Award-Winning Food Writer and Cookbook Author

Cheryl Sternman Rule

Edna Ray

Restaurant Review: Edna Ray
in the April 9, 2008 issue of Metro Silicon Valley

THE economy is tanking and people are losing their jobs, so I shouldn’t be shocked that a Los Gatos restaurant open for more than four decades unceremoniously lost its lease and was forced to close. Well, Los Gatos’ loss is San Jose’s gain. Edna Ray Chinese Restaurant shuttered its doors last July, only to reopen them elsewhere six months later. It’s now located in the former Emperor’s Garden space on Lincoln Avenue in Willow Glen. [more]


Restaurant Review: L’Acquolina

Restaurant Review: L’Acquolina
in the March 19, 2008 issue of Metro Silicon Valley

L’ ACQUOLINA’S sleek website caught my eye months before the restaurant actually opened. Its name means “mouthwatering” in Italian, and the website promised inventive dishes like lobster agnolotti with andouille sausage and braised quail with morel mushrooms. My expectations were admittedly high… [more]


Restaurant Review: Tigelleria

Restaurant Review: Tigelleria
in the February 13, 2008 issue of Metro Silicon Valley

THE FACT that you can get pretty much any kind of food in the South Bay is no great shocker. From $4 bowls of ramen to $175 fondue extravaganzas, Silicon Valley has the dining spectrum pretty well covered. Maybe that’s why discovering a new restaurant with an innovative concept is such a nice surprise. At Campbell’s warm, intimate Tigelleria, the food itself isn’t so unusual, but the restaurant’s central conceit is. And that’s refreshing… [more]


Restaurant Review: jZcool

Restaurant Review: jZcool

in the January 9, 2008 issue of Metro Silicon Valley

SOMETIMES diners see things they’re not supposed to: a cook probing the interior of his nostril, a wayward dishrag on a restroom floor, a catfight between a hostess and a patron. Rarely, though, does an unintended discovery cause a diner to smile, impressed by something she wasn’t supposed to see in the first place… [more]


Restaurant Review: Pampelmousse

Restaurant Review: Pamplemousse

in the January 2, 2008 issue of Metro Silicon Valley

IN this age of green everything, driving 30 miles from San Jose for a pastry makes no environmental sense. After all, every time we hop in our car we’re contributing to the obliteration of the ecosystem —melting the polar ice caps, releasing iniquitous greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and furthering the extinction of exotic species. You know what, though? Pamplemousse’s pastries just may be worth it. [more]


Restaurant Review: Rangoli

Restaurant Review: Rangoli

in the December 26, 2007 issue of Metro Silicon Valley

With its attentive service, and well-priced, high-quality food, Rangoli has quietly added culinary firepower to this well trafficked, restaurant-challenged San Jose neighborhood. Take that, you other zip codes. [more]


Restaurant Review: Bill’s Cafe

Restauant Review: Bill’s Cafe
in the December 19, 2007 issue of Metro Silicon Valley

THERE’S no such thing as a free lunch, but there is free bread pudding—and that’s a mighty fine thing in my book. At Bill’s Cafe, which now operates in two San Jose locations, a moist, whiskysauced, nut-and-raisin-inflected bread pudding arrives gratis at the end of lunch. It’s a sliver of a portion to be sure, but it’s divine, and it’s … well, free. [more]


Gourmet Shop Reviews: Against Mall Odds

Against Mall Odds

in the December 12, 2007 issue of Metro Silicon Valley

Reviews of the Olive Bar in Campbell, NapaStyle in Los Gatos, and WineStyles in San Jose. [more]


Restaurant Review: Yellow Ginger

Restaurant Review: Yellow Ginger
in the November 14, 2007 issue of Metro Silicon Valley

There’s a lot of figurative cream at Yellow Ginger Cuisine, a relatively new Southeast Asian spot on the site of the former Malaysian restaurant Baba Neo in Mountain View. Two of my lunch visits were so excellent I’m convinced that my single disappointing dinner must have been an anomaly. [more]


Restaurant Review: Old Port Lobster Shack

Restaurant Review: Old Port Lobster Shack

in the October 10, 2007 issue of Metro Silicon Valley

FOR A MAN whose professional life revolves around lobster—which, in California at least, is generally
considered a high-end delicacy—it’s surprising to hear the words, “I’m a Fluffaholic” come from Russell Deutsch’s mouth. But there it is. [more]


