Santana Row is now home to what could become the new standard in upscale Mediterranean cuisine in Silicon Valley.

Headed by chef and restaurateur Roland Passot, whose other “babies” include La Folie and LB Steak, Meso Modern Mediterranean is now open on the southwest end of the tony shopping center, near the CinéArts.

To run his newest venture, Passot has recruited two alumni of the vaunted three-Michelin-starred French Laundry: Chef de Cuisine Gregory Short and Pastry Chef Eva Wong.

The seasonal menu pulls flavors from all over the Mediterrnean region, taking inspiration primarily from Middle Eastern, Italian and Greek cuisine.


At a recent Meso-hosted open house for members of the media, I was particularly impressed with the red beet labneh (soft cheese). Its earthy and sweet flavor, and the accompanying house-made pita bread made for a delicious pairing. For the mains, their take on the classic Italian branzino was stupendous, with fabulously crunchy skin, moist flesh and an accompanying fiery zhoug (cilantro sauce). A side of saffron pilaf helped round out the dish.

For dessert, the deconstructed baklava—called “pear and medjool dates”—is everything a dessert should be: sweet, crunchy and savory with a side of house cinnamon ice cream.

They also have a curated but very stout list of handcrafted cocktails. Sipping on the “Mezcal + Melon” felt like drinking a spicy, sweet jalapeño but without the nasty afterburn.

Meso is still in a soft-opening stage, with their grand opening slated for sometime in December.

Viet’s Corner has taken over the former home of Top This! Pizza in Los Gatos. The restaurant serves the usual smattering of egg and spring rolls, bánh mì, pho and vermicelli bowls, but in a twist, they’ve kept the pizza oven and continue the Top This! tradition of serving build-your-own pizzas. Unfortunately, they don’t have any Vietnamese-inspired toppings such as a barbecue pork or tamarind beef. Food for thought…

After a few construction and permitting delays, Cider Junction has finally opened its pup-friendly patio. Sure, it’s late in the year, but this is the South Bay—home to great weather year-round. Plus, they do have outdoor heating for cooler evenings.

Speaking of construction and permitting delays, LUNA Mexican Kitchen’s new Pruneyard location is finally up and running. Formerly the home of El Burro, the space has been totally reimagined, with two bars (one inside and one outside), a giant dog-friendly patio, beautiful brick interior and the same great menu that has won them two consecutive Michelin Bib Gourmand awards. Be sure to check out some of the new items they’ve added, including the coliflor frito (fried cauliflower) with a serrano lime crema, lamb barbacoa and new drinks, like their take on a enamorada (tequila sunrise).

The beloved Korean barbecue and hotpot hotspot CJ House Korean BBQ has closed shop after nearly five years of business. Diners used to rave about their very reasonably priced ($24) AYCE option that included a laundry list of Korean goodness, like short ribs, brisket, shrimp and tofu soup. But it’s not all bad news. They didn’t close due to lack of business; they’ve simply sold the business. Word around town is that it will soon be a Japanese grill that is tentatively named Shimofuri Japanese BBQ. That venture is slated to open sometime this winter.