When I first checked out Chef Ron Levi’s Funny Farm last May, I was impressed with his elevated bar bites and playful takes on classic comfort food. But I was more than a bit puzzled by the location—inside the Sideline Sports Bar off Santa Teresa Boulevard in South San Jose.

While the marriage of comfort food and alcohol is easy enough to get behind, dining in a dimly lit dive bar is not everyone’s scene. So those who enjoyed Funny Farm’s menu but shared my view on their original digs, should rejoice in the opening of their second location—on Stevens Creek Boulevard, about a half-mile west of Valley Fair Mall.

Here customers can get that same “crazy good” food in a more genteel setting. The new Funny Farm features table service and an elevated aesthetic. Goodbye red plastic baskets; hello clean, white plates and thoughtful plating.

But don’t raise those pinky fingers just yet. Funny Farm isn’t posturing as haute cuisine. Just one look at the playful décor—designed by Chef Levi’s wife Monica—drives this point home. The interior features multi-colored, furry stripper poles, rubber chickens and a wall covered in Batman-esque comic book onomatopoeic words, such as chompzonk and pow.

The new location is in its soft opening phase, as they are still working on their liquor license. Fans can expect an expanded menu to be unrolled in the weeks and months to come, but all the original favorites are still here. Their deep-fried, chimichanga-like Monte Cristo is a favorite, but I personally can’t get enough of their amazing poutine fries, which come with actual cheese curds. They even have poutine variations topped with buffalo chicken, short rib meat or a bacon cheeseburger crumble for those looking for a complete meal in a bowl.

Local chain SAJJ Mediterranean marks the opening of its 10th location later this month at San Jose’s Marketplace Center on Coleman Avenue. This will be SAJJ’s fifth location in the South Bay and their second in San Jose. The rest are scattered up and down the Peninsula, San Francisco and in Southern California. SAJJ is known for their build-your-own rice and salad bowls, which feature a variety of proteins, including falafel, shawarma and kabobs. While this new location is technically open, on Saturday, Sep. 20, they’ll celebrate their grand opening by giving out free meals to the first 50 customers, plus free samples and 50 percent off on all meals.

As previously reported, Nick’s Next Door founder and chef Nick Difu is growing his brand. Los Gatos Sodaworks is now open. Located… um… next door to Nick’s, the adult soda shop boasts an impressive menu of bar bites and top-shelf craft cocktails, all designed by celebrated mixologist Jason D. Seele. The food lineup ranges from simple snacks like citrus-infused olives to more sophisticated dishes like a Kobe beef carpaccio. The cocktails are a mix of Seele’s creative interpretations of classics and his original creations, such as the Midnight Marauder, featuring a pandan-infused coconut cream and Havana Club rum.

New certified halal Indian joint Ruchulu Restaurant just opened in downtown San Jose, on East Santa Clara Street between First and Second streets. Ruchulu serves-up all the ubiquitous Indian eats, such as curries, biryanis and wraps, and has almost as many vegetarian-friendly items as they do dishes for the carnivorously inclined. They also feature very wallet-friendly lunch combos (Monday-Friday, 11am-3pm, $8-$11). It’s also worth noting that they stay open until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Sadly, right next door to the aforementioned Ruchulu, Claudia’s Pastes has closed-up shop. The purveyors of delicious and savory hand-held Cornish pasties (also known as empanadas) didn’t even make it to their one-year anniversary, as they just barely opened up shop last December. They are still currently maintaining a delivery site on Grubhub, with a message stating that they aren’t currently taking orders but “will be soon.” I’ll keep an eye on it and report back.