Restaurant Review: Cafe Dhaka

Restaurant Review: Cafe Dhaka

in the September 12, 2007 issue of Metro Silicon Valley

CAFÉ DHAKA has a secret weapon, and his name is Mohammed Rahman. Rahman, a hardware engineer–cumrestaurateur, is bar-none the single most enthusiastic, eager-to-please restaurant owner I’ve encountered in Silicon Valley. And he’s thoroughly versed in the history, preparation and cultural significance of every item on his menu. [more]


Restaurant Review: Ragoots

Restaurant Review: Ragoots

in the August 1, 2007 issue of Metro Silicon Valley

SAY you’ve lived in the same place for 20 years and were tired of leaving town to find the food you love. What do you do? Open your own restaurant and start serving it yourself. That’s what Colleene and Robert Isaacs, along with business partner Elaine Stoddard, did with Ragoots, their year-old cinnamon-and-honey-colored eatery in downtown Morgan Hill. [more]


Restaurant Review: Iberia

Restaurant Review: Iberia

in the July 11, 2007 issue of Metro Silicon Valley

Swap your stress for sangria as soon as you enter the cheerful blue-and-yellow dining room. After a single glass of this kick-ass elixir, a mix of Burgundy, triple sec, brandy, vodka and (surprise!) orange soda, you’ll barely notice the vibrations from the passing Caltrain right outside the door. After a second glass, you may not notice much of anything. You’re on Spanish turf now, so take a load off and settle in. [more]


Restaurant Review: Green Elephant Gourmet

Restaurant Review: Green Elephant Gourmet

in the June 13, 2007 issue of Metro Silicon Valley

WITH its bronze Buddha, stalks of blond bamboo and heavy imported china, Green Elephant Gourmet does atmosphere right. Fresh gladiolas, roses and orchids grace the tables, and the light from the large front windows lends a soft glow to the two-room space. Other decorative choices are almost funny: formal English teacups, for example, are emblazoned with the months of the year. On my first visit three weeks ago, I was a January. When I returned a few days later, I was a November. Time flies at Green Elephant Gourmet. [more]


Restaurant Review: Slice

Restaurant Review: Slice

in the May 9, 2007 issue of Metro Silicon Valley

SAMMY RAMIREZ JR. is clearly having fun with Slice, his new venture on Campbell’s now-bustling main drag. With sandwiches like the “Hot Italian (The Joe Cirone)” named after the chef, a dessert pizza with Nutella and marshmallows, a garage door in lieu of a front wall and a playful star twinkling over the “i,” Slice serves up a sense of humor alongside its darn good thin-crust ‘za. [more]


Restaurant Review: Sultana

Restaurant Review: Sultana

in the April 11, 2007 issue of Metro Silicon Valley

FANCY SAUCES can make anything taste good, but when a simply prepared dish offers pitch-perfect flavors without gimmick or adornment, it can truly blow your mind. Such was the case with the sea bass during my recent visit to Sultana, a year-old Turkish restaurant on El Camino Real in Menlo Park. [more]


Restaurant Review: Pluto’s Fresh Food

Restaurant Review: Pluto’s Fresh Food

in the March 14, 2007 issue of Metro Silicon Valley

AMERICANS crave choices. We want 200 channels on our TV, 65 brands in the cereal aisle and cell phones in a rainbow of fruity colors. We shouldn’t be surprised, then, when restaurants pop up to cater to this trend. Pluto’s Fresh Food in Santana Row, the newest outpost of a San Francisco eatery with eight California locations, takes choice one step further: this place is all about customization. Does it work? It can. But you’ve got to enjoy making choices—and making them quickly. [more]


Restaurant Review: Palo Alto’s Bistro Maxine

Crepe Crusader: Palo Alto’s Bistro Maxine
in the February 14, 2007 issue of Metro Silicon Valley

Fortunately, it’s not hard to find a decent crepe here in Silicon Valley; they can be found at countless cafes, full-scale restaurants and some farmers markets. Even those sporting decidedly Californian fillings have a certain appeal. But Palo Alto’s Bistro Maxine, located on a side street off bustling University Avenue, keeps things simple in true French fashion. [more]


Restaurant Review: Los Gatos’ Pastaria & Market

All Pasta, No Marketing: Los Gatos’ Pastaria & Market

in the January 10, 2007 issue of Metro Silicon Valley

LOS GATOS isn’t hurting for high-end restaurants, but even the well-heeled can’t eat at Manresa every night. When Los Gatans want to kick back, relax and have an unfussy but still raveworthy dinner at a cozy neighborhood eatery, they flock to the Pastaria & Market. With no website, a menu that steers clear of trendy ingredients like truffle oil, and décor comprised of framed posters and painted trellises, Pastaria offers reasonably priced comfort food in an unpretentious but still lively atmosphere. And it’s full nearly every night. [more]