perfect way to end the meal. There was so much fresh fruit flying around it almost tasted healthy. Well, almost.

In an area that’s inundated with pho and bánh mì shops, Sizzle Spot is a refreshing change of pace. With an inventive menu, great presentation and reasonable prices, it’s probably time to put some sizzle back into that diet.

Sizzle Spot
740 Story Rd, Suite 1, San Jose.